Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chapter 7

Back on track this week.  I also have a headstart on the next chapter, and an outline of what'll happen in it.  I like to be a little ahead, makes things go more smoothly.

Chapter 7

They left at dawn, their electric motor silently moving them along the empty highway. The mountains would have set up a lovely sunrise, if it wasn't snowing. Clarke rounded a corner and braked hard, swerving around a large animal in the road. The car started to spin on the snow before stopping very suddenly as the driver's side front tire smacked into a tree. A little bit dazed, Clarke asked, “Was that a buffalo?!”
“I think so. I've never seen them in the wild. You know, the Indians were so eco-friendly, they ate every part of a buffalo.”
Nervous about the condition of the car, and a tweaking a little from adrenaline,, Clarke only replied with, “Whatever you say, Louis.” Clarke and Louis both got out through the passenger door to inspect the damage. There was some minor scratches to the body, a damaged solar panel, and, worst of all, the control arm was obviously bent control arm. With the slope of the road, the switchbacks, the inch of snow that had already fallen, and possibly other fauna romping along, the car was not driveable.
By the map, it looked like they were only a few miles away from Granby, Colorado. Clarke volunteered to push first, and they switched every half mile. One of the nice things about their car, especially in the mountains, was the weight. For a solar-powered car, the less weight the better. Most of the body had been replaced with pricey carbon fiber paneling. The gasoline engine, radiator, gas tank, and all the other typical parts weren't present, because they used a simple electric motor. The backseat cushions had been removed, along with cupholders, rear seatbelts, and even the overhead light. Pushing a car through the Rockies is hard work, but at least they had a little less to puch.
“You know what's great about horses?” Louis said between pants on one of his turns to push, “You dno't have to push them when they break down. You just let them take a nap.”
“I'm glad that wasn't shown in the Western flicks. Tombstone would have been really boring if half of it was footage of sleeping horses.”
“It would have been innovative! Like panda cam, but earlier.”
“Oh yeah. It would have been like that thing on cellphones, when we had cellphones, shown on the internet, which doesn't seem to work lately. Now that I think about it, sleeping horses sounds like a great show. Hell, turn it into a play. We can tour across the country.”

Whoever was steering (their job was arguably as hard as pushing) got to play with the iPod. They'd been listening to the same music for over a year now, and on a whim Louis tried the radio. They were surprised to find stations broadcasting from numerous small towns. They heard local news of the communities, live music from singers and musicians (Western music was making a comeback in these parts), and, from Steamboat Springs, something unexpected. “...and for listener's East of Steamboat Springs, keep an eye out for an electric car. There's two guys trying to find safe passage to Topeka, and if they're successful there may be a path for the rest of us too. Wish them luck.”

No comments: