Friday, October 24, 2008

We're Back!

Scenes from Jekyll Island -- the bridge between the causeway and the island. (FYI -- I didn't take this photo. I lifted it from Flicker).

I did, however, take these two photos:

Inside the van.

Outside the van.
I think this had to be our most exciting yet most frightening experience on the entire trip. We'd visited the marsh area around the causeway (this was fascinating -- more to come in the next few days) and were headed back to the 4-H center. As we topped the bridge (see first photo), I heard this large "bang" and shattering glass. I turned from the child I was talking to (there were nine children, two chaperones, our guide and me on the van) to see the shattered windshield. At first, I thought something had flown off the roadway and hit the windshield (like a "gator" from a blownout tire). Then I realized our guide couldn't see -- something was blocking the windshield.
Remember, we're atop the bridge. I spun to the children, who are all frightened and big-eyed at this time and said, "Y'all, put your heads down." I was afraid the shattered safety glass would hit someone's eye (we've already had one eye injury in the Winfree household -- didn't want to go through that again!).
Want to know the difference between fifth graders and high schoolers? The fifth graders immediately put their heads down and stayed there. The high schoolers would still be asking, "Why do we have to put our heads down? We don't want to...whine, whine, whine, ad nauseum."
Our intrepid guide (I was already impressed with her skills at the marsh; this closed the deal for me) calmly rolls down the window, sticks her head out, and drives us to safety off the bridge. Kudos to Elise!
Once stopped, we get the kids out and inspect the van. The hood latch had come undone (it was corroded and the winds were incredible that day) and the hood had flown up, slamming into the windshield and shattering it. Luckily, other than a few scratches on Elise and Chad, one of our chaperones, no one was hurt.
I, for one, am glad to be home. I'll share more pics and stories over the next few days.
What have y'all been up to in my absence?


Bree said...

Eeeek! I don't think I would have had the calm to drive with my head out the window. Sounds like you had a crazy adventure! I'm glad everyone made it out unscathed!

Rhian said...

OH! How scary! Glad everyone was okay.
Can't wait to see more pix of your adventure.
Not much going on here. Well, that's a lie but I won't bore you.
I went to the post office, stopped myself before I beat the worker over the head with my bag, but it made no difference. *sigh* Somewhere out there someone is kicking back reading MY copy of His Ordinary Life! Grrrr....

Linda Winfree said...

Bree, I was sooo impressed with her. She had great presence of mind!

Rhian, I'm glad too, although the kids have enjoyed telling the story over and over and over again...

I have a feeling your first copy of HOL got lost in transit. I'm hitting the PO with books tomorrow/Monday and sending a new one. I'll put tracking on this one, for sure!

N.J.Walters said...

Scary stuff!

Glad everyone was okay.