Friday, May 2, 2014

Stuck on a Washed out Road

I really wanted to go up to Tower Camp today to see what all of this rain has done to the creek. The Island King hemmed and hawed and finally decided he didn't want to go. He had errands to run so he left in his truck, which left me at home with no car.

Mine is dead – which is an entirely different story.

But the Island Girl was here and she said she wanted to go so the two of us took her car.

In hindsight, that wasn't the best idea because her car has about 3 inches clearance and even some speed bumps scrape the undercarriage.

But when you have no car and really want to go somewhere you don't car about riding in a go-kart. You just want to go.

We did fine until we left the pavement and headed into the woods. There are two small creeks between us and camp and I knew there was a possibility those bridges would be out but I figured we'd go see and if they were out we could turn around and come in another way.

At first, things weren't looking too bad.

But the farther we drove the more washed out the road became. I was really wishing we were in the truck but at that point we were there so Damn the Torpedos and Full Speed Ahead.

Well, not full speed. Crawling along is more like it but we were still moving forward.

The road kept getting worse but the one advantage to being in a tiny car was that we fit in a lot of the washouts and were able to drive pretty easy in the path the water left behind.

We drove on past Tower Camp so we could see the bridge that crosses our creek. The bridge was nice and stable but it was obvious it had been underwater.

And then the road stopped. I could see tire tracks around the giant hole but they were obviously from a truck and I certainly wasn't taking the tiny car that way.

So we turned around and went to Tower Camp.

The washout there was amazing and I'll put up a video as soon as I get it edited.

We left camp and decided to go back a different way so we could take a look at Bone Creek.

Which turned out to be a bad decision. Not far from camp, I hit some soft sand but figured as long as I didn't let off the gas I'd get to the other side and be fine.

I under estimated just how far the soft sand went and it wasn't long before we were stuck.

One second we were moving and the next we were at a complete stop and sinking fast.

Did you know that you can actually feel the frame of a car settle down onto the ground?

The Island Girl is looking at me and I'm thinking that I have got to get this car unstuck without having to call the Island King because I would NEVER live that down.

I decided to try digging out the tires and jamming wood and debris under them would be a good way to start so we went on a hunt – in the forest – for some sticks.

But because of the monsoon, every stick, palmetto branch, leaf and twig has been washed away and the ground is bare.

The irony of this wasn't lost on either of us.

I found 3 sticks and a 2x4. Ok, well, what's in the trunk? Oh good – a bungee cord and 2 towels.

So, we have 3 sticks, a 2x4, a bungee cord and 2 towels. Things were not looking good.

We did try and dig the tires out and jam our piddly pieces of wood under them, then she reversed while I pushed, causing absolutely nothing to happen.

It was starting to get dark and I didn't see any option but to call the Island King. Well, I made my daughter call him because I just wasn't in the mood for “I told you so” at that moment.

She sent him a picture of the buried tire and he told her he was on his way.


And he's an hour away. We were stuck on a stretch of road that has been having some problems with meth labs lately and I was starting to get nervous. We weren't far from camp so I debated walking back and leaving the car there until he arrived but at the same time the car was in the middle of the road and it just seemed wrong to walk away and leave a car in the middle of the road.
Even if the road is only passable with 4x4.

As I was deciding this we saw headlights come over the hill.

This could be good or bad so I tell the Island Girl to stand behind me and not say a word. She doesn't know about the meth problem they're having in that area so she doesn't get why I'm not necessarily glad to see another vehicle.

A truck crawled towards us and I could see a normal couple through the windshield. I don't have any first hand knowledge of meth heads but from the pictures I've seen they don't look like a normal couple in a nice truck.

I didn't let my guard down at all but when he stopped and offered to help I agreed.

He has a big 4x4 truck and a tow rope – things are looking up.

A second truck showed up and that guy seemed ok too so the next thing I know him and the first guy are in charge. Thank goodness. I 've been stuck in our truck but the truck has a shovel, ropes, chains, big tires and a lot of clearance.

The second guy asked if “our pumpkin was stuck” and never referred to the car as anything but a pumpkin. We're still not sure what that means but we're thinking it was more of an insult than a compliment. He was nice about it so we didn't care.

The Island King called right then so we told him the situation and he immediately wanted to talk to the guy.

Meanwhile, the car is indeed, buried to the frame, so we dig out the back and start looking for something to hook the tow rope on.

And found NOTHING.

We were all shocked to find that there isn't one place under the back of her car that isn't plastic.

The Island King gets frustrated and tells the guy to tie the rope to the back axle and that he didn't give a damn if it broke the bumper.

That kind of freaked the Island Girl out – it being her car and all – so I told the guys that we do have AAA and that maybe I could just call a tow truck.

When they stopped laughing they told me that IF a tow truck was willing to come down that road at all he would get stuck pulling us out. Then they would need to send a bigger truck and it would most likely get stuck too.

The guy with the tow strap said “I think this is your only shot.”

Remember Damn the Torpedoes? Here we are again.

“Alright then, tie that baby up and yank her out.”

I reassured her that getting out was the priority and that anything broken could be fixed.

It's kind of sad that I was able to blatantly lie to my own child's face like that. I had no idea what was fixing to happen to her car but I knew that we didn't have a lot of choices on the table.

I just hoped he didn't snatch the entire underside out from under the car. That would be a lot harder to fix than a broken bumper.

That poor man dug his way through the clay under her car to the axle and tied the strap on and we were ready to proceed.

There was no going forward so he had to pull me back out – which means this will all happen backwards. I never have done backwards well but off we went.

The guy pulling me was worried when I got free I would back into his truck so the other guy stood between us telling me when to stop.

Once we were all hooked up we were out in no time.

I can NOT tell you how glad I was to be out of there.

We had to navigate the washed out road back to the highway which was challenging in the dark but we made it.

Thank you SO much to the 2 men who helped us!!!

And thanks to the Island Girl – I had fun!

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