Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Racing Fatality

Motorcycle racing is a very dangerous sport which attracts only those who dare. The sport is most common among the young and reckless and it is not uncommon for promising young racers to get martyred on the tarmac or dirt. The race track took another life today in Costa Rica. American freestyle motocross racer Jeremy Lusk (24), succombed to his head injuries today, two days after a serious crash, while attempting a backflip during a competition.

A high-achiever motocross rider, Lusk had a successful 2008 season during which he won a gold medal at the 2008 X Games, and silver in Best Trick when he landed the first double-grab Hart Attack backflip. He won a bronze helmet in Freestyle at the Moto X World Championships in his hometown of San Diego. Here is a video of his crash taken from Youtube.

Motorsports is thrilling and gives one the rush of adrenalin which most other mainstream competitive sports give. But this rush is intimately attached to the possibility of severe and at times fatal injuries to the participant, however good he/ she is. Life hangs in balance when one gets astride the metal steed and revs up the engine to enter the arena of motocross. If one comes out alive and unscathed then he/ she gets to live another day and ride another course, otherwise.... well... otherwise... the rider becomes a memory like Jeremy Lusk became two days ago....

Monday, February 09, 2009

Fort Richardson - The site of Native American-European conflicts

I haven't been able to blog for quite sometime, since I have been caught up with academics. But here goes a brief blog about Fort Richardson which I visited about 10 days ago. Fort Richardson State Park, in Jacksboro, Tx, sited about 85 miles from DFW Metroplex, is one of those places where one can experience the real wild western side of Texas. These are places which very few people outside US would have heard about, much less visited. According to local history and the information available at the "Park Interpretative Center" this was apparently the site the very bloody "Indian Wars" (I would call it "Massacre of Native Americans by Colonizing White people").
When I heard about Fort Richardson, I imagined that there would be a fort like the ones we find in India. High ramparts with several bastians surrounding the perimeter of the fort and canons all over. But when we finally got there after meandering our way through miles and miles of empty flat lands I was pretty disappointed to know that there was no fort indeed. It is just a vast open space like any other plain in Texas with a few old (less than 200 years) buildings.
But I must give credit to Texas Parks and Wildlife who have made this place worthy of a picnic, hike and outing in general. There are hiking trails with boulders which could be explored, the creek which slices through the terrain leads to a dam where one could enjoy a swim during the hot Texas Summer months...
This is definitely not the place for those who seek history... it is only a place to feel the vastness of Texas and enjoy hiking in the wilderness. Some of the remaining buildings of the Fort are posted below.

Entrance to the Park

The interpretation center which also houses a small museum

Hospital building - where wounded white soldiers were cared for - there is a morgue behind it also

The Bakery of the Fort

Another picture of the Hospital

The Guard House - or whatever remains of it

This place was a limestone quarry, now filled up with rain water

Quarry lake - another view