We made it to Jackpot last night and have overnighted here. What is Jackpot you ask? It is a town on the border of Idaho and Nevada, and consists of two casino’s, two RV parks, two gas stations and a post office. There are a few other structures including a hotel (the highest building in sight) and a golf course. We took a short walk in the evening and were treated to a most spectacular double rainbow over the desert farmland.
We generally poke along at 55 mph as we make our way cross country. When towing, it’s the law and there is the gas consumption to consider. On the interstates, others seem to pass us in a blur, and it doesn’t take much to cause problems.
This was brought home in a very scary way this morning just after we left Jackpot. It was probably not more than 15 minutes into the drive when about 300 yards ahead there was a commotion. A huge explosion of dust covered both lanes of the highway. We didn’t know what was happening, but one by one cars were being enveloped by the cloud. We pulled over immediately and watched as the dust cloud slowly dissipated. What was revealed will stick with me for awhile. A young woman driving fast (speed limit 75) apparently went off the road and down the embankment flipping over as she did. Her car was somehow flung back onto the highway and across both lanes finally coming to rest on it’s side in the emergency lane. Another 3 feet and she would have rolled over the other embankment.
When I realized it was a crash, I got out and ran to the mangled car. Another person got there before me and was involved in getting her out as I approached. She was still strapped in her seat and the fellow helping her was cutting the seat belt to free her. She was alive and conscious but in a lot of pain. Once he got her freed, he tried to get her out of the car. First he tried guiding her out the open sun roof. Since the car was on it’s side, the doors were out of the question. She was in too much pain to climb through the roof so the only option was to go through the windshield. It was smashed and hanging from the frame, but I was able to rip enough of a hole to allow the guy to guide the woman out. Others had arrived by then. Someone laid out a sheep skin seat cover for the girl to be laid down on. I went across the road collecting some of her belongings that were strewn across both lanes and brought them over.
During this time, Mary was assisting another woman in calling for help. We really didn’t know where we were other than somewhere outside of Jackpot Nevada on I 84. Mary realized she could consult our GPS unit in the motorhome to determine our location. She relayed the coordinates to 911 and help was dispatched. There was really nothing more we could do so we decided to move on. About a mile down the road, we saw ambulance and fire truck speeding to the scene. We pretty quickly have gotten used to driving more slowly. We can’t exactly smell the roses at 55 (more like desert sage at this point in the trip), but we do see much more of the world.