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A Mountain Drive

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It's no simple thing when you're Jinxed

There is a little problem with having an energetic dog. That energy has to go somewhere, and as we live in a small trailer, the energy can’t be expelled here. 

Fortunately, my husband Brad is patient and shares my love of taking the dogs running. Taking them out is something that has to be done almost every day. Since the snow has now (mostly) melted, the dogs can run longer and play harder than they could just a few weeks back. Because my knee keeps me from driving right now, either Brad or Stacey hauls the dogs and I up the mountains so the dogs can trot some of that energy out. It’s not an easy task, as you have to be on the look out for other drivers and because Aspen doesn’t know when to quit, you have to force her inside the truck while Sparkles goes bananas on the road.  

Because I am a pretty spontaneous person, I wasn’t too stunned when Brad hit the first section of snow on the road and just barreled through it. We slid and our wheels spun sideways, but we made it to the other side just fine. Yay! That part was fun and Brad was undaunted and just kept driving. Then we hit the second batch of unmelted snow and ice. “Do you think I should put it in four wheel drive?,” Brad asked, oh so innocently. I didn’t say  “wel,l duh,” but I wanted to!! 

“Yeah, it would probably help,” is what came out of my mouth, which I was really proud of because I’m well known as a smart aleck. Brad, not hearing the sarcasm  in my voice, climbed out of the truck and turned the hubs to 4WD. Off we spun into the next bit of snow. Brad was smiling so I let him have his fun. 

The dogs both love the snow, and were bouncing all over the place.  I am not sure why they are so enamored with snow; personally, snow is one of those phenomena that I could do without most of the time. Can’t we just water the mountains to ensure no fires for the summer? 

Stuck in the snow? Well of course, I mean, why not? This is me we are talking about here. (Our truck is a small Ford Ranger versus about five feet of snow, slick with ice cover. Stuck once? No. Twice? No. Six times! Six times our tires spun this way and that way and neither of those ways was the right way! Each time Brad would get out and look at the way we were stuck as if looking might magically make it unstuck. “Hummm,” Brad mused, “I just know the snow is cleared right around the corner out there.”

Yes, I was staring at him as if he had three heads How do you know the snow has melted up that road? Still, Brad patiently gunned the truck’s gas pedal. Again... stuck. 

By this time, I was thinking he was  definitely a man after my own heart. I have been stuck more times than I care to admit to and here was Brad, willing to go that extra mile regardless of the consequences. 

I have to say though, the last time we were stuck, Brad pulled through with flying colors. I was quite impressed. We rolled around the corner that he was certain would be empty of snow and lo and behold, it was! Unfortunately there was a tree across the road that we absolutely couldn’t drive around! The tree was roughly the size of my bathroom. Granted I have a small bathroom, but still! 

Brad got out of the truck to “assess” the situation. He put his foot against the tree and gave it a push. The tree didn’t budge. Then he put both hands against the tree and pushed. Again, it didn’t budge. He put his hand on his chin, as if giving the problem serious thought. He climbed back in the truck. I expected him to put the truck in reverse and begin our journey back down the mountain towards civilization. Instead, I sat in the truck, my mouth opened wide, my mind not quite comprehending what was taking place. Brad put the truck in drive and tried to push the tree out of the road. 

Did I mention this tree was huge? Did I mention we drive a Ford Ranger? Brad pushed at this massive tree not once but at least ten times trying to move it out of the way. All I could think of is where he thought that tree was going to go if he did manage to get it pushed forward. Wouldn’t it then swing around and knock our car off the road... off the cliff that was on my side? Sweat was breaking out on my forehead as Brad looked at me and said, “ I guess that won’t work.” My mind screamed, “Seriously? Ya think?”,  but my mouth said quickly, “maybe we should just turn around here.” Again, I felt like I did a great job by not yelling at him and ranting about WWBD! (What would Banjo do!) 

I might add that at this time, even the dogs were looking at Brad as if his brain cells had cashed out. Brad carefully turned the truck around and we began to head back down the mountain. Aspen and Sparkles were jumping up and down, loving the snow and ice, chasing each other’s tail, not caring if we got stuck in the snow or not. Finally, Brad straightened out the truck and off we started down the mountain. 

Looking at me, Brad asked, “Are you okay?” I chirped, “Sure, I am!” But my mind was still trying to rid itself of visions of our truck rolling down the side of the cliff, flinging our bodies to and fro. 

We hadn’t gone but a mile or so,s till a good 20 miles up, when Brad tilted his head and mused, “I wonder if our tires will make it back down?”

“What?” I know I screeched! Brad calmly disclosed, “Well, we kind of need new tires on the front, wire is coming out of the tread. Really?! My mind was clogged with verbs to describe his sanity! We came all the way up here, knowing our tires were barely there, barreling through the snow and ice and over rocks that had fallen during the winter, not being able to see the shoulder of the road most of the time, and on these same bald tires he was trying to push a colossal tree off the road with our small truck, worrying me that the tree would roll over our truck, whip us like a twig off the top of the mountain and he just now decided to let me in on our tires being mangled with wires protruding out of the tread? 

After processing all of that, all my mind could come up with is, Lordy I love this man!

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Author info

Jinx Beshears Jinx Beshears is a southern transplant to North Idaho, and shares her confusion with the Pacific Northwest Lifestyle in her column, Jinxed. When not writing, or living, her outlandish stories, she's generally lost somewhere in the mountains with her dog, Aspen.

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driving, Jinxed

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