For the past couple weeks, the sound of trees being cut down in the woods that border our property has been getting closer and closer. So the other morning, when I stood out on the back deck and could see the tops of trees toppling over like matchsticks in an area that seemed only a few feet from our property line, I decided it was time to investigate.
At first, I tried to take the most direct route, which was straight through the woods to the area being cleared. Unfortunately, a crop of poison ivy the size of a football field, interspersed with giant thorn bushes stopped me in my tracks. Even though my curiosity was killing me, picturing myself covered with holes and itchy red blisters made me rethink my approach.
“The logging trucks have to be getting in and out of there somehow,” my husband, wise soul that he is, said. “So all you have to do is find the road they’re using.”
I thought that finding the trucks’ access road would be easy. Anything as big as a logging truck was guaranteed to need something as wide as Route 93.
Common sense sent me searching up and down our own road first. The only thing I found was a snowmobile trail with so many low-hanging branches, anything taller than five feet would have been beheaded trying to go down it.
A couple days later, I took my dogs for a ride. On the way back up Deerfield Road, I happened to spot a new-looking dirt road on the left with telltale truck-tire tracks on it. On an impulse, I swung the car onto the road.
The road, although dirt, seemed firmly packed, and my car easily made its way along it. As we headed forward, I could see a big clearing up ahead. I was so interested in finding out what was there, I stopped looking down at the dirt road.
The dogs’ heads nearly hit the roof of the car. Then the car stopped moving. I stepped harder on the gas. The car still didn’t budge.
Gathering my courage, I got out of the car to check out the situation. My car’s tires were sitting in two deep ruts – one on each side of a long strip of sharp, broken rocks. They were big truck-tire ruts…logging truck ruts.
Suddenly the poison ivy and thorn bushes didn’t seem so bad.
So there the dogs and I sat as I wondered what I should do. I didn’t have my cell phone with me, but even if I had brought it and was able to call AAA for a tow truck, what would I tell the guy?
“Hi, I’m stuck in these really deep ruts on a logging road somewhere off Deerfield Road and I have my two rottweilers with me. Can you help?”
He’d probably hang up on me so fast, my ear would get whiplash.
I got down on the ground and looked underneath my car. It looked as if its belly was resting on the rocks. It also looked as if the wheels weren’t touching the ground. I grabbed some nearby dirt and rocks and shoved them under the front wheels for traction. Then I got back into the car and floored it.
The car lunged forward and went flying along the ruts toward the open area. As we bumped along, the variety of scraping and scratching sounds coming from underneath the car convinced me that I’d find my entire exhaust system and maybe even my gas tank lying on the road when I finally came to a stop.
The thought of having to hand my tailpipe to my husband nearly made me decide to spend the night out in the clearing. I figured I’d be pretty safe out there, protected by poison ivy and thorns on one side, and ruts the size Queechee Gorge on the other.
When the car finally reached the clearing, all I could see were huge clouds of smoke surrounding the car. I flung open the door and jumped out, then panicking, opened the back door and screamed at the dogs to get out. The three of us then ran as far from the car as we could and braced for the explosion.
When the “smoke” finally settled, I realized that it had been just a big cloud of dust from the dirt road. My car was so thick with it, I couldn’t even tell it was red.
It took me another 20 minutes to round up the two dogs, who decided to run, romp and play, seeing they weren’t on leashes. They acted like two escaped convicts.
I turned the car around in the clearing and then sat there staring at the deeply rutted and rocky road and wondered how on earth I was going to get back out to Deerfield Road. My solution was to put the driver’s side’s wheels on the rocks in the middle and then the passenger’s side’s wheels on the edge of the woods that lined the road. The car tilted to the right, straddling the rut as we crept along.
When we finally reached Deerfield Road, I was so relieved, I was tempted to kneel down and kiss it.
The rest of the ride home, I kept looking in the rearview mirror, expecting to see a trail of gas or car parts lying on the road.
The next day, just to be safe, I had my mechanic put my car on the lift and check it out. There were big scrapes on everything, a dented fuel line and some wires hanging, but otherwise I was pretty lucky. The mechanic spent a few minutes straightening and reattaching stuff, then said I should be all set.
My husband wasn’t pleased at all to learn of my spying adventure, and gave me a lecture about paying better attention to my driving so I won’t puncture any gas tanks or blow up any cars...or myself. I’m really not sure what else he said…because I wasn’t paying attention.
The worst part of all was I never did find out what was going on in the woods behind our house, other than a lot of tree chopping. I just may wake up some morning and find a brand new Wal-Mart out there.