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With sadness, my first post about our trip to Deal's Gap is about accidents and how I now know I respond to them.
It was a slow start. I was slowed down at the border (British passport, Canadian resident crossing into the US is harder than it needs to be) but after, the progress was reasonable. The GPS wanted to send me on the odd detour here and there, but the scenery was pleasant and it was set to favour scenic routes...
By the time we hit Pennsylvania, everything started looking good. Lots of lovely laneways, few cars /etc and we picked up speed, but we weren't racing. However, just south of Ridgeway, things went awry.
After hitting some very nice turns in Amish country, a colleague and I stopped to wait for the rest of the group to catch up as there was a turn ahead. They couldn't have been far, maybe two minutes max. We waited for at least five and gave the customary "turn around" air gesture.
Riding back, I guess we both feared the worst. We passed the spot I'd seen deer, and the point at which I avoided the gravel on the road. Three more bends and there are two people waving in the road: The remainder of our party, with one lhing prone in the ditch. A guilty reflex hits me: "it's not my wife at least", but it is the partner of the guy with me.
Stands go down, gloves are tossed to the floor and helmets and placed. Emergency mode. We'd not talked about any of this before. No-one has a first aid kit (well, we did but it was on the truck and that wasn't with us) and moreover, no-one really knew what to do with it. I guess I was the closest as I took control.
At least she wasn't badly hurt. She was moving and talking, but the ankle was the problem. She had some limited movement, but apparently she "could feel something moving in there". We lifted her to see if she could take weight, but it was obvious not. I figured a sprain. I was wrong. It turned out to be fractured, but we only found out later.
Problem two: We're in Amish country. The rolling hills and the general lack of subscribers means no cell coverage, so I rode around for 20 minutes looking for some. That and water and some candy. I ended up by the i-80 and called the truck who started back.
When I arrived back, the party was further diminished. The injured party and partner had left for the hospital, courtesy of a stranger. Unfortunately, we were now three with five motorcycles, one of which had been pulled from the grasses. It was slightly beaten up: dented tank, bent rear brake and a cracked light. Not too bad, considering. I wasn't there, but it seemed a reasonably low speed slide.
So, another trip to call the truck to come get the bikes only and to keep them up to date. And then waiting. The truck is a ways away and there's nothing to do. The rains come and the night starts to close in. I would like to say we huddled for warmth and tried in vain to start a fire, but we didn't. We just sat there under a tree pontificating.
Eventually the truck came and we loaded the bikes on. The truck headed back north, to find the injured party but we had to press on. An injury is a tragedy, but we've booked and are militant to press on. Swtiching visors to the clear ones, we gun the engines and head out.
It's now dark and raining by turns. There's no streetlight. Oftentimes, there's not much street either but we press on. The GPS says we're going to arrive after midnight. We don't care. Slowly, we proceed, all the way across rural Pennsylvania finally making it to Uniontown about 12:30am. We're fine, if tired and sleep in the motel that the only compliment I can think of is that it's only $65 per night.
Today, we're depleted. Not only have we lost the injured party and partner, but also the truck, who has planned to ride with us at the gap. He was also carrying the luggage, too, so we've had to repack everything very sparingly. The bikes are now heavier but we'll get there.
Oh, and the worst of it? I didn't even take pictures...