report on The Gathering

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Dale K.
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report on The Gathering

Postby Dale K. » Sat Oct 27, 2007 8:28 pm

I'm the newbie here but I'm the first one back from the Gathering (sort of); so I'm going to take the liberty to report on the event (sort of)

The reason I'm the first one back and reporting is because I didn't quite make it. I got right to the "threshold"; but not through the door. Here's the story:

I left Dalton about 1:00pm EDT. I had to make a stop at a Chattanooga hospital to see one of my members (I'm a pastor) who had surgery on Thursday. Did that and hit the road. My wife and I stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Fort Payne to eat an early supper. We both ordered their special for the day - chicken breast cooked with apples, cheddar cheese and crunched up Ritz crackers. Was pretty good and we got away from the restaurant a little after 3:00 CDT.

We headed west on Rt. 35 to south on Rt. 75. Then we hit Rt. 400 which brought us into Rt. 227. In my mind I could smell the water and see all the beautiful hand-crafted boats. We had planned to stop at the park, meet those already there, leave my boat and trailer somewhere and go into town for the play at the theater and then bunk at a town motel (OK I'll say it - the Super 8 ).

I'm cruising down Hwy 227 and it goes from 2 lanes to 4. Man we're really cruising. All of a sudden I see the sign that tells me Rt. 227 makes a left turn. I quickly glance over my left shoulder and change lanes and then over into the left turn lane. There are two big stop signs to let me know to stop. I see the back of two more big stop signs for the oncoming two lanes. I notice that we are stopping for a 2 lane road. I subconsciously think this must be a 4-way stop. (I'm not sure I can ever remember a 4 lane divided road stopping for a 2 lane road before).

I come to a complete stop and look left. I'm really just looking at the beginning of the intersection to see if anyone is pulling out from that direction. There is a pickup truck coming around the curve down the road from the direction of the Park but in my mind he's going to be stopping for the "imagined" 4-way stop. In my mind it's "clear" left. I look right, nothing there so I begin my left turn. As my eyes go back to the left I see this pickup coming full speed right into the intersection. The first thought into my mind is "He's running that stop sign full speed". I stop but I'm already into his lane. He starts laying rubber down just as comes to the intersection. He has to swerve into his oncoming lane because I have his lane almost totally blocked. With no real fear I'm watching this guy laying down a long black skid mark . Looks like he's going to make it around me. By the time he gets to me his rear is sliding a bit to his right and what to my wandering eyes do appear but a boat and trailer that he's pulling coming right at me. When the boat and trailer were about 10' from me I turned my head away from the oncoming disaster. The boat and trailer hit me from my door all the way to the front of my car. Realize my car is still basically perpendicular to his route. The trailer had swung 90 degrees around so it broadsided me side-to-side.

His boat was about a 15' fiberglass bass boat - a jon boat type. The motor looked to be about a 75 hp motor. It hit my door.

Well, when I turned my head it was only a milli-second before the impact. It was a pretty good jolt but the big thing was my door window shatter. Glass went everywhere. The first thing we noticed when it got quiet was a fish on my hood flapping around.

My wife was shaken up and wanted to get out of the car. I didn't even try to open my door, I just followed her out on her side. My lower left back felt tight and she had tightness too. Within mere moments it seemed park rangers were on the scene checking us out, directing traffic. Soon a Guntersville policeman arrived and took our statements, tow truck called etc. Paramedics found both of our blood pressures were elevated. We declined a visit to the hospital and signed a statement to that effect.

Every official on the scene was commenting on the dangerous nature of this particular intersection. Even my wife (who was immediately promoted to the safest driver in our household) said she could understand why I was thinking it must be a 4-way stop.

Well, it was dusk by the time the tow truck carried us to Guntersville. I immediately saw that we were only yards from the Park. Then we passed the water, the entrance to the park and all of you that were there by that time.

He dropped us along with my boat and trailer off at the Super 8 and took my car to his lot. We waited at the motel until my daughter arrived in her pickup and then we drove to Dalton under one of the most beautiful full moons, returning home around 1:00 a.m. EDT.

I believe my car is totalled. It is a '99 Grand Marquis with 165,000 miles. And though it looks like new, it is worth maye $4000 on a good day. My door was demolished and the quarter panel banged up pretty good. The left turn lamp was busted and the bumper beat up on the left side. Doesn't take much to rack up $2-2500 in damages to total a car like mine.

Turns out the other guy had just finished refurbishing his boat. He had bought a junker and completely redid it including glassing the inside. He said he had it just like he wanted it. It was only the second time he'd had it out since finishing it. He was a Christian though, in fact does missions work and he was very gracious. His wife got over some how from their campsite - they are staying in a fifth wheel in a marina resort just down the road from the accident. She invited us over though we declined.

While we were waiting, the gentleman was busy picking up his catch for the day (he'd been fishing all day) off the road. Must have been a couple dozen fish at least flopping around everywhere. No need to make the day a total loss.

He'll need to replace his right tail light on his truck, the right tail light on his trailer and the boat is probably a total loss - depends on whether or not he want to do another "redo".

Sorry I missed you folks - but glad I'm able to write this report. Another milli-second and the ending could have been much different.

BTW - had it been my time, I know where I'm going: I'm heaven bound because Jesus is my Savior! Hope you know as well. Here's a link to my website "Heaven Bound". Hope you'll look around some. It's a free yahoo site so there is a data limit. If it doesn't come up, hope you'll visit later.

http://www.geocities.com/heavenboundmac26s/index.html

All the best to everyone,
Dale

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Falcon
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Gathering (sort of);

Postby Falcon » Sun Oct 28, 2007 4:46 am

((((((((((DAM))))))))))))
Sorry about your mishap, but if everyone was unhurt , youll make the next one.
Ididnt go becouse of $ers, but hope to make next one. I called talked to steve he said there were like 25 there a really good turn out!.
Falcon
Be who you are, say what you want those that mind don't matter an those that matter wont mind.
http://s91.photobucket.com/albums/k299/falcon6667/

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Bill Edmundson
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Postby Bill Edmundson » Sun Oct 28, 2007 3:48 pm

Dale,

!!!Glad you're both OK :!:

One of the Rangers stopped by Saturday. He told us about it! We all tried to put together who it was. We knew that you and Smith Brother (Dale) were coming and neither of you were accounted for.

Sorry, you missed it. It was a GREAT event. 20+ boats and GREAT people!

Again, I'm glad you're both OK.

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

swidm
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Postby swidm » Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:38 pm

Dale, I could barely understand what you were saying when you called. I had no idea where you were. If I had know you were so close... I do remember the intersection you are talking about and how I almost went through in front of another car before realizing it was only a two way stop. Glad everyone is ok!!

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Dave Grason
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Postby Dave Grason » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:02 pm

All day long, Saturday, we were hearing about this accident but no one actually knew the particulars. We did hear that someone totalled their project boat and that was heartbreaking in itself. Anyway, I thank you for filling us in and satisfying that curiosity part of it and I'm really sorry this happened.

So can we expect to see you next year?
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

upspirate

Postby upspirate » Wed Nov 07, 2007 2:18 pm

Dave ,Debbie enjoyed playing guitar with you& Krugwaffle & is looking forward to practicing the stuff you taught her about the special chording etc.

Maybe next year you guys can get to practice early so we can all join the party earlier

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leakcheck
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Postby leakcheck » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:05 pm

Okay it's final...next year ...Steve and KAREOKE Q!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Steve

upspirate

Postby upspirate » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:06 pm

Yea!! :P

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Bill Edmundson
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Postby Bill Edmundson » Wed Nov 07, 2007 4:12 pm

I'm warning you guys! No! Funnel Cakes!

Bill
Mini -Tug, KH Tahoe 19 & Bartender 24 - There can be no miracle recoveries without first screwing up.
Tahoe 19 Build

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leakcheck
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Postby leakcheck » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:44 pm

Okay...next year I am bringing two deep fryers !! One dedicated to just funnel cakes .....oh man..this is gonna be good...funnel cakes for breakfast (we will have to call em pancakes,) funnel cakes for lunch ..we will have to call em tortillas and funnel cakes for dinner...

Steve

What on earth will Bill think of next !!!!!!!

I was thinking of a skillet to cover my grill so we can do fried potatoes and sausage and peppers for breakfast ...

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Dave Grason
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Postby Dave Grason » Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:08 am

Since this thread is now officially wrecked, I'll chime in on Steve's chicken. All I can really say is: "Oh GOD!" That's the best darn chicken I've ever had in my life. Folks I gotta tell you, if you weren't at this gathering, you missed the chicken. That chicken was so good that it was reason enough to make the trip. The boats were a nice plus. Now the problem for you Steve, is how are you going to top that?

upspirate wrote:Dave ,Debbie enjoyed playing guitar with you& Krugwaffle & is looking forward to practicing the stuff you taught her about the special chording etc.


That was a lot of fun for me too. And yes, we'll get something prepared in advance for next year. That means we are all obligated to attend and there won't be any backing out. LOL

But if you bring that Crackerbox again and let it sit on the trailer, I'm going to steal the darn thing and run it up and down the lake myself. ........dammit! LOL

Did anyone notice how close John Bowen was hovering around us when we were playing guitars? I think we have an official wannabe on our hands. John, if you're reading this, it's time you got a guitar and started practicing for next year's Gathering.
Last edited by Dave Grason on Thu Nov 08, 2007 2:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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leakcheck
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Postby leakcheck » Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:56 am

Dave Grason wrote: Now the problem for you Steve, is how are you going to top that?





One word: NAKED CHEF

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Dave Grason
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Postby Dave Grason » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:05 am

It would have to be someone other than Miss Connie. I asked but she said: "NO!"
Isn't it amazing!! The person that never has the fortitude to pursue his own dreams, will be the first to try and discourage you from pursuing yours.

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John Bowen
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Postby John Bowen » Thu Nov 08, 2007 6:08 am

I think there should have been an award give'en out for "The Longest Wannabe" :roll:

Dave,
I'm just a listner and watcher. Enofe beer and I may try that dance thing.
One day.

Krugwaffle
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Postby Krugwaffle » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:17 am

Sorry to hear about your calamity, Dale. Something like that happening far from home is one of my worst travel nightmares.

That's one of the reasons I came on-line and tried to warn everyone about the mountain roads and the dangerous conditions around the park. I *almost* mentioned the weird intersections on 227 to the north of the park entrance but I didn't think anyone would be coming in from that way. I figured everyone that didn't climb the mountain would come into Scottsboro and come down the thru-road (I think it's cr-69). Now, with these in-car nav. systems, it's no telling how people will drive in to a remote site. There are so many routes in and out of that area that it's hard to check them all.

Dale's misfortune is another warning to be extra careful when driving in unfamiliar territory. Marking conventions and signages can change depending on what community you're in and what looks like right-of-way may be something completely different.

The first time I came across that intersection, I was on the thru-way going north towards Scottsboro. You just pop out of the trees and straighten out from a curve when you see the highway. When I realized I was about to cross a four lane divided highway without a stop, I almost got sideways in my lane when I hit the brakes. The local yokel following me on my bumper must have thought I'd lost my mind. The first year we visited G'ville, they must have just finished that road because there weren't even any stop signs on the four lane. Stop X's were painted on the lanes but there was no standing stop signs like there are now. No tellin' how many poor Yankees lives were lost in that death trap before they actually put up signs. I never see any cars at that intersection but there's plenty of busted glass and metal scattered around.
Enough youth, now how 'bout a fountain of SMART!


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