After a long day in Point Washington State Forest we were tired and hungry so we headed home.
But we needed to stop by the grocery store to pick up something for dinner.
Not a problem. We'll swing in, grab some bacon (am I the only one who loves having breakfast for dinner?) and then home we'll go.
The Island King was still a little pumped from spending all day in 4WD mode and as we were pulling out of the parking lot he decided to make a quick detour.
Next to the grocery store is a huge sandbowl.
Up a dune, down into the bowl and you've reached 4WD heaven. There are trails leading out of the bowl, into pretty much the only wooded, natural area left in Destin.
It's a popular place. Lots of trucks run through there on a regular basis.
Whether this activity is legal or not I don't know. There are no No Trespassing signs anywhere to be seen. At one point some sandfencing was put up across several of the entrances but that's long gone. Torn down by 4wheelers wanting in? Don't know.
So as we're leaving the grocery store the Island King gets a big smile on his face, throws the truck into 4WD and aims straight for the hill.
The boys have never been up in there and when they realized what was happening they were over the moon excited.
We leave the pavement pull up the hill through the sand a few yards and the truck stops moving.
If you've ever been stuck in soft sand you know that just after your vehicle stops moving you can actually feel the vehicle sinking. Settling in.
And we definitely settled in.
The boys haven't realized what's happening and are yelling "Faster Dad!" "Why are we stopping? Keep going!"
But the Island King and I knew why we weren't moving. He looked at me and I looked at him and then both of us cracked up. We haven't laughed that hard in a long time.
The boys still haven't figured out what's going on so I turned around and said "We're stuck"
Neither of them have ever been stuck before and the looks on their faces made me laugh even harder.
The Oldest asked if he could get out and his Dad said "You might as well - I think we're going to be here a while."
And there we were. Stuck halfway up the entrance to the bowl but still pretty much right in the middle of Winn Dixie parking lot.
People were driving by staring, pointing and laughing at the idiots stuck on the side of the dune.
We've been in the middle of the woods all day, driven through a very questionable mud puddle and where do we get stuck? In the grocery store parking lot for all the world to see.
So we started figuring out how to get the truck unstuck.
We rocked it a little.
The boys all got in front of the truck and pushed while I tried to drive us out in reverse.
Which just dug us in deeper.
We did quite a bit of digging
But we had no shovel and soft sand just falls back into the hole unless you move it away from the hole.
The Island King's brother, who has everything needed to pull us out is out of town and my FIL who could pull us out isn't answering his phone.
We've been here long enough now and so many people have seen us that I realize that it's about time for the police to show up. And of course once they do we'll know for sure whether this is legal activity or not.
We decide that our only option is to start digging and dig a trench behind each tire - all the way out to the road.
Which I'm pretty sure is going to take a while.
The digging began and I was now positive we were going to be here most of the night.
We'd been digging for just a couple of minutes when a good Samaritan pulled up in a gold truck.
And to his credit he didn't say "Are y'all stuck?"
He told us he only had 2WD but that if we had a tow rope long enough he could pull us out from the pavement.
Luckily, a tow rope lives in the back of the truck and we were able to hook the two trucks together.
A little reverse from our truck combined with a little forward from the other truck and we were back on solid ground.
Once our good Samaritan left the Island King stood there looking at the hill.
We'd just been up there a few days ago but we didn't have the kids with us or a bunch of stuff in the back and he'd come in more from the side and a little faster.
He said "Ok, I know what I did wrong so I think if we come at it from the same direction we did the other day we'll get up there with no problem"
I hate to be a spoil sport but I let him and the boys know real fast that we were putting the truck back in 2WD and going straight home - on the road.
They were disappointed but hungry and there wasn't a lot of fussing from any of them.
We can try the hill again but that will have to wait for another day.
UPDATE: The next morning the Island King crawled under his truck, did some poking around and realized that the CV joint is busted and because of that 4WD won't engage. No wonder we sunk like a rock. We might as well have tried to drive my mini-van up that hill.
The good news is that it can be fixed.
The better news is that I wasn't driving when it broke because I would NEVER have heard the end of that one.