Advice for the adventurous…
Well the day started well, a sunny Saturday in Kent (The Garden of England). Luminesence and I decided today wouldn’t be an ingressing day but a caching one. As we both have our own health challenges, we decided on a local walk which has been newly published “Plumbus’s Hoo Massive”.
All started well and off we trot out to the first of our nearby caches (Football Field #1) to clear the area and stick the all important smiley on the map. A quick stroll and it was signed and returned to its safe haven, a nice gentle stroll back to the car and off we go.
Before long we arrived at our first Plumbus cache, Hoo massive #1. Luminesence had pre loaded her Garmin Oregon 450 (I hadn’t, but it was safely tucked away in my webbing. I am trying webbing in place of a rucksack for weight distribution and to see how my back copes. So far so good). So first one found and a gentle stroll to get the next one. We soon found that one too. We were in fact doing the loop as a series of drive by & walks and this was all going to plan until we hit number seven, Ropers Green Lane. Lumi jumped out of the car next to gz and spotted the cache immediately but I was called on as a height issue was obvious.
Nearby was a pile of rubbish that had been fly-tipped, mainly what looked to be building rubbish leftover from someone having block paving done. “Ummm we are building raised beds at home” so I pop a pallet and a couple of the bags of ballast into the boot. At this point we looked at the map and I decided to grab the “just one more”, as time was against us. The little lane that was actually a byway became a dirt track at the cache we needed, so log found, signed and returned. A conversation ensued about turning around and going back the way we came or head on. I, being the driver and seeing the main road ahead on the satnav, decided that a “follow the arrow” aproach would be for the best. DOH! Off we went. I should point out that my car is a Ford Focus – the sport version.
Spotting two very big ruts cut by the farmers tractor in the field I thought two things.
A) It’s wide enough to get through.
B) Don’t drive in the very deep ruts. Some of which seemed to be around a good 12+ inches deep.
Everything was going ok with Lumi gripping the seat for dear life and me chugging along around 5 miles an hour. I should also point out here, I seem to only ever crash at low speed.
Next thing I know we slid into a dip and got well and truly stuck. I asked Lumi to get out as I thought all four wheels were on the ground. WRONG! The bottom of the car was on the ground and all four wheels were hanging in the air. Out came the supplies I had just procured and I began filling in under the tyres with ballast and pallet wood. No joy. An hour later still not enough. By now we had been joined by a friend who spotted our minor hiccup on Facebook (thanks to Lumi posting pictures of the predicament).
Sam (rosieb123) was soon on hand with doughnuts and energy drinks. She was followed by my plan b back up, the entire LA;RS clan and a chelsea tractor. I jacked up one wheel built up under it and so on and so forth around the car. All to no avail. Plan c – get a real 4X4 out. Phone call number 2 saw a 2 hour wait until a nice Range Rover driver came wandering up to my sunken car laughing at my predicament as had many others by this stage, including both myself and lumi.
Up he walks, “yup no problem I can get you out.” A brief discussion ensues and off he goes to get the Range Rover. With much relief, I see the back lights as he is reversing up to us, I am filled with imense joy. Which was rather short lived. As I watched an off roader get well and truly wedged and although he has offroaded all over the world without ever getting stuck, the track claimed its second victim of the day. By now my beloved lumi had been home and returned with my son, her daughter and coffee and sandwiches. Rob, Sam and the two boys (LA:RS) had also returned after finding a travelling community site and angel farm (home to the Kent chapter of the Hells Angels mc) but unfortunately no one with a tractor to pull us out.
With the new obstacle in my way (a 4.2 Range Rover) and a red haired helper. So with much head scratching was going on along with “I wonder if so and so could be our plan d.” Off wanders my son in his flip flops to the traveller site and wanders back after finding a trailer filled to bursting with the female half of the community as all the men had gone fishing, after being asked in and if he would like to court any of the unattached ladies there he came back (eventually). So we were still scratching our heads as it looked like we would have to leave both the cars there till the morning. Then a new face who happens to have a JCB on tracks appears from the direction of the travellers site, “no problem” he says, “back in a minute” he said. Well I’ve heard that before.
Next thing I hear is the thudding of a big old engine after awhile not hearing an increase in volume as you would expect if it was nearing you. Scraping was added to the thudding, off went Ricky to investigate and the rather decent chap was now leveling out the road. By now I wouldn’t have been surprised if Father Christmas turned up with the Elves to tarmac and paint white lines on the road. Well up comes the little digger and drags the Range Rover out then parks in the hedge to let out the Range Rover.
Bloater40 turned up with his son and two big planks to see if he could help but by then the digger was back and I was hooking up the Focus. It was soon lifted free and my son happily drove it out onto the road, grinning like the Cheshire Cat knowing full well he has enough ammo to last him till the next time I off road…
Did I mention this isn’t the first time I have crashed a car at less than 1o miles an hour…