Monday, October 22, 2012

El Accidente

A word about accidents and God's Grace.

March 13, 2010, my friend Andrew and I took of for South Texas on our motorcycles. I was on Grace, my Ninja 250, and he was on his Grandmother's Harley. Yes, I said Grandmother's Harley. His whole family rides. It was Spring Break and our goal was to ride and camp all the way back up to Longview.
We headed out early Sunday morning and began our trek to Leakey, Texas; home of the three sisters or The twisted sisters. The sisters consist of three ranch roads that are supposed to be some of the best riding in Texas. Each road winds and twists their way throughout the Texas Hill country. Beautiful vistas go on forever and the idyllic scenery has one longing to never leave.

Once we arrived in Leakey we stayed at the DRose Inn. An awesome old school motel with cabins. Deb is the owner and the Inn only caters to two wheeled riders. Andew and I had booked a small cabin and it was a fantastic place to launch our epic journey back home. After the long ride down I was exhausted and my 42 year old body was feeling every ache, pain, and vibration of the trip. We ate dinner and crashed hard.

Morning came, with cooler weather and a brisk semi-gusting breeze that swirled leaves in a seasonal spring dance. I was tired and achy but eager for the road. We packed our gear, ate breakfast, donned our armor, gassed up and hit the road. The itinerary was to head west on Ranch Road 337 (one of the sisters) cut up north on 336, and veer back towards Fredricksburg. We stopped at a local tourist trap, The Frio Canyon Motorcycle Stop. A hang out place for riders touring the sisters. Andrew and I looked around the store, bought a map, and got back on the road.

The whole morning for me is fuzzy. I remember the ride west from our last stop was very surreal. Everything felt dreamy as the hill country rolled past my vision. The wind was gusty and pushed the bike around. A group of three riders blew past me doing about ninety. I was good boy and sticking to 55 or 60 mph. I was unfamiliar with where I was and not wanting to ride very aggressively. However, it wasn't very much help. We went into a series of turns, as far as I know I made the right curve but in the left one the ninja went out from under me. She went into a guard rail post and I went into the other one. I must have flipped over the top because Andrew said I was crawling out from under it when he pulled up.

Only a few things stand out in my memory after the crash. I felt like something was stabbing me in my left shoulder. I thought I was lying on top of a broken rear view mirror. The paramedics were all women which was strange to me at the time. I remember them pulling off my wedding ring before loading me on the lifelight chopper and I remember seeing my contact lense on the front of my jacket, wierdness.

If it hadn't been for my friend I wouldn't be alive today. Andrew had to break the visor off of my helmet and pull it up a bit so I could breath. He was freaked out but stayed calm. He provided what ever aid to me he could and called for an ambulance. He snapped pictures while waiting for the EMTs to show up. I think it was to keep himself from freaking out. He could tell I had a head injury because I was acting like ten second Tom. I would ask him, "what are we doing?" he would say, "oh, we're just taking a break." my reply was, "is my bike ok?" Ten seconds later i would ask again, "what are we doing?" It is funny now, but  then? Not so much.

The EMTs stuck a neck brace on me and strapped me to a backboard. I was thrown in the ambulance and driven to the airport. A helicopter landed and whisked me off to University Hospital in San Antonio.

Andrew called my wife who was in Louisiana. He told her I was in an accident, he thought my shoulder was broken but I was ok. Lisa heard the chopper coming in and asked "uhm, Andrew, is that lifelight? "Yes Miss Lisa." he replied. 

Thanks to God I was still alive. However, our lives had been turned upside down in minutes.

Next week, Recovery.

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