A journalist never likes making the news.
It’s a strange statement, I know, but a true one. We enjoy writing news, reporting on it and following it but being the subject of it is never really our goal. This is why it’s funny that it almost happened to me last week.
Last Friday was a warm one, with the snow being wet and sticky, and the roads a bit slippery. We got word there was a truck in the ditch on Horse Lake Road and I was dispatched to take some photos. I found the truck and decided to turn around and make my way to the opposite shoulder of the road. My plan was to grab a quick picture and head back to the office.
As I was pulling off to the shoulder, though, to not impede the flow of traffic, I felt my car slide into a slight angle. I didn’t worry too much about it at the time, thinking surely I’d be able to pull out.
The young driver of the truck, meanwhile, was just extracting himself from the ditch. He wasn’t keen to have his photo in the paper so I refrained and after a brief chat, he successfully got himself out and was off.
Resigned to this photo op being a bust I got back into my car to return to the office. The moment I put my foot on the gas though, I knew I was now in trouble.
The snow, all nice and wet from the sun, was giving way under my wheels. I was going forward but also tipping. Putting the car in park, I assessed the situation, informed my newsroom of my imminent peril, and then attempted once more to get myself out of my predicament.
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Suffice to say, the only way I was going was down and if I had to guess, I was now at a solid 45-degree angle and my wheels were in danger of leaving the road entirely and rolling me into the ditch.
As I was assessing the situation, not one but three people pulled over within five minutes to ask me if I needed help. The first, ironically, was the young man who had been in the ditch earlier and who offered to redirect his tow truck to me. The second was a lady who made sure I had help coming before going on her way.
After I’d had a good laugh at myself, my third would-be rescuers arrived in the form of two men and their dog in a truck. Without much fuss, they produced a tow rope from their bed and hooked me up. With their assistance, I was able to get back on the road and, according to my editor, who arrived at the same time to help, I gave them a goofy wave and thumbs up through the window.
My little adventure serves to illustrate two things. Firstly, you always need to be cautious on the roads. Pulling a looky-loo can very easily get you sliding into a ditch yourself.
The second is that 100 Mile House drivers are pretty great for helping one another out when they’re in need. As one of my saviours pointed out when I thanked him ‘Hey, people help me out when I’m stuck so I gotta do the same.’ It’s a good reminder in these tense times that the community spirit of this area is alive and well.
So thank you to all who helped me in this little misadventure and to the rest of you, remember to drive safe this winter.