Truck flips on hiking trail

The scene on Alice In Wonderland Trail above Ashland got curiouser and curiouser Monday afternoon. A new Nissan four-door pickup, all scratched and dinged up, sat wheels-over-roof at the bottom of a long, steep, very narrow, ditch-like gully, a couple hundred yards away from any road.
People were wondering how on earth it could have gotten there, let alone upside down. And someone had apparently tried to jack it up with timbers, to no avail.
Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara on Tuesday said someone, somehow had extracted the truck from the maze of narrow switchbacks around the junction of Alice, Bandersnatch and Jubjub trails.
Tire tracks showed the damaged vehicle was driven or rolled or towed through fallen timbers and boulders, then went down the embankment, smashing onto the Loop Road surface.
O’Meara said his officers found it on the Loop Road (above the Morton and Terrace Street junctions) and it was towed Tuesday morning. It was rented from Enterprise and was “totaled,” he said.
A driver’s name was not immediately available. Enterprise declined to name any driver, as part of their privacy policy. O’Meara said mid-day investigators did not have the name of a driver yet, but added that when they identify him, “we will be arresting someone. They were driving a vehicle on the pedestrian city trail system,” and that alone is illegal.
A crew from Ashland Parks & Recreation inspected the Alice trail Tuesday morning, expressing surprise there was so little damage to the trail — just tire tracks, deep in some places, and some safety glass left at the site where it rested upside-down.
One of the crew remarked, “You look at something like this, scratch your head and have to say, ‘now how could this possibly happen?’ If nobody got killed, they must have been really hammered.”
The crew traced tire tracks going west on Alice, which is a wide, flat trail along the ridge paralleling Loop Road. It gets suddenly steep, then veers right down a steep, eroded, boulder-strewn gully, which the driver apparently bravely (or foolishly) tried to navigate with wheels perched way up the gully walls. Finally, a considerable boulder near the bottom of the gully flipped the vehicle.
A tipster Monday reported it to the Tidings, noting it “looked like it dropped out of the sky” — or perhaps down through a rabbit hole.
— John Darling is an Ashland freelance writer. Reach him at

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