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North of the Hi-Line
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just yesterday evening after my chores were finished, I decided to take an alternate route home, do to road conditions. The roads were blown off quite well, so I proceeded to make my way around the loop. Everything was fine, and not much drifting was built up along the road way. Then as evening came and the dark settled in, I came to a curve in the road taking me back North to the main gravel road and back to Mom's house in which I have been staying. The bad thing was that this curve had been drifted over from one field's ditch over to the other field's ditch. It appeared at night, that with 4 wheel drive and a starting run, I could pop a trail through the drift and make it home before it got late. I rammed my way through for a good 2/3 of the drift, and then the tires started to spin. I tried backing out in my same trail, but the wind was coming up making ground visibility poor. As I was trying to back out, I veered off to one side of the road and a wheel slipped into the ditch. I was now several feet below the road and tipped real heavy to one side. I was buried mid way up to my driver's side door. I could still get my passenger side door open, though it was practically pointing up in the air. The big snow bank had caved in and sprung my driver's side door, and I quickly found grociery sacks to seal up the drafts. Well, there I was, stuck amongst the most flatest, wind-swept, God-forsaken, miserable, empty farm land you'd ever want to be in.

I ran the pickup engine and heater for 15 minutes at a time throughout the night. The engine barely started and would whine real loud. The heater couldn't keep up as the cold was being driven directly at the front of the pickup. I ran the engine every hour or so, to avoid the engine from freezing up. The radio had wind chill advisories out last night, and it was -34 below with a 25 mph wind give or take. I knew I was in serious trouble coming through the night this next time. I never once panicked fortunately, as I have been through this before, in fact I have lost flesh a couple times over the years and have nearly died from hypothermia twice. After so many close calls before, I now can keep very calm and just let what happens happen. I had bad thoughts of my mother though, and I felt so terrible for her, as she would be a mess at home, not having a clue where I was. We were to go to an Aunt's funeral today, and by me being froze to death would have been the ruin of her. The bad thing was, I had no cell phone, and the road I was on was almost never traveled outside of the farming season.

I thought of all the people expecting the worse by this morning, and all the misery they'd be going through in my search. Fortunately, I threw all that garbage out of my head, prayed, gathered snow in a sack, and made a caccoon of coats, shirts, and... the thing that kept me from freezing solid... I had a goose down mummy bag along in the back seat! The bag was only rated to 15 above, but with coveralls, sweat shirts, and a couple coat layers, I could insulate enough to keep from loosing all my core heat. I had a face mask, stocking cap and hoods. I wrapped the mummy bag around my head and kept my face from freezing by using a wool jacket, forming a loose air pocket and sheild. I could let my breath freeze the jacket shield without it going into my mummy bag and creating frost. I kept in this very same position for 22 of the 23 hours I was stranded. I can barely move right now after that long episode of veggitating.

I had my Wirehair with me too. At about midnight my poor dog was starting to freeze up pretty fast. I couldn't do much for her, as I had no room in my bag, nor could she lay on top of me, as she would squeeze the air insulation out of my bag. It was sad to watch her like that, but I had little gas left in the tank, and by running the heater many more times that night, I was risking myself big time! I broke down and started it up. She started coming too a bit more after awhile. She did make it through afterall, and she is gonna be just fine now.

I was still sticking it out in my caccoon all of today, but I had to get my dog outside to move her muscles and releive herself. I got more fresh snow and in a short time my feet and hands were starting to freeze real bad. I jumped back in the pickup and started the heater one more time for the day. I got to a decent heat level to keep myself going for awhile. I let the dog in after she was showing signs of shivers. I was getting wrapped up again for the rest of the day and another miserable night. I ran the radio for a bit and listened to Christmas Carols until they reminded me of funeral music, and shut them off. I did hear the weather report, and tonight was gonna be the real nasty. Drifting snow and lows way worse than the night before. I made my prayers again and though I honestly was thinking tonight would be the night for my end, I still had the great feeling a miracle from my prayers would happen. I was certian I'd be saved at least in one more day.

Well... Today late afternoon, my dog started barking and growling. I poked my head through my jacket and scanned around a bit. I saw nothing through the heavily frosted windows. Then I looked again through a clear spot, and on the other side of the curve's drift, I saw a pickup coming to a stop. I was a little wacky in the head, but I bailed out of the nest in short order! The wind chill was still terrible, but I didn't care, I was so releived. It turns out my prayers were answered, no doubt, as the man and his older son almost never came down that road today. They origonaly wanted to go check it out and see what condition it was in for semi to get through. They said they just about turned around and abandoned the idea earlier. They told me I should be praying to the Lord and thank him for this miracle. The guy wasn't even a christian so to speak, but he ment it I know. This very guy was expecting to see a frozen body, and sent his older son to look first. This man had already found his younger son froze to death not many years ago, so I'm sure he didn't wanna be the first to see me.

Anyhow, he called the county road grader who was up North. He made it over our way and plowed out the corner and later pulled my outfit out with the grader. It was a heck of a pull out of that hole, but it worked! They reported my finding to the Sheriff's department and the US Border Patrol. They called my mother and she called all the friends, family, and neighbors out searching. Turns out they were searching a 50 mile radius, and then today they had upgraded the search to a three county area. Whats very odd to me, is the fact that a search party was that large and wide, and yet not one of them in 23 hours had drove down my road only 14 miles from the main gravel. That is why this man and son were a freak mirical, as they didn't even hear of the search yet.

Concidering that most folks were looking for a cold body, I'd say I come out of this one with flying colors! I didn't go to the hospital and I'm home already. I feel like I have the flue and am sweaty, but I can live with that. I did feel horrible when I got home, cause I put so many people through bad times. I could have taken the other road I spose, but I honestly think I needed this experience. I'm a Christian, but I surely havn't been a good example of one for some time. I guess sometimes it takes the Reaper breathing down your neck, to change your mind of things. I had a grand opportunity this time, to live better, and be prepared. By all rights, I should have never walked away from that scene. Praise the Lord again!

This evening I've been answering calls from a lot of folks that feared the worst. When I answered some went speachless. There is a rumor already I died, but that will make things interesting when they see me in town! I could have ruined a lot of Christmas's around here from my wrong decision. I thought after last years little mishap, I'd be done with this excitement for a long, long time... guess not. It was a neat feeling, but back in the pickup I felt prayers for a while. You'd have to be there to understand I guess. On a good note, my mother gave me a long hug and treats me different right now. We havn't been extremely close like that before. Also, an area Pastor called me up and prayed for me and than invited me to church service.

Long story, sorry, but I wanted to share it. Mom and I are already planning our emergency kits, and I AM finally getting that cell phone I always said I would get.
 

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Big Front Porch advocate
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44,851 Posts
I'm glad you made it, and the doggie, too.

Good to get the cell phone if you have coverage, and keep it charged.

Angie
 

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Halfway, OR & Wagoner, OK
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3,306 Posts
MP,
That's an amazing story. Thank heaven you are okay.

I'm from heavy snow country too, and we also always carried a heavy sleeping bag in the wintertime.

Yea, I'd say a cell phone is in order.

Sandy
 

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Premium Member
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1,566 Posts
MT- I posted a couple of days ago after I ran off the road into a snow filled ditch. I was much luckier than you- I did have a cell phone and was able to call hubby. I was also only 4 miles from home at the time, after having driven over 80 miles from town. Like you, I had my dog along.

Do yourself a favor- if you don't have a cell phone, and don't want one- go out and buy a pre-paid cell phone and carry it with you in the car. We got ours at Target for around $20 each and we just load them up with minutes every few months. We only use them when we are traveling and we don't give the #'s out, so no one can call us. The minutes are a bit pricey if you were to use it as a regular cell phone, but for emergencies, they are cheap insurance.

Glad you made it home okay.
 

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If I need a Shelter
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21,625 Posts
So glad the Lord was watching out for you.And good to have you posting :dance:

big rockpile
 

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Wow! Praise the Lord indeed! So very glad you are safe. Take care of yourself. I pray that you and your mother will continue to draw closer to each other and to the Lord. Thanks for sharing with us.
 

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Wow!!!!

What an experience!!!! Thank God that you are alright!

I have enjoyed reading about your experience, and happy you are okay.

Clove
 

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Premium Member
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Your having one heck of a winter MM. Makes me want to stop complaining about every little thing. You were watched over obviously, and I'm glad of that. You neeed to be a bit more careful in your choices now. God speed.
 

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plains of Colorado
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4,176 Posts
is that you're okay. I am not big on cell phones but for that reason of bad weather, is why I have one. I do not give out the #...the only people that have my number are my son & husband. It really is cheap security.
 

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Animal Addict
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12,209 Posts
What a story, what a miracle and a happy ending! Hint to your family that you would like one of those cheapie cell phones with the prepaid minutes. God is amazing.
 

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:clap:
Praise the Lord!

Dont forget to bring some doggie blankets along every time you go somewhere after this! :eek:
 

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An Ozark Engineer
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13,441 Posts
Goodness! I got all froze up just reading about your horrible night! You're having a heckuva winter, and it's only December! So glad you were rescued and back here to tell us about it.

NeHi
 

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North of the Hi-Line
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1,096 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you the one that crashed last winter and destroyed your mother's car?
Yes, that was me alright. We've had a lot of excitement in the last three years... somehow I'm the one who's sparks alot of it! Geeze, it was just a bad mishap, but I know my poor Mother wants to strangle me sometimes.
 
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