I am back from my weekend in the rain. You didn't really think I would stay home and watch movies would you? And disappoint all of you with no pictures? Oh, the horror! Lol!
Sorry, this is kind of a long read....
On Saturday, I drove to Portland and went to the Japanese Garden to visit the oh-so-famous maple tree. It was looking lovely, although it could probably use about 4 more days to really hit its peak. While I was there, I ran into fellow dA-er
and his gang. It was a pleasure to meet all of them. We chatted briefly, but I knew they had limited time (as did I) so eventually we parted ways. They did tell me about a nice spot to photograph about 30 miles north, so after I was done at the garden, I drove up there. Then I went to IKEA (I love that store!!). And then I headed on down to my hotel near Silver Falls State Park. My hotel had a spa and pool (you can't beat that for a $53/night room!) so I enjoyed both before retiring to my room to download pictures and prepare for the next days shooting.
Since I didn't have far to drive, I was able to sleep until 6:30am….for once, no 3:30am wake up calls! Yay!!!
Initially I had plans of doing the entire loop trail at the park, but I spent so much time photographing every little thing that caught my eye around South Falls that I decided to skip it. I did the loop trail last year so I thought it would be nice to explore some other parts of the park. I headed to the Old Maple Trail and hiked a short portion of it. I love old growth forests. The trees are so big. Finally, I decided it was time to head home…I still had about a four-hour drive to get back.
Here comes the part about getting stuck in the mud:
While I was driving along the little highway away from the park, I saw this huge tree in the middle of a field and I thought, "Boy, that would probably look great in infrared!" So, I found a spot to turn around and headed back to shoot it. There was nowhere to pull out, and I tried to get a good shot while on the road, but some cars were coming up behind me so I started to drive away….and then I saw this little road that I could turn off on and I started to go down it. It wasn't paved. And it had been raining hard for a long time. And it was pretty muddy. But did that stop me? Uh, nooooooooo.
When I got to the spot where I thought would be best for the shot, I stopped. Bad idea. Very muddy and wet there. I tried to take my shot, but my camera started acting up and wouldn't let me shoot. Um, did it get too wet earlier?? So, as a last ditch effort, I took one shot with my DSLR before attempting to move on. Uhhhhh ohhhhhh…..I'm stuck. I tried going forward and backward. No luck. Nothing on hand to put under the tires. Bummer. I could see a house on the other side of the highway and they had a truck….maybe they could help me out? I walked over to their house, and then for some reason, I decided to turn back. As soon as I got back on "my" side of the highway, I heard dogs behind me. Oh crap! Two big black labs were coming from the house! (please don't eat me!!). Luckily they stopped at the property line! Yay, I get to live!
So, I walked back through the mud to my car. Dang, I guess I have to call AAA to come help me.
*This is where it gets funny*
"Triple A customer service, how may I help you?"
"Um, my car is stuck in the mud."
"Where are you located?"
"I'm on a road by mile marker 20 on highway 213 in Oregon."
"Your cell phone number is from Washington, please hold on while I transfer you to an Oregon representative. "
*On hold…..so I try to see if I can get myself unstuck again. No luck. Just getting myself and my car muddier. I put on my flashers in the hopes that maybe someone might see me down here and help me…or that AAA finds me easier.*
"Hi, this is Diane (made up name…can't remember her real name) and you say you're stuck in the mud on the highway?"
"No, I'm on a road that is parallel with the highway….well, it's kind of a road….but it's not paved. I tried to go up and ask for help at a house nearby, but they had dogs that came after me so I went back to my car."
"The dogs chased you to your car???"
"No, they just came out from the house, but they stayed on their property."
"Well, I'm not sure if you're covered on an unofficial road under your policy so it might be an out-of-pocket cost…let me check with your Washington representative."
"Okay." (do I really have a choice? I'm stuck! Just send a truck, pleeeeeeeaaaaase!!!)
*back on hold again…..so I try to get unstuck again. I'm not sure if it's possible for one person to get unstuck from the mud…it's too hard to push on the car and the gas at the same time! Lol! Time to sit in the car and contemplate why I drive down roads I shouldn't*
*While sitting in the car, I see this little Suzuki 4WD start to come down the road….(No, don't come down here little car….you'll get stuck, too!) He comes down anyway and pulls up near my car*
"Are you AAA?"
"No, I'm Josh."
"Hi, I'm Paula." (please don't be an ax murderer, Josh!)
"It looks like you're stuck in the mud!"
"Yeah, I was stupid and came down here to take a picture of that tree and…well, I'm still here. I'm on hold with AAA, but I could really use some help."
"Well, I have 4WD and a rope." (Yaaaay!)
*So, Josh digs his rope out and ties it to my car and his. Meanwhile, AAA comes back on the phone*
So, the people you were trying to visit, do you have their number?"
"Huh?? I wasn't trying to visit anyone…I was just going to ask them for help. I don't know them."
"And why did you drive down this…uh…..road?"
"Because I wanted to take a picture of a tree."
*Silence….and then put on hold again…..so I hang up because Josh now has my car out of the mud*
I tried to pay Josh for his help, but he wouldn't accept it. Josh, if you are out there and reading this…you are an ANGEL!!! Thank you so much for your help!
"Thank you again for all your help! Please take the money!"
"No, that's okay. But I didn't have a knife so when you get home, you will need to cut this rope off that I tied to your car."
*I reach in my pocket and pull out my pocket knife (who's the ax murderer, now? Lol!)*
Once on the road, I called back AAA to let them know I no longer needed help.
Of course, I only had the Washington number….
"Triple A customer service, how may I help you?"
"Hi, my name is Paula and I just called a little bit ago but I was transferred to the Oregon branch…"
"Oh, you're one who was stuck in the mud and surrounded by dogs??"
*slaps forehead and wonders how far the story about the dogs would've grown had I stayed on the line any longer*
"I wasn't surrounded by dogs…..um, nevermind….I just wanted to let you know that a guy stopped and helped me and I no longer need help."
"Oh, a passerby helped you out of the mud?"
Needless to say, I'm sorry I even mentioned the fact that I had tried to get help from a house nearby because that became the whole focus of the conversation. It also made me wonder how long it would've taken them to actually send me someone who could help me.
All I know is that I'm thankful that there are still good people out there who are willing to stop, even in the downpour, to help a person who is in need.
Once home, I see that I have multiple bruises where I tried to leverage myself against my car to push it out of the mud. Oh, the things I get myself into!!!
Anyway, all in all, it was a good weekend. Despite the rain. Despite getting stuck in the mud. Despite the bruises. Despite my infrared camera acting up (do I need to buy a new one??).
New pictures to come.
Also, thanks to whomever found my camera case (for my infrared camera) at the Japanese Garden and turned it in. And thank you to IKEA for selling umbrellas for $2.99.