Friday, July 14, 2006

What a Wierd Strange Trip it WAS!

Driving the Boy Scouts. My son, Dylan is in a Boy Scout Troop, and that's nice, but sometimes, it requires the patience of Job and a lot of guesswork, emotional and physical stamina--on the part of the parents! I offered to drive them to the trailhead of the planned "50-mile hike". Getting there was an ordeal when I woke up, got the kids up, and the two boys (Dylan and his friend Derek) noticed the Jeep had a flat tire! They quickly changed it, with help from Dave via the telephone, and we were off, albeit one-half hour late!. Getting to the Union Hall in Kettle Falls, we sorted through the gear, got ready and off we went. Hayven went with Mary to spend the morning with her and her two daughters, one of which is Hayven's age: Cassie.

Later, we made several stops, picked up a boy, dropped off a car, and made our way to Colville National Forest's Sullivan Lake Campground. At the Ranger station, we sorted through the meals and placed them in bear-proof plastic traveling bins. On to the trailhead. Connie was driving in her big white Chevrolet Van, with eight adults, and Jerry with himself and two other scouts, Marshall and Garrett. Another hour into the woods on a very narrow forest service road and we were there. The sheer dropoff was quite stunning, the scenery extraordinary.

After eating a brown bag lunch prepared by Mary, THANKS MARY--Connie headed off with her daughter, Johanna, and I in Jerry's Chevy pickup. A little more than one-half of a mile down the narrow mountain road, Connie's tire back left tire hissed and BLEW! She kept driving, unbeknownst to her. I beeped and beeped the horn behind her to no avail, she kept driving--oblivious to it all, as the tire got lower and lower and started to shred. Why didn't I flash the lights? Because I didn't know where they were! IT wasn't my vehicle, and not having driven manual transmission for three years, had to re-familiarize myself with the process!

I kept beeping the horn. I thought, "either they know they have a flat and she's trying to make it down the mountain to the ranger's office, or they can't hear me". It was the latter. The music her teen daughter was playing was so loud, she couldn't hear me beeping. Finally a piece of the tire shredded and flew off and she saw a piece of blackness fly up, and thought it was mud!

She finally stopped as the tire started to smoke. She had felt the bump, but thought it was the rough mountain road. I stopped the pickup behind her, but didn't know where the hand-brake was. I started to roll into the back of her van--not good, as her daughter screamed "put the brake on!". I couldn't find it! Finally, somehow I stopped, right before I went in a ditch and hit the back of her van.

The Chevy Pick-up was inches away, I had already got the lug nuts off the rim of the shredded tire (after much heaving and hoing!), and we were in the midst of reading directions, when suddenly--another car came up behind ME! A white car from Idaho. Two good-looking guys stopped, got out, helped us change the shredded tire to the spare "donut" tire and also moved the truck--that was almost in the ditch. They were on their way to Canada, and their wives were teed off that they took this mountain road, as you had to travel soooo slow and probably they were as petrified driving on the 'edge' as I was!

Fortunately through a lot of prayer and positivity, we made it back to COLVILLE AND LES SCHWAB!

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