Caveboy Monday: How Not to Go Camping Part II
And now back to our story. In addition to this we could see across the river and had spied what appeared to be a group of folks gathered around a large fire. That had to be them we all agreed. We tried shouting, but to no avail. I distinctly remember mentioning earlier in this tale of misadventure that it was early spring, but I failed to mention that the rains had come and the river was roaring like a run away freight train, so our shouting was of no use. So we loaded up and proceeded to venture in the general direction of our comrades. Less than a fourth of a mile we veered left across a bridge, which the next day would reveal itself to be a dam, this was a good sign we deduced as we were trending in the correct direction. Once across the dam bridge we again veered left, another good sign. After the second left it was determined that we should take the first road to the left that looked passable, which we did.
Up to this point the trip had been relatively uneventful, and my navigation skills had gratefully not been proven wrong. However, everything would change in the next 30 seconds. The road we had taken had at first appeared to be a seemingly good choice, after the first 200 feet our opinions changed. The incline increased to about what seemed to be a 45 degree angle and had narrowed to the point that tree limbs were seriously degrading the quality of the paint job. Having no place to turn around and reverse course we precariously continued on. The trip ended sooner than we had anticipated and we found ourselves at the bottom of this incredibly steep and narrow path. We exited the vehicle to assess the situation and were greeted with the unmistakable sound of air escaping from a tire. Now what do we do? First we had to fix the flat tire. This in itself was no small feat. Less than optimum room in which to work, less than optimum lighting conditions, this combined with a severe lack of sobriety, made changing the tire a challenge of Olympic proportions.
30 to 45 minutes later as we lowered the battered bug down of the jack all seemed to be improving. Then as the bulk of the cars weight came to bear on the newly replaced tire the sickening pop and the sound of air escaping made us all groan in frustration. The cars owner, my friends sister, was near tears, “How are we gonna get out of here?” she lamented. Her roommate said “I’ll drive it out of here!” “Won’t that tear it up?” the sister questioned.
This question started a bit of debate as to the best course of action. Walk out and wait till morning and call a wrecker but walk out to where? As mentioned earlier we had not yet reached our destination and had no idea how to get there. One of us could go for help, that proposal was vetoed as quickly as it was made audible. Then the roommate reiterated that she could drive it out. It was agreed; drive it out, flat tire and all. Praise the Lord that VW bugs were light. By bouncing and pulling and much abuse of the transmission we managed to get the car pointed in the right direction. We all three looked up the hill and agreed that there was no way in hell that the car would make it, but as the old saying goes nothing ventured, nothing lost, especially when it’s not your car.
With the engine sufficiently revved she popped the clutch and slammed the accelerator to floor, and wonder of wonders the little bug that could began to climb out of the woods. It less than a minute the battered little bugger was once again setting on level ground. When we had completed the climb to the top of the hill the VW’s performance became even more impressive to me, as it was a tortuous climb littered with large rocks and branches that would have give a real off road vehicle a severe challenge. Our sense of accomplishment soon faded as reality set in.
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