Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Kindness of Strangers

Me and Kelly decided to try and get some Christmas shopping done today, since tomorrow is supposed to be bad, weather-wise. I was recently in Greenfield during work, and proposed heading back up there to check out some of the many stores that line the main street through town.

We took the back roads up, for scenery purposes. Rte 47, up past Rte. 9, in Hadley, then on into the farmlands of Sunderland and Deerfield. Every here and there, I'll see a nice scene to bloggify with a photo. So, I'll either snap a picture through the windshield, or I'll pull over and snap it:

Got Milk?

And so it was that we saw this great looking dairy farm as we drove up River Road in Deerfield. Nice tall silos, cows and all. I eased over to the side of the road, to get out of traffic, and took a quick snapshot. Nice.

I put the vehicle back in gear ,and turned back onto the street. But, the tires began spinning. Instead of moving forward and left, we moved directly sideways, to the right, and down a little. I gave it another nudge. Further to the right and further tilt down.

Uh Oh.

I thought we had parked on the flat edge of a field. But in fact, the whole right side of the vehicle was resting on deep packed snow. Under the snow was an embankment, that dropped off a few feet onto the field below. With every tire spin, the whole vehicle slid farther from the road, and the right side tilted further.

It's Ok, we were in a Jeep. I'd never gotten stuck in this thing. Confidently, I put the Jeep into 4wheel drive low, and eased on the gas. A crumpling sound, more tire spinning, and farther to the right and down. I began to wonder how much tilt it would take to roll over. I told Kelly to get out, just to be safe. She didn't have to be asked twice. The door flew open, and she plopped down, up to her knees in snow. It didn't look good. I gingerly got out on my side to assess the situation.

I was thinking about what I could do. I knew if I could just get it out into the flat area of the field, I would possibly be able to drive around and go up the embankment, safely straight on. But with every movement, the Jeep just slid sideways, and dangerously tilted a few degrees more.

I debated whether to call AAA now, or chance rolling the jeep, or even getting it stuck further out in the field. Either way the day (and my wallet) was looking pretty much shot.

Then we heard a voice yell over from across the street: "Hold on! I'll get the machine!" It was the dairy farmer, calling to us from the farm. Me and Kelly looked at each other. The machine? I wasn't sure what kind of farm contraption he had in mind, but It was a sense of relief. The cavalry was coming.

A few minutes later, a big Bobcat tractor came roaring out from behind the barn, and up the road to us. A lady, (her name was Joan, we found out afterwards), was at the controls. The man, (named Bob), came walking up, with chains in hand. Joan demanded to know how we got ourselves in this predicament. I sheepishly said that I was taking pictures for a website. She shook her head and said, "Well, I guess I believe that!"

We decided to hook the back bumper to the Bobcat, and try to drag the Jeep back up the embankment. I got in and put it in reverse to help it along. Kelly took the camera.

The occasional passerby slowed and crawled by gawking as we worked. Luckily this road wasn't very busy at this time. One guy in a plow truck stopped and asked if he could help.

With perseverance and several changes of plan and tactic, we finally got the Jeep resting comfortably back on the street.

Joan immediately rolled the Bobcat back across the street, to continue what she was doing, before the two idiot suburbanites came by, and wrecked their peaceful countryside. As Bob gathered up his chains, I offered him compensation for the gas and time they took to help me. He resolutely refused any money. He did want to know what the website was that brought this trouble upon them.

I thanked Bob heartily, and gave him the web address. We thanked them both again as we drove off. They waved back. Great people.

We continued on to Greenfield to get that Christmas shopping done. More on that coming up....


Tommy said...

See, blogging redeems everything!

Mary E.Carey said...

Guilty of driving while blogging. Might be time for an intervention.