Sunday, February 19, 2012

A Trip Back in Time: August 2007 4-Wheelin Gone Wrong

What I learned this weekend about 4 wheelin:  
 As most of you know  my husband, his best friend Stacy and my best friend Brandie and I have all been discussing going to Windrock. Well this past weekend it finally happened. We got up and got ready to head out about 8:30. We were all happy and anxiously awaiting the trails that awaited us. What we were not anxiously awaiting was the fact that we were very ill prepared to be going on this trip. 

What the heck if you don't have a spare or a jack I mean we are going to stay on the Gravel trails anyway right....wrong what fun is that crap? Well anyway we head up there all excited and wondering what was awaiting. I had never even seen the place and neither had Stacy. Brandie had been to the parking lot and my hubby had been the weekend of the terrible Walmart and Theater experience for me and my aunt. 

We stopped at Walmart to buy a cooler and some drinks and sandwich things for our dinner. Then we were off again to the trails.We finally made it to the store where we had to get our permit after about 2 to 2 and a half hours driving.  The permits are $15 per person and must be kept on you at all times as well as a sticker for each person on your vehicle. We got back to the exit for Coal Creek YIPPIE! 

We get there and realize we have already forgot more than a spare we did not get a map. O well there was a little shop before you start up the mountain that has those so we stopped there. Map in hand we were, or at least thought we were, prepared for our days journey. 

We head up the mountain. It was beautiful. Up,up,up we climbed. At the top we stop at a small pull over place to take pictures. I get my camera...I will be sh*t the thing was broke. So now I have no camera to take any pictures. Strike 1 of the day. 

Oh well it is all good I will just get copies of Brandies pics when we get home at the decent hour of around 10 or 11. HA HA HA will explain that in a bit. Anyway we are looking around and enjoying the day. We go up to the windmills. What a sight.  Once the nice gravel roads to the windmills got boring we decided to venture back the way we came. We got back almost to the start of the trail and decided we were going to stop and watch some little Suzuki Samarias, or however you spell that, do some rock climbing. They indeed did put on a show it was awesome. 

While we watched these things do their thing and had some conversations with others trail riding strike 2 came about. I walked over to where I could see and started to cross my arms BOOM I got stung by some kinda critter I never saw. Thinking it was a sweat bee I continued on my way. We got back to the Bronco and it was still hurting so I put some ice on it. No help so I told my hubby I needed some of his tobacco. Here I go and slap tobacco on my arm now I am both in pain and nasty. Yee haw way to go but it did indeed take the swelling and redness down and finally the sting stopped altogether. Now we are on our way again. 

The gravel is very boring now so we decide what the heck lets venture off on one of these moderate trails. Thus came about trail 11. Trail 11 got the adrenaline pumping. There were some places that challenged us to get up and over and they were pretty rocky. At the very bottom of the trail we had a gun it and go spot before we got back in the road. We all cheer yee haw we have made it. Now we are all looking for what next. 

We look again at our map. Well we can go here and see the yada yada yada. We are now having a blast and are brave so we venture over to the North side of Windrock. Mind you up front we know nothing about this area and think this side will be as well maintained as the South side....O how wrong that assumption was. In the process of crossing over to the north side we crossed the main road that would have taken us out of the park. Strike 3 I am already out I thought about telling everyone to lets call it a day but refrained cause I did not want to be the party pooper and everyone was having such a good time.

We cross over to trail 53 again labeled moderate. Ok we made it through one of these lets hit it!  A bit down the trail we decide we may be a bit lost. It does not appear we are going where we thought we were. Ok don't panic lets all pass around the map and see what we think. Thus the map makes its rounds. Direction found we head out. 

This trail was a bit worse than 11, it had not only rocks but also large mud holes and trees we barely fit between. A few times we did not know for sure if we would make it through or not but we continued to try. Of course we made it after a few screams and YEE HAWS. We get way back in this trail and the road decides to take a split. Looking at the map the correct way seems to be straight so we go straight. UH OH there is a tree in the road and no way through. The good news the tree looks to have been down a while which leads us to believe that the road is not the correct way to go. 

Another glance at the map and we head down the other split. We are still having a blast. All happy and stuff. We did not make it very far before we knew we had a problem. SCREECH CLUNK CLUNK DRAG. Hum we must be ran over a tree and got it hung under the Bronco so we back up. SCREECH CLUNK CLUNK DRAG. OK maybe not a branch, the wheel seems to be locked. 

My hubby tells Stacy to look out the window and see what is going on. Stacy leans out then leans back in with a strange look on his face before announcing man we have a problem. My hubby says "a problem what kinda problem" Stacy says "Uh, we have no tire. NO TIRE! OMG we are not even sure where we are and now we have no tire which to me meant no way outta this abandoned area.  

The outcome did not look good and I had had enough. No way did I want to spend my night in the middle of some dark trail in the middle of nowhere so I say lets walk ahead and see what is up there. NOOOO no one wanted to walk and NOOOOO you can't go alone. Needless to say I was highly pissed by now. So we all get back in the Bronco and start back out with 3 good tires and one completely flat one on a rim. 

In a few minutes we saw a Jeep go by. We were like YES thank goodness people maybe they can help us. I say blow the horn. My hubby does but the Jeep keeps on going. I am like damnit had you let me walk up there I could have flagged them down and sent them back to ya all but NOOOO. We head out following the Jeep as fast as we can go, AKA maybe 2 mph. 

Up ahead we see the Jeep slowing down. Yes maybe they had heard the horn the second time or saw our lights flashing! No, it was even stranger than that, a car, yes I said car from Michigan was sitting in the road. I am sorry but I had to say it...I looked over at Brandie and said hum I think they are more lost than we are. The Jeep too had stopped for the car so now we had 2 shots at help or at least directions on which way to go.  We stopped and all got out. 

The car was indeed lost, ironically just not as bad as we thought, they were looking to take a picture of a coal mine. The guy in the Jeep pretty much destroyed their hope before turning to us to see what we needed. Of course he did not have a spare that would fit ours but he was willing to try to help us find one. He was also willing to wait on us as we traveled down the mountain. Which was great! 

 It seemed to take forever to get to the bottom of that hill. I would guess it was probably 3 or 4 miles but in a Bronco with a totally flat tire that takes a while to travel.  Anyhoo...when we got to the bottom he said he was going to go see if he could find us a rim and tire. We followed him to his buddy's driveway and waited.  We got out to stretch our legs and Brandie and I took some crazy pics. I was fixing to go hide in the bushes to pee when we saw him coming back. 

Needless to say he did not find what we needed. The guy was really nice and said he would take our phone number and go home to see if he could come up with anything but we felt that he had done more than enough for us already so we told him we had some friends over in Oliver Springs we would call that we were pretty sure would have what we needed. I called and left a call back number and voice mail. I was sure she would call back in a bit. 

The guy gave us directions on how to get to the nearest town which was Beech Grove I think. So here we head out. We knew it would take us at least an hour or more to probably get there but what else could we do? We travel a little ways before Stacy says man that looks like a cop. A cop OMG that is surely gonna get us pulled over and probably a ticket as long as my arm and no way to get home. 

Sure enough a cop rolls up beside us and rolls his window down. My husband rolls down his window and tells the cop that we have had a flat on the trails and have no spare...O goodness be careful going outta here is all the cop says before rolling up his window and pulling off. My husband rolls back up his window and says ok I dunno whether to be happy or pissed that he didn't have anything else to say. We were all shocked he did not offer to help or even ask if we needed to call any help. We continued on our way a bit before the cop comes back and just blows us off the road. 

We have thus decided that the only thing to do is call home for help because evidently something was wrong and our friends were not going to answer our SOS. We decide to call Neil because he had a spare that would just fit the Bronco. We give him directions to where we think we are heading and he says he will be on his way in a few. 

We continue very slowly up the road making the awfuliest sight of racket I have ever heard. People looking like what in the world everywhere. We are almost at the end of all the little houses when we see an old ford truck sitting in a yard, half joking my husband says hum wonder if they would have a spare. 

We then notice a man in the yard approaching us. He walks up to the Bronco and says do you all have a bit of a problem? We at this time did not know whether to be glad or worried. We told him what had happened and he said well pull in here and if you have a rim I can get you a tire. Of course the only rim we had was the one that we had beat all to crap coming down there. He looked at it and said I think I can make it work. We pull in to this man's yard not knowing him from Adam. 

We are a bit worried because he was a different looking fella but let me tell ya looks can be deceiving this guy was as good as gold and I am very thankful for him. He warns us to be on the lookout for his black dog. Which worried us a bit more than we already were but we were glad that he warned us. This man probably worked with this tire for an hour breaking it down by hand and even taking it to his neighbors to get it to bead. He comes back and says we just need to patch it it has a bit of a leak and you will be ready to go. 

He goes inside and comes back out saying you are not going to believe this but tire plugs is the one thing I don't have or can't find. He says we can get a screw and put in there and that should at least get you to town to a gas station to get some plugs for it. After this man had invested all this time and energy he would not take a dime for his effort...he told us to just pay if forward and if we seen someone in need to help them as many times as we could. He said he had had someone do the same thing for him once and he was just passing on what he had learned.  It was a wonderful idea and I plan to do just as his advice suggested. 

After taking yet another wrong turn and no telling how many dollars sank in to air tanks to get air a woman comes out of the gas station which we thought was already closed. My hubby asked her if there was anyway that we could get a plug for our tire nope she had already closed everything out for the night. How nice. I will remember that station when I go back 4 wheelin again! She did give us directions to another station 3 red lights down which was 24hrs. LOL again I had to ask if the green lights counted.

 We got there and got plugs for our tire and a can of fix a flat. We decide to venture out onto the interstate to see if we can meet Neil and Kenny who had came along half way. Half way was not happening but we did go another 6 miles to an exit with a Waffle House where we got us some hot food. 

The sad thing was most of us were too tired to really care about eating. Once we were full we headed back to the Bronco to wait for our rescue. Stacy tired from working the night before and no sleep went out like a light. I think all of us dozed off at least once before they got there with our tire. 

They got there and got the tire on. I had to ask my uncle if he came to save his little neicey, in which he said yes. After the tire was on we went to a Git it and Go lmao to get gas while they went to get something to eat. We met back up and headed toward home. Of course our luck was looking way too good so we hit a few rain showers so our tires turned our Bronco into a boat. We finally made it home about 2:30 AM. It was 10 till 3 when I got in bed. I was tired and exhausted. 

So what did I learn about 4 wheelin this weekend?

1)Always take a spare and tools. LOL more than 1 spare is not a bad idea if you have room.
2) Meds for stings wouldn't hurt either. ..

3)Always make sure to have food,drink,and a pillow and blanket would not be a bad idea. ..
4)Know where you are and ALWAYS have a map.
5) I don't care what anyone says there are honestly good people with good hearts still out there if you are just not afraid to approach them.
6) O yeah and never go 4 wheelin with a gas jug with gas in it in the back that is not sealed very well. It will get spilled. Ours just so happened to end up spilled on our FOOD!


7) If you get lost don't give up hope...just know who your friends are to call to help!

I had fun. I had a blast. Despite the bad luck of the tire. There were good people to help us in whom I am thankful. There truly are angels among us! Next time we will hopefully not have to call for someone to come get us at 8 at night when they have a 2 or more hour drive but if we do  I know who my friends are to call!

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