Construction Journal Entry Week of 12/25/11

12/25-26/11 Ellen, Andrew, Tianna, and I went up to Camp Serendipity for an overnight Christmas adventure.

The trip turned out to be more of an adventure than we expected or wanted. Our plan was to stop at the '59er Diner for lunch, proceed on to Leavenworth for sledding, dinner, and viewing the Christmas lights and festivities, then retiring to Camp Serendipity for the night with more sledding in the morning before returning home. That was the plan.

As it turned out, the '59er Diner was closed for Christmas day. We changed our plans when we got there and found them closed, and headed for Camp Serendipity for lunch and to unload our gear before we headed for Leavenworth.

It had been snowing ever since about 2000 feet on the other side of the pass and it continued to snow all the rest of the way. When we got to Mike Dickinson's driveway, I interrupted my concentration while I pointed their place out, and my right front tire got off into the soft shoulder. There was about 2 inches of new snow on the frozen road that hadn't been plowed or sanded so the truck was instantly pulled off the road and into the ditch.

We went down the embankment about 20 feet into a thicket of vine maples which slowed our descent. We had a soft landing with nobody getting hurt and the airbags did not deploy.

From that point on, our luck was pretty good. Neighbors immediately stopped to help. Cell service was available there so I was able to call 911, AAA, and my insurance company. The Deputy Sheriff was on the scene in a few minutes. He told me that AAA would not be able to help me in that territory but that a towing service at Coles Corner 8 miles away could. He called the tow truck for me and it was there in just a few minutes more.

While we were waiting, the sand truck came by and sanded the area above my truck to give the tow truck some traction. Too bad that same truck wasn't 20 minutes earlier, or that we were 20 minutes later.

Ellen had called her sister, Marilyn, in Skykomish and she and George drove up to help us and arrived before the tow truck did. As it turned out, we didn't need their help at that time, so we cancelled our plans to meet them for dinner in Leavenworth and they went back home.

The Deputy was wonderfully courteous, professional, and helpful, not only in getting a tow truck quickly, but in helping us all through the ordeal. After the truck was pulled from the ditch, it was towed to Coles Corner where the driver said it could wait until we decided what to do with it in the morning. The Deputy gave the four of us a ride to the cabin and and then lent me one of his personal trucks to ferry our gear from Coles Corner to Camp Serendipity.

We had fun in the cabin that night and tried to turn the occasion into a normal outing. It was not normal, however. I slept only a couple hours that night spending the rest of the time replaying the many events and conversations over and over in my mind.

In the morning, we learned that there were no hotels and no rental cars available in the region at all. George gave me the excellent advice of having the truck towed to a friend of his in Kenmore who fixes crashed vehicles. That way, the truck would be nearby and easier for me to deal with.

Marilyn graciously offered to come up and drive all of us back home to Seattle, which she did. The Deputy also came to Camp Serendipity in the morning with his family and after a pleasant visit and tour of the place, they took their vehicles home. We arrived safely home feeling grateful that nobody was hurt and grateful for all the help we received and that was offered by the many good people who were involved. What a way to end the year.

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