Boss Lady is obviously confused as to the nature of an adventure. Today she loaded me into the car for our maiden adventure with the new snow shoes and backpack. She thought we would head up to Moosalamoo because she was sure they'd have snow even though we don't. Plus, she was pretty sure there weren't any VAST (re: snowmobile) trails in Moosalamoo.
As you can imagine, I had myself all psyched up for a nice 2 hour romp in the snow. Why I ended up sitting in the car for 3 hours is beyond me. See, we left our house in the rain. According to the weather channel, there was only supposed to be a little rain at Moosalamoo. Normally we wouldn't hike in such inclement weather, but I really needed the exercise and Boss Lady really wanted to try out those new snow shoes. As predicted, it was only raining a little at Moosalamoo. And, as Boss Lady expected, there was plenty of snow. Too much snow, in fact, Or maybe just a driver with too few brains. Can you see what's going to happen to here?
Boss Lady was excited to find that the forest roads were mostly plowed. That is, most of the ones she needed to use were plowed. Not all of them, though. The last forest road, the one that leads to the trail head and summer (re: non-snowy weather) parking area, was not plowed. There were, however, tire tracks. Someone had managed to drive at least part of the way up the road. Boss Lady, equipped with a 4 wheel drive vehicle figured she could at least get up to the first barway where she could stop and turn around in preparation for our exit. And she was right. We reached the barway with only a little trouble. That's when the brains failed her. She decided that, being as we'd had such good luck with the first part, that we'd continue driving up to the parking area. She got to the first bend, not even out of sight of the barway, and realized that going further was a bad idea. Just as she was deciding to stop and back up, she slid off the road into the ditch.
Now, she doesn't have a lot of experience not getting stuck, being as she hasn't often chosen to drive in conditions that cause vehicles to get stuck. Which is to say, she's not perfect at preventing a vehicle from becoming completely stuck once it is a little bit stuck. Quite the contrary, as we discovered today.
So, once she was a little bit off the wheel track and into the ditch, all her efforts to remedy the situation only caused her to further mire the car in snow. Would you like to know just how mired she was? When she opened her door, she was pushing snow with it. Realizing that having snow up to the door frame is not an ideal situation, she set about to kicking as much as possible out of the way, in the hopes of being able to drive back out of the ditch. When she'd completed that plan, she found herself so far in the ditch could barely open the door because the car was plastered against the hill on the far side of the ditch. Yes, folks, she was well and truly stuck. And we hadn't even begun the adventure.
Being as Moosalamoo is a 45 minute drive from home, Boss Lady called home immediately to report her distress. She spoke to Boss Lady's Father, who agreed to attempt a rescue. She gave him directions as best she could (he's never been to Moosalamoo) and took note of the time. It was 1:45pm. She considered the fact that he would have to put on cold weather rescue appropriate clothing, find a couple shovels, get together some chains, and generally put himself into the right mindset before he could even leave the house, she didn't expect to see him until about 3:00pm. Which gave us enough time to hike up the road and back down, thus getting at least a little bit of hiking time. It also made sure she was still just barely within cell phone range in case Boss Lady's Father got lost on the way up.
About the time we got to the end of the road and were turning around, Boss Lady's phone rang. She answered and was informed by Boss Lady's Mother, that Boss Lady's Father had only just left the house. It was almost 2:30pm at that time. Which pushed back his arrival time to 3:15pm. Hmph, she thought. We could've just hiked the trail and probably still have gotten back to the car in time. Of course, it was too late for that now, but she wasn't about to sit in the car waiting when we could be hiking. She planned to use every moment she had. So, off we went on another trail, with the intentions of hiking out to one of the other intersections and then simply turning back.
Off we went, me digging buried branches out of the snow all along the way. Her purposely finding the deepest snow in which to tromp through. When we were most of the way back, Boss Lady's Father called to report that he had reached a nearby intersection and should be there immenently. She told him we'd probably be there a little bit after him. About 15 minutes later, we reached the car. Boss Lady's Father was not there. We walked down to the end of the road. Boss Lady's Father was not there. We tried to call his cell phone, but Boss Lady's Father was outside the reception area. Cold and wet, we settled ourselves into the car, hoping that he would appear momentarily. Fifteen minutes crept by. He did not appear. Another 10 minutes slid away, and still no Boss Lady's Father. At this point, it was 3:30pm. Boss Lady was beginning to get really cold. She decided to climb back out of the car and make some effort at dislodging it from the ditch. But, there really wasn't much she could do without a shovel. She looked at me, sitting cold and wet in the back of the car and figured I was getting pretty cold, too. And the only solution she could think of, was to let me out to play in the snow. At least if we were moving around, we could keep the cold at bay, right?
Ten minutes later, her gloves soaking wet from throwing snowballs, Boss Lady decided she was tired of waiting for Boss Lady's Father. She tried to call him again, but still no signal. Then she called home, to see if they'd heard from him. They hadn't. So, now both Boss Lady and Boss Lady's Father were stranded somewhere in Moosalamoo. And Boss Lady's cell phone was quickly draining battery life. She decided to wait 10 more minutes and then start walking out. If nothing else, Boss Lady's Mother would have to begin a secondary rescue mission to at least get us home and dry, even if we had to leave the car stranded in the ditch over night.
Boss Lady packed up the backpack again. She grabbed the extra set of hat and gloves she keeps in the car, and the giant maglite/club, leashed me up, and headed for the road. She was almost hoping to find Boss Lady's Father in a ditch somewhere along the way so she'd at least know where he was. She didn't. Instead, mere moments after she phoned the house to say that, yes, a second rescue mission was in order, Boss Lady's Father phoned her to find out where he was and how to get to her. It turns out, he was just barely out of sight around a bend in the road. So, yet another phone call was made, and the 2nd rescue mission was canceled. Then Boss Lady and I climbed into Boss Lady's Father's little Ford Ranger (have you ever tried to put 2 grown adults and a large dog in the cab of a small truck? It's cramped quarters, I'll tell ya.) and off we headed to dig out the car.
And that's how we ended up with both vehicles stuck in the ditches on either side of the road. That's also when it really started raining. And getting dark. It's also when Boss Lady determined that I would be best able to help if I was inside the car staying out of the way. And, 45 minutes later, after lots of shoveling, several almost successes, and a whole lot of cussing, Boss Lady's car was out finally out of the ditch. Leaving only 1 vehicle still stuck in a ditch. And stuck it was. Boss Lady's Father went into the ditch on the wrong side of the road. The side that slopes downhill. Very downhill. He had both front tires mired in snow, with a tree about 1 foot from his front bumper, and his driver side tired lodged on the far side of what appeared to be an ancient stone wall. It was not a happy place. After another 30 minutes of shoveling and cursing and kicking at immovable objects, they were just about to give up on the truck. That's when Boss Lady's Father's shovel struck the stone wall, and the frozen mass moved. Moved, I say. It wasn't a stone wall at all. It was simply a massive lump of frozen dirt and rocks. Another 15 minutes later, Boss Lady's Father had extracted from behind the tire and beneath the truck, two massive lumps of frozen dirt and rocks. With those out of the way, and the bonus addition of loose dirt behind the rear wheels, Boss Lady's Father finally succeeded in getting out of the ditch.
Both cars finally back on the road, we headed home. And, finally, after another 45 minutes in that blasted car, I arrived home. I'm telling you, this 3 hours in a car for 1.5 hours of adventuring is not fun. Most especially not when it causes my supper to be late. Nearly two hours late. A dog could starve to death in these circumstances.
I hear the plans for tomorrow are to head for Shrew(woohoo!)sbury and see if we can get stuck up there.