A big part of one of my latest obsessions, that being, my friends' community garden project, has been based on pursuing and trying to actually practice principles of the share-economy.
In this vain, I have been trying to upcycle things and get things for free, the whole, "one man's trash, is anothers treasure" concept.
Since I no longer own a truck, I end up renting one from Home Depot, which is quite affordable, if you keep the trip to within a couple of hours and don't spend too much on gas.
Not free, but not too hefty of a price tag either, particulary when you factor in the wear and tear one would put on their own vehichle and how much more hauling capacity you'd get.
My friend had found a more local source for manure, but I had found free pallets and possibly a couple of other "free" things out in the general vicinity of the place where I had gotten free horse s**t in the past.
Granted, I had almost got the Home Depot rental truck stuck in the mud the last time I was out there.
But it was raining then and there wasn't a cloud in the sky yesterday.
Not to mention, I thought it was a particular nasty patch of roadway that I would just need to navigate around, which now that I knew where it was, I'd be fine.
Or so I thought....
Oh silly me....
After easily slipping past the patch of road that had almost been my undoing on my last trip, I lackadaisically drove into a manure swamp.
And got myself horribly stuck.
I spun my wheels for a while, only making things worse.
If only there was someone with me. We could give it a little heave-ho and be out in a jiffy.
Lo and behold, a good Samaritan arrived on the scene. But the good ol' heave ho didn't pan out.
And as he walked off, after giving my situation a quite dire prognosis, he left me with," Well, at least you taught me a lesson today, I won't be driving my truck out there. I'll wait until it gets warmer and the land dries out."
I really couldn't wait that long.
It seemed like the only way I was getting out of this situation, was if I found a friendly farmer with a tractor who just happened to be passing my way.
I called AAA, but the reality was that because of where I was, hundreds of yards from the roadway, in back of a barn, their help would be limited at best.
I called them anyway, or actually I called Cindy and had her help wrangle that, because on top of everything else, I hadn't thought to bring my card, it was still in the Rav and I honestly was begining to panic and might come across as somewhat hysterical.
Meanwhile, I broke up one of the free pallets and started shoving bits of wood under the tires to try to gain some sort of traction.
All to no avail.
And then I started digging.
After a while, I got the truck to move a few inches and once I saw that, I figured, "If I can get this truck to move a foot, then I can get out."
And I kept digging.
Eventually, I literally dug a roadway out.
It took me around an hour and a half and a lot of sweat, but I got out.
I was tempted to attempt to drive around on higher ground and load up the manure I'd come all this way to get, but the saner part of me won out and I decided to get the hell out of dodge.
The Path Not Taken
I decided to give the closer manure source a try.
Another hour on the road, but at least moving in the right direction and I arrived.
There weren't the hills of endless horse-apples that there were at the other stable, but there was more than would fit in my truck and there was a little Bobcat with a bucket that would load it up in a matter of minutes for $10.
OK, so it wasn't "free" but it was much closer,(20 minutes from the garden), and much more convenient.
Ironically, we overloaded the truck, meaning that I picked up more than 3000lbs of s**t, and I ended up having to leave half of the free pallets, I had driven so out of the way to get.
Hopefully, I learned a lesson or two today.
At the very least, I have found a good source of semi-local manure.