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Stuck on a swamp                           

(I=Raul;Dad= Raul Sr.)

July 5, 2013

“ Hey, let’s go to the Upper peninsula. There is good rabbit hunting,” I said.

“ Sure, but we have to go now. We don’t want to be spending the night in the woods,” my dad replied.

We drove north on I-75, went west on US 2, then turned right on this county road. We suddenly noticed on the left side of the road a wide trail that looked promising. It took us about forty five minutes to notice the trail. I pulled out the GPS device that was in my backpack and I started to see where the trail was going to lead us. The GPS showed a narrow trail that connected to several other trails and two paved roads.  We drove on the narrow trail for about two miles, then we turned right onto a smaller trail; then we turned left, left and left again. Our car had four wheel drive so we’re extremely confident that if there was some hiccup along the road, we would manage to get out of it.

We continued bumping along for about four miles, then we started to notice a change in the terrain. The road was not as dry; there was a lot of vegetation growing along the sides and we noticed four puddles in the road. One of them was much deeper than the others.

“ Are you sure this is the right path.  We are running out of daylight and we should be hunting right now,” dad worried

“ I am sure,” I said with confidence.

My dad engaged the full four wheel drive so we could cross the puddles.They seemed quite small, but we did not want to take any chances. We successfully managed to cross the first two puddles. Then on the third puddle, we heard “Bammmm!!! Bhrmmmmmm!!!!!!.”

Water entered the truck from all sides. The passenger and driver side floor seemed like it was going to be submerged, but it didn’t. I sat with my legs crossed on the seat.

“ Why did you lead me to the swamp? You probably did not even bother to check this road.” my dad screamed angrily.

“ I swear I did! This road connects to a trail!!” I yelled back

“ If we would have stayed on the wide trail, we would not be spending a night in this shithole of a place,” bellowed my dad.

“ Maybe, maybe not. What do you know about that big trail?” I barked back.

My dad desperately tried to reverse, but the truck was stuck.

“I just put the truck in neutral. Let’s get out and try to push it,” my dad said in a resigned tone of voice.

I got out of the truck. Mosquitoes were everywhere, I heard frog noises and the smell of the swamp was horrid. It smelled like a combination of sulfur, manure and other indescribable disgusting smells. Mud got all over over my pants, socks and even my shirt. It was no use. There was no way we would be able to push a 3,800 pound truck out of waist deep water. The truck battery eventually died, so we decided to call 911.

“ Hi, we need help. Our truck is stuck in a swamp!!” my dad desperately pleaded.

“ What is the address?” The 911 operator replied.

We gave them the road name, but we were not sure what the big trail was called. The small trail we were on did not have a name.

I told my dad the name of the trail, and he told 911.

“ Can you help us? Our Jeep is stuck between Bittersweet Trail and County Road 405.

911 replied. “Okay, we will try to find you. But if we can’t, you will have to sleep there for the night.”

“ This is not the first time you led me into a big mess. I am never going hunting this far with you again,” my Dad threatened.

I was exhausted from all the excitement, so I reclined my seat to lay down. Then, I crossed my legs on the seat so I wouldn’t sleep with my legs under the water. My dad wanted to put his legs on the ground, so I helped him drain some of the water from the Jeep by using an empty gallon of water. I don’t know how long it took for the water to flow inside the Jeep, by the time it was morning it was about the same water level as it was before we decided to drain the water.

We were ravaged by mosquitoes the entire night. We put mosquito repellent again and again and again because it wore out quick. I scratched repetitively  until I started to bleed. I left my medicines at the hotel where we were supposed to spend the night. Every Time I woke up I felt like I could drink buckets of water but we drank the water before getting stuck. By the time morning hit, almost every part of my body was either bleeding or aching.

At around 6 I woke up with the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life. We climbed onto the top of the Jeep, so we could avoid the puddles. We encountered a couple of frogs, mosquitoes, birds, flies and butterflies. I felt like I was in one giant jungle. The farther away we got from the swamp, the noise of the frogs and the other animals started to fade away. I had the feeling of hope and I was very pleased that we were out of that hell of a place. Along the way, I started to notice new things I did not notice the day before. I counted my first 2,000 steps, but then I lost track of the amount of steps so I stopped counting. After turning right, then right, right and left we arrived to the main road. It felt like we walked a good 5 to 7 miles. According to my watch, it took us about a little bit over 2 hours to arrive to the main road. When we arrived my dad called 911 again and asked for a tow truck.

“ Hello, can you send a tow truck to  the Country road 405 and Bittersweet  intersection.”

911 replied,“ We will contact someone to tow you.”

The pickup truck finally arrived. He had a long chain made out of some form of metal. It was a truck that had powerful four wheel drive. That was all we needed. We got a ride from the pick up truck driver. He looked at us and he noticed we were worn out and full of mosquito bites. He kindly asked. “ Do you want some gatorade?” I replied “ No thanks.” I usually don’t like accepting offers from strangers because I find it rude. After driving 20 minutes, we arrived at the swamp.

The pickup truck guy managed to resuscitate the car battery using his battery shocks. I expected the Jeep battery dead because it was drowned with swamp water. He then attached his long metal chain to the back of the Jeep. The pick up truck almost got stuck, but he managed to get us out of that mess. If the Jeep wouldn’t have started, we probably  would have had to ask for a second truck. To make a long story short, we arrived at the person’s shop around noon. Since it was fourth of July weekend he charged us a whooping 500 dollars.

“ That is just great” my dad said sarcastically

“ I was not expecting this.” I said

“ Me neither, I thought it was going to be more like 350 dollars, but oh well life is full of hiccups.” said my dad in a sarcastic tone. He might have not been sarcastic when he said this but I was too tired to notice.

My dad tried to get some money back from AAA insurance, but the person that towed us did not accept AAA.  I guess life is a bummer sometimes.


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