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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

4/2/13 Partridge Pond Misadventure

Colder ( 20's) and quite windy but sunny. Decided to try Partridge and Ducktail Ponds again- last time the road was blocked by snow. As we started down the road, which has some pretty good hills, we encountered  quite a bit of snow and ice and I was a little nervous about driving back out.

The trail to Partridge was a mixed bag with mud at the start, ice , and a surprising amount of snow after several days of above freezing temps and a day of rain but the footing was not really bad.

We first went to Partridge which was mostly still frozen

Kelley was happy it wasn't all frozen

We usually walk through the stream that runs from the end of the pod but today it was too deep

On the way out we intended to take the trail to Ducktail but I missed it and that was the start of things going awry.

When we got back to the car we drove to the trail head for Ducktail but could not get in the parking lot. I drove ahead looking for a spot to turn around and couldn't make it up a hill. When I attempted to back up and try again I slid off the road and was stuck.

Though it doesn't look like much it was ice and slushy snow and I could not move. After about an hour of trying gravel, sticks, etc. under the wheels without success I decided we would have to get help. We walked about an hour to the main road and knocked on the door of a trailer that had numerous vehicles  scattered around the yard. I asked the man who came to the door ( even older than me at 81) where I could get help and he said he could pull us out- his car had studded tires. When we got in sight of our car he got stuck. He went through the same procedures I had with the same result. He said he could call his son after 4 o'clock when he got off work and that he had a four wheel drive. We both continued , without success, to try to free the vehicles. I also tried to help by pushing him by hand but that only resulted in an achy body this morning.

His son arrived with a four wheel drive Jeep but it was having trouble towing in the snow so he decided to go back to the house to get the truck with the plow ( and no muffler) and plow the snow on the road and then pull us out with that. That worked better and he got his father turned around and headed back then towed me onto the road ( after several tries) and up the hill where I could turn around.

I started back out with him behind me and did  OK ( there was still snow and a lot of ice on the hills) until the last and highest hill where we found his father beside the road unable to get up it. I made it about two thirds of the way and got stuck again. The son pulled me out and then towed me up the hill and we made it out. He went back to tow his father and we met them at their house to thank them.

 After all this the man invited us to stop by the next time we were in the area. This surprised me as he had talked about not liking neighbors ( there were none in sight of his house and why he moved here from Mass. ) , had a "posted" sign at his drive entrance, and I had caused him an afternoons trouble. He said I was not the cause-he had made the decision.

It was now 6:30. Kelley had waited patiently in the car and declined to join us outside during all the standing around  ( with a few flakes of snow now falling) . This was all new stuff for her and she didn't seem too pleased with it. We had had a nice one  and a half hour hike and then an hour hike to the road to get help so she did get some exercise.


  1. How lucky you found someone who was willing to help! Glad there was a good outcome to your troubles.

  2. Thanks Linda - not the first time I have been rescued by strangers- also got stuck once at Little Moose ( also a long way from the highway)and a man came by and pulled me out. At Sunkhaze front wheels broke through ice and I could not back out- that time the man had to go get a chain to pull me out. Lost keys at City Forest and a woman drove me home to get spares. And by the hatchery I locked Kelley and the keys in the car and two men from the hatchery helped me out of that one. Mainers tend to be nice folks. So it doesn't sound worse than it seems this was over four years of almost daily hiking.

  3. HI John...I have been so lapse at commenting, and have been trying to catch up with many others, but I think I came by to find not one of you hiking stories, but one of your scary stories!!
    Ya I bet your saying no it wasn't that bad!!
    I am glad you got some help "dear me" that is quite the tail...but your above note to Linda just shows me that this is not your first
    rodeo hahaha!!
    You be careful out there

  4. Thanks Grace. Not really any danger this time - just a big hassle- and a lot of time wasted. Today we just went to nearby Walden for an easy walk in the woods.

  5. Hi John,

    What an adventure! Kinda reminded me of my youth in rural Minnesota. We always carried tire chains in the trunk if they weren't already on the tires.

    And "hi" to Kelly!


  6. Hi jt

    Thanks for commenting. I was not prepared- also think a shovel would be useful to have in there. Kelley says "hi" back to you jt.

  7. John

    Your saga reminds me of a time in rural Maine when my car got stuck in a ditch. It was Memorial Day. A farmer coming along in his tractor bound for a holiday dinner not only stopped to pull me out, but invited me to join him and his family.

    Only because you make a general reference to your age, how old are you?[i'm 67, still hiking and snowshoeing].


  8. Hi Joel-- thanks for commenting and sharing your story. I don't mind sharing my age- I'll be 72 in August. A long time hiker but not as intense as the last 4 years because of Kelley- she needs lots of exercise ( arthritis in her back knees) and we try to hike 2-3 hours per day- sometimes a little more or less. It's got her to not needing pain meds and being a happy hiker- good for me too.


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