Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It was not meant to be!

We continued driving on 12 West, going through Helena, the capital of Montana. Finally, Montana was ready to show off its mountainous beauty to us. When we saw the rising hills in the distance, we were overjoyed with excitement of experiencing a new landscape yet again. The McDonald Pass, elevation 6,325 ft., was the highest place since we left from home back in June.

We drove through the city of Missoula, and our eyes couldn't stop admiring a beautiful scenery of a green and lush valley, surrounded by toll mountain ranges and some snow covered peaks.
We were "around the corner" to our next farm and were happily anticipating meeting the new hosting family and staying with them for a few days. To give you a heads up, we now call this part of our woofing adventure "the farm that was not meant to be". I will not be able to add "Starry Night Designs Farm" in Corvallis, MT to the list of the farm we visited. Actually, there will be no farms added there from Montana at all!

Initially we had 3 farms waiting for us here, in Montana. One farm had been damaged by hail a week before we were supposed to arrive. The host on the second farm had gotten tired from all the woofers this summer and told us we should take a rain check.

I spoke with Melanie from Starrynightdesigns while we were still in North Dakota and had it all arranged for us to come on Tuesday.

She had warned me about a steep gravel road leading to their farm, but we had no clue what a surprise we were up to on Soft Rock Road.

As we had been enjoying the valley down below so much we were all in a very cheerful mood. "It's Montana, Baby!", Mirek would repeat a few times with a happy broad smile on his slightly tired face.

But very soon our cheerfulness slowly started to dim away as we were following Melanie's directions. Going up on a gravel road was only fun in the beginning. Bumpy, dusty, curving all the time. It was supposed to be only 4 miles after all. But these 4 miles were the longers 4 miles in our lives that added some grays to our hair. 4 miles that go up in elevation another 2,300 feet.

We were driving for 20 minutes or so, but there was no end to bumps, and more curves and more steep climbs. We were supposed to stay on the road and not to take any left veers. Still going up, and up, and up, quite slowly, but steadily. We couldn't stop as the car would not have started pulling the trailer again.

I spotted a few black birds and started joking in order to diffuse the tension a bit: "Look, kids! The birds are showing us the way! Kraaa! Kraaa! It's this way to the farm!Kraaa! Kraaa!"
I didn't want them to start being worried and scared.

But when the engine started to overheat it became not funny anymore! Mirek had to put the heat the full force to cool off the engine, and I didn't dare to ask why we needed the heat! We passed, almost touching with our trailer, a broken tractor, standing on this narrow dirt road. As we continued going up, we were praying for this steep madness to end soon. But it didn't...

There was another curve and a steep stretch, and there was no way we were going to make it up with a 5,000 lb. trailer in tow. We realized that we were not going to make it to the farm that day. The only concern we had on our minds then was how to get back down to the valley!
We had to come up with an emergency plan... The only plan was to make a U turn!

And honestly, the place where we had stopped was the best place in the worst place possible to make that U turn!

Right where the tree line started there was a small patch of more or less flat grassy land. I took the kids out to wait on the side and went to help Mirek with directing which way to go.

Mirek is the greatest driver ever and he managed to turn the car with the trailer, and now we could start going down. We were so hungry but stressed out that we couldn't eat. We took a 15 minutes break and then Milana had another surprise for us.

She had a diarrhoea and didn't manage to make it to the bathroom. Poor little thing was so devastated that it took me a while to calm her down. While I was cleaning her up I had to talk really fast and a lot to switch her attention from a distressing event to more relaxing and happy times. I was telling her that it happened to a lot of people. That her friends pooped themselves, and Mama and Tata pooped themselves, and Grandma and Grandpa pooped themselves, and Ivana, Leona and Evan pooped themselves, and then I just started naming all the people we know that pooped themselves all the time!!!

Her mood started to improve and she seemed to be calming down. I had to promose her new underwear and it would have to be "yellow ones with sparkles on them", per her special request.
It was good 2 hours for the whole ordeal to be over. We came down to the valley and called Melanie up. She came with her two boys to meet us and we had to leave it at that. It was farm that was not mean to be...
Making a U turn on a small patch of flat land up on the mountain.
Resting before heading down.
This is the road down. Now imagine it us taking this road up.
The breaks were overheating.
Once down by the valley we kissed our truck and the trailer for not giving up on us and taking us down safely. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can see two small white spots. That was the farm we couldn't climb up to!


Unknown said...

These pictures and your comments reminded of the movie The Long Long Trailer with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. I think all of you guys will appreciate watching it if you haven't done so yet!!
Maybe we can all watch it together one of these days!! :)) xoxoxo

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