Friday, February 7 (continued)
“Hello! Yes, I need a tow!” I answer emphatically.
I step down out of the Best Little Trailer. Before me stands a man with a round, open face and kind eyes. A description I once heard my father use immediately comes to my mind. “He’s built like a brick sh#thouse.” In other words, it doesn’t look like he could be knocked over easily.
Two young adults are with him. Bridget and Spike make the acquaintance of their two small dogs.
The man gets right to the point.
“I’ll go get my Jeep and pull you out of there.”
“That would be wonderful! My name is Sue, by the way,” I say, holding out my hand.
He takes my hand and replies, “I’m Byron. . . and this here is my granddaughter, Melanie, and that’s my grandson, Tyler.”
I say “nice to meet you” to all of them.
“Are you sure you can pull me out with your Jeep?” I ask.
“Oh, it’ll pull it out.” I stare at him dumbly. “I’m sorry,” I mumble. “I’m still in a state of shock that you appeared on my doorstep.”
“We’ll be right back.”
Hmm . . . Byron. Not anything like Lord Byron, that’s for sure. What a misnomer. . .
(I later learn that Byron is from Oregon and did sheet metal work. “Anything having to do with metal,” he explained.)
I can’t believe this! I didn’t have to do a thing and this guy shows up.
I go back inside, shaking my head, dumbfounded by my good fortune.
Byron, Melanie, and Tyler return in the Jeep.
Soon another gentleman appears.
His name is Joe. Later I learn he’s a former crane operator from Detroit who’s been full-timing for 32 years. He’s an avid fisherman, a genius with anything mechanical, and lives and travels in a customized van tucked in a copse of palo verde.
The men go straight to work with shovel, jack, boards, and chain.
Byron jacks up the rear end of the Perfect Tow Vehicle so boards can be placed under the tires. Joe and Byron shovel sand.
I put the seat back so Joe can fit his long legs under the steering wheel of the PTV. Joe is going to put the PTV in drive and give only the slightest assist to the hoped-for forward motion. Tyler stands back to relay information to Byron at the wheel of the Jeep.
Byron eases the Jeep forward, the chain goes taut, and the PTV refuses to budge.
Byron backs up and moves the jeep to a different spot. Adjustments are made with the chain and boards. Another try fails.
By this time, another gentleman has joined us.
His name is Chuck, a sinewy, fit-looking fellow, whom I later learn is from Idaho, retired from a career in computers, and loves wind-surfing, mostly where the Hood River flows into the Columbia River. He’s been full-timing for 30 years and lives and travels in a Class A motorhome parked up the lane with the others.
By now the PTV is up to her rear axle in sand. Joe unearths the buried muffler and digs around one tire, while Byron digs around the other tire.
Byron and Joe engage in some discussion.
They make the decision to pull the PTV out backwards.
I point out that the hitch extension is going to shove right into the dirt as the PTV is pulled back.
Byron moves the jack so it catches the hitch extension at the optimum location. He places a board underneath the jack to keep the jack from sinking into the soft sand. Cranking the jack is difficult.
“I just bought this thing at Harbor Freight,” he remarks, taking a break from cranking. “It works hard because it’s brand new.”
I hurry and open up the PTV’s passenger-side door.
I keep a can of WD-40 there which I use often to help the coupler slide over the hitch ball. Byron squirts the jack several times and cranking becomes much easier.
The sand is dug out again from around the tires and also from under and in the path of the hitch extension to keep it from catching as the PTV is pulled backwards.
“Now I need to get the trailer out of here,” Byron states to no one in particular.
“Is your hitch ball going to fit?” I ask.
“Yeah, it will. Maybe not exactly . . . ” Byron replies, his focus on the situation at hand.
Soon Byron’s Jeep is pulling the BLT to the other side of the lane, out of the problem area.
By this time an additional four or five guys are standing in a group watching.
I greet them all and we joke about being necessary supervisors. Byron, Tyler and Joe get ready for the next big pull.
Byron slides into his Jeep. All the spectators stop talking and stare with anticipation. Oh, please, please, move!
Bryon starts the engine.
The chain goes taut, and . . . the PTV moves backward and upward and out of the sand!
Amid the chorus of “yays,” Byron steps out of his Jeep, not saying a word, but with a satisfied expression on his face.
I trot over to him, place one hand on his shoulder and the other in his hand.
“Byron,” I announce with enthusiasm, squeezing his hand and smiling broadly into his face . . .
“You da’ MAN!”
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