|This road should’ve been my cue, even though Google maps told me this route |
led to Kirtland Air Force Base, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Remember seeing that sign up in the school counselor’s office: If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably wind up someplace else?
|My Prius, high-sided in the sand from the front en route to Kirtland AFB Albuquerque NM.|
This wasn’t my first visit to Albuquerque, New Mexico. but my other visits were long ago, limited in scope, and brief. I’ve never been to Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque. I did what I usually do when I have no idea where I’m going: I plug the address into my GPS application, usually Google maps.
|My Prius’ front tire, in spin position near Kirtland AFB, New Mexico.|
The dirt road in the middle of nowhere should’ve clued me in, but instead, I let blind obedience lead me to follow my Google map directions instead of listening to my common sense. After about two miles of gravel road which became a sand road, my GPS cheerfully chirped “you’ve arrived at your destination”—in the middle of the sandy road in front of—nothing.
|My Prius, it back-end also high-sided in the sand and rear tire in spin position|
en route to Kirtland AFB Albuquerque NM.
I turned around, retracing my steps, or rather, tire treads [where the sand still showed them]. As I got within sight of the paved road [about 1/4 mile off], I puzzled over which fork in the road to take. Just then, Wayne called me from the air force base. I stopped the car, answered my phone, and told him I was lost. When I restarted my car, I realized the other fork in the road was the correct one to take, and promptly high-sided my car. That’s not hard to do in a Prius; my one complaint about it is its ridiculously low clearance.
I tried to back up. My tires spun. I tried to go forward. My tires spun. I got out and looked at my car: definitely high-sided. I looked for something to dig it out or provide traction under the tires and saw: sand, sand, and more sand.
|Kurt, driving away in my rescue vehicle after he made sure I was good to go. Albuquerque, NM.|
I looked up and by some miracle, saw a dirt biker. I gave the land equivalent of the swimmer’s distress arm signal. He rode up to see what was going on. Daniel, the dirt-biker, tried a bit of this and a bit of that to no avail.
“Where were you going?” Kurt, the truck driver, asked. Kirtland Air Force Base, I told them. They scratched their heads, brightened, and said, “Oh yeah, up that road [pointing the paved road] there used to be a gate to it, but it closed, maybe about three years ago.”
Within less than 5 minutes, I was on my way.