How Not To Drive In the Snow

I was driving to visit a friend in Front Royal and my Garmin C330 GPS suggested a route that wasn’t familiar to me. I knew how to get to my friend’s house, but I decided to follow the GPS and see where it wanted me to go.

The route was a little odd, but it was going in the right direction, so it seemed like everything would be fine. Then, I got to within a few miles from the house and the next road was Old Linden Rd. It wasn’t plowed but it looked like someone else had been on it. I am driving an AWD Ford Explorer and I learned how to drive in snowy upstate New York.

Look at the picture. It doesn’t seem so bad, does it?

I drove about 2 miles into this road and then reached a hill that I could not climb. There was no way I was getting any further. The road is one lane. On the left side was up hill and trees. On the right side was very much down hill and more trees. My only option was to back out.

I managed to do this for about a mile. I’m good at backing up.

I got a little stuck and tried to pull forward a bit to reposition myself. The ground on the right side gave way and I began to slide.

 I should have stopped right here, but I tried to get myself free and managed to slide even further off the road. The picture doesn’t look so bad, but the Explorer was leaning so far over, I had a difficult time opening the door because of its weight.

Just up the hill were some very nice people. They brought their front-loader down, with chains, to pull my truck out of its unfortunate position.

The Explorer only slid further down. The only reason it stopped is because it became cradled in some trees. They also did some nice damage to the side of the truck.

We gave up after a while and called about a dozen towing companies. They all refused to come out. I left my truck behind for the night. I’m sure it’s safe. No one in their right mind would be on that road…

The nice people who tried to help managed to find a towing company to come pull me out. They called me at 10:30 PM to let me know. That’s pretty nice of them. There are good people out there in the world. It’s a real pleasure to run into them when you’re in a situation like this.

I’m sure things could have been much worse, so that’s just a day in the life, right? I don’t call it good or bad. It’s an adventure and it certainly gave me something interesting for taking pictures.

Let’s see what tomorrow brings…

P.S. I would like to let the people at Garmin know that my navitation system was set to AVOID unpaved roads. I’m not very amused that they misled me so. The nice people who helped me said MapQuest tells people to take that road too. They apparently help a lot of people get unstuck.


  1. chris on February 28, 2007 at 12:24 am

    Sorry to hear about your truck, I hope the damage isn’t too bad.
    Funny how good people come out of the wood work when you need them.
    Maybe an angel was watching over you.
    Take care.

  2. Dana Hails on February 28, 2007 at 1:57 am

    It seems Garmin is as bad as MapQuest about giving bad directions. MapQuest was partly
    responsible for showing the road the man from San Fransisco took in southern Oregon
    in December ( I think it was). He got stuck-left family to get help and did not make it.
    Maybe someone should sue MQ and Garmin and they would stop showing all the side roads
    that aren’t passable in winter.

  3. Dave Saunders on April 15, 2007 at 2:14 pm

    Here’s something I noticed. The roads around the Pentagon are totally different from the Garmin Maps. When I drive around that area of DC the navagation system gets so upset.

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