Posted on Saturday, December 21st, 2013 by Austin Gerth
Wednesday afternoon, once again, I loaded a bunch of my belongings and dirty laundry into my roommate’s car to head home from Concordia. Accompanying Alex and I this time was Faith, a friend of Alex’s from high school who’s a freshman this year. Otherwise all was as usual for the trip.
Or so I thought.
Somewhere around Fergus Falls we pulled off the highway to get gas. Alex steered the car toward the first gas station to appear. “Northtown Truck Fuel,” read the text on the canopy above its pumps.
“That’s the gas station you want to use?” Faith said. “That’s obviously closed.”
There didn’t appear to be any other cars in the station’s lot.
We didn’t notice the boards on the windows till Alex had pulled the car up the station’s driveway.
Crestfallen, Alex began to circle the car around the pumps to exit the way we’d come. The car slid a bit on the snow-covered lot and we all laughed and then the car stopped dead, trapped in a thick soft snowbank.
The car wouldn’t move any further, so we got out and started kicking snow out from around the tires and shoveling it from under the undercarriage; we tried pushing the car backward and forward, rocking the car back and forth; we put trash from the trash cans near the station’s pumps under the front tires for traction. All were to no avail.
We spent probably fifteen minutes to a half an hour this way. The situation looked bleak.
Then we saw the first truck approaching. The driver got out and asked if we wanted any help. Yes, we said. He tried helping us push, but when that didn’t work he ended up having to string a rope between the car and his truck and towed us out of the snowbank. We thanked him profusely.
Before he drove off he cheerfully advised us to “just stay on the hard stuff.”
We didn’t stay on the hard stuff.
Once we were back in the car it was hard to tell which way to go to leave on hard snow, and we ended up choosing wrong and getting stuck again in even deeper snow.
This time we made a little more progress by rocking the car back and forth, but it would have taken us a while to work the car out that way. Luckily it wasn’t too long before another truck showed up. This time two guys got out and offered to help us. With their added strength we were able to push the car out of the deep snow and onto the hard-packed snow (which had been tantalizingly close to where we’d gotten stuck), and we went on our way a little more aware of how kind the world can sometimes be.