The Snowbank

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.



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About Austin Gerth


Austin Gerth

Writing & Philosophy

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Twitter: @Austin_Gerth

Hello everyone! I’m Austin Gerth, class of 2016, from scenic Princeton, Minnesota. My hobbies include listening to and playing music, reading, watching movies, and thinking about things. I’m majoring in Writing. After college, I hope to be either some sort of writer or some sort of homeless (or both). I chose to come to Concordia mostly for the food, though it has a lot of other good qualities as well. Since coming to Concordia I’ve been to dorm room eggnog parties and late-night viral video productions; I’ve listened to a lot of Justin Timberlake and blindly taken a yoga class with no prior experience; I’ve participated in a heroically unproductive religion study group and fallen asleep in the campus center. On top of these things, I’ve also received a superlative education. If you like wind and pizza, you’ll like Fargo-Moorhead, and if you like corn-oriented humor, semi-gourmet cafeteria food, or late-night intellectual behavior, you’ll like Concordia. If you like all of the above, you’re probably already here and we’re probably already friends.