Day 16: oh yes!! and then, oh no…..

It started out to be a wonderful day.  On schedule, loads of sun, lots of great cities and “targets” on my list.  Off to Lordsburg and then over to Silver City.  Then it happened.  Somehow, I didn’t see a red light.  But according to witnesses, it was red.  I thought it was green and I was then looking left at a street sign.  Then all of a sudden, a little red pickup truck directly in front of me.  Bam!  The little red pickup had garbage in the back and the garbage shot up as I hit the rear end.  I pulled over.  Nobody hurt.  Pickup had big dent in the rear and poor Sparkle – really bad front driver side.  The two month old radiator obviously destroyed – fluid on the pavement.  The bumper completely removed, the hood crunched a bit, lights broken, and fender dented.  A third car got some minor scraping from hitting the garbage in the street.  The pickup driver had no insurance but it looks like it will be covered by my insurance.  I have never followed my insurance policy that closely but evidently I don’t have collision.  And since witnesses saw the light as red – I’m at fault so Sparkle’s bill is all mine.

I weighed my options as I waited for the cops and the tow.  Get a new van?  Rent a van for the duration of the trip?  How much to repair?  Especially considering I just put about $1000 into her in the past three days.  I’m glad I got that lifetime alignment with the tire two days ago at Firestone because I’m gonna need one immediately.  The tow truck driver does body work and collision stuff so my life and money is in his hands at the moment.  He estimates $4000 or $5000 – no cosmetics just functional.  I can’t buy a van in the shape mine is in for that.  Since my engine, transmission and all that are in superb shape, I have to go the repair route rather than the replace route.  I attempted to rent a vehicle – but there’s not one to be found in town or even in Las Cruces.

I hurt my left wrist a little – nothing broken – feels no worse than a fall on pavement.  The airbag didn’t deploy so I don’t think it was that high speed of a crash.  I had just gotten gas maybe a quarter of a mile away and was not speeding – honest! (yet)  The dogs were all fine and enjoying all the police presence (barking).  This has all been just another fun adventure for them.  But mom’s dreading the increased insurance rates – which are already astronomical in NYC.

So here I sit in Silver City – all the motels were booked.  Just this one smoking (ick!) room at The Drifter.  Which is pretty much what you would expect from the name.  The kind of chairs and bed you don’t even want to sit on.  No A/C.  No internet so I have hang out in front of the building and mooch on the other mom & pop motel across the street.  And twice the price of a really nice Red Roof Inn.  Plus a $30 non-refundable charge for dogs – ridiculous!  But the only game in town.  At least there’s a TV – and even a remote!

Depressed and determined and shaken – I took a good long walk with the dogs in the 86 degree heat to downtown Silver City to hit the places on my list.  So at least I got a handful of photos.  I’m not sure when I’ll be shooting again.  Possibly tomorrow – but unlikely – more likely Monday or later.  Right now the mechanic is in El Paso looking for parts – and having trouble.  He couldn’t find a hood so we’ll have to do some rope and bungie sort of thing.  And he can’t get a headlight til tomorrow morning.  So he has to stay in El Paso tonight – just add that to my bill…

Just goes to show, life can change in the blink of an eye.  But the main thing is nobody and no canines were hurt.  Guess I’ll be working lots of overtime this fall and winter to whack back the bills from this trip!

Alright then on with some photos to cheer us up a bit.  Life was good back in Separ.  This fake teepee at Bowlin’s Continental Divide Historical Trading Post:


From Lordsburg.  I don’t remember seeing this Oscar’s sign previous trips:


And then, Silver City.  There it is.  Poor, poor Sparkle.  I’m so, so sorry:


From our downtown walk – the Gila Theatre:


And from my across the street neighbor, the Copper Manor, providing our internet for the night – god bless ‘em!  I wonder if the rooms are nicer there?  Ah, but I shouldn’t begrudge The Drifter.  They still have their awesome sign (over at Flickr tonight) and they gave some nutjob from NY with four dogs their remaining room.


Looking for the silver lining here in Silver City.  I’ll get back to you tomorrow with the latest.  Maybe I’ll take nature photos or something mundane for you tomorrow.  I’m committed to this blog – highs and lows doncha know.


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