Mountain Musings


Fixing A Hole


Here we go again – have you seen all the potholes that have popped up all over the place? Actually, to be more accurate, they’ve sort of popped down all over the place. We had this same vexing problem last winter when the so-called “Atmospheric River” and “Polar Vortex – two nasty fellas, the first one out of tropics, the other out of the Arctic region – attacked our mountaintop communities.


The recent series of seemingly unending rain and snowstorms has gifted us with a fresh crop of… you guessed it…potholes. These bumpy, bone-jarring, wheel-bending, tire-flattening, axle-busting, accident-causing menaces must be dealt with quickly. Otherwise, all those menacing, aberrations I just mentioned will just keep on happening. These abominable holes where the rain gets in must be fixed, and they must be fixed right now or my mind will just keep wandering.


“I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in and stops my mind from wandering where it will go… And when my mind is wandering here I will go. And it doesn’t matter if I’m wrong I’m right where I belong, I’m right where I belong.” (“Fixing A Hole” – The Beatles – 1967)


Not sure where Lennon and McCartney were going with that one, but it was the only good song about holes that I could dig up.


One such menacing hole is located in the upbound lane of Highway 138, just past Waters Drive. Other horrendous holes can be found on Lake Drive near Knapp’s Cutoff and on Highway 173 between Highway 18 and Lake Arrowhead Village. Not only can they cause serious damage to you vehicle, they can also result in serious injury or even worse… a visit from the Grim Reaper, when your car is thrown off its course after falling into a hole and suddenly slamming into a tree or another vehicle or a pedestrian or goes flying over the side of the mountain.


Another deadly scenario could occur when a driver decides to avoid a pothole by swerving around it and ends up colliding with a tree or another vehicle or a pedestrian or… well, you get the picture.


By the way, according to the CHP, it’s illegal to swerve over the painted centerline on any California road or highway. It’s a citable offense, not to mention that you are liable if you cause an accident or injury by doing so. So please don’t do that. It’s better to swerve to the right of the pothole or any other obstruction in the roadway, as long as it’s safe to do so.


Unfortunately, I haven’t seen any county or Caltrans pothole crews around these parts so far this winter. Perhaps some of you good citizens out there in “Potholeland” could call and remind them of their civic duty. And, speaking of Caltrans, when are they going to do something about all the ugly potholes along the last two miles of Highway 18?


Keep it flyin’ Uncle Mott