Well, as we all know there is nothing like making a grand entrance, and first impression.
When I got to Wisconsin on September 10th I came to camp but the Crane Festival was the first order of business and what a great festival we had!
The following Sunday both Geoff and Brooke left for a vacation and so my official duties began. Monday morning bright and early I left camp driving the old tracking van to go meet Tom Schultz so we could release the chicks for aircraft training. I met Tom at the gate and I headed in, along the gravel road to the training site parking lot. The road is very narrow, but not scary narrow. I was going about 15 mph, NOT texting, on the phone or gazing at the beauty around me, when all of a sudden the van wheels grabbed to the right and I found myself in the ditch – on the first day I reported for duty!
I could not get it back on the road for anything. I am by nature a cautious, better safe than sorry kind of person. I’ve never been in an accident or gone off the road. Not even when my daughter was teaching me to drive on ice!
So mortified as I was, I was hopeful that Tom could pull me out after training as the aircraft were on their way and I would just have to tell the rest of the crew after the fact. Tom and I went on to the pen to greet the crane colts.
After training we tried to get the poor van out of the ditch with no success so Tom tried to call Joe but could not reach him. I tried Richard who could not hear what I was saying, except ‘bring a truck.’ Soon Joe and Richard came to the rescue.
Let me tell you, putting the van in the ditch was not nearly as traumatic as them pulling it out. I thought it was going to tip over! That’s when I started shaking and got teary. Oi Vey! Luckily, it did not and the three guys were the best sports about the whole thing. It took about 48 hours for me to see the humor in the situation though. The only damage was a half torn off front bumper which Richard managed to bolt back on. Brooke has given me a new nickname, ‘Crash’
Ed Note: Some of you may recall Colleen’s first few days last migration season when she attempted to clean Mouse poop from a frying pan using the hose for the black water tank. Then to scrub out the black water mess she picked up a bleach bottle and dumped some in the pan only to discover someone had re-used the bleach container to store used motor oil. It’s pretty funny. Check it out here.