Sunday, February 15, 2015

I Got Ditched on Valentine's Day

It was a Valentine's Day like any other - or so I thought.

It was milder than it had been for a while, bright and sunny and I wanted to go into town for a fresh jar of local honey. The Farmers' Market functions indoors one Saturday a month through the off-season and this was that February Day. Frank decided to come along with me. It turned out that the farm from which I buy my incredibly delicious honey did not have a table at the market that day but we didn't go home empty handed. There were plenty of sweets, canned foods and other things to keep us entertained for a half-hour, and stocked up for a few days.

I never suspected a thing.

On our way back home, Frank remarked at how the snowplow had just been along our road since the time we traveled it on our way to the market. Ours is a twisty-turny stretch of road and though the plow had indeed been by, there was no sand on the freshly cleared and now smooth, slippery road. As we approached a curve in the road, we found out just how icy the road actually was. In an instant we were hurtling to the right instead of following the road. We could feel the drop off of the road and the slight descent into the snowy ditch. There was total whiteout conditions as the fresh snow flew up against the windshield. We continued to propel forward for a few seconds and of course, since we couldn't see, we had no idea if we were going stop with a rude crunch against a tree or not. But there really wasn't much time to think about it. The whole incident probably took about five seconds and at the end of that brief lifetime, we stopped, unharmed with a very gentle ooomph into still deeper snow. I'm very grateful for that.

I couldn't open the door on the passenger side and it was difficult and awkward for us to exit through the driver's side but we managed. I was grateful that we took a membership with CAA last spring, and I made the call to them before getting out of the car and into the bright sunlight. Their estimated time of arrival was one hour. It was a lovely day. We didn't even feel so much as jostled or thrown and so we paced up and down the roadway, assuring drivers who stopped to check on us that we were fine and awaiting help. It's not a very busy road but over the course of the hour, a few dozen cars came through, and while I was present, each and every one of them (except for the eventual snowplow driver) stopped to inquire about our safety. I'm grateful for good people sharing our neighbourhood.

At one point, I hitched a ride home with one of the neighbours so that I could pee, put on comfier boots, grab a hat and a pair of gloves for Frank, and of course, my camera. Our home was only about a kilometre (less than a mile) down the road. Within ten minutes, I was walking back toward Frank and the car. Another reason for gratitude.

Ditch - walking back to car
As you can see, the side of the road we had been traveling was plowed but not sanded, and the right hand side was still rather snowy. I kept expecting the plow to zoom up behind me while I was walking. It took me about fifteen minutes to get to the car.






Ditch - stuck6
Cold hands, now adorned with gloves, Frank demonstrates how he was driving when the road took over and ditched us.






Ditch - stuck
There was no getting out of this without help.






Ditch - a little too late
Here comes that plow I was telling you about. Note all the snow it's leaving in its wake? That's exactly what it looked like for a few seconds through our windshield.






Ditch - now you sand
Note the sand. What happened to this part of the process on the other side of the road? We might have had better traction if he had sanded while clearing like he's doing here. There's no telling for sure.






Ditch - heroes4
Help arrived within the time period promised by CAA via text message. Grateful!






Ditch - heroes5
They quickly got to work attaching chains to the near-buried tires.






Ditch - heroes6
Once the front tire was similarly secured, it was time to start tugging.






Ditch - heroes9
And tug, they did.






Ditch - heroes11
What took us mere seconds to do, took them mere minutes to undo.






Ditch - heroes13
Just a little bit more and the car was out. Thanks, guys.






Ditch - heroes15
They oriented the car onto the road and then hurried off to help the next ditched vehicle which as it happened, occurred in front of our place just moments after I left home to walk back to our car. Thankfully, they too were uninjured.






Ditch - first impressions3
A glance back shows us where the car had come to rest in the ditch.






Ditch - first impressions2
Here's a closer look.







Ditch - first impressions
It would appear that we made quite an impression.






ditch-Vday
And that's how I got ditched on Valentine's Day.

66 comments:

L. D. said...

This is a well documented journalistic work. The photos told a lot of what happened but your writing keep me on edge. I am glad no one was hurt and I hope lifting the vehicle buy its back wheel didn't do harm to it. Good job telling the story.

Andy said...

Lucky you. No injuries and no damage to the car. I am not going to lecture you but I am going to give you some advice. I drove public transit for 42 and a half years. If the road is snow covered or wet you have to drive SLOW... and even slower on curves and bends. Even snow tires will not stop you from going into a skid. Good luck on next years Valentines Day❤

Betsy Brock said...

What a cute story! Glad the car and you two weren't hurt....just inconvenienced for a bit. Our roads are icy, too, and many have gone in the ditch! Love the tire print in the snow! ha.

William Kendall said...

A definite impression! Fortunately the snow absorbs a lot of it.

Cloudia said...

Great post! Glad all's well. Fantastic photos. AND you were clever to buy a Hyundai!





ALOHA from Honolulu
ComfortSpiral
<3


TexWisGirl said...

laughing at the impression but very glad you weren't hurt and neither was your car! the way they pull your car out sideways... wow! also glad they were able to help so quickly and that you were close to home.

now, put yourself a small bag in the back of the car with hats, gloves, a blanket and whatever else you might need if you're ever stuck like that again1

Frank Baron said...

Reasonably accurate retelling. :)

(Yes, from now on I'll try to remember to keep at least one hand on the wheel! Sheesh!)

Eddie Bluelights said...

I was quite concerned when I read the title. lol
But even more concerned when I read you had run off the road. Must have been very slippery. Do you have snow chains in Canada? I remember we did here when I was little in snowy conditions.
Quite an adventure . . .
So glad you and Frank were uninjured :)

joeh said...

All that and no honey!

Theresa said...

Oh, I'm pretty familiar with that particular snow whoosh type of feel and sound, although not here coming up the mountain! Glad everyone was none the worse for wear and it has turned out as an entertaining adventure instead of a terrible calamity!
BTW, here they have trucks that are plows on the front and sanders on the back.....

yaya said...

All's well that ends well I guess! Next time tell Frank that chocolates would be just fine and leave the excitement behind! Ha! Glad you guys weren't hurt and the car too. Thanks goodness for AAA...or I mean CAA! Our weather day was horrible but we managed to have a good Valentine's day anyway! Take care!

Kerry said...

Ditched on Valentine's Day! Oh gosh, I'm glad you are unhurt, and that everybody was so kind. This did make for a cool photo essay, but don't go repeating the idea too often, OK?

Indrani said...

Can't imagine a similar situation for myself. Glad for all the help that you got. Great captures in true journalistic style.

The Furry Gnome said...

Glad you were both all ok. At least snow is soft to land in! Of course I could also say 'been there; done that'.

Red said...

Nice play on words! I'm glad there were no injuries. It's part of living in the country to be ditched once in a while.

Stephen Hayes said...

I'm sure it's a Valentine's Day you'll remember. Glad no one was injured and your car doesn't look any worse for wear.

bettyl-NZ said...

I'm so glad your story had a happy ending!!

June said...

Been there, done that, and don't you feel just like the tow truck guys are HEROES when they get your car back on the road???
You just never know what a snowy road will do to you, no matter how prepared you are. I did a 3/4 turn on the interstate a couple of years ago and I was going slowly, hadn't touched the brakes or nudged the gas, hadn't turned suddenly. I must have come upon one little icy spot under the snow. Or the temperature was Just Right to make that bit of snow extra slippery...
The good thing is that most everybody's moving so slowly that nothing really horrible happens. Glad nothing horrible happened to you!

The Happy Whisk said...

Glad you are safe and that first picture is brilliant.

The tire one and the heart are super fun, too.

Brian Miller said...

ha. well that was probably a bit more excitement than you were hoping for....i am glad that you were alright...and had tow service and were not too far from home...well it will be one that you will remember i am sure...smiles.

Tammie Lee said...

wow, what an experience! that is part of winter wonderland. I love how people stop and ask if they can help, makes me feel like all is well in the world. Places with deep or true seasons inspire that. so glad you are fine and your car too!

ladyfi said...

Glad you were both okay! It's scary driving on icy roads! The weather conditions looked pretty perfect though.

DJan said...

What a great story! All's well that ends well, like with a pretty heart in the snow. :-)

Karen (formerly kcinnova) said...

I'm surprised the plow didn't scatter sand or have a follow-up vehicle with sand... but it seems that perhaps they just ran out of sanding supplies on that stretch of road?
I'm glad you weren't banged up. How did your groceries and supplies fare?
The rescuers did a fine job, although it looked like they tipped the car a bit far in the process.

ADRIAN said...

All is well. I'm glad that you both walked away without a scratch.

You drive next time.

Yael said...

Ha, ha, sometimes the adventures life deals us are not sooooooooooo bad!
It was a sunny beautiful day, no one got hurt, even not the car, every thing turned out fine and resulted in a lovely post! :-)

Midlife Roadtripper said...

Hahahahahaha! I love it. I recall waiting for many a tow truck living in the north. And no gloves? Really Frank? Glad all ended well. Happy Valentines, ditched one.

Out on the prairie said...

What a great ale, I loved following along with your success

sage said...

You tell your story well--and glad it all worked out fine.

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

wow...that was a lot of stress on your rims. I would have been freaking out. The guy was too lazy to shovel out the front of the vehicle so he could attach to the frame!?

Oh well...I'm glad everything worked out.

ellen abbott said...

so grateful it was just a small inconvenience but reinforces my desire not to live in that kind of weather!

steviewren said...

All's well that ends well and thanks goodness for CAA seems to be the moral of this story! I'm glad that neither of you guys or the car was damaged.

Crabby McSlacker said...

While I HOPED your blog post title was going to be a sneaky misdirection, I was still nervous and thus awfully relieved to read that the "ditching" was not the heartbreaking kind. Glad everything turned out fine!

Rita said...

I ended up in a ditch one snowy morning (long before cell phones) and was rescued by three farm boys. Once you hit that ice...only seconds and you are embedded in a bank. Glad it all turned out okay and that they people stranded in front of your place got out okay, too. You sure did a great job of capturing the experience! :)

Good idea to have hats and gloves included in your winter car kit, too. But inside the car and not in the truck--in case you spin and end up assend in the bank--LOL! ;)

Rick Watson said...

I've been been ditched before but never like that!
Glad y'all made it through OK.
R

Laura said...

Oh Hilary, I'm so thankful you are both ok… what an ordeal… yes you left quite an impression on that snowbank… and you always do so on our heart as well.

Bob Bushell said...

Poor things, a bad thing to have happened to you on Valentine's Day

thecrazysheeplady said...

Love it :-).

Gail Dixon said...

Hilary, you are so cute and have such a wonderful way of weaving a story. The impression--literally--y'all made was amazing! What a terrifying few seconds I would guess. Glad everyone made out okay.

Wendy said...

My goodness, what a story! How scary for you as you slid into the ditch!

CAA must have been busy that day, but so glad they did get to you finally.

I'll agree with the first comment - great piece of journalistic work! And glad you can laugh about being "ditched" on Valentine's Day.
Hugs

Michael Manning said...

So very glad you guys got out. We have AAA here and I've used them at least once a year (which pays for the annual fee). Overwhelmingly, I'd have to say these are good guys with a tremendous spirit to help. And when they come along with a rescue like this, it's a God-send! ;)

Gary's third pottery blog said...

So glad you are OK :) Great pics and story! We lived in New Hampshire 10 years and had 4 wheel drive and steel studded snow tires all that time. 9 years in Ithaca and never had sthe studded snow tires...and OH MY what scary driving it has been, even for a subaru. Gave in and wisely got the studded snows again last week and have NEEDED THEM every single day since it has been so snowy...it costs a few hundred bucks but so much safer.

Maggie May said...

Well...... I would hate that! However, you took some really good photos and it made a very interesting read! Glad you got out OK.
Maggie x

Jinksy said...

Thank goodness you were both OK...Loved the impression you made - but then, you're an impressive lady!

Angelina Pratt said...

I really enjoyed your retelling of your story with pictures an all. It could have been much worst, but cool heads prevailed. You also reminded me to renew my CAA membership. lol

Thankfully, I am glad, it all worked out in the end. :)

Country Girl said...

This is an excellent story. You've made quite an impression on me as well. Ha!!

Anvilcloud said...

Well, doesn't this bring back memories of a similar event up there.

http://anvilcloud.blogspot.ca/2005/01/slaloming-with-harriet.html

http://anvilcloud.blogspot.ca/2005/01/revisiting-scene.html

EG CameraGirl said...

I'm glad nothing horribly serious happened to you! Thank goodness for CAA!

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

You're so funny! At first I thought it was a story. You sounded too upbeat for you to have been ditched.

Then I saw where it was headed... into the ditch. Happy to hear all was well. It's been a cold, snowy month for many. Be safe out there!!!

Sharon Wagner said...

A happy ending! I was wondering who would ditch such a nice lady as you. This winter sucks. Usually people feel sorry for us Minnesotans. Now it's the Easterners.

Linda said...

Glad neither of you were hurt. Sliding on the ice is always scary, not knowing where you will end up.

I would have been concerned that the rescue of the car would have done more harm than sliding into the snowbank.

That's quite a Valentine!

Mage said...

What a nice little essay about getting ditched. Cute car, handsome husband, and slide right into the snow. :)

Suldog said...

Great story! Love the photo of the impression! And, of course, "ditched" makes it all work.

I belong to AAA (which, seeing the logo on your tow truck, is probably related to CAA) and it's the best investment a driver can make. One tow pays for your membership, easily, and anything more than that is a marvelous bargain. One of the few things I life I would unhesitatingly recommend fully and wholeheartedly.

Barb said...

Love your catchy title and so glad you were unhurt. Even the car seems OK after being pulled from the ditch. Having a sunny day sure helped with visibility so others could see you along the roadway. Hope your Valentine's Weekend proceeded uneventfully after that!

Leah J. Utas said...

Glad everything worked out so well.

Bone said...

First off, love the title. It was so intriguing!

We don't get much snow here at all, but I've slid off the road a couple of times in my life. Fortunately, I was able to get back on the road and pointed in the right direction. I'm sure it helped that there wasn't more than five or six inches of snow either time.

Most of all, I'm glad everyone is OK!

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Hilary! My goodness, I see lots of familiar names among those who commented on your latest post. I want to thank you again for your interest in SDMM and for taking time to stop in and see me today.

If you had to get ditched on Valentine's Day, this was certainly not the worst possible scenario. If you think about it, sliding off the road and having your car's forward momentum gently slowed by tons of fresh powered snow was almost like an exciting carnival ride. I'm thinking of those boats than plunge down a steep ramp and are slowed by the water at the bottom. You guys were lucky. The mishap could have been much worse. It's good to know you live in an area surrounded by good Samaritans eager to help. Your story reminds me of the time I skidded off a rain slick road in my father's VW Beetle and it overturned. Fortunately the car rolled up a soft earthen embankment which cushioned the shock and I escaped injury.

Thank you again for the poke over at my place, dear Hilary. I look forward to connecting with you again soon.

photowannabe said...

Whew...you had me holding my breath. What a story and I love the "impressive" photos too.
So glad you weren't hurt and the car is drive-able.
We have lots of heavy fog this morning but thank goodness it's not snow.

Daryl said...

alls well that ends well ....

troutbirder said...

Great story well documented! HAPPY ENDING....:)

Shammickite said...

Been there, done that! But when my neighbour with the tractor arrived to pull the car out of the ditch, he pulled so hard that the car swung across the icy road and settled happily in the opposite ditch!

Kamana said...

so glad you are ok and nothing got damaged.

Pauline said...

So glad it all ended well!

Optimistic Existentialist said...

WOW - thank goodness help arrived and there was a happy ending :)

Kat said...

Ha! You are too clever.
Ya just gotta love snow, right? I think I'm ready for spring. ;) I'm so glad to hear you had a nice soft landing and neither of you were hurt. All's well that ends well! :)

Barbara Shallue said...

I'm glad you didn't suffer any damage and were able to hitch a ride home for your camera! In comparison to your story, we had a warning of ice on Monday, so I didn't even venture out of my house. :)