So you got a great tip, or you found a stash of free firewood online. Maybe you heard it from a friend of a friend. No matter the source, you’ve confirmed it and you’re grabbing your buddy to go fetch it. A couple of Wood Whore buddies of mine had a similar start to their day, not too long ago.
The ad said there was a whole lot of Alder, free for the taking. There was a great photo of the wood and an address, as well as a person’s phone number.
One buddy made the call to confirm, while the other loaded the saw and splitters into the truck. The only downside to their day was the fact that the free wood was a good hour and a half away from their home.
What the heck, it would be worth it.
They eventually found their way there and sure enough two other guys were already working on the huge pile of wood.
No worries, there truly was a massive pile of logs. Plenty for all and then some.
No sooner had my friends moved up their truck, than a lady came out of a house holding a very new baby. She was yelling something, but one of the other guys had his saw running, so no one knew what she was trying to say.
The guy with the running saw must have had amazing hearing because he turned his saw off and looked over to the woman. It turns out, the woman was telling everyone to get the heck out of her yard (politely of course). It seems her and her other half had a difference of opinion on how to get rid of all that beautiful firewood.
As it turned out, they decided to sell it all to a commercial firewood guy. He would apparently give them x amount of dollars and take it all away, leaving no mess at all for them to worry about.
She apologized and said the ad was supposed to come down the night before. Before she walked back into the house, she said she was sorry for any misunderstanding. My buddy’s were SOL, along with one of the other trucks.
The guy with the running chain saw was allowed to keep his half load.
Well that’s just the way it goes sometimes I guess, but this is when the story really starts to go bad.
It had been raining for weeks and the dirt driveway they were on was in pretty bad shape. They decided to drive to the end and then turn around, rather than try to back out. This turned out to be the second stupid decision of the day. It turns out that that’s exactly where the trees came from and as they tried to avoid the stumps, they got very stuck in the wet muddy mess. They were now about a quarter of a mile away from the house.
Have I mentioned yet, that the area they were in was sketchy at best when it came to cell phone reception? Needless to say theirs were no longer working.
So, a walk back up the muddy road and ask the nice “yelling” lady if they could please borrow her phone.
She was okay with that, but told them that her neighbour had a big 4×4 and wouldn’t hesitate to pull them out. She said unfortunately her neighbour only used a cell phone so she probably wouldn’t be able to get a hold of him. She said he was less than a mile away if they just wanted to walk there and ask.
They decided it was probably cheaper than calling a tow truck, so off they went. I’m sure by now I don’t have to tell you what happened next, that’s right, he wasn’t home.
So it’s back to the lady’s place to call a tow truck, then back down the muddy road to hurry up and wait for the tow. The wait was fairly painless, just over an hour. Then of course its the whole story to the driver, about the ad, the pile of wood, the yelling lady, getting stuck, the no cell phone thing, the walk to the neighbours and back to the truck, etc, etc.
The driver appeared to feel for them, but he’s probably heard it all before. He tells them both to look at the bright side, at least it wasn’t raining anymore and he’d have them out in a jiffy.
It took the driver less than 5 minutes to hook them up and winch them to firmer ground. This is of course when they all noticed one of the rear tires was now flat, I’m guessing he did it while spinning his tires like mad trying to escape the mud.
At least buddy always kept a spare tire with him. So out with the jack and the spare tire, jack up the truck, off with the flat and on with the spare. Almost on cue as the truck was lowered down from the jack, the spare tire was also flat.
The tow truck driver had a compressor on board and filled both tires. The original tire did have a nasty hole in it. But the spare appeared to be just out of air. They all stared at it for a while, checked the pressure a couple of times until everyone agreed it seemed to be holding air.
The driver charged them $90 bucks cash and was gone.
My buddies made two stops on the way home, the local tire shop and then the pub.
It took about 3 hours for the drive, another couple of hours for the walking and the waiting, $90 bucks to the driver, I’m guessing at least $40 for gas, $20 bucks to fix the original tire and as much as they spent at the pub drowning their sorrows.
All that and not one piece of firewood to show for their troubles…but at least it wasn’t raining!