An oversight leading to a large screwup followed by awesome success

Laurel and I dove into a ‘workaway’ program in the small town of Glenroy, New Zealand for two weeks.  According to a few websites the population of this farm town is zero…the town of Glentunnel a few kilometers down the road has an approximate population of 129 people…so yes, rural rural rural…  The program Laurel found happens to be working at a bed and breakfast with a total of six rooms…intimate and different from the hotels we are used to!


the chop


the split

Anyway, Monday we were splitting firewood  having a fantastic time using the wood splitter, and when it finally came time to load up this newly split firewood…that’s when we created trouble…


the toss

We effortlessly loaded up hundreds of pounds of firewood into a trailer, hook shots, long snaps, over the head prayers… and started driving the firewood to its new home.  We pull out of the paddock with our precious cargo in tow every few seconds offering a glance through the rearview mirror to ensure we are still being followed.  I then turned down a small dirt/rocky side road nearing our destination, confidence growing, uttering “it’s still following us, it’s still following us, it’s…not following us…” and that is when our cargo decided it had an alternate destination in mind. IMG_5883oops

The cart veered off the road, down a steep slope, and rammed into the b&b’s water supply tank…(insert the whole “we watched it happen in slow motion,” followed by multiple expletives)…luckily or unluckily (however you would like to view it) the owner’s (who lent us the truck & trailer…and who are allowing us to stay in their home) were not around at the time.  We get out of the car to assess the damage; there is the obvious part that the trailer is in a ditch, about two dozen wooden victims, but no leaks/cracks in the water tank.

Laurel: runs off to see if she can find the owner…


not the owner, Laurel

Me: I saw some ratchet straps in the garage….I’ll try to tow it out…

you goof'ed this time, Dan

you goof’ed this time, Dan

Laurel came back to no avail, and by then I had rigged the trailer to the the land cruiser and was ready for a go at rescuing our trailer.


back on level ground…too bad we can’t lift it!

Laurel was great at providing direction from the outside of the car, and after a few good tugs we had the trailer back on flat ground…The challenge now being that the front end of the trailer is buried in dirt and rocks, and that the trailer is way too heavy for us to lift to get back on the truck.

I found a set of jumper cables a few farms down, and jump started the owner’s old Mitsubishi Turbo pick up truck…the only issue being that the truck is a manual transmission and has the steering wheel on the right hand side of the car…the only other standard I have driven before was a ’57 Thunderbird, and even that was a few years ago.

Got the ‘bishi’ started, topped the radiator off with water, refreshed my driving skills, and we began loading the pickup with wood.  After a few trips the trailer became light enough to lift onto the trailer hitch (Laurel perfectly guided me as I maneuvered into position).  Once we unloaded that trailer we still had to go back, and fill up the trailer with the rest of the wood that we had chopped earlier in the morning.

Certainly made for a long day…started around 9am and finished around 7pm, but we overcame the obstacles, and got in a good workout for the day…just don’t forget to put in that safety pin…

And, we did tell Gary the story of our heroic efforts at day’s end over a celebratory beer…we did manage to hold on to all of our fingers in the process.

Learn what the error was, fix the error, and then celebrate.


final product

Comments are closed.