We woke the next morning and came down for the full Scottish breakfast with full expectations about the fun we would have in the coming day.
I'd say the Scots like their protein.
Before getting on the road, I took these pictures of Miss Middler by the Inveraray dock.
The towns had Christmas lights all throughout. It was beautiful to see white snow, brown mountains, blue water, and green grass all right in front of us.
We started down the road and spotted a brown historical marker, so we turned down the road "just to see" what might be down there. The road was full of potholes. CC dodged one big pothole, but we soon discovered what looked like a gravel shoulder was in reality a deep ditch full of running water and covered by moss and tall grasses. (We had an arrangement, he and I, that I was free to say, "Remember far lane." each time he turned. I could also say, "You are close to the side." as he was driving. Because he was driving on the other side of the road, the reminders were welcome and not considered backseat driving.) Just as I was saying, "You are getting close..." down the car went.
His first reaction was to feel terrible. I said, "It's ok. It's not the end of the world. Let's pray. God will show us what to do." He got out to look, and the kids and I prayed. And though it may not look steep, inside the car felt that it truly could tip if we shifted too far. So, we all climbed out. And though it may not look like that was hard to do, it was.
Our first thought was to find the numbers for the car rental company and call. But then in my head popped an image of a sign I've seen that says, "Eat Local!" and I said, "No, wait. Let's get local help. I feel like it's going to cost us a lot less and be a lot quicker if we can just get one of these kind policemen to help us." Scotland, was, after all, just very friendly. For example, the speed limit sign in the town we had just driven through said, "Twenty's plenty." At one point, it began to downpour rain. We climbed back in the car, with me being on the side closest to the ditch. And after about 30 seconds, I said, "Nope. Rain's not going to kill us. Get out. This isn't safe." So we climbed back out and shivered against the rain. CC hiked to the end of the street, where he asked someone to call the police for us. Soon, the kindest policeman you could ever meet showed up.
He told us we were in luck. At the other end of that street was a business with massive trucks and road equipment. Several of the workers came by to help, console, and just be friendly and kind to us. They wanted to tell us about how they were celebrating Christmas and about the fund-raiser they had just done for local kids. They wanted to know how we like Scotland. They wanted to know how it was driving on the other side of the road in their country!
After a couple of attempts with a van, a young guy pulled up with this beast. The car was pulled out in about 10 seconds. All the guys, including the policeman, looked up under the car, confirmed there was no damage whatsoever. They said, "Just run it through a good carwash. No need to report it to the rental company. The car looks great." We were just overwhelmed by their kindness. CC wanted to give them all a gift to have a good hot lunch on us, but they absolutely refused. They just wanted to help. We wished them well, and off we went.
I snapped one last shot before we drove off. This is what looked to be a muddy shoulder, but was in reality a drop off.
And so we made a memory. And we made some friends.