A (mostly) friendly competition between 2 avid birdwatchers that are also friends/co-workers. Who can observe more bird species in Idaho in 2009? Will they still be friends at year's end? ;-)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A streak of "luck"

as I mentioned at the end of our last post, we were about to head out to scout our survey areas for later in the week as we often do in the afternoons every day. Little did we know what the rest of the day had in store for us!

We made it about 8 miles up Quigley Gulch in Hailey before we ran into a silty stream flowing across the road. Always responsible, we decided to turn around and wait a few days for the road to dry out before scouting the rest of the route. As we backed down, we suddenly realized that our vehicle had begun to slide off the road...but not to worry, we'd been through worse mud than this before....In 4-low, Jay pressed the gas but the truck's only movement was further down the slope! We climbed out and tried our best to give the tires good traction: while I collected sticks, Jay was busy shoving them in front of and underneath the tires...all the while fighting through a very conveniently placed stinging nettle patch that ran along the entire right side of the truck!

This photo was taken before our last desperate attempt to un-stick the truck....thus Jay's still-smiling face ;)

Jay got a cut on his face while wedging the sticks--yeah, I told him to do this face

Jay's 'tough face' to make up for the previous picture :)

After an hour of trying, and sliding only further down the hill, we decided at 8:30 to hike back down to town and wait for the morning to get the truck. Lucky for us, we ran into some friendly mountain bikers who offered to call birder-friend Jean to pick us up. When we got to an area of the gulch with cell reception, we got ahold of Jean and she was able to pick us up just as it got dark. AND she was awesome enough to let us stay at her house for the night, since our tents and sleeping bags were in our poor abandoned car.

The next morning, we got ahold of BLM and soon had three willing helpers with a bigger better truck to pull us out. We made it to our car alright, but soon realized that not even the big pick-up truck could get us un-stuck! It was time to call for (more) reinforcements!


A quick call to Advanced Towing had Troy the tow truck driver to Quigley Gulch within the hour. And as soon as we saw the paint-job on his old Ford truck, we knew we were in good hands ;) After some intense winching our truck made it back onto the road alive! woohoo!

The alternative caption: "how Jay really drives on the backroads" :)

Jay with the BLM guys and towtruck driver: Victorious!

Nathan, Jay, Troy (the towtruck dude), Mark, and Kevin

And you thought this all made for an action-packed day....just wait till you hear the rest! (a post to come soon!)

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