Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stuck in the Snow

     I was supposed to be getting photos for an article on survival techniques.  My son Sean and I piled our three dogs into the back of my Ford Explorer and we headed off to some nearby state forest land.  When we got there, I did a bone-headed thing and turned off of the one and only plowed roadway to park.  I was parked all right -- parked up to my axles in snow.  So, instead of taking photos of a mock survival situation in which we had to build a shelter and start a fire, we had ourselves a real-life predicament.
     "This has now become a real matter of survival," I told Sean, "economic survival, because I refuse to pay a tow truck operator $80 to winch us out."
     While the dogs frolicked in the snow, Sean and I shoveled and stuck tree branches under the tires for traction.  Several times snowmobilers rode up and stopped to offer their help.  I explained to them that I wasn't really stuck or more precisely that I was stuck but not very much and that "no thanks," we were doing just fine and that I could always call my brother to pull us out with his pickup if it got to be dark and we were still out here freezing to death.
     Eventually we were able to make it back to the road.  As far as my survival article was concerned, however, I was still spinning my wheels.  Sean and I were too tired to build a shelter or to scrounge for firewood in thigh-deep snow drifts.
     "At least you got a chance to see first-hand, how by using a few tree branches and some creativity it's possible to get yourself out of a potentially bad situation," I said.
     "It's too bad you didn't get some photos of me shoveling," Sean said.  "You could have used them for your article.  Or maybe you could have used them for a different story on how to avoid embarrassing moments."