Been there, done that

Forest Service Road, just South of Prince George, BC, Canada
It's a lovely overcast day deep in the woods of British Columbia. About a mile or so off of the small highway leading ultimately to Vancouver, down a grassy forest service road, sits a blue VW van, askew, tilted, with its wheels buried to verying degrees in mud. Surrounding the van is a gypsy tumble of bags and other objects; two duffel bags bought a couple of years ago in Chinatown, NYC; half of a forty-lb bag of dog-food; a big box of books; a laptop case; a large digital camera in its bag; two bicycles. The stuff sits in and among the lovely green trees of the forest, resting on pseudo-dry mud hills and patches of grass. Two dogs are near the stuff, tethered by long, curly leads to the solidest tree nearest to the road.

Kym and Skip work, dragging fallen trees to the road, breaking their limbs to shove under the tires. They take turns jacking and jacking up the van, shoving the wood under, then lowering the van. They've tried him driving, her driving and him pushing. They've tried it all, and the van only moves backwards six inches or so before the wheels bury themselves in the greasy, evil, sucking clay, the British Columbia clay that threatens to eat their van with every spin of a wheel. If they had a two teams of huskies instead of their two sweet little pound puppies, maybe the teams could free this damn van.

Now a Florida girl knows how to free a car stuck in beach sand. Mud can't be much different, can it? The very best way for a Florida girl to get her car un-stuck is to walk up to the nearest road, bat her eyes, and flag down someone who can help her out. It's good to be a girl, right?

After only an hour of doing-it-ourselves, we try the Florida Girl trick. The joy and beauty of British Columbia is that every other car (at least) is a serious pick-up truck. The first truck we flag down contains two guys who walk down to the van and take a look. They don't have a tow-rope, but they try to help us push it out. They laugh, once they figure out that we're okay being laughed at. They recommend a tow, don't think there's any other way out of this bog.

You just don't know this clay, one guy says. It'll never let you drive out.

They see our Florida tag before they see or anti-Bush stickers. Once they see the Florida tag they give us shit, these two blue-collar, red-neck Canadians, about what an ass Jeb Bush is. We agree and explain our he-rigged-the-machines-and-stole-the-election theory, tell them about my Aunt Jean voting Blue but her ballot scanning Red down in Leesburg, Florida. We have a great round of Bush-bashing, and I wonder: are random Canadians always this savvy, knowing the name of the governor of Florida, or is this just a special time when our northern neighbors pay attention because we're so CONTROLLED BY ASSININE SELF-SEEKING BASTARDS? Questions to ponder while we're waiting to flag down the next truck.

The very next four-wheel drive looking vehicle belongs to a BC Wildlife Conservation Officer. He has a tow-rope, very knobby tires, a four-wheeler in the back of his truck -- even a dog named Sage inside with him. What an angel. He tells us to climb up in the back of the truck (apparently the lawyers haven't found BC yet), gives us a ride back down to the van, and helps tow us out. Wow. What an experience. Skip is driving the van, in reverse, all 67 horse power pumping, the truck is pulling us, it's tires digging deep through the clay and into rich black mud. When we're finally out, the van will have mud everywhere. On top of the solar panel, the side-view mirrors, all down the sides, absolutely coating the rear window. We fling mud to the earth and the sky. The dogs bark and run up and down the van like lunatics.

The rest of our day is brilliant, because we didn't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a tow, because we got stuck with no repercussions. We worked well together, and we joke that the Goddess has sent us this experience to make us partners again, partners with a sweet joke to share.

Just for the adventure of it.


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