Bumpus Cove 4/24/2004
Well what an eventful trip...Added:
For me and my point of view, the day went about like this...
At the last minute, the kids were convinced to go on the trip, and I had
to pack up the family to go, so of course that meant we got off to a
late start and didn't really hit the road after gassing up the
pathfinder until about 10:00, which of course was when everyone was
supposed to meet at the Johnson City meeting point. So I just cruised
passed the exit for the meeting point and figured I would catch everyone
at the trail head. I arrived at the trail head at about 10:30 or so and
no one in sight... Figured A. I missed everyone. B. I got their 1st.
or C. the trip was canceled. So I unloaded the rig from the trailer and
we waited for a bit and after about 10-15 minutes, the rumble of off
road meats on the pavement could be heard as the crew began to arrive.
After airing down, and the usual BS session, we got on our way and hit
the trail... The 1st point of interest of course is the mud hole. Those
who wanted to got in it and had some fun. Wes was the most notable
attempt as when he got as far as he could, he began to slide back into
the hole... well with his current ground clearance, his tail pipe was in
contact with the ground and he literally filled about 12 inches of his
exhaust pipe with red clay. Of course that back pressure would not
allow the engine to start, much less run, so a winch line was run and he
was pulled out. Some roto-rooter work and a quick turn of the key and
"Ol'e Rusty" blew out its constipating blockage. Of course Wes was NOT
the first to receive a winch assist from the Nissan "Jeep Recovery
Things went fairly smoothly up to the next tough part... The off camber
climb with the twist. Basically it came down to flex for the open diff
guys.... If they didn't have enough flex to keep all four on firm
contact with the ground, they didn't get too far. However, the trail
conditions were VERY dry and those that had issues with the "standard"
line, were able to get through by driving up the far right side of the
trail. When the trail has any moisture on it, the right-hand line is
very nasty since your rig will of course want to fall into the very spot
you are trying to avoid. Everyone pretty much made it though under
their own power, though a variety of driving lines were used. A winch
line was pulled once for the maroon CJ with the 5000lb winch when he got
a bit too off camber trying to get up the "by-pass" side and everyone
felt that a hook up of the winch line would be the safe thing to do as a
attempt to push though it may have resulted in a rollover.
We then made it up to the standard lunch spot at the four way
"intersection" and everyone had lunch and of course started up on the BS
again... lol... Afterwards, a few of us went up the "stairs" to the
left, which is where Jamie bent his tie rod. He was the last in line
so, he just back on down, and the rest of us that successfully made it
to the top of the stairs headed back down. We then proceeded to rig up
some winch lines and got Jamie's tie rod bent into something that more
resembled a strait line as opposed to a frown.
That is when the trouble REALLY started.
Now everyone had been joking around with Hunter about his CJ billowing
clouds of blue smoke all day on the trail... but hey it was keeping the
bugs away... and no one really thought of siting in an open top jeep
would be a problem... however, in reality, a danger was building that we
really didn't expect to see. It would seem that Hunters CJ has some
sort of exhaust leak on the drivers side (as Todd can attest from his
driving it down off of the mountain), and through out the day, when
Hunter was stuck at various places, he was unknowingly breathing in a
large amount of CO (carbon monoxide). And if you don't know much about
CO, it likes to build up in your blood stream and really doesn't go away
easily unless you are on 100% oxygen. So all day long Hunter was
sucking up CO, and not really having too much problems... until...
While we were fixing Jamie's tie rod, Hunters sat down and had a
smoke... and that smoke pushed his CO count into a very dangerous
situation. Within about 5 minutes, he was very disoriented, slow in
response, and having uncontrolled shakes. At first, since the
temperature was quite warm, we began to think that he was having heat
stroke problems. He was wearing long pants and some people react
differently to heat than others. So we began treating for that. Giving
water, soaking his shirt so the evaporation would cool him etc... It
soon became apparent that something just wasn't right as his condition
was deteriorating. We had to pretty much lift him into the pathfinder
(the only rig with AC) and we booked it down off of the mountain. Once
on the forest road, it was about 20 - 25 mph (best possible speed) all
the way down to pavement and from there my max speed is about 40... and
I did that all the way to the Erwin hospital.
Now on the entire trip down, Hunter was pretty much gone. Every time I
looked over at him, his eyes were rolled back and his body was just limp
and rocking back and forth with the bumps in the road with no control
what so every. Every 30 seconds or so I would be asking him a question
or so, just to get some kind of response. which would be returned with
some kind of groan, mumble, breath, or something. I pretty much held
his hand the whole way down and told him to squeeze it as hard as he
could, and all I could get was a bit of a twitch most of the time. I
had to do a sternum rub at one point when he wouldn't respond at all,
and that woke up up a bit (he actually remembered that after he recovered).
The rest of the group was booking down the mountain behind me I suppose
(really I had no idea if they were or not... I had other things on my
mind). I had called to have someone with a cell phone to call emergency
services to meet us at the trail head, but I didn't know if anyone had
service. Once I hit the paved road, I unlocked the hubs and had to
decide if I needed to turn left to the trail head, or right to get to
Erwin. I called back on the CB to see if EMS was going to be at the
trail head, and didn't get any response. It seems that a tire got cut
on the Jeep behind me and I was now out of effective CB range. So once
Jamie showed up (who was in front of me but pulled off to get a large
stick out from his rear brake line) I gave my suburban keys to Emily and
told her to get the suburban. I guess I assumed that they knew I was
going to Erwin. So off I went. I finally rolled up into the ER
entrance after going past a nice wedding precession on a horse drawn
carriage through downtown Erwin. I jumped out and ran into the ER and
told the check-in person about Hunters condition (pretty much
unconscious and unresponsive due to CO and heat stroke), and the got him
in and onto 100% O2. Even getting him out of the Pathfinder was a chore
since for some reason, he was aware enough to keep trying to get his
AROC shirt from the floor.
Hunter's condition improved rapidly over the next couple of hours, and
he was released soon after his parents and sister arrived from VA Todd
and Jamie went up to Abingdon to get Todd's Ford and Clints trailer to
get Hunters jeep back home.
It was a very scary situation and one that was totally unexpected. I
know that his jeep smoked a bit, it was obvious, but really... in an
open top jeep in the outdoors... would you really expect someone to get
CO poisoning to that extreme?
Well I am sure that others may have some details that I didn't have and
if they want to share them, feel free to do so.
Until next time...
Wednesday, April 28, 2004Reviewer: RobertScore: hits: