Monday, April 2, 2012

On the Edge

maybe you saw my photo on facebook….i wanted to share the details of our mishap.  here’s what happened:  we were trying to find obsidian butte.  it’s a really remote location at the salton sea that confounds both gps and maps.  since we always have trouble finding it, you’d think we would write it down…. or something…. but that hasn’t happened.  so we ended up on this road – super wash-boarded – and while trying to find the least bumpy spot, sweet bailey shifted on stu’s lap (should she be there?? don’t even go there…) causing him to momentarily avert his eyes and drive a teeny bit too far to the right…. where the edge was super soft, sending our right wheels down, down, down, with no return.

is this a good idea??

not a pretty sight!
Yes, the wheels were off the ground

we ended up on this horribly precarious angle and i felt like a huge weight just dropped into the pit of my stomach.  fortunately, being the experienced driver that he is (driving a limo is his job) he knew that trying anything to recover would only make things worse.  perched on the edge of a 10 ft. embankment, it felt as if we could tip and tumble any moment and that any movement could trigger it…. so i grabbed only my purse, camera pack and dog’s water and climbed out the driver’s side.

 i knew very well during the next 2 hours that:
  •    it was going to be very difficult to get us out
  •    there would likely be serious (and expensive) damage to the motorhome
  •     it could still end up plunging over the edge
  •     it would very likely be un-drivable once recovered (what do we do then??), and
  •     our little trip was probably over before being started
these thoughts were all bubbling below the surface but we didn’t speak of them and i struggled not to let them have the upper hand.  instead i concentrated on dealing with the situation at hand – keeping bailey calm, cool (yes, it’s the desert!) and hydrated.

thank god (and verizon) we had cell service and it was mid-afternoon and we were able to get jerry, a tow truck driver with 26 years of experience!  i found that i couldn’t stand to watch what happened next.  i took a walk and came back when it was all over, ready to hear the dire diagnosis.  i was completely stunned to learn that not only was the truck drivable, but it had not incurred any damage and we could continue on our way (jerry even let us follow him out and gave us the correct directions!)

The way it's supposed to be!

Obsidian Butte

 is there a silver lining here?  well, once you realize how quickly and easily things can go terribly wrong…. it puts a different spin on past events too.  like how for 25 years, while we have been in serious pursuit of the road-less-traveled and have navigated to some really rugged places on some really rugged roads and have had our share of minor mishaps (i could probably write a book!), amazingly, we have never had an accident and never (until now!) a tow.  so grateful beyond words – that’s me…. and yes, a little more cautious too!

Grateful girl!!!!!!

This is why we came!


  1. I love a happy story! xx jane

  2. Whew, so glad you all, and the motor home, were OK! God is good! But maybe, just maybe He was trying to tell you to KEEP THE DOG OFF HIS LAP WHEN HE IS DRIVING! lol

  3. wow...what a lucky break you guys caught!!! so happy it all worked out well in the end...and have a story and some beautiful photos to show for it!!!

  4. oh my gosh! was that sacry or what! thankgoodness all turned out well, that is a beautiful place , wow, what a photo!

  5. So glad all ended well and love that photo of you :).
    Stay inspired!

    1. Thanks, Michelle - I will have to pass that along to my hubby. He so rarely takes pics of me, but this time he actually offered!

  6. dear Patty-I am so so glad that you guys are fine...a 10 ft drop??? Okay...that's a miracle things turned out as they did!! The place looks fantastic and Bailey is one cutie patootie. Be safe...okay?? Will send you an e-mail as soon as I get a chance to breathe over here!! xxx

  7. Patty, I finally came to read the entire story of this, and I'm just glad that everything and everybody is fine. Little Bailey had her first big adventure, I guess. Now she knows what she's in for with you!!!
    I understand your gratefulness, and I love that you write about that here. I wish you many more happy travels.


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