Saturday, November 21, 2020

Fiona is Gone

 Thursday, November 19

So, Fiona is toast.  Literally.

I was riding back from taking pictures of a beautiful sunset, after a near perfect day of riding on Yagi, and about a mile away from the campsite, I heard a "pop", looked down and the left carburetor's fuel line was on fire!

I immediately stopped and killed the engine, and attempted to put out the fire using dirt from the road.  Before I even the second scoop of dirt on the fire, I heard a "whomp" and the whole rig was on fire!

I couldn't even get near the tug to get at my tank bag which had my phone and camera...all I could do was watch it all burn.

Once I was sure that nearby vegetation wasn't going to catch on fire, I jogged/walked back to the campsite to retrieve Yagi, the TW200 and the URRV's fire extinguisher.  

The rig's front and rear tires, snowmen shock absorber rubber housings, and the spare tire were all still burning when I returned to the rig.  The fire extinguisher didn't last very long but did put out some of the fire in the trunk and sidecar.  The tires continued to burn, and eventually I got enough dirt on them that the fires went out completely.


Still, I wasn't far from the campsite and I wasn't injured except for a couple of small burns that I got while trying to put out the fire.

I got back on Yagi, rode the 3 miles to the Shell Gas Station near the I-8 exit and borrowed the clerk's phone to call 911 to report a vehicle fire and to let Martha know what had happened.

Once the Sheriff's Deputy and the Volunteer Fire Department showed up, I led them to poor Fiona in the dark.  The deputy filled out a report, and the crew from the volunteer fire station helped me push the rig off the dirt road and onto the side so it wouldn't be a traffic hazard.

The firefighters and the deputy sheriff were quite amazed at the damage, I'm sure Fiona provided quite the entertainment factor for them that night.  We all tried and make light of the situation with humor, which helped.

No pics of course, since my camera and phone were burned up.

Friday, November 20

Woke early and headed into town to search for an eventually find a place to buy a prepaid "burner" phone in order to have commo, coordinate Fiona's removal from the military reservation, and call the respective insurance companies.

Got back to Fiona to see what tools I could recover and for pics in daylight using the prepaid phone's camera.

Got hold of the insurance company, they arranged for a local shop to come out ( I met them at the highway and guided them in ) and they took Fiona's remains to be eventually taken elsewhere and I'm sure disposed of, I highly doubt they'll try to repair.

Lots of mixed feelings about this incident.  I'm going to miss the power of Fiona's BMW engine.  I won't miss her klunky Russian gearbox which was slowly going south.  Her wiring was a bit of a puzzle due to the PO having completely replaced the stock wire harness with his own wires, all the same color so kind of hard to troubleshoot.

No idea what the insurance company will pay out, I imagine it won't be much.

I also have to file a claim with USAA for the camera and telephoto lens which burned up in the tank bag.

The iPhone 6 I'd been using the last few years is of course a melted slag as well, so I'll probably be ordering a Pixel phone and switching over to Android.  Sigh.

On the bright side, I only got slightly singed eyebrows from trying to reach the tank bag, and a couple of burn blisters while trying to put the fire out.

And no, I'll not be buying another Ural to have as a "spare" to Scarlett, my 2014 rig.


CCjon said...

Thank God you are okay. Things we replace easily, not cheap, but easily.

Would you take Scarlet into some of the places you put "crispy"? Do you think a two wheel drive is needed where you go?

redlegsrides said...

I've actually, CCjon, toned down the kind of terrain I'll take the rigs on....2WD is necessary on steep slopes with rocks or loose soil conditions ... too much strain on the pusher wheel otherwise in my opinion.

SonjaM said...

Martha gave a bit of a heads-up with regards to your situation which I really appreciated. I am so sorry for the loss of your rig but glad that it wasn't more than the material damage (apart from the singed eyebrows). Are you planning on getting your other Ural down to your current playground? Dom, my friend, take care out there, stay safe and stay well.

Coop a.k.a. Coopdway said...

Wow..and you're OK!! Lots to be thankful for my friend.

I've shared this with a couple of my Ural friends and their comments aligned with, "a rather drastic way to break the Ural Habit!"

Sorry for the equipment and possession loss but..a harsh reality reminder of what's important.

Barron said...

Dang! But glad you are okay. That's the most important thing.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks SonjaM, not sure what the next step will be but I doubt I'll go home to get Scarlett just to drive back down. Spending a few days in Phoenix at my FIL's place to get my act together and make a plan.

Coop, lots to be thankful for indeed. Ural habit? More like Ural addiction, but I think I'm sensing relief in that department.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Barron!

Andrew Thomson said...

Jeez Dom, that sucks! Glad that you got away with just a few burns.

Keep smiling!

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Andrew Thomson, it is what it is....and one must carry on.

Oz said...

That is crazy! What a story. So sorry about the incident, but so glad you are OK.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Oz

BeemerGirl said...

Omg! Thank god you are ok!! I’m so sorry that you experienced this, but sounds like you did some quick thinking. (And thank you to Martha for giving us the heads up that you were safe!) Take care, my friend!!! ❤️❤️

redlegsrides said...

Thanks BeemerGirl, though real quick thinking would have been me grabbing the tank bag off the tank to save my camera and phone....oh well.

Bluekat said...

Omg Dom! I’m glad you’re ok! Scary stuff.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Bluekat, definitely something I wasn't prepared for!

Al Christensen said...

Aw man. That sucks. At least it didn't catch fire in camp and burn up everything else.

redlegsrides said...

That would definitely have been worse, thanks for commenting Al.

Ken said...

OMG... glad that you are safe and sound. Must be a very hectic evening. Kind of wondering how have you been. Don't let this stopping you enjoying the nature.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Ken, all is well, still work with insurance company and their paperwork.

Mike Spille said...

OMG, Dom! Glad you are ok.

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Mike Spille.

redlegsrides said...

Deana Hop wrote:
Damn Dom, I'm sorry to hear this but VERY glad you are okay!

(I accidentally deleted instead of publishing Deana's comment above so posting it this way)

redlegsrides said...

Thanks Deana...still getting used to new phone.

Paul Stone said...

Wow , now that’s a story albeit not one with a happy ending. So sad to see that rig destroyed. Glad you ended up in one piece that’s a scary sight !

redlegsrides said...

Sad ending indeed, Paul Stone, thanks!