What an Evening, or How I spent the last 24 hours

     After I dropped the kids off at the house last night, I went back to the office at 520. I knew that Dan and Karen were out with the Qwest guy doing work on the T-1 install and so wasn’t too worried about them not being back.  Knowing them, they’d go have a meal and then come home.

Well, dusk rolled around and they weren’t back. In fact, my radar was pinging off the wall. I tried calling them, and got no answer. Granted, that isn’t unusual, as cell phone coverage is rather spotty around here at the best of times.  At 6pm, Daniel called looking for Karen. I let him know that they weren’t back yet and then tried to call them again. No answer.
By this time, I am really beginning to fret. At 7 I started some tea and a few burritos, as I was hungry. Just as the microwave went off, the phone rang. It was Karen. They were on foot as the truck had gotten stuck in a snow bank up in Black Hawk Ranch. Shit! Black Hawk Ranch is a lovely area, but when the roads are bad, there is no going in or out. Heaven help you if you go off the road.
So, I grabbed my coat, phone and tea and headed out the door to drive to Pryor exit, which is the last point where you can get cell phone coverage. After a few moments, I got Dan on the phone. They were on 4 mile canyon road. I knew where that was, and said I’d come to them, but Dan was afraid that the road was too rough for my little car. Plus, he and Karen figured that they’d find a house to call from and that would be easier than trying to find them in the dark. (HA!) I tried to convince him that I’d just head up the road, but he didn’t want me out of cell phone range. I understood why, but it didn’t make it easier to wait.

This was very frustrating as I:

  1.   Knew the road, and understood that there were very few houses to call from. Most don’t have phones.
  2.  That the minute they moved off the ridge, that they’d be out of cell phone range and wouldn’t be able to call.
  3. It was getting very cold.

However, I waited. Drove up at one point to see if I could find a spot with cell phone coverage. No luck. Drove back and sat until nearly 9:30pm. Dan called and told me to meet them at the T intersection on the road. The same one I had mentioned meeting them at 2 hours earlier. grrrr….. They had the laptop with GPS, and had only just figured out where they were WITH cell phone coverage to call. So, I drove up and met them about a quarter of a mile past the intersection. Had I not listened, I would have picked them up much earlier. I understand why he wanted me to wait where I had phone coverage, but… Oh well.  Men.
So, they had walked 5.16 miles in the dark. Karen and Dan were exhausted because of the cold. I dropped her off at home to deal with the puppies and then brought Dan home. Got warm clothes for him and some dinner. Then stuffed him in bed and headed for bed myself.

This morning I got up and tried to get Dan to get an early start… He was so sore and stiff that it took forever to get him moving. And of course, the temps were up in the 60’s today. I wanted us to get there before the road he was on turned to a muddy slush puddle. Plus, our sewer at 203 was clogging and we needed to get to La Veta so we could rent the sewer snake.

So, we went down to the local AAA provider and got the big truck to go pull us out of the snow. Or so we thought. We got to within 1/2 a mile of the truck when the guy stopped. “It’s too muddy. I can’t go down there. I’ll get stuck.” grrrr…. So, we walked down in the slush and mud and could not convince the guy to try it. Drove back, got some lunch and then went to the “edgier” tow company. Father and sons grease monkeys. Dan and the one boy headed out to try again. This time with a 4W drive Bronco.
They got there and it was muddier and slushier, but they were able to get to the truck. Right as they were getting ready to pull the little truck out, the big one died. Dan and the boy (ok, 20 something) started to check the engine. They finally figured out that it was the fuel pump. A big rip in the diaphragm. Dan did an emergency repair on that and got the truck started. The battery on the little truck was dead, so they towed it to the highway exit. Karen hobbled to her car and brought them a battery charger to fix that. She is sore and trying to deal with the fact that she walked so far at altitude after living in New Orleans most of her life.
So, the truck is home and we will fix the sewer at my house tomorrow. It is after 5 and Dan has only been home about 20 minutes.

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