Written by Sierra Bullets Media Manager Carroll Pilant
The Sierra mobile, which has been such a familiar vehicle at an assortment of matches around the US, has been replaced with a new 2015 Chevy Traverse. The maiden voyage for it was to Rockcastle. When I pulled out of Sierra’s parking lot, it had a grand total of 10 miles on it.
The old Sierra mobile (a Chevy Equinox) has 215,000 miles on it and still runs very well. That vehicle and I have spent many hours on the road, lots of nights in motels, and several nights in rest areas, just snoozing for 2 or 3 hours and continuing on our way just to keep from having to spend another night in a motel. (My boss says he didn’t know they still had $19.95 a night motels, since I preferred to stay in motels that a door opens out where I could back the vehicle up to the door.) I have to admit, I have stayed in some pretty sleazebag motels. I carry a bottle of aftershave in my suitcase just to douse the curtains over the AC with if the smell is very bad. At least it will get you thru the night. I had a motel in Ely, NV. that I put a poncho on the bed and laid on it and finally when the druggies started fighting in the parking lot about 3 AM, I got up and drove to a rest area and slept for a couple more hours and went on to Reno, NV. for the Multigun Nationals. That motel room had a piece of barn tin nailed up to keep the door closed because it had been kicked open so many times.
I have seen my share of wrecks all across the US. Four or five years ago, returning from the Multigun Nationals in Las Vegas, I pulled into a rest area just outside Flagstaff, Az. (the rest area is now closed down) and pulled into the first parking spot and slept for a couple of hours. I got up, went to the restroom, came back to the vehicle and was setting there with my eyes closed debating on sleeping a little longer or driving on. There was a tremendous crash right outside my door. A large van had jumped the curb and plowed into a tree about 2 foot in diameter just about 5 foot from the drivers door. The tree was completely embedded in the front of the van and the driver was unconscious. The driver door wouldn’t open, but the passenger door would. The driver was alive, but was in and out of consciousness.
I called 911 and the operator said there was no rest area there. I told her there was, that I was standing in it. She argued there wasn’t and I argued back there was. She got mad and sent me to her supervisor who also told me there was no rest area there. I argued there was. Then she finally said,” Yes there is, I just found it.”
The first county patrol car blew by about 10 minutes later and overshot the entrance and about 5 minutes later, returned. Then 2 highway patrol, 2 ambulances, and 2 firetrucks showed up. There was a pickup 2 spots down from me and the driver was still asleep even with all the lights and sirens. When he woke up, I guess he thought he was under arrest or something because he jumped out of the truck and stuck his hands in the air in the surrender position. One of the highway patrol asked him if he would like to leave and he said yes, so they moved patrol cars and firetrucks and he left in a hurry.
It appeared to the highway patrol that the driver involved in the crash was on drugs and they told me they were going to take him to a hospital, have him checked out, and then probably on to jail. I was trying to keep the driver conscious while waiting for the patrol and ambulance. I asked him if he was drunk or on drugs and he replied, “I have been trying to quit,” and passed out again. Another time, he raised his head up and said, “What the hell are you doing in my front room?” and passed out again. It made for an interesting night and now, if I park in a rest area, I always park farther down the line, not in the first spot!
Another time, I was coming thru Oklahoma and, as always, there was a lot of traffic and some road construction. As it narrowed down to a one lane road, a really hefty woman with a man passenger came zipping by me and the semi in front of me. The concrete wall made her have to jerk it over, barely missing the semi. She crossed the road went thru the ditch and up a long steep bank with sumac flying like she was running a brush hog thru it. At the top of the bank, she literally made a U-turn, came flying back down the bank with the same results on the sumac, crossed in front of the semi and hit the concrete wall and sort of wobbled back out into lane of traffic. No one was hurt, but as we all went around her, the man was cussing her out so loud I could hear him as I drove by.
The new Traverse will see a lot of the same happenings in its future, I am sure. If you see me on the road, be sure and wave because I am either on my way to or from a match.
See you on the range!