Camping Adventure – Day One – Car Accident in Groveland

Chris and I started our long journey on Friday June 19th. It took us about 3 days just to clean, shop, and pack our delightful little caravan we lovingly call Betty.


This is the inside window of Betty.

 We set out at about 6:00 PM from San Jose, CA, made a few stops, then headed for our first destination, Pine Mountain. Despite some traffic the drive was peaceful and with the sun setting our moods were in just the right form for our week vacation. At around 9:30 PM we headed into the main street of the little town of Groveland. By that time the sun had set and the tall surrounding tress made what little life light available dim. We were driving a slow and steady speed as we were approaching any signs for Pine Mountain when….


 A car that was pulling out of a parking spot on the left side of the road pulled out right in front of us before we could hit the breaks.

Luckily everyone involved were fine. No was hurt or had to go to the hospital. We were all very fortunate. Chris and I were especially fortunate to have been in a hefty truck. If we were in a regular car there would have been more damage to our side.

I was more in shock than anything else. As it happened I was so worried for the people in the other car. Even though they were at fault, we were much larger and carried more weight and therefore their car took a bigger hit. The first thoughts that were in my mind were, “Oh my God I hope no one was hurt.” I was numb and shaking. Chris asked me if I was okay, I said, yes, just shocked and scared by the initial impact.

 The next thing that scared me, after we quickly knew that everyone involved was safe, were the people of Groveland who came rushing out of the towns pub, restaurants, and hotel. All of them seem to rush to the other car. Obviously, the other car was small and looked more battered than we did, but I suddenly realized that the people in the other car were from Groveland and the locals came to their rescue. I suddenly felt that even though we were not the cause of the accident, because the witnesses new the other car we were like the foreign invaders creating havoc in their little town. I was worried that witness bias would render our story in a different direction.


Chris told me latter on that a few locals did ask about us and seemed truly concerned, although I didn’t hear them at the time.

 Important Pre-Accident Advisory: No one likes to imagine that they will be in a car accident, but I few tips to keep in mind before it happens could be very helpful. A) Keep a camera in the car at all times, even a cheap disposal one will do. B) Keep a pad of paper and pen handy just in case an accident occurs and remember that if it happens to jot down any details before you speak to anyone.

Luckily I had A that Friday evening and took many pictures. I also had B, but I didn’t write down my recollection right away. I stand by the statement I gave to the police, but when the police told me of a witness claim that contradicted my story I had to stop and wonder if I was in shock and didn’t remember everything clearly. It turns out that Chris, the people in the other car and myself gave the same account, but there was one witness  whose statement would have had us at fault. It would have been handy to have given the officer a written statement jotted down seconds after the accident as prove as the validity of my words. It is amazing how misty a memory can be after shock, but despite that I do stand by my account 100%.

 Now car accidents are never happy things and certainly not something to laugh off. Car accidents are a serious matter. However, I can’t help but point out part of the hilariousness of the situation and because everyone was alright in the end I have no shame in bringing the funny bits to light. Remember how I said I was in shock? I wish I had a photo of my face, but I imagine that it looked close to that of Dougal from the British Sitcom, “Father Ted.”


Dougal from “Father Ted”

 This is before Chris opened the door right after the accident. When Chris opened the door to Betty, this is what we heard as an anthem to our car accident….

I am the eggman oh, they are the eggman –
Oh I am the walrus goog goog g’joob.

Mr. City policeman sitting pretty little policeman in a row,
See how they fly
Like Lucy in the sky
See how they run. I’m crying….”


  That’s right!…and that was no record playing, but none other than, “Paperback Writer,” The Beatles tribute band was out in full St. Pepper Uniforms at the Groveland Hotel. I’m not joking!  Out entire accident experience on our first day of vacation was serenade by  The Beatles! Ah, the irony…


“Good day sunshine, good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.



I need to laugh, and when the sun is out,
I’ve got something I can laugh about.
I feel good in a special way,
I’m in love, and it’s sunny day.

Good day sunshine, good day sunshine,
Good day sunshine.”


Car 1

  “Ah, look at all the lonely people.
Ah, look at all the lonely people.

Eleanor Rigby picks up the rice in the church where a wedding has been,
Lives in a dream.
Waits at the window, wearing a face that she keeps in a jar by the door,
Who is it for?

All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
All the lonely people, where do they all belong?”

Car 2

“When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.


Car 4

 And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Car 6
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.”

Car 8

We all live in a yellow submarine,
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine,

Car 7

We all live in a yellow submarine,
Yellow submarine, yellow submarine…”

Car 9

 “We’re Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band
we hope you have enjoyed the show
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band
We’re sorry but it’s time to go…


Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band

To be continued…


~ Jenny


About jjigour

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