MUSG Trip Report


Hell's Glade
March 23, 2003
by Steven Cummings

I woke up in the morning, not too early, not too late. It was a beautiful day, great weather and such. I was in a good mood because today I was going to go caving, and that's always good right? Nothing could prepare me or those other ever so lucky adventurous spirits going on the trip for what was to come next.

Things started to go awry from the very start. Everyone who was going on the trip to Glade showed up behind Burruss like normal, except we were missing our experienced and fearless leaders, Rian and Bubba. When they did show, it seemed that they had some complications going on in there lives that made it impossible to attend the trip today. We all started feeling depressed, but then thought, why did we need them anyway? Two of us (myself and Chris) had been to Glade before, and it's not exactly that difficult to navigate. All we needed was a car since we had 6 people going and directions to Glade. Rian volunteered her vehicle since she felt guilty about not being able to make the trip, and Chris and I had a vague idea as to the whereabouts of the cave.

We drove what we thought the route was to Glade to the best of our memory, heading into the farmland areas surrounding Harrisonburg on back roads, looking for rocks in the ground that formed the entrance. Chris was driving the car in front with Ally and Nicole, and I was following with Allison and Ashley, just cruising and minding our own business. Then the unthinkable happened?(scary and dramatic music plays in the background)?as we followed Chris around a curve, all three of us screamed simultaneously "Oh Shit!!!" as we watched in horror whilst the other car careened out of control, spinning and flipping until finally losing its momentum, coming to rest upside down in a stream.

As you can imagine, the three of us were completely sketched out and feared for the worst. I slammed on the brakes, screeching to a halt a short distance from the wreck. One of the girls went for a cell phone in the trunk while the other and I ran over to help the potentially injured (or worse) victims. We found them hanging upside down by their seatbelts above the roof of the car which was filling with water. Had they not clambered out on their own, or had the car been burning and on the brink of a catastrophic explosion, I would have heroically pulled them from the extremely dangerous and volatile situation with my superhuman powers, despite all risks to my own well being. In any case, they were all in good health, though I would hate to think what would have happened had they not been wearing the seatbelts (let that be a lesson to all you reckless daredevils out there).

As if this was not bad enough in itself, when we decided to drive to find a police station (since the one we called gave an ambiguous answer as to whether or not someone was actually coming) we found that Rian's car's tire had popped. It appears that as I skidded on the gravel while braking in order to get to the people in the wrecked car fast, the tire was somehow punctured. After wrestling with the jack for a while and then using it to raise the car (which was a bitch by the way) we managed to put on the donut. These spare tires are much smaller than normal and are only made for around 50 miles, but as you will see later we put many more than that on it. It was very obvious at this point that we were not going caving.

Now, before I continue with this extremely interesting recount of the trip, Chris has asked me to describe the scene of the accident so he doesn't "look like as much a tool." The road leading to the site is a 55 mph zone, though we proceeded at 45 mph since we didn't know the area well. As we climbed a hill that led to the infamous curve, there were no signs warning drivers to take caution. This is not good as the hill blinds drivers to the oncoming curve to the left, as it did with us. In addition to all of these hazards, the pavement making up the road is covered with gravel, lessening the traction on its surface. All of these ingredients spell a recipe for disaster, and we are not the only ones to get a taste. According to the locals with whom we held conversation after the accident, an average of 2 crashes happen within 50 feet of that spot every year. The record for crashes in a single day is 4, occurring on a New Years Eve. Why this spot has not been laden down with warning signs and reduced speed limits is beyond the knowledge of anyone alive today.

All of the events told thus far happened within 1 hour; however the survivors of this death trap were forced to endure 8 more hours of boredom and time consuming labors in order to rectify the state of affairs, so I will try to relay the remaining part of the tale in as brief a manner as I feel like. To make a long story short, no emergency vehicles showed up for 2 and a half hours, then bringing 2 fire trucks and 2 ambulances (in case their were still injured people alive and fires burning). They didn't have any vehicles capable of towing out the car, so they called in a huge flat bed truck with some chains, wrapped up the wreck, and dragged it out of the river. Needless to say the damage to the car totaled it. During this long process when most of the crew was hanging around the crash site, I was out driving around in Rian's car (with the donut) doing all sorts of stuff like searching for police, dropping people off at JMU, searching for places to fix a flat tire, and getting lost as I have no knowledge of the Harrisonburg area. The quest for fixing the spare was especially great since NOTHING is open on Sundays, except for Wal-Mart, though they completely jewed me (pardon my non-PCness) by closing their "Lube and Tire" center early. Anyway, I ended up putting around 150 miles on Rian's spare, in spite of its repeated attempts to thwart me by running out of air.

With all of these dramatic and traumatic things happening, you'd think this story had a really bad ending. I could make one up and say that just before midnight aliens came in, anally raped all of us, then killed my dog and left making it officially the worst day ever, but that didn't really happen unless they erased our memory and my ass hurt the next from the rapege and not that cucumber like I thought. However, I'm mostly sure that didn't happen, and that everyone miraculously turned out to be okay, Rian got her tire fixed, and hopefully Chris will get a nice fat insurance check to buy a new car so we can blow that one up too. Just remember in the future to be cautious when approaching Glade the Destroyer.