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Want a real man? Visit Littletown

Margot Bray called me weeks ago with a very dramatic story about a trip she took in the high country around Washington, back in April.

“I’m a history buff; I like to collect old photographs, old paperwork and documents, things like that. I decided to go up to Graniteville to take some shots of the old buildings up there. I was very excited – I’m always excited when there’s a chance to discover a piece of history.

“Well, I got up there, all right, near there, and got stuck in the snow. I tried rocking my truck out, but that didn’t work. It was no big deal, because I’m from Tahoe and I’m always prepared, always have the correct equipment in my truck. I went to get the shovel I always carry and found I had forgotten it. Some prepared, huh?



“I had an ice chest lid and a hatchet, so I started chopping up the ice and shoveling it out with the lid. After a little while I looked up and saw that a big storm was moving in, so I started working even faster. I was shoving rocks, branches, pine cones, even pebbles into the ruts my wheels had made when I had tried to rock myself out. My truck was stuck in snow on top of ice.

“Well, I had propane heat, food for four days, down blankets, two other blankets and half a tank of gas, and there was the storm moving in. It was time to fish or cut bait: either hunker down and hug a car or a tree or take off for help, fast.




“I took a day pack, some clothes, and I had on a good pair of hiking boots. I had matches, a pocket knife … I was geared up. I hiked 81Ú4 miles, marking my trail as I went … and the storm was coming up fast!

“God was looking out for me, because here came two guys from North San Juan; they were trying out their new dirt bikes and they were glad to give me a ride down to Washington. One was Art; I don’t know the other one – thank you! Thank you!

“I called for a tow truck, but they wouldn’t come out that far. I was desperate, a nervous wreck, and by this time it’s dusk, plus I was supposed to start a new job the very next day.

“Then these guys appeared out of nowhere (turns out they were Ted Piland, Proton John Godfrey, Big Mitch, Hummer George and Gabriel the Russian), and they said they’d help me. So back up the mountain we went, and it was truly a ride from hell. John was so comforting, so reassuring on the way – he said I had done everything right, had all the right supplies, didn’t panic, but sometimes things just go wrong.

“To make a long, unpleasant story short, they were able to get my truck out and back down to Washington. I am almost glad it happened, because otherwise, I’m sure I wouldn’t have met all those wonderful people. They didn’t ask for money, and when I offered it, they refused. Refused! It was amazing, just amazing to get their sympathy and empathy and compassion, to get their immediate help just because I was an ordinary human being in trouble.

“So let me tell you, in the little town of Washington, you can leave your heart and still be a whole person and care for other people because they care right back. When anybody asks me what kind of people live in Washington, I tell ’em: ‘Real men live there. If you want to meet real men, visit Washington!'”

ooo

Vivian Herron’s column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.


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