LA COACHASITA, 2001- 2012
When the end came for my mighty iron friend, it was over in a few ticks of the clock. A lonely flat, straight, two-lane road, short of the North Dakota border at mile marker 103 on U.S. 12 North, just south of Big Thunder, SD at seven o’clock in the morning making for Great Falls Montana.
The signs said “Sharp Drop” and “Soft Shoulder.” The right front wheel went over the drop and onto that shoulder sodden with rain (with an assist from me) and we never achieved pavement again. We traveled through some long grass to a culvert and she stopped and lay down. now done.
Juan and I remained relatively unscathed, I left for a hospital emergency room in Hettinger, North Dakota, while Juan remained to stand guard. He was upright and watching only a few feet away I was told, when they came to take her away. After a body scan and more x-rays than need be recounted, the doctor told me--as they had Yogi Berra after x-rays of his head, “They didn’t find nothin'.” I am home now, this time by air after a few days of mopping up.
My brave companion, transportation, and shelter for the past 11 years remains in the salvage yard in a speck of a town called Reva, between Bison and Buffalo South Dakota. She will be valued and hauled away. I visited her briefly to remove belongings and found Juan a wonderful new home watching over the house and garden of the salvage man, his wife and child, their pet goat and pot-bellied pig, and lovely Arabian horse. He is happy in his new life.
We shall see if there are to be further travels of Reamus. First we will sort the detritus recovered, thank our personal god that our companion protected us so well, and leave decisions for another day.
Thanks for riding along all these years.