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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Detail of 'Go, Yaris!'

So, here's a little detail about The Little Car That Could. (Actually, I think we made it happen by sheer willpower because we had no other option!)

On Friday, Tom headed out to do that paid plowing job we got. It was a fairly remote location on a road not maintained in the wintertime. To get to where he would begin, he had to drive about 17 miles to begin with. Then, the plowing began and went about 9-10 miles. After a quick pass in and out - just to open it enough for this guy to get his pickup through, Tom headed down to our local market for some coffee. As luck would have it, he ran into said man there . . . and learned that he was bringing a semi in with a huge piece of equipment! Point being, the road couldn't be plowed to the width of a cowpath: it needed to be a r-o-a-d. Tom gave me a call to not expect him right away and then headed out again.

About the time I WAS expecting him, I kept looking out the front windows whenever I would pass them. Then, sure 'nough, there he was with the dogs . . . coming up to the house. But, wait a minute . . . there's no truck parked in the yard!

When he walked in, all I asked was, "Where did it happen?" I was thinking it could have been 25 miles back! (Of course, he never would have made it in that time if he'd been walking, but I didn't stop to think that through.) Nope, he'd only had about a mile-long walk. Considering where a problem COULD have happened, he was darn lucky!

Anyway, I, of course, assumed he'd gone off the road plowing . . . which I've done a time or two during the "widening" process. Nope, the truck just died in the middle of the road. The engine made a HORRENDOUS noise when he'd try to restart it.

So, I got bundled up, and we headed out to get the old plow truck (the '77 Suburban) started. But, in order to do that, we'd need to jump it. But, with the cold temps and little use, the Subaru was dead. So much for that. So, we pulled the little Yaris out of the garage and drove that up to where the Suburban is parked up by the Trapper Cabin. Long story short, the Suburban needed more than a battery jump to get goin'. It was dead in the water, too. That left us with a very large pickup and 9' blade sitting smack in the middle of the road (although most of the traffic in the wintertime is "just" loggers or snowmobilers) and nothing but a Yaris with which to (possibly) move it.

Well . . . what could we do? We'd give it a shot.

First, we took a can of gas down, hoping against hope that the truck had run out of gas and the gas gauge was not working. No such luck.

So, Tom hooked the clown car up in front of the truck.

Rather than run the risk of injuring either vehicle (probably the Yaris!), I said that I wouldn't "jerk" the towrope (as you sometimes do to get someone out of the ditch). Instead, I would get tension on it and then gently apply the gas.

Um, yeah. I just sat in one spot, the wheels spinning like mad. Imagine a tugboat pulling the Titanic. I'm sure that's what it looked like.

So then, I back up and Tom scraped the snow off the road until he was down to dirt. I drove to the edge of that cleared area, eased off the towrope tension just a titch, Tom stood in the open driver's door of the pickup pushing, ready to jump in to steer . . . and I gave 'er hell!

Wahoooooo! It was working! Ever so slowly, but it was working! Like a wind-up toy, I kept moving from side to side on the road, trying to find the areas not packed down - hoping to get more traction. In the above picture, you can see the tiniest of hills at the end of this straight, flat stretch. The place we knew we could pull into was just on the other side. I HAD to get us over that rise so the truck could coast down the other side.

I think I can, I think I can! I let the pickup roll closer to me as I drove up to the rise and gave the towrope another soft little . . . WHAM! And, ONE MORE TIME! Then, "the wheels are spinning! Head to the side, head to the side, get some traction! I think, I think . . . YES! We MADE IT!!!!!"

So, there ya have it: just another normal aspect of The Simple Life. ;)


  1. I. AM. EXHAUSTED. I feel like I just pulled and pushed that car and truck the whole way! Whew!

  2. How would have thought. You might want to contact the Yaris folks :)

  3. TJ, I did send a link to this post and the video to the salesmen @ Toyota who sold it to us! I'm interested to see what he has to say . . . or even how far this info might go (to the Toyota Mother Ship?!)!



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