Some of my readers may remember this posting from very early days when I wrote it from the point of view of my book characters, Sylvia and Kevin, from my newly published book, Orion’s Gift. However, this story of being broken down in Baja is true to the last detail. I was sure our Baja adventure was over before it really started, but my husband is very resourceful and we were able to meet the challenge.
In Part One, I posted a photo of the truck, Boler, and trail bike to show our set-up, but as I post this photo again, you may notice that there is a jack holding up the front of the broken down Boler. You may also notice that we are in the middle of nowhere.
“I told you not to put the trail bike on the back of the Boler,” I said. “I read it on the Internet. Too much weight. It should have been on the front of the truck.”
Gary stared at the broken frame of our tiny trailer. It was barely hanging onto the truck’s hitch, its frame cracked almost through. “Yeah, yeah. I don’t need to hear about it now.”
I knew I was being petty, but if he’d listened to me, we wouldn’t be stuck twelve miles from the nearest town, nowhere near that beautiful Mexican beach that was supposed to be the reward for enduring the washboard ride on this Baja by-road. Well, nothing was worth this kind of punishment.
We’d been in tough situations before, but it had always been in our own country. Halfway down the Baja peninsula, I wondered how on earth we were going to get out of this one.
Gary unhitched the broken trailer and let the frame drop to the ground.
I groaned as I heard more items rolling around in the Boler. “I don’t even want to look inside,” I said. “I guess this is it then. Back to Canada. Too bad we didn’t even make it to Mulegé.” I was sure it was the end of our trip, and wondered how much of our camping junk we could cram into the truck for the ride home, abandoning the now useless Boler.
Gary sat on the truck bumper in silence. At last he stood up. “Okay, here’s what we can do.”
“Leave the Boler here and drive home without it? It’s just a piece of crap anyway.” My mood was blacker than black.
“No. Now listen.” Gary—had to give him credit—always figured out what to do. I guessed he had lots of practice at finding solutions since he never listened to me to avoid jams like this in the first place. “The front of the Boler frame is useless, so we turn the trailer around and tie its back bumper to the truck’s bumper. I’ve got lots of rope.”
“Okay, but the trail bike is on the back bumper. What are we going to do about that?”
“You’re going to ride it to town,” he said.
“Me… Me? Ride it to town?”
“Yeah. You ride in front of me while I tow the Boler. I’ll be watching out for you. It’s only twelve miles. You’ll be okay.” Gary sounded more confident than I felt but since he was making an effort to get us out of this disaster, I thought I should buck up.
“I guess … but you’ll have to show me what to do. I’ve only tried riding it once or twice before.”
After a quick review of the gears, the gas, and the brake, I prepared to lead the way.
Even allowing for the difficulty of driving on the sandy washboard I had soon left Gary behind. I turned back and found him retying the ropes that had jiggled loose with the constant up and down motion of the rippled road.
After three hours of traveling at a crawl, with many stops for retying, we reached the outskirts of Cardenas, the nearest town. I gave Gary a thumbs-up as I reached the firmer roadbed beside the first houses. Potholes were everywhere, but at least we were out of the sand.
Just as I relaxed, the sound of dogs barking close by caught my attention. The smile left my face when two snarling mongrels tore out of their yard towards me. As the first one lunged for my ankle I lifted my legs high and turned up the throttle. I clung to the grips as I roared along the street swerving around some potholes and bouncing through others.
Feeling I had outrun the vicious beasts at last, I slowed the bike and looked back at the truck. Gary’s face in the windshield looked pale and horrified. The dogs I thought I’d left behind were still leaping at my legs.
The renewed roar of the bike’s motor drowned out the barking and snarling as I cranked up the throttle again. Fortunately for me, the dogs ran out of energy before the bike did.
I rattled over to the curb as I reached the main intersection of town. Gary pulled in and parked the truck behind me.
He hugged his shaking wife. “I thought I was following Evel Knievel.”