Before I start, I would like to apologize for not carrying my camera with me everywhere I go. This post would be a whole lot better if I had thrown my camera in the car on my way to Evansville, or had thought to take some pictures with my cell phone. Sadly, I was a little too distraught to think of something like that. Bear with me through this long-ish post – I promise it will be worth it!
Saturday started out as a pretty good day. I got up early (well, early for a Saturday), spent some quality time with Bob, and went to the grocery store. We had a nice lunch, and then I headed to Evansville to do a little shopping.
As a sidebar, the next time I want to go to Evansville on a Saturday afternoon, please remind me that Evansville is a zoo on Saturday afternoons.
Let me start by saying that these were the shoes I wore for my trip to Evansville.
I love these shoes. I really do. They were not appropriate for the afternoon I was about to have.
I still don’t really know my way around Evansville very well (or my way to Evansville, for that matter), so I take the Garmin with me. There is some pretty major road construction between Princeton and Evansville. Some of the roads that used to be there are gone, some are closed for construction, and there are some new roads that Garmin doesn’t know about. On the way down, I ran into a little bit of “I can’t go that way, I don’t care that you want me to,” but I was able to get around the problem. The rest of the trip to Evansville was uneventful, except for a bit of traffic. I spent a bit too much at Borders, but only paid full price for one of the six books I left with.
The way back from Evansville was a different story. The road that Garmin wanted me to take was closed. So I kept driving. At this point, I didn’t exactly know where I was, so I was pretty much at the mercy of the Garmin. I kept driving until Garmin and I agreed that the way he wanted me to turn would not lead directly to a construction dead end.
The road I turned off was two-lane black top. The road I turned on was gravel. Okay, no big deal, there’s lots of that around here. The road quickly turned to dirt. Okay, no big deal, there’s some of that around here, too.
Did I mention that we had gotten over an inch of rain Friday night? And some rain earlier in the week?
The dirt road turned to a mud road. I thought, “I’ve driven in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire winters. If I can handle that kind of snow, I can handle the mud. No problem.”
Heh. Famous last words.
Mud is harder to drive in than snow. If you have not found this out first hand yet, please, just trust me.
I was slipping and sliding in four inches of mud, and thought to myself, “this is harder than driving in snow!” There was a T in the road ahead, and Garmin wanted me to turn left. I thought if I could just make it around the corner, I would be home free and would not have a problem getting out of the mud.
I was wrong again.
I did make it around the corner.
And then I got stuck.
And, boy, did I get stuck. In six inches of mud. (This is why the open-toed platform wedge shoes I showed you in the beginning are relevant. Those shoes were not meant for walking in six inches of mud.)
I called John and pleaded with him to pretty please come save me. While I was waiting, a few people on four-wheelers (they had the right idea) came by, and checked on me. “No problem! Someone is on the way to save me! No worries! Ha ha!” Finally, I saw John coming to my rescue, slipping and sliding in the four-wheel drive truck, coming from the direction I thought I was going to get out, once I just made it around the corner. By this time the four-wheelers had come back, and stuck around to help us out. John hooked a tow strap to the back of my car, and proceeded to tow me backwards, the way I had just come. (Apparently there’s a way back to Princeton that does not involve going through the mud!) We made it back around the corner and about 50 feet up the road before the front passenger side wheel of my car fell into the two-foot-deep water-filled ditch. We got about another 20 feet before the back passenger side wheel also fell into the ditch.
Water was coming up through the floorboards.
This went from just really embarrassing, to actually a bit of a problem.
We have some friends who live about a mile away from where I was stuck. They have a backhoe. We called them up and asked them to pretty please come save me.
And come to the rescue, he did. In order to get my car out of the ditch, he actually picked the back of my car up at a 45 degree angle and dragged me out of the ditch.
He then dragged me backwards for about a half mile before we got back to the gravel where I could drive myself. I immediately took my car to the car wash, mainly to get the undercarriage cleaned out after its close encounter with the southern Indiana mud. This is my car after the car wash.
Notice the smeared hand prints? Those are from the way nice four-wheelers who stuck around and helped push my car, and tried in vain to help it stay out of the ditch. If only they were stronger!
Apparently, the locals call this area “The Bottoms.” It’s pretty low-lying ground close to the river. And every spring, it becomes impassable. No one bothered to tell me that. Or Garmin. (Stupid Garmin.)
The real kicker? Six days before my Big Adventure, John went to pull his cousin out of the mud in the exact same place. He came home, and told me what had happened, and we laughed a bit. And then I went and did the same stupid thing. Who’s laughing now? Certainly not me. But you probably are. Because, frankly, this is funny. I really wish I had thought to take some pictures of all the drama. Because my car, hanging in the air at a 45 degree angle from a backhoe? Now that’s funny. If you aren’t in it. And a little afraid that you will drown in a two-foot water-filled ditch.