Friday, May 14, 2010

Duke(esa)s of Burque

Our Christmas 2009 Road Trip was winding down and we were slowly working our way back to Adelaide.  We knew the coastal route was not an option because of the crowds, so we were trying our luck inland.  We decided to give the Mt. Bangor State Park a try.  We figured that with no water around, we wouldn't have a problem finding a camp spot.  The biggest draw back would be the several miles of dirt road we would have drive.  In fact, according to the map the whole mountain seemed to be traversed by dirt roads--more than average for a State Park.  No worries, that is why we had a 4wd.
We followed the unsealed road that crossed the plains towards the small mountain range.  From a distance the pine forests looked inviting, and with 4 camping areas listed in the park we were feeling optimistic.  Alas, our enthusiasm quickly faded when we pulled into the first campground and were greeted by dozens of off road and all terrain vehicles.  We sighed simultaneously, knowing we would not be calling this park home for the night.  A few days later, I was reminded that there was a time in my life when the scene at Mt. Bangor would have had me pitching the tent and hitching a ride.
It was the early 80's and the idea of a weekend trip to the mountains with my good buddy and her mother was not on my bucket list.  In fact, I was trying to convince Kyna that we should tell her Mom  we were staying at my house and we could really stay unsupervised at her place. Ahhhhh, the life, times and lies of teenagers.  However, when the promise of unlimited use of a hot rod dune buggy became part of the deal, I quickly changed my mind about getting up close and personal with the great outdoors.
I don't remember much of our weekend in the central mountains of New Mexico.  There were no long walks amongst the fragrant pine trees, nor sitting on a peak looking at the valley below.  All I can recall is the dirt that we stirred up as we raced along the dirt road in the open framed vehicle.  You would think that after a couple of hours boredom would have set in, but we kept at it for 2 days straight.  I suppose we felt empowered being behind the wheel, since neither of us had our drivers license yet.  With our hair blowing in the wind, up and down the dirt road we went. And the never-ending screams and yells of "push the pedal to the metal" filled the air.      
Unfortunately, our fun could not last forever, and late Sunday afternoon it came to an end. And it wasn't because it was time to pack up and head home.  Instead, what in our minds was "impossible" occurred.  As Kyna rounded a corner at a high speed, she lost control of the vehicle.  We left the dirt track and headed straight for a pole.   Since the vehicle had been modified to be as lightweight as possible, the impact caused the front of the car to go straight up into the air.  Time moved in slow motion and it seemed as if I sat there forever in a confused state.  It wasn't until I looked over at Kyna and saw blood at on her face that I began to panic.  Then panic turned to full blown fear when she looked at her leg and began to yell "I can see my bone, I can see my bone."
I quickly unfastened my seatbelt, jumped from the buggy and began to run down the road towards where her mother was.  I have no idea if the shrieks from my mouth were due to the pain I felt in my knees or the fear I felt in my heart.  I ran for what felt like the distance of a marathon but it was more like a few blocks.  Ms. Miller met me on the road before I reached the cabin.  I explained what had happened and we headed back up the road.  When we reached the dune buggy we were shocked to find it empty.  I knew we both had on our seat belts and that Kyna had not been thrown out of the vehicle;  yet, she was no longer in the driver's seat.  We were searching everywhere, including  under the car, when we heard a call from a nearby cabin. 
An ancient, little lady stood in the doorway beckoning for us to come.  She had not witnessed the accident--her lack of eyesight would have made that impossible.  However, she had heard the commotion and been the first on the scene.  She had moved Kyna into her house to clean her up and give her some aspirin with what Kyna recalls as the dirtiest cup of water she had ever seen.  With the injuries under control we loaded into the car and headed to the big city.  We made the trip back to Albuquerque in record time.  At the hospital Kyna received several stiches on her leg and above her right eye. I was luckier.  I just had a chipped kneecap and was only subjected to a leg brace.
Over time I had forgotten about this story.  And it was not our short trip through Mt. Bangor that brought it back to mind.  Instead the memory resurfaced when we got home and there was a picture of the dune buggy on my facebook wall.  In our "discussion" about the picture, Kyna hails me as her hero for running for help with a chipped kneecap.  The truth is, the only reason I was able to run was that I wanted to get as far away as possible so I didn't have to look at her bone!

No Digital cameras in those days, but thanks to Kyna for the scanned photo.


  1. Haha you are so hilarious! And.... the truth comes out! You're still my hero though, even if it was pure fear from hearing me SCREAM my bone! My bone! I can see my bone! Lol! And what a great memory you have! Even remembering it was my right eye that was cut open. Just one thing not mentioned, I'm sure not from a lack of memory... but remember the man in lust with my mom who kept leaning on my bone exposed wound while trying to lean in for a kiss and my leg was extended between the two front seats... I wanted to knock him upside the head! Ahhh great memories and great fun with my best friend... the DUKE ESAS! Y QUE? xxoo

  2. I posted a comment but don't know where it went.... ?

  3. So! The truth emerges. And all this time I thought you were off at bible study camp. Actually, I remember the cast on your let, but I manage to excicse from my memory why it got there. So happy both you and Kyna can laugh at your about your youthful exploits.

  4. Hi Maya, wow! Glad you and your friend came out of that collision with not more serious injuries. When we are young we do live in the moment. Sometimes I miss that and then when I too remember some moments, I'm glad to be here.

  5. Woah! I would run away too, if I could, bone should not be seen under any circumstances.
    So glad the accident wasn't worse, but that is quite a story, though!

  6. Kyna, this story would have never happened without you. After all you are the one that drove us up the pole :)

    Mom, you have no idea all the fun things that went on while I was at bible study camp!

    Hi Kathy, we were young and lucky. I often think back on the past and wonder how did I get here!

    Katya, I'm the biggest scaredy-cat when it comes to injuries. I can't even watch them on T.V.! It's a good thing we weren't too far from help. Thanks for stopping in.

  7. All were blessed --we can happily see in retrospect --that you were at least Pretending to be at Bible study camp! You WERE Protected there, Big time! and I shall always be Thanking God for that!

    ["Dreamy/nightmarish\dreamy little story, btw, and very well writ," she wrote with a curiously quavering hand....]

    ILYA my Dear[s], Your mOther, C

  8. O, and Great site, I might add. Think I just might visit here often. C-;*