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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Expect The Unexpected

When you live in the mountains you need to always expect the unexpected.  Yesterday I was headed down (accessed from outside) to the basement and saw this pickup truck drive by which is a shock since we don't get traffic on our road in the winter.  The sun was out and it was bright with the sun reflecting off the snow.  The driver either did not see the pile of snow across the road which was about two feet deep or thought he could drive through it. As it turns out he was heading down to a lot he had bought to check it out.  Being from out of state he would not know how difficult our roads can be in the winter.  What was not apparent is that only the top two inches of snow was fresh and the pile of snow where the road equipment had stopped plowing was mostly ice. With our temperatures getting up to the 50's in the day and dropping to 5 degrees at night it was pretty solid. It made a nice ramp to launch his truck from.  The front of the truck went over the solid bank of ice and the left front wheel came down in the ditch. Even though it was a four wheel drive the four wheel drive would not engage with the truck twisted at an odd angle like that.

The right rear wheel is the only one that would engage and it was off the ground just enough to keep from gaining traction.  Besides it had to pull the heavy part of the truck backwards out of the ditch.  After numerous cell phone calls to get some heavy equipment to pull the truck out or hire a tow truck it was pretty obvious no one was going to respond.  I knew my vehicles were not strong enough to pull a crew cab truck out of the ditch with ice on the road.  We had been shoveling some of the ice and snow from the rear of the truck and after a few hours of waiting there was nothing left to do but shovel out the rest of the truck.  We took turns shoveling which was not easy for a person not used to the altitude. I have a steel choker that is 60 feet long and a two ton come along.  We were able to winch the truck just far enough to get it level again where the four wheel drive finally engaged. After that he was out but we had spent most of the day waiting, shoveling,talking and winching.

When you live in the mountains it pays to be aware that conditions can be different even quarter of a mile away.  We finally got him shoveled out (some of the hardest shoveling I've done in a while) and he was back on his way. My reward was seeing a relieved and happy face.  The good thing was that I got to meet a very nice man and got some needed exercise in the process. A few folks in our community will not lift a finger to help anyone who is not their closest friend.  Most others will not leave someone stranded. In my opinion it is the right and neighborly thing to do and I'm glad he got stuck where he did as it would have been much harder and far more dangerous to get him unstuck  had he gone on down the road a ways.  Living in the mountains you really never know what to expect and a routine day can turn into an adventure in short order. My day really improved in being able to meet a very nice man. Mountain conditions require constant alertness and always being prepared. This incident turned out well but could have very serious had it not happened where it did. Mountain motto - always be prepared.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very well said Bruce ...that goes for not only your neck of the woods but many others. Being neighborly to all is an almost forgotten thing today. At least I see very few comments about.Really nice to see something positive!