So when I left off we were heading down to Charlottesville VA after having a splendid lunch at Market Cross Pub in Carlisle PA.
The trip had been one of discovery of the bells and whistles on our X5. At the time, we had only had it a couple weeks so figuring out what this button and that button did was figuring prominently in our drives. For the drive to Charlottesville we decided to use the in car GPS navigation only I failed to realize it was set to SHORTEST distance not FASTEST distance. That coupled with my phone’s GPS navigation somehow getting switched to “avoid highways” found us turning off the 4 lane highway and onto twisty 2 lane roads…. at night… in rural Virginia.
So for the next hour… hours… I don’t really know but for the next while M fussed at me that I had routed us through twisty 2 lane DEER INFESTED mountain roads at night and that we would be making much better time to have stayed on the bigger highways. And then we entered the land of no mobile signal. Just nothing at all… the car’s GPS did an admirable job “real time” tracking us down the map but we were without GPS signal for much of the drive.
Every time I would get a few bars of signal I would double check our position and began mapping our way back to 81 so that we could shoot on down to Charlottesville… albeit a bit later than we had thought. And then miraculously we came out on 211 and the road expanded into a nice 4 lane divided highway and we approached the town of Luray Va. I took this opportunity to recheck our distance from 81 and the distance to the hotel we were hoping to stay at when there was a “bump” and M said “I think we hit something?”.
I remember thinking… “seriously M? I mean it’s a huge road… how do you not SEE something in the road??”
M gently brought the X5 to a halt at the side of the road and asked me to check if whatever we hit was somehow caught under the car and if I could pull it out so we could continue on our way.
So I got out and the latent 13 year old in me half flounced, half pouted my way to the front of the car. Where I found this….
M said she watched my face go from annoyed to blanched white to semi-panicky. My brain was scrambling to process what we could’ve hit that would’ve been such a minor bump but cause so much damage. M had said she saw a flash of white and for whatever reason my brain could only come up with that we had hit a person.
I ducked my head in the car and told M I was going to head back up the road to see what we had hit and whipped out my phone to call J.
Now… the X5 was an emotional purchase for us. J had found the car and after much consideration he and I bought it and gifted it to M as a Thank You for all the support she has given us over the years… through the birth of Sophie, J’s schooling, adopting the boys, my life long horse obsession…
So I dialed J, forgetting that my phone was linked to the car, however my phone has this quirky habit of switching between bluetooth and handset when you are actually talking into it so while my side of the conversation with J was actually “We have had a wreck, M is ok, Sophie is ok, I’m following the blood trail to see what we’ve hit”… J actually heard “We had a wreck…. Sophie…. blood trail”.
M could hear the conversation as it was bouncing between my phone and the car and could hear J panicking thinking that Sophie had been thrown from the car and was hurt… I could hear her screaming “WE ARE OK!!” but I thought she was having some sort of psychotic break and couldn’t figure out why J was flipping out other than he was upset about the car.
And the whole time I’m still walking up the road trying to find what we had hit I had people stopping to ask if we were ok and what we had hit bc they hadn’t seen anything as they approached….
Actually the conversation all 5 times went pretty much like this:
Them- Are you ok??
Me- Yes we are ok!
Them- Did you hit a deer?
Me- I don’t know
Them- Hey is that an X5?
Me- uhhhh ????
Seriously… I wish I were kidding.
So I kept trekking for what felt like a solid mile but was really only like a quarter when I heard rustling up the massive bank to my left just as I started to hear the cars going by running over wreck debris. All I had was my mobile phone for a light so I tried my best to see across the road into the median where finally I did see the wispy white tail of a deer laying just off the road. I couldn’t fully see the size of the deer but I figured it must be pretty small if it could see it’s tail and the back of it’s head with such a dim light.
So I hoofed it back to the car as a first responder pulled up. He was a very kind man, unfortunately I don’t remember his name and in my agitated state I latched on to the fact that he looked a lot like my cousin Andy.
Him- did you hit a deer?
Him- Did you find it?
Him- Can you show me where it is?
Me- unbelievably Andy it’s on the side of the road
Him- Ma’am my name isn’t Andy.
Me- Regardless the deer is in the median… I’ll show you where.
Him- OK… Please stay away from the edge of the road there are cars…
Me- Andy, I’m well aware that cars travel on the road… keep up
Him- Ma’am my name’s not Andy
Me- REGARDLESS, keep up.. deer is just ahead in the median
Him- Ma’am, you need to step away from the edge of the road
Me- So help me Andy… My father was a police officer I think I know how road safety works, furthermore if you would shine your light where I COULD SEE THE GROUND I wouldn’t have to walk so close to the flipping road.
Him- Ma’am really, my name’s not Andy.
Me- Look I know your name isn’t Andy but for the duration of our interaction you are going to be ANDY… got it?
Him- Uhhh…. ok.
So we found the deer and started the walk back to the car as the first of 3 sheriff deputies pulled up. M had already explained to them what happened and they asked me if we had found the deer to which I replied “yeah, I showed it to Andy” and as he opened his mouth to once again say his name wasn’t Andy I held up a finger and said “not a word”.
A confused look between the deputies and then uproarious laughter…. Between the deer scaring horns being knocked off by the deer and my insistence on calling the first responder Andy… hilarity was ensuing.
Then the conundrum of what to do about the car… we felt certain that we couldn’t move it as part of what appeared to be a radiator was laying on the ground. I was unaware that we still had BMW roadside assistance on the car but did remember that I have US Rider… or AAA for horse people as I like to call it.
So feeling all kinds of awesome I once again whip out my phone (which is now disconnected from the car thank goodness) and pull up the USRider app on my phone. A quick punch of the Request Assistance button and I was connected to pleasant voiced man named Jeff. He went through his initial protocol of questions: are we ok, is the vehicle safely off the road etc, and then once again… hilarity.
Jeff- Is your vehicle safely off the road
Me- Yes, I’m not in my truck and trailer, I’m in my car and yes it’s off the road.
Jeff- Is your trailer secure?
Me- Uhhhh…. yes?
Jeff- Are your horses secure?
Me- Jeff…. did you miss the part where I said I’m not pulling a trailer?
Jeff- yes ma’am however I’m required to ask if your horses are secure.
Me (now feeling snarky)- Well Jeff, I’m hoping that my horses are secure but quite honestly I don’t know seeing as how I’m approximately 7 hours from where they are located and they are under the care of my husband who is the person in charge of fence repairs but no Jeff I cannot unequivocally tell you that my horses are secure.
Jeff- ummm… so that’s a yes?
Jeff- OK, now is your trailer a gooseneck or bumper pull?
Jeff- I know but we have to ask….
Me- you did catch that I said I’m driving a BMW?
Me- have you seen a BMW pulling a horse trailer recently?
Me- so if I were driving a say Miata… would you still be asking my about my trailer?
Jeff (now amused and resigned)- yes ma’am we are required to follow a script to assess the need.
Me- I sooo hope this call is being recorded… just to illustrate the absurdity of asking an addlepatted person if their trailer that’s 2 states away is secure….
Jeff- I understand… now ma’am I need to ask where exactly you are located?
Me- I’m in the middle of nowhere VA.
Jeff- hmmm…. could you narrow that down a little?
Me- Ahhh Jeff I see you are now going to speak my language of sarcasm and dry wit
Jeff- Yes ma’am, I’m fluent in both
Me- Jeff… you may be awesome
And then the conversation devolved into trying to figure out where we were and in what direction we were heading…. which gave the deputies another good chuckle. Jeff promised to send help quickly and promised as well to call back within 10 minutes to check on us again.
I received both a text and a call back from Jeff which seriously… HUGE thumbs up for US Rider… I wasn’t expecting so much coddling and it was greatly appreciated.
My second talk with Jeff was equally awesome…
Jeff- We have contacted a company that is sending a driver out to pick up your car shortly… do you have the address of where you want the car towed?
Me- Well Jeff we’re thinking we are just going to have the car towed across the street to this small motel that has a large parking lot and appears to have vacancies…
Jeff- Yes ma’am… I’m looking up an address to send the driver now
Jeff- Ma’am that appears to be literally across the road from where you are located.
Me- It is.
Jeff- The driver may have a distance minimum he needs to drive….
Me- You know Jeff… if the driver really needs to make a mileage quota he can feel free to circle this stretch of highway to his heart’s content so long as my car is secure.
Jeff- I will make a note of that.
Jeff- So this motel is associated with which national chain?
Me- Jeff… it’s like a Bates motel starter location… it looks dark and very creepy… let’s put it this way… If you hear about a South Carolina family that was murdered in a small Virginia motel… that’ll be me Jeff… that’ll be me.
Jeff- I’ll come to your funeral.
Me- Thank you Jeff… really appreciate that… that’s serious customer service there.
Jeff- least I can do ma’am…
Seriously… I hope that Jeff’s supervisors understand that he’s awesome and went above and beyond what I expected as my experiences with AAA have been brusque and argumentative while everything to do with US Rider was easy and friendly. All my equestrian friends definitely need to look into US Rider!
Next up… checking into the Luray Caverns Motel West….