Lessons learned from the sand trap

I learned a valuable lesson a week or so ago: When traveling the road less traveled, look out for the sand traps.

One of my wife’s coworkers was on vacation and for that week we were taking care of her farm animals near the Wilbarger-Foard County line.

All went well till Thursday, and then the bottom fell out. Literally.

We had the farm chores all done and loaded up in the SUV to head back home to Vernon.

Now my wife’s co-worker lives at the corner of two county roads – I’d come in and left on the same road each time; curiosity got the best of me on this night and I decided to take the other road to the highway.”I don’t think that’s a good idea,” my wife said.

“Why not? Who wants to drive the same way every time,” I said.

I made it about a quarter of a mile down the road when our vehicle sank and kept on sinking in the sand – to the bumper and then it sank some more.

I got out and surveyed the situation – who puts quick sand in the middle of the road?

I tried pushing. Nothing. I tried digging it out. No good. I tried using wood planks for leverage. Nada.

No worries I have AAA, they’ll tow it out. “We’ll have a wrecker to you within an hour,” the nice AAA lady said.

Then the wrecker driver called from Vernon. “Sorry, we won’t come out there,” he said.

“Why not?” I asked.

“Because we’ve been out there before and got stuck in the sand,” he said – try finding someone with a tractor he suggested. “Um, okay,” I said while thinking there aren’t any houses for several miles but I did see some bleached animal bones.

A conversation with a county deputy followed the same track – couldn’t get down it due to fear of getting stuck, try finding a farmer to help he said.

How come everyone knows of roads no one can get down? Are they designed to foil Oklahoma if it ever invades Texas – kind of like in Europe where roads used to not have signs to foil invaders?

We took off walking looking for a mythical farmer. We came to the first house about a mile and a half later. No one was home. Out of options I called Joyce at the newspaper.

“Help,” I yelped.

Obviously I had been calling the wrong people. Within minutes Joyce had talked to Mr. Igou who talked to a friend who then talked to another friend, who got a buddy and they went out looking for us.

Alan Waggoner and his friend Jim found us wandering in the 100 degree heat. They drove us to our vehicle, dug it free and then pulled it out – all without cracking a single joke on my predicament.

I guess I learned a second bit of wisdom: when traveling the road less traveled – it’s good to have a cell phone.

It’s also good to know that there are still good, friendly, helpful people. I appreciate it.


About walkereditor

I am a writer, editor and farmer living in Texas. I have two decades of experience as a daily newspaper editor and reporter. I've covered college football and basketball for CBS Sports, and worked at daily newspapers in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
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