Yup, it's snow season here. I drive an '06 Pathfinder (with a new rad) as my gravel road / off road fishing and kayaking vehicle. New Toyo AT2's have made an impressive difference. Besides airlift bags and a bunch of racks it's stock. It presently has a pane of window glass replaced by duct tape. More on that in a bit.
This story took place last weekend North of Lake Superior. I decided to go for my first brook trout ice fishing trip. I picked a small cold water lake a bit more than 20 km North of the Trans Canada Highway. The ice should be around 6": Plenty thick for walking.
On the drive up the temperatures were dropping and the 5 cm of snow in the forecast were well on their way. I pulled into the lake and was listening to "Quirks and Quarks" as I got changed. As I exited the vehicle the sleeve of my heavy winter coat brushed the "Lock" button on the armrest as the door swung shut. FUuuuuu...
The ignition was on, and I was locked out. I was dressed for the weather but had nothing with which to break into a vehicle. With the ignition on I knew had limited time in which to open the Pathfinder. I tried prying open doors, the tailgate glass, all to no avail.
After accepting that glass must be broken I tried using one of my ice self-rescue picks to break the small rear passenger door window. Did not meet with success. Even a good sized boulder merely bounced off (!). Losing my temper, only slightly, I found a nice baseball bat sized piece of hardwood which did the trick. It also put a nice dent in the door as it snapped. (It's Ok, It's not the first)
As I open the door I set off the alarm. The horn beeps with a lower and lower tone! The battery was just about done. After turning off everything and waiting for half an hour I tried starting the vehicle. Nothing but clicks.
Thankfully I was prepared to survive a night in a snowstorm, but not comfortably. It also dawned on me that the road leading to this lake would not see a snowplow. If the truck didn't come out by morning I may be leaving it till April. 18 km of plowing? Ain't nobody got money for dat!
Hiking out seemed like the best option. I loaded up a backpack with warm clothes, food, water and my one and only fishing beer. I also had a lighter, headlamp, GPS, and cell phone; which at this location is merely a paperweight.
I started my four hour hike in a fairly foul mood, but kept reminding myself to not "walk angry". I walked at a steady pace, in a sweatshirt. My heavy coat was trapping too much condensation. The snow became more than ankle deep after an hour or so. After about 4 hours of brisk hiking my heavy boots had chewed some bloody holes into my heels, and I found some relatively fresh tire tracks.
I followed the tracks to a camp (cottage) by a lake and knocked on the door. The young lady who cracked the door slammed it shut with alarming force. I can only assume my appearance was alarming. Her father and boyfriend (?) were kind enough to drive me back to my truck and give me a boost with their F150. A 40km round trip to help a stranger! ...on my next trip in the area I will leave a two-four
On the drive back to the Pathfinder the driver of the F150 asks "You didn't come down with a dog did ya?"
He points at my still-visible tracks, which are paralleled by a large set of canine tracks. "No I don't own a dog. I guess that was a curious wolf?"
The wolf tracks were visible off-and-on for the next 2 km before the snow obscured them.
That's why I still have a duct-tape window in my Pathfinder. Replacement will apparently be installed last Wednesday, uh, no, make that on Monday. Maybe...
Lesson learned: Hide a spare key on the vehicle.