Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Blargh, Or, Camping, Part One

It's Tuesday afternoon, I didn't bike to work, I'm stuck here for awhile, and I just got a text message from my friend "Bobby" saying, "Traffic is hell."


So, let's talk about the time my Jeep almost met its demise!

But first, the set up. Camping with the LT, our friend Dave, his friends, and three dogs a few weekends ago was completely awesome. We rolled into camp Saturday afternoon, set up our stuff, and let Titan roam in the water.
(Not shown is when I threw a tennis ball into the fast-flowing glacial river for him to get and he jumped in after it, and then I realized that he might swim after that tennis ball for longer than I could see him, freeze, seize up, and die. LT ran down two campsites, hoping to catch him, and I ran one campsite over, screaming Titan's name at the top of my lungs--until he came bounding out of the river bushes, apparently having forgotten all about the tennis ball. My dog has more sense than I do.)

After this excitement, I got a much-needed beer and of course, I immediately started to climb things:

I'm grinning here because of the peanut gallery offering helpful suggestions and betting on my success.

In Progress.

Which way is the river?


Later that night, we played some pong, outdoors in the cold, lit up only by a motion detector light, which fortunately read our flying pong balls as "motion".

The next morning:

Now. As it was a nice, sunny morning, we had no special plans for the day, and I had a Jeep, it occurred to the three of us that off-roading would be, yes, the perfect plan for the day.

LT pulled all non-essentials off Helter, including the doors, and we set up a rest spot for Titan--notice the dog bed in the shade under the top.
This is immediately what he did--he had played a lot the day before!

So the three of us, with snacks, sweatshirts, water, and most of us in long-pants, headed off to explore the logging trails of the Wedge Mountains.

Helter in a field of wildflowers.

Everything still going fine, in spite of my sudden decision to climb a ways down this mountain and then back up. (Not shown.)

Here's the problem.

Let me point out that I was actually not driving at the time. It was the LT who--with additional thanks to Dave and I, whom agreed that we could make it--was unlucky enough to try to dodge a big downed tree, only to discover that the hillside was not quite as solid as we thought it was. See that, how the ground slopes away under the car? That's not so good. I'm leaning waaaaaaay out up the mountain, trying to fight the feeling that I and the Jeep were about to roll off the cliff at any moment.

We tried and tried. I'm driving in this picture because the boys got out to help push or shore up the mountain. We tried everything, and we ARE engineers. Eventually we decided that every time I started up the Jeep and tried to drive her, more of the mountain slipped away underneath. We were stuck.

I was trying not to cry; we had taken a risk and it turned out that the consequence was going to be pretty big. I had visions of a strong wind coming along and rolling my Jeep down into the valley. As we walked away from her, every boom made me jump. Fortunately we at least had snacks and water, but it was now 4 pm and the temperature had dropped considerably, as it tends to do in the mountains. 911 came and found us, a sheriff with a great big handlebar mustache and and a distinct lack of attitude; he bumped up mountain roads for forty-five minutes, in his pickup, loaded us into the back, gave me a fleece, and started driving. I wasn't too sure how I would see Helter again.

In the Sheriff's Pickup.

Part 2, on its way!

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