Alright good people, here we go! I once heard an airport shuttle driver say that as we drove to the hotel and ever since I’ve thought about saying it, I just didn’t know when. So I figured, now’s the time.
Anyway, sit back, relax, and enjoy my tale of getting lost in the wilderness.
Last week I was up at my cabin in Wisconsin with my dear friend Beth. One afternoon we decided to go four wheeling. I’ve been around the block a fair amount of times so I knew the route well and I knew it only took about 30 minutes. That is until they completely redid the route. Just Andie being Andie, I winged it the whole time, following the signs and assuming that the “Birchwood Loop” is called a loop for a reason, right? Well, in the midst of enjoying the beautiful scenery and rocky roads, I realised we had been gone for two hours. Panic started to settle in but I knew we would be fine. Beth is always one for adventures and loves getting lost because it makes for a good story, so she was still loving life at the time. I, however, was mainly concerned about running out of gas, getting stuck in the woods at dusk with no phone and no money and probably getting malled by a bear. But, deep down I knew we would be fine. It’s just this time, it was all in my hands.
Not long after we found a sign for Birchwood and followed it down a very long and very bumpy dirt road. And eventually, whattya know, we made it back! Huzzah! Except there was one more thing. Because we were in the town, I had two options. 1. Continue on the ATV trail which takes around an hour to get home, and risk getting lost again or running out of gas. 2. Take the main road home which only takes 20 minutes and definitely not get lost again. Naturally, I chose the second option. Driving down the long and winding road was beautiful and knowing that we were going to be okay was even better. But alas, about 15 minutes in, I started hearing this really weird sound. At first I thought it was just my helmet in the wind, but then it got louder. I had an “oh shit” moment. I turned around and saw it. A cop car. Confession, I know that I’ve never seen a four wheeler on this road before, but I’ve also never seen a cop car in Birchwood. The town is tiny. So after I pulled over, he gave us the usual ‘who are you and what are you doing’ talk and said he’d be escorting us back to the cabin. I found this hilarious. 7pm on a Monday, making our way back to the cabin, except with a cop car behind us.
When we got to the cabin he explained that he had just come from a Town Hall meeting. (Confession #2: I knew that building said ‘Town Hall’ but I didn’t think they actually used it!) And what was the meeting about, you ask? It was about how they need to be more strict on doing the very thing that Beth and I drove past doing: four wheeling down that road. There’s them, the whole gang of Birchwood PD and the all the important people of town walking out of the Town Hall after discussing how they should pull people over more frequently. And there’s us, illegally rolling past in our four wheelers, not a care in the world. After I explained my side of the story, he said “Well that just cost you $200. You’ll get a bill in the mail by Friday” and he drove off into the sunset.
I must say, I definitely thought we would get eaten by a bear or a pack of wolves before getting pulled over, but life is full of little surprises. The funny thing is, I’d always wondered what it would be like to get pulled over on an ATV and when the first time I’d get pulled over would be. Two birds with one stone, am I right?
Three hours and $200 later, I have no regrets. A large glass of wine and the Sex and the City movie was needed that evening.
(P.S. Later I learned that the Birchwood Loop takes a total of 5 hours. Oops.)