This past Friday, Mrs. Narc and I begrudgingly headed south to the Red River Gorge in Kentucky for a weekend of sport climbing. I say begrudgingly because neither of us were overly excited about going. I hadn’t been to the Red in a year so I should have been especially pumped about going, but for some reason I couldn’t find my mojo. We were so apathetic about the trip that we put off making the decision (and packing) until Friday morning before we left for work. At about 5:45 am on Friday when I should have been leaving for work I spontaneously decided that we should definitely go; we quickly packed and committed to leaving for Kentucky after work.
The normally brutal drive through Chicago was relatively smooth given the holiday weekend, and we were making good time on our 500+ mile drive. As we turned onto the Bert T. Combs Mountain Parkway, "The Bert" to Mrs. Narc and me, I decided to try and sleep the remaining 30 minutes of the drive while Mrs. Narc took the wheel.
Comfortably asleep, I was startled to be awakened by Mrs. Narc yelling, "OH MY GOD BRIAN!". Groggy and confused, I woke up enough to realize that we were driving fast so that meant we were still on The Bert. In the next instant our Honda Civic had collided with something in the road and the car was thrust into the air. The whole vehicle filled with smoke and the bright lights of a passerby’s headlights (the same headlights that prohibited Mrs. Narc from seeing the motorcycle in the road or the rolled pickup truck) as we careened down the road. Miraculously, Mrs. Narc kept the car going straight and it ground to a halt some yards past the point of impact; had we left our lane, we would have met the same fate as the motorcycle – a metal guardrail and/or a significant drop-off.
Bemused and in serious shock, we both began to attempt to make sense of what had just happened to us. The inside of the car was a confusing mess with both air bags deployed and smoke from the busted engine filling the car. Fortunately, neither of us was injured; we got out of the car to see if we couldn’t figure out what exactly it was that we had hit.
Long story short, another motorist had been driving along with two motorcycles in the bed of his pickup truck. For whatever reason he had lost control and flipped his truck several times in the median, spilling at least one of the motorcycles into our lane of The Bert. Due to several factors the motorcycle was not visible until mere seconds before we came along and was almost indecipherable as a motorcycle. We hit it going somewhere between 60 and 70 mph. Needless to say our car is irreparably damaged. The gush of engine fluid spilling out of the car as we exited told us as much. The miraculous part is that neither of us sustained any physical injuries. This alone defies all logic; we’re extremely lucky to say the very least.
We were also fortunate to have a number of good friends camping nearby who came to help retrieve our belongings from the side of the road. Seeing familiar faces was just what we needed. Thanks to their help and support we managed to have a relatively normal weekend considering the circumstances. We climbed both days in the sweltering Kentucky humidity, ate some fantastic pizza and made it home in one piece.
Big thanks go out to the Nimmer’s, Kevin R and Old School for all the help!