Monday, July 13, 2009

colorado mountain high (and a low or two as well)

we really like going to visit my sister in colorado. in the summertime. it's a long trip from oklahoma city, so we have to have some sort of compelling reason to go. and last week we did.

my nephew, who lives in colorado springs, and my new niece-in-law, who lives in denver, set their wedding date for saturday, july 11. there's the excuse we needed.

a great group of folks assembled at my sister's house, and for the better part of five days we enjoyed great food, great company, a few great beers, and a really neat wedding which was set in a park with green, green grass, a pond replete with lily pads and canadian geese. plus a rousing reception (in spite of the texas sized mosquitoes which showed up about mid-party).

oh yeah, and some really neat rain storms, too.

and then came sunday morning. and the trip back home.

somehow the drive to colorado seems easy. the ten hours go quickly by and you're there. maybe that's because you're a bit anxious to get there. anticipation offsets the dreariness of the travel. but the trip home? well, that ten hour drive just ain't nearly so enjoyable.

and the drive reaches the peak of misery as you're leaving dumas, texas.

we'd stopped for lunch in dalhart, and i asked hon to drive for a bit so i could rest. i napped, and awoke just as we were entering dumas - maybe half an hour. and hon was ready to give up the captain's seat. a quick stop for a driver change. then an ill-advised stop at the dairy queen, and we're back on the road again. (ill-advised because i kept spilling ice cream on myself. i couldn't figure out how i'd become so sloppy when eating. we later figured out that my cup was leaking. i felt exhonerated.)

as we were leaving town, where you'd generally expect to increase your speed and hit the open highway, we were driving along side a charcoal gray pontiac g-6. which is quite a coincidence, since we're driving jo's charcoal gray honda. the two cars were identical in color, and looked pretty much the same at first glance.

i saw the two patrol cars parked in the median, facing the other direction, just on the outskirts of town. i didn't give them much thought. i wasn't really watching my speed, but felt i was safely within normal tolerances. and as we passed by the officers, the charcoal gray pontiac beside me sped up and pulled well ahead of me.

i saw in my mirror as one of the squad cars crossed the median and headed our way. and within view of the 60 mph speed limit sign i began accelerating. and that's about when the lights came on behind me. i looked at the speedometer at that precise point - it read 55.

so, as any law-abiding citizen would, i pulled over. the officer approached the car on the passengers side and asked to see license, insurance, registration. then explained he'd stopped me because he clocked me at 58 in a 45 mile per hour speed zone. i was a little shocked. and i asked if he was certain he'd clocked me, or possibly the other charcoal gray car that had been beside me, then sped off. i got the distinct feeling that he didn't appreciate having his judgement questioned, and tersely repeated his exact words.

he told me to wait, returned to his patrol car, and i knew i was gonna receive a citation. and not one for meritorious efforts. and sure enough, five minutes later he returned with our documents, plus one speeding ticket. i was a little upset, and told him so.

but he had no sympathy. i explained again that i felt he'd clocked the other gray car. and no doubt the other car was traveling faster than i, as he pulled away before the stoppage. and why, if i was speeding, and the other car was speeding even more, stop only me? his explanation: one enforcement officer can stop only one offender. and i had to wonder why the second patrol car didn't go after the other guy, if that was the case.

so now i've got this ticket. the second consecutive return trip from colorado springs where i've gotten one. and i plan on pleading not guilty. i'm pretty adamant that he had the wrong guy, and i'm gonna protest it all i can. anyone with any ideas that may help?

and, if i don't land in jail, tune in next time when i'll discuss the fun part of the trip.

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