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Thread: Personal Emergency Experience Last Night

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Yakima, WA

    Default Personal Emergency Experience Last Night

    Last night, Sunday, 7/19, I was home and talking with some local hams on a 10-meter net when a friend of ours, Chad (KD7KJF), broke in with a call for help. He and his wife, daughter and puppy dog had been driving backroads in their Jeep Cherokee when they broke down with engine problems. They were on Manastash Ridge at the intersection of the Bald Mountain Road and the road to Funny Rocks where you overlook Manastash Lake, close to the gate between the National Forest and the Oak Creek Wildlife Area. They had been sightseeing and were on their way home.

    They broke down at about 6:00 PM and were out of cell phone range so Chad used his 2-meter radio to call for help. Chad reached a local ham on 2m simplex who made some calls on his behalf including one to his insurance company to request a tow. It was two-and-a-half hours later when he checked into our net at 8:30 PM and told us of his dilemma. He had not heard anything about the tow truck at that time. Another friend, Don Neil (KC7FFK), offered to drive up with his truck and trailer (all the way from Grandview) and I offered to go up with my pickup to tow him out with a strap. It was now almost 9:00 PM. Not knowing whether the tow truck driver would ever find them and after weighing his options, Chad decided to request the truck and trailer from Grandview. Wise choice.

    I met Don with his truck and trailer in North Yakima and rode with him. While we were on the road we heard over the 2m radio that the towing company had phoned the the fellow who originally called for the tow truck and informed him that the driver would not take the tow truck that far off the road. Evidently he had driven from Yakima to the Bald Mountain Road, decided it was too much and turned around and drove back to town. It took nearly 4 hours to learn that he was NOT coming!

    Don and I reached Chad and his family shortly after 11:00 PM. They were doing well and making the best of it on a warm night under a sky full of stars. Their 11 year old daughter was a little hungry, but that was handled by a Granola bar from a package my wife handed me for just such occasion before I left home. We loaded the Cherokee onto the trailer without event and slowly drove back to Highway 410 over the potholes and washboard of the Bald Mountain and Rock Creek Roads.

    We reached Chad's house in Yakima sometime around 1:30 AM, unloaded the Cherokee and Don drove me back to my car before both of us headed for home. I got home at 2:00 AM and Don made it to his house at 3:00 AM

    EDIT: It turns out that wires got crossed between all the people handling the message and the tow truck driver drove all the way to the Gold Creek area near Snoqualmie Pass instead of Gold Creek on the Chinook Pass Highway. What a mess!

    Morals of the story: 1. Explore with at least one other vehicle. 2. Keep a ham radio handy in case of emergencies.
    Last edited by Jerry; 09-06-2015 at 22:23.
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads

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