Well, sure enough, the tow truck showed up around 2, and the first thing he did was nearly go into the very same ditch that my car was in. He had significant difficulty finding a spot that his truck could remain stable enough to actually operate the winches to pull me out. Eventually, he determined that the best option was a sort of diagonal position across the middle of the road. Now, I can tell you, this gravel road is not well traveled as a rule. In fact, it's quite quiet really. But of course, after he had positioned himself such that nobody would be able to pass on either side, the vehicles began to arrive. First, a pickup truck towing a large piece of equipment. Second, a full 18-wheeler grain truck, full of corn of course (this is Iowa!) Then, a combine joined the line up. On the other side, we had a car, followed by an assortment of pickup trucks and SUVs, and a dozer. The car was slowly winched out of the ditch to a sort of middle-of-the-road position, and the winch operator told me to take my foot off the brake. So I did.
And I know you can guess what happened next. Of course! I gently, elegantly, and slowly slid backwards, into the very same ditch from whence I had just been removed!
The second time worked a charm, and I was able to stay in one place. However, upon attempting to start my car, the battery was dead. This was a result of having left my hazard lights flashing, but since I was on a blind corner, I had elected to do so to alert other drivers to my "sitting duck" car. The tow truck driver informed me that he didn't have a battery pack, but asked me if I had cables. Of course I have cables! My father taught me properly, and I have a black bag of safety gear, including jumper cables, spare bulbs, reflective blankets, WD-40, and other assorted items. I also have a first aid kit, a wool blanket, spare gloves and boots, and a partridge in a pear tree. Well, maybe not the partridge.
Unfortunately, my cables were woefully short, and the tow truck driver could not reposition his vehicle for fear of sliding into the ditch again, and for the fact that it would take him further from me, and I was the one needing a jump. So, he consulted with the driver of the 18-wheeler grain truck, who had a lovely long set of cables, and the pickup truck with the piece of equipment, and they made a chain of jumper cables, and finally my car was started. Sometimes, living in the country is delightful. People can be very kind and helpful. Everybody got their cables back and we all went on our way.
Upon arriving home, however, I found that I was unable to make it up the short stretch of gravel road that leads to my driveway. As a result, I am parked out there on the incline, and I will leave from that very spot tomorrow morning by backing out. And, I will take the other direction, which is still hilly and slippery, but doesn't have the hairpin turn. I hope, very fervently, not to have any more close encounters with ditches of any kind this winter.