Wednesday, December 23, 2015

This just got serious...

Geez.  It's only been 10 days since my last post about challenges.  They just keep coming at us like waves.  Yesterday was our greatest challenge so far.  Walking away from the cabin.  Here's the view as I said goodbye to The Broken Badger.

So what happened?  Well, here is the account of the epic journey:

We have abandoned ship. We really weren't as well prepared as we needed to be, then a bunch of different circumstances came together into the perfect storm, and we couldn't overcome. We decided on Monday (21st) that we had to come out. It was Woody's 5 day weekend, and we had actually made a trip out to the Tri-Cities on Saturday with the GMC (and the dogs, of course). It was dicey, but still doable. Then a big storm came. With the new snow we had about 2 feet at the cabin, plus the drifting, and weren't sure what the road would look like up top. We were fairly sure that Woody could barrel out in the old ford (since it's mainly downhill), but also fairly sure that he wouldn't be back for 3 weeks.
And that would be fine, right? After all, that is what I had planned for and I've probably got 4 months worth of food up there. I could stretch it to 6 months if I worked at it. We're still waiting on the pump, so without Woody hauling water, I would have to use my emergency water and melt snow, but that's fine, too. But ya know what? I didn't have enough firewood.
Because of the burn bans and the complete forest shutdown because of the fire risk, we didn't get in a boatload of firewood like we should have. Shoot, I think the shutdown actually ran through September. So we have been piecemealing our firewood supply together as we could. We would drop a tree and get it into rounds, and up to the house and I would split it while Woody was at work. Unfortunately, once the roads started to get worse, he couldn't haul those bigger loads - just smaller ones. And once the concept of him not being able to get back in at all came up... well, that was it. Our 'redundancy' was sorely lacking. Due to living IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOREST, I never planned on being OUT of firewood, so my propane backup was a little more than a weeks worth of emergency stock. And 3 out of 4 of our generators have gone tits up this year (including our new one!!!) so any thoughts of using a space heater for emergency were gone as well (even if I wasn't depending on Woody for hauling the gasoline in for them...).
And our quad broke. And the snowmobile has an 'issue'. It runs, but is less dependable than it should be. And Woody's number one chainsaw broke. And and and....
So anyway, we decided to come out on Tuesday. We were lucky enough that one of our friends from town (with a Jeep) had the day off and was happy to come out and break trail for us. So we loaded up the GMC with a few weeks worth of stuff, bedding, clothes and dogs, and started off once they got there. We made it about 15 feet. He hooked on and tried to pull us out, but we had already dug it in pretty good and no amount of tugging was going to help at that point. So we unloaded the truck to the jeep, made about 3 trips with our stuff up the hill, and loaded it into the old ford. We walked up the hill... who's bloody idea was that??? Then sent back the jeep one more time for some booze. (BECAUSE.)

So off we go. Even with the trail being broken - it was epic. Epic, epic, epic. We were just trying to keep up momentum so we didn't get stuck, the old ford was bouncing like a monkey on crack, we were BLASTING through drifts 3 - 4 feet high, throwing snow rooster tails over the cab of the truck, I was clutching the dogs for dear life (sleeping dogs, really???), when Woody wasn't pooping his pants he was trying to deny he was kind of having fun.... Epic.
The Jeep had to tug us out once, but over all the downhill/momentum plan worked out. Shoot, did I mention we had 2 teenagers in the bed of the truck for the ride out? Fricking country kids, tough as nails.
Crashed at our friends house for a couple days, where poor little Buddy got attacked by their heeler (not bad enough for vet, thank goodness), and there was a ham incident. Now we are holed up in a single wide in a neighboring community.
So anyway, that is our sad, sad story. By the way - this community is amazing. I don't think there is anywhere else in the world like it. It's a fricking gem.

Walking to the post office in downtown Bickleton!


  1. I'm sorry I didn't keep in touch with you more on the Facebook group to know that you were trying to get through winter without enough firewood. I'm glad you left when you did.

    You did the right thing in getting to a safe shelter.

    1. We kept being hopeful right up until the end! Next year will be much better. I need to start paying attention to "preparing for winter" info in early May!!!

  2. Oh guys......and I thought I was remote....sounds like you had a b*tch of a time, glad you can write about it in such an entertaining way and glad you are all ok. I'm taking it that this will be a lesson learned kind of thing and you'll be back there once the snow goes (assuming, like here, the roads are either dustbowls, snowfields or mud baths). Keep smiling,it's all partof the stressful fun that is called life :)

    1. You are so right, Mike! We have snow season, mud season, fire season and mud season! And it seems like they are all becoming more extreme and unpredictable.