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Bingham's Hill YJA 2017

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posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 03:18 PM
We had just about gotten to the top of the hill. It was pretty hard going, and both Ward and I were sucking for air. The go-kart was fun and all, at least when the motor was running, but it seemed like it weighed as much as our old cow when the engine was dead. The flat tires weren’t helping either. I’d warned Ward ahead of time we shouldn’t try to go down the hill to begin with, but Ward never listened. In fact, I think any sort of caution from me to him was always received more like a dare.

“Ward, I wouldn’t pick that rock up from the campfire no matter how cool it looks, it’s probably really hot!”


“I tried to tell ya, Ward, but did ya listen???” It was always like this with Ward.

Anyway, the story of how we had gotten to the bottom of the “hill” which, from the bottom, looked like Mt. Rainier was actually quite a tale. We’d have plenty of time to mull over the different versions of the events on the way back up…pushing the go-kart. According to Ward things started to go haywire right about the time we broke the sound barrier. I reminded Ward that the sonic sounding boom he’d heard was actually the engine self-destructing right behind us. Testing out the new fuel concoction on flat ground would have been just fine, but no, we had to try to break multiple records all at the same time.

“You know Ward, I don’t think we really needed to actually add the fuel to the gas tank and really use it to run the motor.” I said. “I think we could have just put it in a coffee can and put a match to it and used it like rocket fuel”.

Ward thought for a moment, always a dangerous thing, and replied, “Yeah, I’m pretty sure adding all that magnesium to it probably didn’t help, but I’m already thinking about some mixture revisions.”

(Gawd help us!) I thought to myself, as I reached up to see if I could touch my face now. A few minutes ago the windburn on my face had made it too painful to touch. I mean the ‘g’ forces of the acceleration alone had made me realize the helmet I was wearing was pointless, so I’d taken it off to reduce the drag. At least this way I could hold my head up straight, rather than looking straight up at the sky, and perhaps even see the boulder, parked car or tree which would be our demise. I also took a moment to make sure all my parts were still attached. All was good except for the scorched jean jacket and a missing glove.

The idea started out simple enough. Well, not really, but we won’t get into that. Ward had a go-kart, and to a 10 year old, anyone who had a go-kart was cool…no matter how crazy he was. And Ward was crazy with a capital “C”! I could never tell Mom I was going over to Ward’s house because she’d get all exited and all of a sudden remember 10 different chores which needed taken care of right away. Funny about that.

Now the go-kart itself wasn’t much. I mean it rolled, sort of, and it did have an engine, sometimes, and it steered, kind of. It sat two and really that’s all that counted. Ward always had to steer it a little to the left because left alone it liked to drive in circles (which is a whole other story!).

Ward had gotten a chemistry set for his birthday (big mistake) earlier that week and he’d been working on making some experimental fuel for the go-kart. It started off with some simple gasoline and some apple-jack moonshine Dad had in the back of the shed. From there Ward just added stuff (randomly) from his chemistry set until we had a mixture that glowed and was surely highly toxic. It wasn’t really a liquid, and it wasn’t really a solid…and it wasn’t really a gas either. The experimental fuel was kind of like all three rolled into one. This was gonna’ be great!, I thought to myself. If things worked out even remotely close to how we’d planned we’d break our Earthly bounds and be on our first test flight to the stars.

“Ward, why don’t we start the go-kart up while we’re still close to your house, so in case it doesn’t work….?” I asked.

“’Fraid it might catch the garage on fire! You ‘member the turbo incident, right?” He said.

“Yeah, how could I ever forget that episode!!!”

Ward must have been very concerned about this new experimental fuel because we were now pretty far from his house. In fact, we were almost all the way to the top of Bingham’s hill.

“Ward, if we don’t start now we won’t be able to get it stopped before we get to Bingham’s hill” I told him.

“Yeah, I’m thinkin’ we just start right at the top and go down it! It’ll be a blast!” (he was more right than he knew).

After it became clear my exited pleas were not going to change his mind we set about the task of preparing go-kart for the test. “Saftey harnesses?” “Yep, got some rope, check” “Fire extinguisher?” “Nope, left it in the garage, too much weight anyway” “Helmets?” “Yep, got my WWI German helmet with the spike on top, and there’s your plastic pretend motorcycle helmet…we’re good!”

Now Bingham’s hill was quite the hill. We could have probably coasted down that hill at 80mph or so. Testing the new experimental fuel while going down Bingham’s hill was a death-wish if I ever saw one. Ward had really outdone himself this time!

Surprisingly the engine started right up on the first pull. There were no explosions or flames so I guess that was a good sign. After some minor duct tape work to one of the engine mounts we were ready to go. We both hopped on, roped ourselves in, put our helmets on and found things to hang onto. This was gonna’ be fun!

Everything started off normally enough, in hindsight I guess there must have been some residual fuel in the gas tank and carb. Ward released the brake (his tennis shoe) and off we went. I don’t know if the motor was really even pushing us at the start, we were really more just rolling down Bingham’s hill. Then just past the crest of the steepest part I heard this shrieking wail. It was after this point were things got a little fuzzy.

I’m not sure if the shrieking I’d heard was Ward, me, both of us…or the engine. I wish we’d had some kind of a ‘g’ meter because I’m pretty sure we hit about 25 ‘g’s in the first second or two. The shrieking had now turned into a deafening roar. The road in front of us started narrowing to a single point. I think at one point we might have even gone backwards in time for a bit. My neck was now bent backwards at 90 degrees and I was looking straight up at the sky. The visor on the helmet was a really bad idea. I used my one free hand to undo the strap on the helmet and it vanished into the smoke and flames behind us. No need for that anymore! Like I said I think we went back in time a bit because I think we passed my old dog who had gone to doggie heaven a couple years before. Right when we started to enter the next dimension we passed my older sister when she was younger than me (shoulda’ stopped so I could have given her a wedgie). I think we were just about warp speed when there was this gigantic BOOOOOOM!!!!

Ward was screaming and crying and I was paralyzed on the verge of losing consciousness. Everything was a blur. Then, all of a sudden, there was another BOOOOM!!! Suddenly we were going sideways, then backwards, then sideways again…and this went on for what seemed like a couple hours or so. In retrospect a drogue chute probably would have been a good idea, but oh well.

edit on 3/1/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 03:20 PM
“WOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOooooo!!!” Ward said. “We broke the sound barrier!!”

“Well, I’m not so sure Ward, but we definitely broke the motor, and it feels like we lost a wheel too” I advised him.

By this point we had slowed down to a couple hundred miles per hour, and the spinning had all but stopped. I could hear a shower of metal parts coming off the back of the kart and could the distinct smell of burnt hair.

“Ward, I think your hair is on fire!” I yelled over the rumbling, clanking and scraping.

We came to an abrupt stop right at the bottom of the hill as we bumped into a fallen log. Neither of us spoke at first. I was certain we were either dead, or so badly mangled we’d be goners in a few minutes. For my part I just sat there mouth wide open with a 1,000 yard stare on my face. I think I’d have probably sat there in shock for the rest of the afternoon had it not been for my mutt, Fella, who came running up, jumped on my chest and started furiously licking my face. “DAD, you’re alive!!!”

Now for some reason Ward had found a seat for his go-kart with that old style tuck and roll upholstery, you know, the kind with the little buttons all over it. As I stood up about a dozen of the little buttons fell off the back of my pants. I guess in my terrified state my butt-cheeks had been pinching the buttons off the upholstery on the way down. The seat was picked clean all around me. Yep, we were movin’ along pretty good!

After we put ourselves back together (mentally) we started picking up parts. They were scattered everywhere. The go-kart was now really just a metal frame with a smoldering engine mount on it. It was going to be a long walk to the top of the hill. A really long walk.

I never looked at Bingham's hill quite the same way after that.

Right about then Ward said, “Hey….I’ve got a really good idea for next time….”


posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 10:35 PM
Nice, I was really immersed!

posted on Mar, 1 2017 @ 11:15 PM
a reply to: LucidWarrior

Thanks. I thought it might be fun to put a little different spin on things than the sinister or macabre. A different twist maybe.

posted on Mar, 8 2017 @ 04:05 PM
Well that was fun! Nice writing, FCD!

posted on Mar, 9 2017 @ 11:25 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Ward is the kind of mate who just makes life fun

posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 06:15 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

What a trip!

I've always enjoyed your stories (fiction AND nonfiction).

posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 06:31 AM
a reply to: TNMockingbird

Thanks, TN, and thanks for bumping many of the stories back up. It seems some get stickied and others don't.

Kinda makes one wonder why. (not that mine has any chance of winning anyway)

Anyway, I appreciate the nice sentiments.

edit on 3/11/2017 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 11 2017 @ 06:39 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Ahh, you are more than welcome!

I try to read them in the middle of the night or early early in the morning so my 'spamming' the board with comments and such won't annoy too many.
Why would I care? I dunno...

Don't want to wake the beasts perhaps

I posted a msg in the contest thread. I think folks get busy and if a story gets lost on page 2, they (the mods) may not see it themselves. I love the participation this time around, for sure.

You DO have a very good chance. The 'writer's' not so much as the Mason has run away with it again LOL.

I have fun playing along now.

posted on Mar, 12 2017 @ 07:35 AM
a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

Bit of fun that read. Put a smile on my dial.

kind regards

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