20 Near Death Experiences

/20 Near Death Experiences

Hit and Run

The motorcycle is scarcely warm between my legs approaching the signal, rolls through green, into the intersection and out of the San Diego night an old Caddy accelerates along University Drive trying to make the light. It broadsides the sidecar hack and the attached Honda 450 tumbles over twice while I hover above it having [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Hit and Run

Mexico Scrap

A lifelong passion for hard times and scrap led me to a sunrise hunt in San Felipe Baja. A Mexican partner and I slalom a banged-up pickup past a hundred scrappers puffing behind wheelbarrows and shopping carts half-empty with knickknacks. A three-mile thick dump ring around San Felipe is picked clean by the penniless men [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Mexico Scrap

Hand from a Boxcar

Labored puffing outside the boxcar’s open door, the rasp of long, rapid footsteps on ballast. A hobo hangs from the door’s latch and can’t pull himself in, can’t let loose or will be minced by the rolling wheels. I reach down my hand and he grasps it firmly. Washington is apple country and in season [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Hand from a Boxcar

White Mountain Crash

Clomp, clomp across the Golden Gate bridge in a Bay Area 10k race that began one week ago with a crash on White Mountain. I am bicycling 1500 miles from Canada to Mexico along highways #101 and #1 on a Peugeot PX-10. ´Bikeman!´ is relayed for two weeks up and down the Pacific coast to [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on White Mountain Crash

Silverback Gorilla

The 500-pound mountain Silverback Gorilla stands five paces away drumming his chest. The arms can bench press 1000lb. and bend the 2¨ tempered steel bar. Yet the thin Rwandan guide behind me whispers, ´He will charge only if you are afraid.´ The male at 5´ 11¨ is big for the largest gorillas in the world. [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Silverback Gorilla

Florida Trail

The Florida Trail stretches 500 miles the length of the state from the Everglades to Georgia border. It begins near Alligator Alley that traverses the everglades east-west where motorists currently pay a $3.00 toll for game wardens to remove or sheriffs to shoot up to 13´ gators from State Road 84. I crawl via a [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Florida Trail

Cowcatcher

The first freight I caught was in a VW van on the cowcatcher of a 25mph locomotive that scooped and carried me 300 yards down the track on the cowcatcher. The brakes scream and my life including these survivals passes before my eyes glued out the tilted window at the advancing rail. My hands grasp [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Cowcatcher

Bear Attack!

My little encounter occurs five years ago at a New Mexico mountain streamside. Hiking along the river, suddenly a black blur bursts out the bushes and I know in an instant it can make two moves for every one of mine, that one throws everything out he has read unless he has mentally or physically [...]

By | May 16th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Bear Attack!

Tin Leg

´Raise em!´ I gaze down the long barrel of a .45 leveled at my chest. ´You have the wrong man.´ ´You may not be the guy I’m lookin’ for, but you’re close enough.´ The old codger on the Los Angeles sidewalk takes a step up and spews cheap wine breath, ´I was a bank robber. [...]

By | February 20th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Tin Leg

Six Miles of Smoke

´Railroad bulls drag hobos like you out long past lookin´ blue!’ a Grand Junction, Co. brakeman cautions gesturing grandly along the transcontinental rail toward the 6.2 mile Moffat tunnel that pierces the west flank of the Rockies. But I´m green and eager to chew up and spit out challenges, if need be, and climb aboard [...]

By | February 20th, 2017|20 Near Death Experiences|Comments Off on Six Miles of Smoke