In a message dated 99-07-01 02:50:40 EDT, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
<< So, it's just a simple drive home in near total darkness, with me
My first experience with the Prince of Darkness went something like this:
Sometime before this occurred I received in the mail a survey asking if
I had experienced problems with the headlights on the TR6. Apparently others
had, and I should have taken this as a warning, but as I had not I didn't
give it much thought (maybe after all it was just another rumor of Triumph
unreliability being spread by the forces of darkness).
Being thus poorly armed and naive in the mysterious workings of Lucas
electric, my former college roomy and I set out for a camping and hiking trip
up the Dosewallips river in the Olympic National Park. (Tom had a Spitfire
when were in school and I wanted to show him what a six cylinder TR was like.
I got to drive his Spit on Watkins Glen one day years later, but that's
This became a wide ranging tour of the countryside. We drove through
Deception Pass and along the cliffs of Whidby Island where a hang glider was
sailing along on the updrafts. Got dead ended in a cul de sac where a Great
Dane (nice doggy, nice doggy) checked us out as we slowly turned around
amongst kids on trikes, bikes, etc. Took the ferry across the canal to Port
Townsend and drove along the canal to the small community of Brinnon.
Brinnon does not have much to offer, but for hiking trips it does have
a fine launching pad, and crash landing site, in the Gooey Duck Tavern. Now,
most non-locals think that a Geoduck, pronounced 'gooey duck' is just a duck
that's been out in the Seattle rain too long, or a cross between a duck and a
slug. For reference on gooey ducks see:
Having settled the trail dust, and seeing the sunlight fading, we head
up the park service road to the campground. The road begins as a paved two
lane road with painted center line, loses its center line and narrows a bit,
turns to gravel, narrows some more, then turns into a rut riven track. Having
been there before, we were well aware of the road conditions, but just hadn't
experienced them in a TR. It would just make for slow going. We were also
aware of a sharp corner in a narrow spot in the road that has the wall of a
cliff rising on the right and a drop into the falls of the river on the left
before you reach the campground. We were hoping to pass this point before
Driving in on the gravel portion of the road the headlights begin to
flicker. It's still twilight and through the trees there is barely enough
light to drive. I fiddle with the light switch and high beams as we drive
and the lights come back on. As we drive along there is a fellow hiker with
a pack on his back heading up river so we offer him a lift to the campground.
Hiker stuffs his pack behind the seats and sits up on the rear deck like a
beauty queen in a parade.
As we proceed, the road becomes rough and for the comfort of all, and
the well being of the hiker, we drive slowly. Good thing too, as now the
lights just plain quit. No amount of twisting or tweaking of the switches
brings them back. With a little discussion it is decided that the hiker will
point a flashlight in the general direction of travel, and away we go.
Coming around a corner in the road, in the light of the flashlight we
see a pair, then two, then three pairs of eyes. Red eyes. In the dark. The
eyes raise and lower, move around and move off down the road. Here we sit.
Top down , three in a TR, in the dark, with a flashlight, on a narrow winding
service road, with 'somethings' out there in front of us. We decide to wait
for them to move along and then continue, after more futile attempts to get
We drive down the road, turn a corner and there they are again. This
time we see them, three bear cubs. Where is mama bear?... We wait. They
amble on, stopping to turn around and rise up on their hind legs to look at
us. We wait. This game of catch up to the bears happens again and now we see
mama leading the cubs down the road.
We've changed flashlights, played tag with the bears, and have now
come to the corner with the wall and the cliff. What to do. We know they
are on the road, saw them go around the corner and once we make the turn
we're pretty much committed.
Half way up the hill, with the falls on the left, the wall on the
right and the corner behind us, there they are. Mama and her cubs. Enough is
enough. The hill is straight, we know that. We give them time to stroll up
the hill then blast the horn (to the consternation of all the campers trying
now to sleep), gun the engine, drop the clutch, almost toss the hiker
overboard and lurch up the hill from rut to rut.
The bouncing along causes the headlights to flicker to life and we see mama
and the little ones heading off into the trees.
I don't remember much about the hiking trip beyond that besides
landing hard at the Gooey Duck on the way home. Don't recall any problems
with the headlights after that either. Maybe Lucas has his own version of
Hope you enjoyed the tale. It is all true, I swear.
CF28955U erstwhile bear tracker, now MIA
CF22628U present TR6 and wife's pet