You may or may not know that Brad and I own an international group travel company (www.HarmonyInternational.com if you want to see what we are about). Last summer, we took 2 separate groups to Germany to see the Oberammergau Passion Play, which only takes place every 10 years (fascinating history–you should google it!). Sometimes, when we finish with our groups while we are international, we like to add on a few days to ourselves to ‘recover.’ This particular time, we decide to rent a car (a convertible Mini Cooper) and venture off into the Austrian Alps. We ended up in the quaint but gorgeous town of Heilegenblut, Austria.
One of the things we like to do each day was hop in the car and explore some of the most gorgeous mountains, waterfalls, villages, and narrow country roads we’d ever seen. One day, we came across a road with a gate blocking it. According to our map, there was country church down there somewhere that we were curious to see. We hopped out of the car and ventured down the road by foot for 15 or 2o minutes and came across nothing so we turned around and went back to the car. As were approaching the car, Brad noticed that the gate didn’t have a lock on it….sooooo…being the adventurous man that he is, he decide we should open the gate and go for a drive! So we did! We hadn’t seen a soul for a couple of hours and it seemed harmless. We drove down the winding road for 15 or 20 minutes…the last curve we rounded was a hairpin! As we were headed down the hill, we suddenly realized we were out of road! I yelled at Brad to stop (for some reason he didn’t notice as soon as I did!)! We did a 10-point turn to get the car facing back up the hill…no problem, right? Wrong! What we had driven down was less of a road and more of a grassy driveway…and the grass was wet because it was a shady area where the dew had never dried.
Brad let up the clutch and gave it some gas and we got about 1/3 of the way up the hill and that poor little car was trying so hard to make the climb but her wheels were just spinning in that wet grass and the engine begins to smoke! Ahhhhhhh! So we turn off the car and open the hood to let the car cool down…we actually emptied the water from our cooler in it to help. We sat on a nearby stump and waited about 20 minutes…and tried again…to no avail. Outcome was the same…2 more times.
Dusk is approaching…we are trying to decide whether we should start looking for some kind farmer to pull us out…bad idea…we could walk for several hours before finding someone. My logical brain is hearing cash registers as I think about how much this little mishap is going to cost us! And then…a light bulb came on…if the wet grass is the obstacle…then remove the obstacle…so we get down on our hands and knees and start ripping the grass out of the ground where the car needs to drive. Then we begain to gather large sticks and break them and lie them where the wet grass was to help create traction. Finally, after 30 minutes of reconstructing the road, we are ready to give it one last shot. Brad is at the steering wheel and I am behind the car ready to push (yes, me). He lets the clutch and floors the gas and I am pushing (and hoping against all odds that the car doesn’t roll back over me!!!). AND…we made it!!! Cheers went up and we decided no more driving behind closed gates that should be locked! The car smelled like smoke for 2 days but managed to survive! Here is a picture of the evidence that we lived to share!