I'm camping in Shoshone National Forest tonight. It's rainy and moody and altogether frigid; I find it to be gloriously beautiful. I'm warm and snug, nestled inside the van. Tonight I am wearing my socks, pajama bottoms, a tee shirt, a pullover, and my fleece hat to keep warm. I have my 15 degree sleeping bag and a fleece blanket over it. Snug, indeed. I am reminiscing about the day's events.
I was driving through Shoshone National Forest today, stopping every few minutes to stumble out of the van to gawk at impossibly large mountains and winding rivers, when I spotted a forest camp site. I immediately turned onto the forest road in search of the evening's free lodgings. It was a steep, winding, rutted road that led up through a series of switchbacks to a point I never actually reached -- because I got stuck in the mud (remember what I said about it being rainy? Yeah.). At first I wasn't worried; I had seen other people get out of muddy situations before. Apparently it's not as easy as it seems, because before long I was truly in a mire.
Luckily, my phone was working; I don't know what I would've done if I did not have cellular service up there. I called my sister and asked her to look up the Shoshone Ranger Station's phone number, thanked her profusely, and went about getting myself out of that situation. Big thanks to the people at the Wapiti Ranger Station for all their help and concern! I love you ladies. In the end, I dialed my insurance company, who offered roadside assistance.
While I was waiting for my insurance company to arrange for my tow truck, I wandered around the area near the van. It was icy cold, and there was snow on the ground. Fog descended, and it started to rain -- and then the rain turned into snow. Here I was, marooned in grizzly country, and it was snowing. I laughed. What else could I do? Having a sense of humor about ridiculous situations can be sanity-saving.
Once my insurance company arranged for my assistance, my knight in 4x4 armor arrived within minutes, and he helped me get my big muddy van out of the muck. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to Bull's Conoco and everyone who helped me out today. Here's a few more photos of my muck-up:
I decided to make camp at the base of that same forest road -- this time with all four (now filthy) wheels safely level on a gravel surface. Goodnight!