It’s late October, and you’ve been invited up to Northern Maine to a friend’s camp for an awesome and much-needed week of hiking, fishing, and camping out. You’ve been driving your rental car north from the Portland airport for several hours, down dirt roads, rut-ridden by logging trucks and hunters scouting for the upcoming moose season. You take a sip of coffee to fight off sleep, glance in the back seat at your carefully packed bags full of a weeks’ worth of supplies and clothes, and smile at the prospect of a week with good friends doing things you love.
You take a look at the GPS, and note that around the next bend in the road, is the bridge over a big river that your buddy told you would be the ten-mile marker from his camp. Excited that the end of this torturous journey is soon to be over, and knowing that at 9pm, there wouldn’t be any traffic down this road, you goose the throttle a bit to get you around the bend to see the bridge. As the headlights clear the corner, you’re not expecting to see what you see, even though you should.
The moose looms huge in your headlights, its bulk encompassing the entire road. You hit the brakes, but the loose gravel road offers no traction to slow your car, and you enter a skid. You thankfully miss the moose, but the swerve to the right around the big critter brings your rental car just past the guardrail to the bridge, over the enbankment, into the frigid, slow-moving deep river.
When you recover from the shock of what just happened, you realize that your little rental car is slowly sinking into the river. A quick body damage report shows no injury to you (thank God for that seatbelt you were wearing!) but you know you have to get out of this car…you have no idea how deep it is now, and water is seeping in.
You’re able to pull your Leatherman out of its holster on your belt, and with a couple swift blows, you shatter the side window of the car. Brutally cold water pours into the window, and with a deep breath, you kick out of the opening and swim the 8 feet to the surface. The car’s headlights are still lit, creating an eerie glow as you paddle the short distance from shore and climb up the bank to sit down and collect yourself. As the panic and shock subside, you notice a definite chill to the air and a slight breeze…the weatherman said it might even get cold enough tonight for a few flurries.
It’s 9pm at night down a dirt road in the extreme backwoods of Maine. There will likely be no traffic until morning. You are soaked to the bone with only the clothes on your back and your Leatherman tool, 10 miles from your friend’s camp…but you’re not 100% sure where that camp is. They’re expecting you sometime tonight, no real time in mind. The Bic lighter you always carry in your pocket is very wet and very non-functional. You have lots of supplies, but they are in the back of your rental, 8 or so feet underwater, and they are now soaked. The temperature is 45 degrees or so, but dropping quickly. The shivering has started.
What do you do? You don’t wanna end up like this guy!!