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All’s Well That Ends Well
Written By: O.C.fotoguy
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All’s Well That Ends Well
All’s Well That Ends Well
All’s Well That Ends Well
All’s Well That Ends Well
All’s Well That Ends Well
All’s Well That Ends Well

    Yesterday my life didn’t turn upside down, but surely got severely, surprisingly and unexpectedly tilted.  Today I am very glad and fortunate to be able sit here in my nest (slide-in camper on a Ford F-150 pick’em truck), sip my morning coffee and reflect, ponder, and write about it. It was another of those incidents which makes my meanderings to the warm parts of our country in the winter an Adventure. It could’ve been a disaster, but obviously wasn’t, but I know it could’ve been. Being within my safety net (you know the limits of my/your knowledge, ability, insurance, and things like that) sure helped. All I was doing was trying to do the right thing, when the tilt occurred.
    This morning (Jan. 31st) is dreary and rain is predicted, here in EverGlades City.  At the NPS Visitor Center I’m watching people scurrying to carry canoes to the Florida Bay and a guy even asked me when the tour boats leave as he was rushing around; not a good day for either. They are on the time constraints of their vacation, so they need to keep on that schedule to get all their planned events done. Not me ... today I’m off (yeah, I know I’m always off in the head...). I have no schedule and my only plan is be where it’s warm in the winter, enjoy nature, and see what she has to show me.
    Yesterday started wonderfully. I was walking towards the WindMill Trail near Gator Hole Camp Ground, which is about two miles east of Pink Jeep CG and north of Bear Island CG in Big Cypress NP (www.nps.gov/bicy/), America’s Jungle in the EverGlades. The trail was mostly shaded by Cypress and other trees, a woodpecker’s dream home and inhabited by hundreds. The photo shows a red bellied wood pecker, see the red belly? Neither do I. There’s only red on its head. What nut case named this bird?!? There were huge piles of bear dung and some bobcat scat, and bear footprints but I didn’t see either animal, but they probably saw me; plus I saw a skink, a critter Mother Nature rarely shows. The trail out and back was about eight miles, so as I got back near my nest I was ready for a soothing shower and breakfast, but what was this?
    As I turned onto the dirt road to the campsite I saw piles of stones blocking the road, that the maintenance people had put there. I planned to leave after I’d eaten, since a possible rain storm was predicted the next early a.m. and I know that these roads can become a quagmire.  Damn, I’m not much concerned with wild animals; it’s the people that screw me up! I decided I’d better ride the bike and go find these guys and tell them they’d blocked me in, because maybe they’d open the road this afternoon and maybe they wouldn’t. I found them and they said they’d grade the rocks out quickly, so I could leave. The speed in which they did it wasn’t really necessary, but since they did that I hurriedly left, so their effort was worthwhile.
    As I was nearing the gate from the ORV permit area, I encountered another worker who was using a bush whacker/mower apparatus. He’d left a pile branches on the left side of the narrow dirt road, so I steered right to avoided them, but a little too far and my right wheel slipped off the hard surface. I tried to steer back up to the hard surface, but in the process I felt the rear right wheel go down too. Ohhh xx**!!?*x?!!! I stopped the truck, set the emergency break and got out to see how bad a predicament I’d put myself in. I still had the two left driver’s side wheels on the hard surface, but the other two were off and down at least eight inches, but the truck’s frame was not touching the ground. I could see that the edge of the road had given way, too, but if the branches weren’t there, I wouldn’t have steered right. Such is life, deal with it the way it is, not the way it should be!
    I thought maybe the low range four wheel drive (4WD), would bring the truck back up on the road. I got back in the driver’s seat, read the instructions for shifting into to 4WD, did it, turned the wheel so I would gradually come back on the road, and gave the engine some gas. I went forward a little then the wheels spun and the truck slid farther off the road. I got out again, surveyed my situation, and tried again, it didn’t help my situation, so I looked again. I saw a place that was almost a “ramp” back to the hard surface, but I’d have to back up about ten feet, so the front wheels could get on it. I did this, tried to come up the ramp; that failed, and the truck ended up at more of a tilt, which really concerned me. I certainly didn’t want to roll my nest over, so I called AAA (part of my safety net). As I answered their dumb questions and watched my nest sitting there tilted, I lost contact with them, and got a low power message from the phone. I went into the nest to recharge my phone from solar battery.
    The floor was at a scary angle and I sure didn’t want to cause the nest to roll by putting my weight in the wrong place, but I got the phone plugged into power and remade the call. They said they’d send a tow truck and the driver would call me. I waited, no call. I waited, called AAA back. They confirmed a tow truck would be/or was coming,  I waited….  I decided to walk to the gate, which I needed to unlock anyhow, and wait there. I got my GPS, several ACBs, a camera and left. Getting out of sight of the lamely listing nest was a good thing. I certainly hadn’t helped its dilemma and if I stayed I might try to drive it back onto the hard surface again and make things much worse.
    As I waited the phone rang several times, but each time it was a telemarketing call, which infuriated me! They were using up my battery. I looked up the towing company’s name on my GPS and called them to see what the status of the tow truck was.  They said it was on its way. I told them, if the driver didn’t call me for directions, he’d never find me. They said he’d call. I waited…  Finally the phone rang; it was the driver.
    He arrived but the truck was almost too wide for the dirt road. Also the towing apparatus was in the rear of the truck, so he’d have to turn around or back to where I was. It was almost dark, I think the driver was scared of his surroundings, and he was not happy. I knew there was a trail head about a 100 couple yards from my truck, where he may be able to turn around, but there was high grass and brush obscuring it.  I told him he could turn around there. When we got there, he was very unsure, so I got out and walked all over the area where he needed to pull into and showed him the ground was firm. He was shaking his head, but tried; it worked. He backed to my truck, and had no problem pulling my nest back to the hard surface with a cable. He was relieved and hurriedly left. I was very relieved!!! All’s well that ends well! But he left so quickly I didn’t have a chance to tip him.
Bob R  o.c.FotoGuy
more photos @ picasaweb.google.com/o.c.fotoguy2009
& facebook.com/OCfotoguy
PHOTOSAsYouWantThem.biz, articles @ Coconuttimes.com

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