Passing Semis in the Mountains

Back at home in the Vag… the place that rhymes with fun.  Who else can say that but people who live in Regina?

Massive amounts of kilometres driven over two days has an effect on a person.  You feel kind of stoned when you stop.  You close your eyes and instantly there’s the phantom inertia of rounding a corner, or breaking suddenly to avoid some idiot who pulled into your lane without looking.

And also, what part of “Keep Right Except to Pass” or “Slower Traffic Keep Right” is so hard to understand?  Goddammit.  I got my foot 140 km/h deep into the gas peddle.  Get outta my lane!

Mountains are a little tricky though.  They have something us prairie folk aren’t used to — turns.  They have mountains, valleys and cliffs too, but you never really want to meet those things from behind the wheel.  Passing windows on single lane highways in the mountains are like a precious metal.  They’re rare and you covet them — especially when stuck behind a semi.  Can’t say I wasn’t greedy though.  Took almost everyone I came across.

While travelling along at about 100 km/h, leave a few car lengths between you and the semi, downshift to 3rd, gas peddle to the floor, pull out just before slamming into the semi’s trailer, up shift to 4th, pull back in the nano second you clear the tractor, up shift to 5th and foot off the gas.

By this time I’d be doing close to 180 and I let my car coast back to 130 if no one’s in front of me.  If there is another car in front of the semi I just passed, I get hard on the breaks and pull in behind.  Passing too many cars in one go can lead to unfortunate meetings with mountains, valleys, cliffs, and the front end of other vehicles.  Same goes for spending too much time in the passing lane.  Besides, passing other cars after successfully picking my way through semis is kind of easy.  Set ‘em up, knock ‘em down.  Set ‘em up, knock ‘em down.

At least that’s how it goes until the next semi comes along.

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