Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Unexpected Adventures on the way to Adventure

Well. When I told my family that I missed adventures, I did not mean that I wanted one of the sort I have had. Nevertheless, I have had it! And to think, all I wanted to do was to go to my nerd camp. By the way, Nerd Camp: College Edition is a lot different than Nerd Camp: Middle School Edition. You’ll hear a lot about that. For now, I just have to say, that unexpected adventures are definitely not my favorite.

I was on my way to Nerd Camp, cheerfully driving, having just pulled off to have a short break, as I was tired.  It wasn’t a long drive, but poor sleep the night before meant that focus was not my buddy. As I gained entry to the interstate from my exit, I felt the oddest sensation…deceleration.  I pressed harder on the gas, as, well, there was a hill and my car and hills don’t always get along. This did nothing.  Worried, and with a block of cars gaining on me, I pulled over to the side and hit my emergency lights at the same time, just making it off before cars going 80 passed me at my very measly 35 and slowing. I proceeded to shake in place and panic quietly to myself for a few minutes before I began to attempt phone calls, first trying to call people I knew lived within an hour’s drive. It was no good. No one picked up.

Uncertain, scared, and not really knowing where I was to find a tow truck to call, I turned to every girl’s most trusted fixer of disasters. Daddy. After giving his thoughts, and telling me a few tests to try to see what was up, he bade me ‘Call the state police.’ And gave me their number. The state police dispatcher was a very wonderful woman. ‘I can’t locate you like that. Call 911.’  ‘Are you sure? Am I allowed?’ I asked very uncertain, because my car breaking down in an unknown location in who knows where Tennessee is clearly not an emergency in my mind.  ‘Yes. They’ll send help.’

I called 911. It was my first 911 call ever. I liked the dispatcher immediately.  She took what I knew of my location down, found out exactly where I was (middle of nowhere, Tennessee, just past an exit I knew the number of), and sent aid.

It was, no doubt, appropriately prioritized, because let’s face it, a stranded college student is a full grown adult who can safely wait in a car for an hour.  It was a scary hour. Also, that sensation you get when a police officer pulls up behind you is the same even if they are there to help. The ‘Am I in trouble, what do I do, oh wait he’s here to help.’ Except that last part. That’s not what happens when you get a ticket, I assume. I’m not sure. Someone describe the feelings when a police officer pulls you over for me.

Officer Hill, I’m about 80% sure, had picture perfect handwriting. I would not mind transcribing his work to a database. It would be lovely, in its clarity.  This is, naturally, what I focused on.  We spoke. He explained the options. I could have a local tow truck, or one from Huntsville. They could tow me home, or to a mechanic. I chose a local, because I trusted to state trooper to choose a reputable person. Or at least his dispatcher. And let’s face it, I don’t know who to call for a tow in Huntsville.

The officer then remained with me until the tow driver arrived. The tow driver was nice and helpful. The officer was nice and helpful.  The fish panicked as he was hauled at an angle onto the truck bed, and managed to tear his fin in his panic. Everyone else was okay, and at this point, calls among my family were occurring determining what went where and when. Also, was I safe, where was I, and what was happening. I was 47 miles from the college. That was all I knew, but I was pretty sure I was safe, because the tow driver from Libby’s was a nice man who told me about his family. I mention their name, because should you get stranded in Tennessee, there’s a very nice tow driver whose wife is retired army. He’s good folk, and you should pass on info about good folk, especially when someone else may end up stranded in lower Tennessee 22 miles from the border and very frightened.

Not that I remained scared for long. I spent about thirty minutes shaking in a car that cheerfully shook with every passing semi-truck, then fifteen minutes assuring my fish he would be okay. After this, I was fine. This was just another Kelly Adventure. I am very good at adventures, especially scary ones.

Either way, the tow driver dropped me, my car, and Ivar the Boneless (Betta Fish Extraordinaire) off at the school, where my dad promptly reminded me that no, I could not leave the fish in the very hot car.  This, once the tow man took himself away, was a tricky proposition. And so, I went forth, to the halls of learning….a flower vase/emergency fish bowl in hand, his heater in my pocket.

Ivar currently holds a place of honor in the Physics Success Center. I have received permission to leave him there overnight.  He shall be taken into the dorm tomorrow, or else go to the fish sitter I was unable to get him too. Probably the dorm, until the Nerd Camp goes to our next destination!

Oh, did I forget?  Nerd Camp: College Edition comes with this great expansion pack called ‘Trip Overseas.’ It’s not including in every Nerd Camp, but it is in the one I’m at. As for more information on my lovely Nerd Camp, I think I should probably check with someone to see if I’m allowed to mention anything.  I doubt they’ll say no, but they may decide that the level of awesome is just not for the entire Internet to see.

One Final Byte: Never miss your Adventures. They will find you.

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