Good Old Buck
In better days, at the Yukon River.
After 11 years and 188,000 miles, good old Buck, my 2002 Suburban is gone, totalled. I named the Burban after Buck, the half German Shepherd half St. Bernard sled dog that is the hero of Jack London's "Call of the Wild," because of Buck's large size, loyalty and dependability. I know that men often refer to their vehicles as "she", and I do too. But when we made the Alaska trip together and I listened to many audio books, I got to calling her Buck.
I bought her brand new in October of 2002. Most men have a dream car they would love to have, like Corvettes or Mustangs, but my dream car was always a Suburban. We had many, many adventures together. The 10,000 mile trip to Alaska and back being the biggest and most memorable one. Buck pulled my snowmobile trailer on numerous trips in all kinds of weather, some times plowing through 3 feet of new snow to get to our cabin.
In all those miles, we never had an accident until last Saturday evening. I was coming home from playing golf and while merging onto I-355, a car swerved toward me and I veered left to avoid the collision. We went over and down a 20 foot embankment at 60 mph. I honestly don't know if we caught air before reaching the bottom of the gully because I think I closed my eyes for a second. It happened so fast! When we got to the bottom we were still going about 40-50 mph in the same direction as the highway. That's when I saw a 3-4 foot ditch that we were heading straight at. Jamming on the brakes, we hit that ditch at a good 40 mph. It sent us flying into the air again and we finally came to a stop, still upright. The driver of the car that caused all this just kept going and no one else was stopping, so I wiped the blood out of my eye and pointed old Buck straight at the embankment and drove her up to the road and about 12 miles back to home. Parts were hanging off of her, but she kept running.
When I got home and the adrenaline wore off, I realized that my lower back was killing me. Jan treated the cut over my eye and I lowered myself into the Lazy Boy. I went to an orthopedic surgeon Tuesday and was told that there was no serious problem and that I should be back to 100% in 8-12 weeks, thank God and Buck. It's already getting better.
I am thankful I was in that old Suburban with it's heavy frame and large size. I think if I were in a smaller car, it would have been a whole lot worse. And, by the way, the seat belt and shoulder strap kept me from going through the windshield in the two big bounces, so always buckle up.
They towed Buck to the repair shop where it was determined that it was a total loss. At 11 years old and 188,000 miles, she wasn't worth a lot of money, except to me.
I will miss Buck and hopefully I'll be able to replace her with something as good, because I still have the love of travel adventure burning in me and I hope that there are many more miles of fun ahead for me .
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