Well, yesterday was a “good” day.
Round about 2:00 we headed out for the ranch in a last ditch effort to extricate my tools. We made it to the gate around 4:00 and began with the interesting bit. It took about and hour and a half to travel the 2 miles, but with the help of our 14 new traction pads ($7.50 per pair) we made it all the way to the shed where all the tools were.
Once at our destination, we loaded up the table saw, drill press, router table, routers and various odds and ends. Loading didn’t take too long, and we were on our way, just as the sun started setting. Loaded down with tools, the way out proved to be more difficult.
As we approached the one truly hard part of the route, we became unable to proceed forward, on perfectly level ground. So, once again, we deployed our 13 traction pads and inched our way forward. Then, we made it safely down the super muddy hill, and even most of the way up the other side. Enter the dozen traction pads and about 15 minutes of effort. From here on, the journey went very smoothly… until I slid sideways into a ditch and really high centered the car. Once again, our 12 traction pads came to our rescue, this time with the noble assistance of the car jack. We left this spot with 6 of the pads, and drove another 50 feet before the car simply would not go any farther.
Everything we tried failed, which was really frustrating because this was not one of the “problem spots”. I walked back, found and dug out some more of the pads, bringing us back up to 11, but they just didn’t help. We even tried unloading most of the tools, laying them out in the mud, this had zero effect.
By now it was 10:30 and we weren’t getting anywhere. So, I called the very nice people at the Huerfano County Sheriff’s office and they gave me the number of a tow company. The nice guy at the tow company agreed to come out in his own vehicle, an old 4×4 Bronco with huge mud tires to pull us out.
We very hurriedly loaded the tools back into the car, and proceeded to walk the remaining mile to the road so we could show him where the gate was. We got to the gate at almost exactly the same time as him. Christy and I piled into the Bronco and rode back to the poor stuck Element.
Once at the Element, the guy put his Bronco into 4 wheel drive, hooked up a chain, and pulled me down the hill, and out into the field, where I got stuck again, and again, even with him pulling me. We tried everything, and with lots of yanking, tugging and mud flinging, we made it up the hill.
Finally at the top of the hill and on dry ground, I ventured forth under my own power. The car still didn’t want to move! It turns out the back wheels were so full of mud they didn’t want to turn. But, after a few revs and popping the clutch, we were on our way. Back on dry, rocky soil, the wheels cleared out quickly enough, and I drove most of the remaining way out under my own power. I did get superficially stuck one more time so the guy came back and pulled me out again.
Finally, we were all back at the gate, back on dry ground, and had no more mud to contend with. We agreed to follow the tow truck guy into Walsenburg to get cash from the ATM so we could pay him for all his hard work. Round about midnight, I very happily handed over $260, and we were all glad it was over, except of course the 3 hour drive home.
It was a very good day.
In the end, I knew where 5 of the traction pads were, and that’s probably where they still are.