Parking 101

Nope, not one of my better moments. Embarrassing. Time Wasting.  And downright D-U-M-B.

I learned a valuable lesson today called what not to do at a regatta...never park your mini van off road.

Mini van + soggy grass = mud = Yep, I got stuck in the mud.

I made quite the impression at Mitch's first regatta of the season this morning.

I parked directly in line (off road) with all the other vehicles heading to the regatta on the Grand River. I did notice it was a little soggy under my feet when I got out of the van, but I was in a hurry to see Mitch off at the dock so I didn't dwell on this...or apparently notice all the other vehicles I parked in line with were 4 wheel drive vehicles. Uh oh. That should have been my first clue.

So as luck would have it, our family had three vehicles at this regatta. We all came from different places at different times. Good thing, because after Mitch's races we headed back to our respective vehicles. I didn't know I was even stuck until after Mitch roared off in his car headed for a warm shower. I tried to back up and got about a foot, and then my tires starting spinning. I tried to go forward but that did nothing. I took my foot of the brake and was still in forward. Not a good sign when I didn't move. So I tried reverse, tires spun, took my foot off the brake. Didn't move.

Oh no, I cannot be stuck. This is not happening.

I hopped out and the guy parked next to me rolled down his window, but he was shaking his head like lady you are an idiot, so I declined his offer to help. Don't tell Mike that part.

I managed to flag Mike down from across the field before he got to his vehicle to let him know that I was in a wee bit of trouble. He came back to my rescue. Then we quickly realized that no amount of him pushing, and me rocking it/driving was going to get me unstuck. Hey, suddenly I remembered that this would be a perfect job for Mike's new Jeep. Slap that baby in 4-wheel drive and yank me out. He shook his head. He forgot his tow strap.

(What? Who drives a Jeep and doesn't have a tow strap, isn't that some kind of unwritten Jeep owner's rule, that you have to have a tow strap and a flag in case you find some dunes to traverse?)


Okay we decided we'd go home, get some kids to help, get the tow strap and return.

As I took my walk of shame away from my van towards his Jeep I berated myself for being almost 49 years old and doing something this dumb. I can honestly say I have never gotten a vehicle stuck in the mud before. It didn't help that although Mike was indeed parked across the field, he was parked in the parking lot. Yeah, the kind meant for mini vans, with a hard packed surface and stones and stuff.

I know I know. Really dumb on my part to try the off road thing. 

Since Mitch had to go to work soon after we got home, we woke up Alec (yes, college kid home for Easter weekend was still sleeping at noon). Son number 3, Oliver--one of Alec's best friends, was also sleeping over. I asked them to put on some old clothes and get in the Jeep.

And then I did what every sensible girl does when she's in trouble...I called my dad.

He chuckled at me, but said to come and get him. He was busy helping my mom with Easter preparations, something about deboning the honey baked ham and such, so I think he secretly might have been happy I called for help...

Here is what the scene looked like when we returned.  There was my van all alone in the field.

Yeah, everyone else got out.

But based on the deep tire tracks, it doesn't look like anyone got out easily.

 Alec and Oliver checked out the scene. Can you see the mud on my rear window? That's sprayed from the vehicle on the right trying to escape.

See. Yikes.
We brought boards to put under the tires.

And the tow strap.

And the boys stood by and watched....

...As my dad got all dirty. What? My mom is not going to like this.

The boys pushed, the Jeep pulled, my dad drove and I...
 took pictures for my blog.

 Success! Woo hoo. And the only one who got dirty....was my dear old dad. Gotta love his "let's get this done" attitude. Thank you to all my rescuers. 

While Sadie is in the thick of practicing for her driver's test, I guess I just might need to take a lesson from her in how to park.