2013 has been one of the hardest & draining years of my life, & I’m happy to see it come to an end! During the summer of 2012 an out of state construction company re-chip sealed a 7 mile stretch of State Highway out here. They cut some corners in the process and the end result was thousands of vehicles being damaged from the gravel coming loose and getting kicked into the front ends of any and all vehicles that traveled that road. My son Luke was born on 12/9/12 & I got the call from this construction companies insurance carrier on 12/12/12 to do all of the inspections on this claim.
In the beginning I was happy & appreciative for the extra business. But it soon became clear that I had not even been close to my estimation of just how many units I’d be looking at. At one point I had hired 3 guys just to keep up with these rock chip inspections. The month of Feb alone our office looked at 497 units. All for this type of damage…So far my office has processed over 2200 of these claims + my normal collision inspections for the year. I worked 7 days a week from Dec ’12 – April ’13 roughly 12-15 hrs a day. All of this in addition to being a first time parent, having corporate spring a new management system on us & then having to cover the eastern part of the state, as well as my normal territory. I’ve lost more hair, gained more weight & had a general degrading of health & sleep this year than the last 10 combined. Needless to say, I will not be mourning the passing of 2013. But it wasn’t all bad. I have my beautiful son, I was able to get the princess her RDX & I was able to build my greenhouse and start dabbling into Aquaponics.
So now that my whining is out of the way, lets get to some of the last couple weeks highlights. During the holiday season, work tends to slow down some. Which has been a great contrast and relief compared to the last 12 months. (The rock chip claims are still going by the way & will likely continue until next summer. But at least the volume has come way down) Altho the number of assignments slows down some, with the change of weather brings some of the years greatest hits. Like this mid 90’s Ford Explorer that was over driving a snow covered road and rear ended a Truck hauling timber down the mountain.The fire department had to use the jaws of life to cut this guy out. The driver did in fact walk away from this. He has a new limp, but he did walk away. I had yet another trip to Salmon this last week.The roads were less than awesome. So it was pretty slow going getting there & back. An extra 2 hours round trip for the day. The mountains in Stanley always look spectacular in the winter! It was also a little nippy out. The temp registered a balmy -8 degrees. Just about shorts weather. The TSX didn’t skip a beat and hummed right along. The lowest temp I’ve seen while driving the TSX has been -28 degrees thru this same pass. My windshield snapped that morning because I had the defroster on at 68 degrees. The glass didn’t handle the difference in tempurature too well i guess. For the first time in 8 years, I finally saw some Big Horn Sheep outside Challis. The sun was starting to go down, so I’m glad the pictures came out as good as they did! There was about 20 of them total. But the noise of the lite traffic kept pushing them further back from the road. So even with a 255mm lens, this is the closest I could get. I still always get a kick out of all the different types of animals I see in my travels in this state.
I’ll be getting a new set of tires this coming week & another oil change. I’m still trying to put some money aside for this coming Springs new AC System. But for now we’re making some slow, but steady progress on the mileage. I’m guessing maybe around early Spring I’ll be hitting the big 400k!