A Life Changed: The Road in Baja at Night

I’m not even sure where to start with this.

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We had to leave our campsite to go to town for supplies.

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It’s never a fun thing to do this – it involves a super bitchy Mikey rolling up everything, cranky waiting kids and an irate me. We’re all rubbed wrong in our supply-fetching ventures, but whatever, it’s a small price to pay for a free beach camping, right? So we we get over the annoyance pretty fast.

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Yesterday stretched on for some time though – I think it was because we left later than we usually do, and because we had more to do – we had to stop pretty much everywhere – propane, water, food, dry supplies – the whole works. We were exhausted by the time we were done at Soriana, the big-box Mexican store. We all piled in Myrtle, ready to head back.

It was around 5. We know very well that we shouldn’t be driving at night here – besides the fact that it’s in all the books, we know it from the experience of having had the crap scared out of us when we drove once at night, in the last time we were here. It’s not banditos or cartels or whatever everyone seems scared of – it’s simply COWS.

You see, the cows here range free and at night they meander onto the road. The roads are narrow, simply two slivers of lanes, often with potholes or sloping sides, which means that if you are going at any speed at all, those cows can cause some big hits.

But last night it wasn’t cows. We were nervous about driving at night, on the lookout for our bovine friends. We were driving very slowly and ended up behind a truck that was (unbelievably) going even slower than we were. The truck was spouting some nastiness from their exhaust, so Mikey was trying to pass it – and when he reached a passing zone with no cars coming, he did.

And then.

Just as he had slipped back into our lane, the truck safely behind us, a car came FLYING out of seeming nowhere from the opposite direction. We were really startled then seconds later, there was a shower of electric sparks. The car had crossed lanes, flown off the road, crashed into an electric pole and rolled. We were stunned.

We stopped. Then we turned around and drove back to see if we could help.

There were children inside, crying for their papa, who was silent. The woman (grandmother?) was drenched in blood, cut, moaning. The lights from the ambulances and police that came flashed silently and in that space I was 4 years old again, having gone through the windshield and sitting there, my own blood blinding me and my life changed forevermore.

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Those people had their life changed last night.

We don’t know if the father made it, or what has happened to the family. But our prayers are with them.

And next time we go to town for supplies and it gets dark on us, we are staying at a hotel.

Taking a slow chance on cows seems like it’s worth it sometimes when we are all cranky and tired but it’s the chances on other cars and other people that are perhaps the most dangerous.

And it’s not worth it.

 

 

Meriah
Meriah Nichols is teacher and artist who lives in a yurt off the grid. She is deaf, has 3 kids (one with Down syndrome) and a lot of chickens. She writes about travel, disability, and getting dishes done. She likes her tea Earl Grey and hot.
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@meriahnichols

#deaf mom, teacher & #disability activist, living in a yurt #offthegrid. 3 kids (1 with #downsyndrome), a camera and a lot of chickens. Never a dull moment
This is a really fantastic idea and tutorial - book mark it! https://t.co/DRNLLzzQpi - 10 hours ago
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