I've been taking jr hi kids to their Towers camp for many, many years. I can find my way there in the dark. However, I only know how to get there, I don't know what roads I take to do that. That probably explains why there were no cars following me by the time I turned onto that dark county road. Towers is in the woods that are really, really dark at night.
I had a van full of girls and we went straight to the staff cabin. Our stuff was in the other cars who were finding their way to the camp after getting real directions. So the girls and I went into the cabin to check out where we'd be staying. While we were waiting for the other cars, it started to rain. No, that's not right. It started to pour. No, that's not right. It started to come down in buckets! Because of the drought here in Texas, the water soaks quickly into the ground.
I got a call from, Jake, the guy in charge of the weekend. Jake said we needed to meet him at the kitchen and the other cars were driving straight there. Because of the deluge, I told the girls that I would drive us over to the kitchen so we wouldn't get soaked going to the kitchen. We all ran to the van and piled in.
The van was parked in the opposite direction of the kitchen. No problem. I just had to make a wider turn on the road. No problem. I've been on these road for years. There was just sand and pine needles alongside the pavement.
Well, except for the rain that made the sand really soft and the fact that there was a stump alongside the pavement. The stump was covered by the pine needles and I never saw it. I would have never even noticed it, except for that thump followed by the spinning of wheels.
No problem. I would just put the van in reverse. No problem. Except that the van wasn't going anywhere. I pressed the gas and a notice starting flashing on the dashboard, "Tires Spinning"! Even the van realized it was stuck. So all the junior high girls piled out of the van in the rain and started pushing. First they pushed from the front while I put the van in reverse. Then they pushed from the back while I put the car in drive. No doubt about it, the van was stuck and we were wet. So we all walked over the the kitchen and were very thankful that the rain had slowed to a simple downpour. I told Jake about my stuck van and he told me the maintenance guys could rescue me the next day.
The weekend was a great weekend, as usual. The kids worked hard and played hard as the weather permitted. The next afternoon Jake and the maintenance guy showed up in the really big pickup to pull the van off the stump. It was nerve racking for me as they attached the chain to the van. (Did I mention that I was borrowing this van from Jaime and Slade?) In my mind, I was imagining how to nicely explain that the fender fell off while pulling the van off a stump. I didn't have to worry about that scenario because the van didn't go anywhere. This really big pickup just spun its wheels while trying to pull the van off that stump. It turned out that the van's frame was on the stump and the soft, wet sand had given way enough that it was hung up on the stump and wasn't going anywhere.
The next day the rain eased to a wet drizzle. The maintenance guy and Jake returned to the van to try to finally free it. They came well equipped with jacks and a secret weapon. You will know that I live deep in Redneck territory when you read this. I love Redneck ingenuity!
First, they guys used the jacks on each side of the van and raised the van out of all that soft sand. Then, and I'm not making this up, they got out their secret weapson. They brought out a chainsaw and in true Texas fashion, they went to work sawing that stump! Redneck ingenuity at its finest - lower the stump so the wheels and frame can clear it! And it worked!
Great weekend, great people, great stories. This will always be remembered as the time the chainsaw rescued the van.