Friday, June 5, 2009

Five Fingers - or - The Darwin Awards

Guest Post by M:

After a 3 day weekend of superb hikes in the spring snow and clear air of the Eastern Sierras friend T and I headed home south from Lone Pine hoping to bag another peak on the way through the desert.

We had been fumbling for some time among dirt road exits looking for the one that leads to the trailhead when I picked one at random and suggested we try it. We soon realized that this route was suitable only for off road vehicles and camels and in the gathering unease why we kept going I don’t know other than wishful thinking. But when the track suddenly got even worse we had to face reality and plan an exit strategy for this desert detour. I got out to guide the car back and was thinking this would be a terrific spot to get stuck when indeed the front wheels squealed in alarm, each imprisoned in a rapidly deepening sand trap.

Looming over us the peaks wavered in the dry desert heat, taunting us with their apparent nearness, illusory I’m sure.

After waiting more than an hour the tow truck finally rumbled into view, turned around and started reversing up the sandy slope. The moment when its wheels started spinning was disturbing yet soaked in comedy; I immediately had visions of a second truck sent to rescue the first and the car left as a warning monument to out of towners pushing their luck. Such a rusting testament really would not look out of place amidst all the other debris on the 395 roadside; perhaps it would become a faded landmark in itself. These thoughts were interrupted as the truck went back down and tried again, this time getting close enough to extend a cable and reach the car. Our two tattooed rescuers – a tow truck tag team – soon got the job done; the car weirdly lurching by external force as if by telekinesis back across the road. We got in and surfed a wave of relief all the way to the coast.

1 comment:

  1. T, I'm glad you had money for the tow truck! That was a relief!