Unchained melody

March 25, 2020 6:26 AM

The woman started talking before I even got close enough to hear her.

I was skiing and the snow was icy and I couldn’t understand a word she said.

It was last month, a gray, gray day and was starting to get dark.

“What was that?” I asked. “I can’t hear a word you said.”

“We’re stuck,” she said. “We can’t get out.”

She had a rental car in Glacier National Park, and while the car didn’t look stuck, it wouldn’t move. Apparently rentals don’t come with studded tires.

There were several other women in the car.

“Well, the more people pushing the easier it will be to move,” I suggested. That was a kind way of getting the larger women out of the back seat.

It took one push to get them going.

The woman thanked us profusely and was on her way. She said she was starting to panic. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that she was about a mile away from park headquarters. While a mile walk doesn’t seem much to me, I suppose it could be a real journey for someone unfamiliar with the park.

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of helping plenty of folks out. I always keep a chain in the truck.

The funniest was the Asians visiting the park who got their car sideways in the Sun Road.

I gave them a little push and they were on their way.

“Oh shank you,” they said in broken English. “You’re very shtrong.”

Then there was a Sheriff’s deputy several years back.

He had somehow managed to get his patrol car stuck in a snowbank on Highway 2.

The roads were bare, dry and clean and he crossed five lanes of traffic and buried the rig on the opposite side of the road. This was back when patrol cars were cars — not pickups or SUVs.

“You want me to pull you out?” I asked.

He nodded. I just hooked up the chain to the truck and pulled him out.

There was a woman in the back seat.

I didn’t ask questions, just gave a little wave as he drove away.

The point in all of this, I suppose, is that this virus thing has some people avoiding folks altogether at the behest of the government.

That might help stem the virus, but it doesn’t do a whole lot in promoting goodwill. Hopefully folks will get back to talking to one another. And I have no plans of taking that chain out of the back of the pickup.

Chris Peterson is the editor of the Hungry Horse News.