High Beams

by kfrego

The secondary road to Whaley Lake seldom had any traffic on it after nine at night. We would stop for a couple beers if the bar on old Hwy 55 was open on our way home from the three to eleven swing shift. We seldom stayed long.

We left the bar one typical night. Larry and Hulcey Ashline were a short distance behind me as we headed for Whaley Lake. I was driving considerably faster than the average speed, but not extremely fast. The secondary road followed the natural terrain. You were either in a corner or you were were going up and down over the small ridges as the road climbed to Whaley Lake. I met a car in the middle of a wide sweeping corner. My headlights were dimmed with the other car approaching. When the other car came into view their headlights were on bright. I hit the dimmer switch on the floor, flashed my bright lights on momentarily, then returned them to dim. This was a customary message for the other driver to dim their lights. Just as my headlights went back to dim the State Trooper logo on the door of the other car became visible. He was hard on the brakes as he passed my car.

Larry and Hulcey came along just as the trooper completed his turn around on the narrow road and raced off in my direction. I never even slowed down. One thing I wasn’t going to do was wait around to see if the trooper could catch me. I knew the road well. Occasionally, there would be a slight glimmer of light in the distance as the trooper topped over one of the small ridges. He had no chance of catching me before hitting the parking lot where we lived. When approaching our home parking lot I slowed without touching the brakes. No reason to signal the trooper of my stopping. I parked between two cars in the parking lot, shut off my car, and waited.

There was a Y in the road just past the inn where we rented our kitchenettes. The trooper stopped at the entrance to our parking lot where he could see both roads of the split. He was probably watching the surrounding areas for tail or brake lights. I sat quietly in my car observing him. When he turned on his spotlight I just leaned over on the seat hoping he didn’t recognize the rear of my car. He flashed the cars, shut off his light, and sat still until Larry and Hulcey’s headlights came up the road. When the trooper drove off I went into my unit and went to bed without turning any lights on.

The trooper was probably a pretty nice guy………………..but no reason to meet him in the middle of the night.