Monday, November 26, 2007

Hanmer Springs to Owen River

Today was kind of a bust. I took off this morning from Riverview Lodge and only got about 20 kilometers and had to turn around and go back. There had been a horrible fatality accident involving a car and truck on the Lewis Pass Road going to the west coast and they had to close the road for about 3 hours to investigate and clear the bodies etc. Not a pretty picture at all and not what you want to ever see on the road. I got there just after I'd been in the town of Hanmer Springs when the siren went off for the volunteer fire department. As I got up the road about 20 k's the road was closed off to through traffic and they said it woud be up to 4 + hours before they had the road cleared, so I had to go back to Riverview Lodge and wait it out. While I was up there a helicopter life flighted someone out so I hope they make it ok. I finally got my start at 4:15PM to drive my 2+ hour drive to Owen River Lodge. I got there around 6:30 and finally I could relax again.

These roads in New Zealand are quite wiggly and winding and people tend to drive too fast and underestimate the speed on curves even though they post the optimum speed. I can't imagine how an accident of this severity could happen on a sunny, clear day with no slippery roads or ice or rain or anything, It had to be all driver errors. I've seen fatality accidents in Montana where people fall asleep at the wheel because driving through Montana is all straight and hardly any curves, but over here, it's all curves so that can't possibly be the problem. I'm guessing the small car was going too fast around the curve and got into the gravel on the shoulder and over corrected when they lost control and ended up going under the trucks' trailer and the car was just toast! No way anyone could have survived a crash of that magnitude. OK...enough of that. I can see it's not going to go away in my mind very soon.....

Today the weather is better than yesterday but although it started out this morning without a breath of wind, it picked up big time this afternoon around 2:00. I hope tomorrow will be a good day as I'm heading out in the morning with a guide for the day for some west coast fishing. We're not quite all the way on the west coast but we're certainly close. I hope the fishing will be better than yesterday!

We had a nice meal of Lamb chops and home grown brocolli, and baby new potatoes with profiteroles with chocolate for desert.

I'm off to bed now as it's been a trying day dealing with the hard cold facts of life that if people don't drive carefully, they die! Someone's family or family's are going to have a long hard time dealing with the reality of what happened today.

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