Motorcycle Rescue, Good Samaritan and Great Texas BBQ.
By John Wilson
Sometimes things happen and you are at the mercy of local folks for assistance and help. Last year, four of us started a 5,300mile trip from Raton, NM. One of our group suffered a low side slide out on a rain wet, slippery mountain road (Colorado 149) about 5 miles south from Lake City, Colorado at Slumgullian Pass. Colorado 149 from South Fork to US 50 is a great motorcycle road but rain and sleet plus gravel in the wrong place resulted in loss of traction and in a split second, the rider and bike were in the ditch. The ditch was filled with boulders and mud and the oil pan was penetrated and the700 pound bike was wedged in mud and rock. The rider was uninjured but the bike was not operable and stuck in the mud up to the axle. That was about 11:00 AM on a Saturday. There was no cell phone service in the area.
I rode down to Lake City in heavy rain looking for help. After walking around town and making several inquiries, I was given a ride by one of the locals to a 24 hour wrecker service in Lake City. Normally, wrecker services are equipped only to deal with cars and not all such services are licensed to do on highway auto rescue/recovery—or at least that’s the way it is in Colorado. That’s where I met Charles (Hutch) Hutchins and his wife Roxa.
Hutch was not exactly equipped to rescue a motorcycle marred in mud off a mountain road in the rain and sleet but he was willing to try. Fortunately, I had several years of hauling and rescuing motorcycles from my dealership experience and was familiar with straps and how to get a “dead” bike on a trailer. Hutch and I unloaded a trailer in his back yard that was loaded with wood, found several straps and ratchets, a come-along and thick rope. We were off up the mountain to rescue the bike.
Hutch was an old dirt bike rider so he knew a few things about motorcycles so that was good. With rope, straps and a big Dodge diesel pick up, we managed to get the 700 pound bike out of the ditch. Then the fun began as it was sleeting and raining, making everything slick. One of the group went up the road to flag down on coming vehicles while we were in the road attempting to get the bike on the trailer. With the come-a-long and the help of three riders, we got the dead bike up on the trailer and down to Lake City. It was now 4 PM and we all were hungry.
Roxa and Hutch serve great West Texas BBQ at their store—some of the best I have eaten. We needed to get the bike to a dealer and the closest was Montrose, Colorado. Hutch willing closed his store early that day and the bike and rider were taken to Montrose that night to the dealer. The other three of us rode ahead to Montrose and were at the dealer to unload the damaged bike when they arrived in Montrose.
If you are passing through Lake City, Colorado and want some great BBQ, stop in at the Sportsman’s Texaco. And, if you should happen to have an unfortunate meeting with a deer or need road assistance, call Hutch. You can’t go wrong and he will treat you right.
Here’s a link to their store. The web page doesn’t say anything about motorcycle rescue but Hutch knows bikes and also cooks some great BBQ. That’s Hutch in the big hat behind the counter with wife Roxa.