Kenny, my neighbor, my only link to get out of the woods west of Pfeiffer. I thought of that time I had been partridge hunting just before sundown on Thursday, Oct. 10 and not paying enough attention to the road I was on. Watching both sides of the road I looked up and I noticed was about 3 feet from the edge of a swamp, and by the time I stepped on my brakes, the front wheels slid into the swamp. I tried four-wheel high and low gears to no good. I opened my door and my running boards were in the water! I had to hang onto the little rain trough far enough to be able to close my door and work my way back to my topper roof edge to get close enough to be able to jump to shore with only one foot getting wet. Safe? No! I had no idea where Iwas and the sun had set.
I had my flip phone, but only one bar left and a flashlight, but no compass. I had to leave everything.
I walked back up the road to the top of the hill I came down. One of three roads, so I walked down to the bottom that was a dead end. So I walked back up the hill to the top. I had one left besides the one I drove into my mess. I did not want to go back the way I came from because I didn’t know how far I would have to walk.
I called friend Ken (noticing only one bar left on my flip phone). I asked Ken to please turn the weather on to find out which way the wind was blowing and call me gain (again, only bar on the phone). Ken called back with good news about the win from east, southeast, and I told him I did not know where I was and I would call him when I figure out where I was.
I took the left road (the last one) with what wind there was on my nose and shut my flashlight off when I could save the batteries. My eyes got adjusted to what light I had and I just walking to keep warm. I walked about 2.5 hours when I came out on a road and marked the dirt with my foot. Looking around with my light I was “sure” where I was for the first time since I went into the swamp! I walked down a hill around the end of swamp and uphill to the top. I had shot a partridge right there before everything went downhill after that.
I called Ken to tell him I knew where I was, but still had about 3-4 hours to get to Pfeiffer Lake Campground, where I started.
I thanked my God and my angel, my saint, my wife (she died 14 years ago Oct. 4) who guided me out of the woods. I continued walking and talking to my angel, my saint. She didn’t answer me but with and my God I was finally safe.
I didn’t know where my truck was but sure I could find it Friday. I kept walking and glad Ken and Mike met me.
I told them I should be able to backtrack from the spot I came out to the road that I marked to get me out.
They said they would take me out Friday morning Oct. 11 and they would go with me to get my truck coordinates with their phones. I thought I should try and go to Virginia, Eveleth Airport to see if I could get a plane and pilot to fly me and Ken out to Pfeiffer Lake Campground to find my truck, but time was getting short. We got on the road I came out on about 9 a.m. I found my mark I made on the road and I was positive we would be able to find my truck.
It was then I was very sure m God and my wife, my angel, my saint go time to that spot the night before.
We could not find the trail or road for the trees and brush in that area was thick, even through we found my mark on the road. Ken and Mike both said there was no way at 10 at night and dark I could come out and put my mark on the road, because I got out of the woods!
I said it again then my God and my wife was the only way I got out of the woods.
Ken and Mike and I continued to look to find my truck. We finally agreed I needed to get a plane (if you ever go four-wheeling or snowmobiling and get lost) get to the Eveleth-Virginia Airport. Ken took me to the airport after we dropped Mike off.
The airport (we found) is open 24/7. I want to thank the pilot Gary Ulman who was very professional. If you need help call 744-1428 to get a pilot and plane to find it. Gary flew us up to Pfeiffer area and found my truck coordinates for us.
We called Armory Shell Friday afternoon/evening with coordinates and they would call us Saturday.
The called Ken about 9 a.m. Saturday and were heading to Pfeiffer Lake Campground sure they could find my truck. We left right away and waited a few minutes when they got there, two men in a wrecker, another with a truck trailer and driver.
Thanks to Jesse Kiersting from St. Louis County Rescue Squad and Armory Shell. They took the wrecker to get my truck, while Ken and I waited in his truck. Armory Shell also had another driver with a sled made for them in Colorado with huge tracks that can go just about anywhere. After a while the driver called us, they found my truck thank God. A little while later his opened again and I told Ken that can’t be good. The driver said the wrecker got stuck, and he had to take the sled off and go get them. We waited and soon we could hear the sled coming. The sled came up the hill pulling wrecker pulling my truck. What a relief to see that! We met them in Virginia Saturday, Oct. 12, my truck was in the swamp over 48 hours.
Waiting for insurance to give Armory Shell the OK to do the repairs. It has been a very nerve-racking time.