Day 1129 – Far As I Know
So where was i? Oh, right:
I came around a steeply descending bend and found several dirt bikes, two ATVs and a small crowd of people all standing around a large chevy four-door pickup that was buried to the door panels in a very large snow drift.
I shut off the engine and joined the group.
“Got any chains?”
“Got rope or a winch?”
“How’se about a big jack?”
We all talked and mused a bit about the predicament, but there really wasn’t all that much to be done. We were all woefully under-equipped. The truck was severely hung up on the undercarriage and since it was good ol’ American Iron (i.e. one-wheel drive) the left rear wheel was simply spinning free. I don’t think any power was being transfered to any other wheels.
But then i remembered the tie-down straps i had. They were only about an inch wide, but they were long enough to loop from the tow-hook on the front of my truck to the trailer hitch on the back of the stuck rig about four times. I positioned my truck and hooked them up.
Amazingly the straps held through two sessions of pulling. My little truck with the limited slip front differential and the likewise limited slip transfer case proceeded to dig four holes, one under each wheel, as i ground backwards in 4 lo reverse. But despite my best efforts the stuck truck didn’t so much as budge. Nothing.
More standing around and head-scratching ensued. I enjoy listening to folks i meet out in the bush. I mean, it’s the great equalizer, nature. Rich man’s money loses value in the bush. One energetic guy who was there on a dirt bike tried digging in and around both trucks and pointed out “you might have the smaller truck, but you’ve got the one that’s not stuck. That makes you the man of the situation.”
No joy. The big truck was just too far buried in. We only had one small shovel, no winches, no chains, no rope and no jack.
“Well, i’m heading back to Boise so i can give you a lift,” i offered to the crowd. I still didn’t know who was attached to the stuck truck and who was on the ATVs, etc. Turns out it was just one man and his son who were in the truck.
“So, you think i can get around you?”
“Doesn’t much matter,” said one of the ATV guys. “Road’s completely washed out ’bout a mile down. Couldn’t even get trough on our machines.”
Crap! Can’t go forward, no chance of turning around. That meant once again i’d have to go back up a freaking washed out goat-path with snow drifts and mud backwards.
But, after the conversations between the impromptu friends died away i slowly started my backwards climb. Foot by foot i crawled along dreading the v-shaped washouts. Like most vehicles my approach angle was worse from the rear and i fully expected the rear bumper to auger into the far side of the little gully. But to my complete amazement the truck just dropped down and rolled right up the other side of both nasty washouts. I only got disoriented once, turning the steering wheel in the very wrong direction toward the drop-off. Fortunately i was traveling slowly enough to correct before the right rear tire lost contact with the ground, but it was a wake-up call.
After about ten minutes that went on for hours i reached a large hairpin with enough room to turn around. The father and son who were on foot caught up to me and we loaded up and crawled up the rest of the way to the ridge. We only had one moment of fear when i became stuck in the first (now the last) snow drift. However, i managed to slow-crawl my way forward and out. Good truck.
The ride back down was uneventful though long and bumpy. We passed the dirt bike guy who was camped at the reservoir for the evening. He must have told all his buddies because they all shouted and waved as we sped by.
The last bit of excitement was being stopped by the Boise County Sheriff in the 25mph zone near the “silver shores” marina. I was traveling well above the limit. But after running my license and our explaining the circumstances he let us all off with a stern and sensible warning. But he added “hell of a nice thing you’re doing” as he walked back to his truck. It was another “feel good” moment of the day. The father called his wife once we past the Diversion Dam (where cell services begins or ends depending on your direction) and told her to meet us at my house. She showed about 10 minutes after we arrived.
But i’m a bit bummed that i have to say, as far as i know, i don’t know how or if he got his truck out of the snow. He took one of my cards, but i’ve not heard… i’m left to wonder how it all played out. I’m thinking about buying a winch.