O.K. I've never submitted a cell phone shot before but Miss Alice thought this one needed to be submitted and even gave the title for it (her title for this is MUCH more uncensored than what I would have called it )
Anyway, for those who don't like to read the story that accompanies the picture, you're excused and may hit the back button now and save yourself from my boring life stories
The story is this: Wednesday I was dispatched to haul a couple loads of rock from one part of Wyoming to Another part a few miles away. The day started off OK with the 80 mile drive to the supposed quarry but went down hill in a hurry when I made a wrong turn into the wrong place (which I thought was the right place and the dispatcher confirmed was the right place but was in actuality, the wrong place) with a truck and two trailers and spun out on the icy approach. No problem! I have chains--so chains were yanked out of the chain box and attached to the tires in about half an hour of slipping and sliding and cussing because it's very difficult to put tire chains on AFTER you've gotten stuck!
So, when I got in the truck and tried to go the tires and chains just spun. great So, I backed up a little bit and tried again and immediately threw a chain off the tire. The chain was reattached and another attempt was made at going forward--ah, hell folks...it was the same scenario for two hours. I finally got ahold of a flatbed trucker passing by who graciously agreed to pull my pup trailer backwards with a log chain and keep it out of the ditch while I backed the tractor and lead trailer up FINALLY! Out of the jam and free again, so off came the chains!
So, that isn't the story behind THIS picture This picture was taken about a half hour AFTER all that above mess happened and about 2 miles away from that spot and after a phone call to someone who knew EXACTLY where I was supposed to go and after I asked him enough times to confirm to try his patience. At then end of that conversation he said, and I quote, "It's not a problem--they are for sure open and waiting for you to get there to load" [these words will haunt him for the rest of his life, but he doesn't know that yet--I SHALL get even! ]
Now, kind viewer, reader, watcher, friends and peeps--take a good lonnnnnng look at the above picture. Notice the depth of snow? Notice the single set of tracks going in but none coming out? Notice the freaking CLOSED and LOCKED gate and the total lack of any sign of life around this place??? The quarry was for sure, NOT open for business. Now, if may I direct your gaze to the left side of the picture you might notice tracks in the snow leading to the edge of the frame. Those are my tracks. I was trying to find the edge of the road so I would know how far I could go left when I got going to turn around, which coincidentally, happened to be also not only the edge of the picture frame it was the edge of a creek bank. Farther up near the CLOSED and LOCKED gate you would see similar tracks leading to the left which ended about 20 feet from the rightmost tire track in a snow covered swamp. There would be no turning around.
I went back to the truck and chained up one axle and tried to go forward. Nothing. The truck wouldn't move an inch. I chained up the other axle and tried again and was rewarded with the tires spinning and the chains on one axle coming off. I chained up the axle again and decided that I would have to do something about the gate before I could go anywhere anyway so I trudged back along the road I came in on until I saw I had cell service (you know those 4G nationwide coverage maps that AT&T and Verizon are so keen on showing in their commercials and how there are great big holes in them where there is no coverage because there isn't enough people living in those areas to warrant building a cell tower? Yeah, I was in the middle of one of those big holes in those maps!) and made a call to the fella who assured me that the quarry was open asking him to get ahold of someone who works at the quarry to come out and right this wrong and open the gate, fire up one of the FOUR Caterpillar 980K payloaders and clear the road and pull me out of this mess.
I waited for him to call back...
About an hour after I called him he called back saying that nobody was available to come out but he would 'send someone out to help'. The help turned out to be a couple 20 something guys in a half-ton, two-wheel drive pickup and a tow strap. The 20 something fellows assured me that their pickup would pull me anywhere I wanted to go and really, because it had soooo much pull power, it may well damage the front end of my truck if they weren't careful. So, the tow strap was applied to both pickup and truck and torque was applied by the pickup which immediately spun it's tires uselessly as I knew it would. In the meantime, I threw another chain off.
Instead of putting the chain back on, I got a hacksaw out of my toolbox and started for the gate. The 20 something fellows asked what I was going to do so I told them I was going to cut the lock off the gate so I could turn around. They looked at each other and then one of them went behind the seat of the pickup and produced a pair of bolt cutters! So, while they were up cutting the chain off the lock, I put the chain back on and then took the single chains off the other axle and got out my triple rail chains (which until that day I hated like poison) and put those on.
Now, the gate is open and there is all that open space just inside the gate and to the right and all I have to do is get the damned truck moving! I put it in gear and let out the clutch and the ol' blue Freightliner started forward! I went through the gate, turned around, headed back out the gate, down the driveway and the accursed road leading in to the place and back to the highway where I ran a stop sign making a right turn because stopping for it would mean getting stuck again and I had had enough of that for one day! I went down the bare and dry highway about a mile and a half to a wide spot to take my chains off so I could head for home 80 miles away. I got no loads hauled that day, drove 160 miles and had nothing but frustration and hard work for my efforts.
Like the line in the Mary Chapin Carpenter song says--"Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug!" but really, it's all in a day's work
PERFECT description, Bia! Like the old saying goes here--'life is just a crap sandwich and every day is just a bigger bite!" Yeah, it wasn't a great day in the annals of my driving career but nobody got hurt--mainly because there wasn't anybody around *TO* hurt --and nothing was damaged (much) Really, my day couldn't have been any worse than taking care of a three year old
THanks my friend
Brother--I *knew* you'd understand! And, yeah...I've gotten those kinds of radio and cell phone calls too I began my driving career driving my grandfather's straight truck hauling cattle and he was the world's greatest at vague directions with obscure landmarks to follow
The good news is that nobody got hurt and nothing was damaged--at least very much
Well, I don't know that it was terrible, but it was frustrating, for sure! I've learned over the last 35 years of driving trucks that these days happen and there's not much you can do about them. It's like a cascade failure--one thing leads to another and that leads to another failure and if you're lucky you get out of it with your rig undamaged and yourself not injured
Haw! A beautiful picture...however, like so many photographs it takes on a completely new feeling when you know the story behind it. We don't get snow like that in my part of the world. I miss out on those beautiful photos and scenes....but I also miss out on dealing with those driving issues. I guess it's a fair trade-off!
Thanks for sharing your photo and story.
Thank you I won't repeat how I described this scene to my friend as it's quite obscene and vulgar, but it did have the descriptive word of 'picturesque' in it
,,I consider you very lucky indeed that you don't have to deal with the winter weather I bemoan winter--hate it like poison mostly--No snow or bitter cold weather would seem like heaven for a while but I think having no real change in the seasons would get to me after a decade or two. I'm MORE than willing to try that experiment though!
Yup! It was enough for one day when I finally got back to the highway and headed home. I doubt very much the operators of that quarry will ever see a bill from the company I work for (we do a lot of hauling out of there so there's business politics to consider) but I'm content knowing they will have ot buy a new lock and have keys made for their thoughtlessness in not informing their customers they were closed that day
Yeah, that's all those spooters on the Titanic saw too! It was a lonnnnnng day that I was very glad to be over and done with! I'm glad you found my pain and misery so...interesting and entertaining Well, it was funny, interesting and engaging at the time for me too, really With each new disaster I wondered just how bad it could get on the next one--I knew it would get worse...these kinds of days always do. It's just an escalation form bad to worse to worst
99 times out of a hundred I would have stopped out on the highway before turning into a place and walked in to see what was going on but the Universe wanted me to have this day (wicked, evil, nasty UNIVERSE! ) for whatever sadistic reason. It could have been a lot worse though Nobody got hurt and nothing was damaged (much ) and I got to reinforce the reasons I cautiously do what I do like checking places out before blundering in to them
I accept your award and I'd like to thank you and the Academy, the Writer's Guild and the Snap On man who gave me the visual distraction of the nudie pin up calendar on the backside of the sunvisor