Monday, August 10, 2009

Getting Stuck in the Woods

Sean & I frequently went out exploring in the pines when we were dating. And, since we've been together for nearly 10 years (10 years on October 11!) we've seen a lot of the ruins and roads of the pines. It's one of our favorite things to do. We did take a hiatus when Neil was born, partly because of his fragile infant state, and the chaos of his club foot, etc - and - partly because we were driving a minivan and a camry, not exactly off road vehicles. We had to sell our old 87' Bronco, which was loyal car and got us through many tough roads of the pines. The backseat didn't exactly connect to the car properly.... only half way.... so, without sufficient weight (like an adult) it would sort of bounce up and down. Not sufficient for a car seat.... not even close.

Well we have a good off roading car now, since last summer when we got Sean's Trailblazer. So, we've gotten back to our old selves and we go out exploring pretty often. Sean knows the roads back there very well. Even I'm somewhat familiar with the roads - which says a lot, considering I am extremely geographically challenged.
East Stokes Road - a road we have been on hundreds of times.... always good for some mud puddles, nothing awful though. We head out last weekend into the woods and E. Stokes is particularly muddy. No big deal. Well, about 95% of the way we hit a particularly long puddle, and since there is a "go around" already cut through the woods we take it..... BAD idea. The trailblazer quickly gets sucked into "bog mire" which, is pretty much a quicksand of the pines. Have you ever walked barefoot in deep mud or a muddy lake? You know how when you pull your foot up, there is a bit of suction almost like the mud is sucking you back? Imagine that - just on the entire car. Yeah... it was great fun.

Sean managed to get a cell signal, so we called our friend Cramer who had access to a jeep. He made it out to us and we began the recovery efforts. We had tow straps, chains, shovel, rope, come-a-long - you name it. It just wasn't cutting it. We tried from the front, tried from the back - nothing. I put out a facebook SOS through my phone (in the 2 min I actually found a signal) and our friends Jim & Angela were headed our way too. What a wonderful world facebook has created! We were literally digging the mud out from under the car, trying to give us some leverage.

After 3 hours, on our last ditch effort, we had decided we would try once more and then wait for the others that were coming. We thought the TB was too heavy for the jeep to pull, esp with the mud sucking it back. So we said - one more time - and miraculously, it worked! The TB came out of the mud with a pop (think uncorking a wine bottle). Ahh joy! I was beginning to panic a bit, but trying to stay calm!

<-- I call this pic "False Advertising"

We were able to drive home, the car unharmed (but very, very dirty). We went to the firehouse to hose the car off before the car wash.... you know your car got muddy when simply hosing it off isn't sufficient. The guys had to bring out the power washer to get it cleaned.... and even then... saying it was clean was a stretch!

Well, I think for 10 years of 4 wheeling, getting stuck once isn't a bad track record!


  1. Just getting a cell phone signal at all is a miracle in the pines. George slid off of a beaver dam while deer hunting a few years ago and had to walk about two miles before he got a signal at all. The angels were with you guys.

  2. Glad you made it out safely, and look at the great story you have. Once in ten years is not bad at all!