Sandia Mountain Mystery

We had a bit of excitement a couple of weekends ago, while driving up the Sandia Crest road for an Imogene Pass training run. It was early in the morning and cold and rainy, and we noticed a set of skid marks on the road leading right over the edge of the mountain. Keith and I thought about it a moment, then decided to have a look. Well, there was a vehicle down there, caught in the thorns on a 45 degree slope about 75 feet downhill. A sheared-off tire lay right next to a 2″ diameter broken tree. The truck had apparently flipped, and now was pointing towards us. We got out the binoculars (always at hand) and couldn’t see anyone in the cab, but the brush was so dense there was no way to tell if someone was nearby. We hollered to no avail. Keith  told me NO – you are not going down there. I didn’t know if it was related, but an empty Coors can was lying at our feet. We called the local police office and told them there might be people down there (it hadn’t been reported yet). They asked us to wait. 35 minutes later, two sheriff’s vehicles showed up. They were laughing about the cold weather, and paused to don jackets and gloves. Then sauntered over and said “you think there’s a car down there?” I said “there IS a car down there-look for yourselves.” It was Gomer Pyle -ish, the expressions when they saw it – “golly, there is a car down there! How are we gonna get to that?”

mountain mystery  theres a car down there

We bugged out to go on our run, and four hours later, on our way back down, one of the deputies and a tow truck was at the site. We found out there were two drunken Arizonans involved, who had both gotten out and crawled up the hill. They were with another group in a different vehicle, and caught a ride with them. As the police were checking out the scene (they got a rope and made their way down the hill), a car with AZ plates slowed down as they neared the cops, then sped away. They were coming back for the truck! One of the cops gave chase; don’t know the outcome. As Keith walked over, the tow truck driver said “I don’t think I can get that out”…

tree vs tire

Two weeks later, it was gone. The hardest thing to comprehend is it was so cold and rainy, and now we are in the 90’s!


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