Saturday, December 10, 2011

Hay Adventures!

I had to go and pick up some hay today from a local farmer.  My other hay guy was out of hay for the year and I felt I needed a few more bales, so off I went, to inspect and then perhaps to buy.  I had Googled the directions to the farm and ended up in quite a pretty valley to the south of here.
The farmer had a small horse facility but he farms 600 acres of hay.  The hay was stored down the road a couple of miles from his house, so he hopped in the truck and off we went.
It was nice hay so I agreed to buy some.  That was where the good luck ran out.
The ground is saturated from all the rain that has fallen over the past two weeks and the truck is a short bed and not four wheel drive.  Wheee!  We slipped and slid and then got stuck.  I couldn't get us out and so said to the farmer "you give it a try".  I got out and stood up on the hill a little ways and he worked on getting the truck moved. At one point, he hopped out of the truck, which was sitting on a slight incline side to side, to see what the back wheels were doing and how deep the rut was becoming from spinning wheels.  Did I mention it was on a slight incline?  We heard a "thunk" and he looked at me with an expression I cannot even describe.  "Did I just lock us out?" he said.  Uh...yeah.  In the middle of nowhere, at least a mile from any house.  "Do you have your phone?"  The poor man looked like he was going to cry.  No, it was in the truck.  I "had it with me" but it wasn't on my person.  The door locked automatically because he had left the vehicle in reverse when he hopped out.
I remained calm and he was, too, amazingly enough.  No point in getting upset although I felt the fringes of that emotion for a short time. We were stuck.  No tools.  Nothing.  So I prepared myself for a walk down the road, thanking God that I had on a warm jacket.  It was 39 and sunny but there was a bit of a sharp breeze.  And there were lots of trees and hills to block the breeze.  I'd be all right.  I figured if someone could call a locksmith, I could be out of there in a couple of hours and please, God, may there be enough gas to get to a gas station since the engine was still running.
The farmer went up to the barn and rooted around a bit, came back with two bits of broken thin board and some baling twine.  He was determined to get us out, so I thought what the hell, let's give him the benefit of the doubt.  He got a bale of hay to stand on.  Then he worked on prying open just a smidge, the top of the driver's side door. The original plan was to snag the keys I had sitting on the console, with the baling wire, but I explained I had only brought them along because they had the post office key on them.  So plan B was to open the door handle.  I positioned myself on the passenger's side to give encouragement and directions to help him since he was really doing this blind, unable to see straight down and where the handle was.
Now you have to understand that all modern vehicles are designed to thwart people like me and the Farmer to get inside and steal the radio or the vehicle itself. So the handle is recessed under the arm rest on the left (on the driver's side) .  Damned if he didn't hook it.  This impressed me mightily!  I still can't believe he got the wire over the handle firmly.  And gave several good pulls and then when the door didn't open, we decided it was because it was still in gear. Running.  And burning gas.  Crap.
Plan C was to send another bit of wire through the steering wheel and attempt to get the gear shift lever back into park, so he secured the wire on the door handle and attempted to do that.
Then I got the bright idea to suggest that if we had a piece of thin rebar or something strong, maybe he could just shove it through the little crack and hit the button to unlock the door. So off he went to root around in the barn again.  Which, for a barn, was amazingly clean and free of debris and crap that usually ends up in there.  Which means there wasn't anything there to scavenge to help us out.  He came back with a long thin stick, very straight.  A little fiddling around with it and finally he hit the button and we heard the strong CLICK that meant the doors unlocked.  I threw open the door and flung myself across the seat.  "I got the phone!" I cried!  :):):)  We were in.  But still stuck, however, things were looking up.
He got back in after I insisted that we unroll both of the front windows.  He agreed heartily!  And he got us turned around and back to his house.
So that was the adventure of the day.  It only took us abut 30 minutes to get back in and to get out of the place.  Not too bad really.
I take my hat off to farmers.  They can fix anything.

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