Monday, March 11, 2013

Snow Storm Adventures Part 2

***It took me a while to post this, even though it happened in early February...***

After the unexpected snow storm on a the first Saturday in February (read about the Snow Storm Adventure Part 1 here), my car was stuck in the mountains for a few days while the snow melted and I took the bus around town.  But the adventure continued on Wednesday, when my awesome friend JJ volunteered for a car recovery mission.  She was so generous and drove me all the way up to pick up my car at Watson Gap.  I'm not sure how she knew this would be an "adventure" but she didn't seem as surprised as I was to find this:
My tire was dead flat.
JJ pointed out the big cut in the sidewall where my tire had been slashed.  I couldn't believe it!  Nothing like that had every happened to me.  Sheesh-  I'm a nice person. 

While I was changing the tire, a couple stopped to talk to us.  They were out picking up their car from a trailhead two miles further down the road, which had been left there since Sunday too.  They'd tried to pick it up Monday, but there was too much snow.  His window had gotten smashed and a few minor things had been stolen.   They figured it was probably the same guys that got my car and theirs.  It didn't seem particularly malicious-- and knowing it happened to them too made it feel less personal-- if it had been I'd have had 4 slashed tires, but it would still cost me both in money to fix it and time.  Plus, the psychological costs.

(Note that the next part was written a month later...)
In the past few weeks since it happened, having my tire slashed did had me reexamining my trailhead practices and attitudes.  It was tough questioning my sense of safety in the place I feel most comfortable-- the outdoors.

I already take many of the recommended measure to prevent trailhead problems.  For example, I call ranger districts and read online to find safer trailheads to leave my car.  One suggestion I haven't done yet- getting a beeter truck- is very tempting and all my friends suggest this to me.  But since this has only happened once in the four years I've been leaving it at trailheads practically every weekend, I'm reluctant to spend the money to buy another vehicle when my car is already paid off, and I cringe at the thought of paying any more at the pump for driving a gas-guzzler.
50 MPG = Why I'm reluctant to get another vehicle
But what about car a makeover so my car will blend in better in rural Georgia?  Perhaps some new tires, a camo paint job, or a few bumper stickers could make my fit in better at trailheads?  (Any other suggestions, y'all?)

Even though I understand that it's totally ridiculous endevoir because my car will always be a honda civic hybrid no matter how much I dress it up in rural camouflage.  Sort of like me attempting to fit in in the South-- rather hopeless, but it's fun to joke about.
Studying up and researching local culture.
This whole experience-- from getting stuck in the mountains in the snow to getting my tire slashed-- it all had the potential to take away my sense of freedom and safety.  But remarkably, that hasn't happened.  At least not much.  Instead, I have gained a profound appreciation for the kindness of strangers, and especially for the kindness of my friends that have given me so much support.  The biggest lesson has been that when the unexpected happens, I know I can still maintain an unwaveringly positive outlook, and I can count on my dear friends to be there for me.  Each time something goes wrong on the trail or I have to face something that scares me, it strengthens me.  Thick skin, scars, calluses, these take a while to build up, but make you tough.


  1. Oh man, what a story! How upsetting for that to happen but at least you had someone with you when you found your tire like that.

    Well, I hope you don't have to go all out and camoflauge your car, but hopefully like you said this will be a limited occurrence.

  2. I'm liking the camo look. =)

  3. It sure was a story, Misti, and I agree I hope this was an isolated incident. Now each weekend when I return to my car at the trailhead, I feel so incredibly lucky when I get back and everything is still OK.

  4. JJ- Camo is the new in-style spring fashion color. Just got a few yards of camo fabric. DIY projects in progress...

  5. and you can wear camo after Labor Day and be in high fashion in the southeast

  6. Ah, but is it OK to mix camo patterns (i.e. ACU digital skirt w/ realtree gaitors) or do they all need to match?