Crossing the Sierra Nevadas on Highway 89 on the way to cousin Julie’s, we came across this…
What can you do? We stopped. As others inched around the gap this mess had left in the road, we joined an angelic Sotheby’s employee to check in with the RV driver and see how we could help. It turns out the driver – we’ll call him Donald – had pulled over for a short break, and, in trying to get back on the road, hadn’t judged the distance properly. He’d then backed up and jackknifed the Jeep he was hauling. So he pulled forward to straighten it… and had gone off the other side. Portentous.
First things first, we crow-barred the Jeep off the now high-riding tow ball on the RV, and got it out of the way. Now for the RV itself. The owner tried to back it up, but no luck. “Can you pull me out with your truck? Do you have a tow strap?” Evidently, despite the fact that he had a Jeep with a winch and an RV bigger than our house, this simple, critical item hadn’t made the packing list. Well, yes we did have one, of course. I wondered if he might like to try pulling with the Jeep. “Well, I was up on the passes and blew a head gasket. No good.” Hmmm.
So, we unhitched the little red trailer, and attached the tow strap between the RV and the truck. He took over from me and was ready to just loop it around the two tow balls on the RV and truck and hook the two end hooks together…. It took a moment to insist this was not going to be safe. Colin came out and secured it properly, and with the Sotheby’s angel and myself relaying coordinating directions, the guy fired up, Colin hauled in 4W low, and in a jiffy, we had – to my great surprise – hauled a giant RV out of a ditch with the truck. Good to know it can be done. In the few moments between running around, “Donald” stopped only to tell me he knew the sheriff in this area well, and would have been so embarrassed. Not a word of thanks.
But it was not over yet. As the Sotheby’s Samaritan headed out in his car, and we wrapped up the tow strap mumbling at the general jerk-ness of the guy we had just assisted, the RV started rolling down the road, headed for a drop-off, taking out metal snow poles as it went. I look up to see him running alongside, “Oh, God no, the brakes!,” trying to throw chocks under the wheel… then giving up, he ran around the side, and jumped inside some mid-point door (Did I say the RV was massive? Three doors along one side.) as it began picking up speed. I looked on in disbelief. Frankly, the world would probably be just fine without this guy, but there was a dog inside, and I briefly envisioned this RV turned up on its end like a obelisk to idiocy, balancing on the flattened body of his black and white Australian shepherd. Thankfully, he got it under control. “Colin,” I said, “let’s get out of here.” The situation was stable, and no amount of towing was going to give this guy a brain.
As we reattached the little red trailer, we saw him slowly backing back up the road, presumably to reconnect his busted Jeep. Colin and I shook our heads. We just hoped he loves his dog.