The Suitcase Lady


April 28, 2020, 9:01 pm

I am not a daredevil or risk-taker. I have all the points on my driver’s license intact. But everyone who likes to drive should drive 100 mph a few times in his or her lifetime.

The first time I hit 100 was in northern New Mexico in the high plains. I was on a straight as an arrow road with 100% visibility in all directions and not a car or person in sight. What a thrill to put the pedal to the floor and watch the distant mountains ahead loom larger. This experiment in speed only lasted a few minutes.

My second triple-digit experience occurred in West Texas. I had just passed a sign reading “Watch Out For Wild Pigs”. Other than my husband napping in the passenger seat, I could spot no living things in the vast flat landscape.  I hit 102 before sanity returned.

But driving over 100 is not always a pleasure. Take, for example, the German Autobahn, which is emphatically not for the faint-hearted. The Audi’s, Mercedes’ and BMW’s are going well over 100mph while constantly zigzagging between lanes. At the same time, older, smaller vehicles in the traffic mix are struggling to maintain 50 mph. In between these extremes are the type of cars we always rent, four-cylinder compacts such as Fiat 500s and Opels.

Autobahn driving is driving on steroids…hands white-knuckled on the steering wheel, senses on full alert. Despite my best efforts to keep up, I would glance in the rearview mirror to see an Audi or its ilk on my rear bumper, its driver fuming to pass.

The best part of driving the Autobahn is seeing signs for the approaching Netherlands or Danish borders where driving sanity will instantly return. I’m truly not an adrenaline junkie.

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