Hey Iowa, perhaps you should mow your ditches?

I was having a bit of a hard time turning 26. It’s just a big one in my mind. I’m now nearing my late twenties. That seems a lot older than I should be. Well my birthday happened to fall on the day before Sam and Derek’s wedding. So it would be a work day, but such is life, I didn’t have any plans anyways. I decided to have a good attitude about it since there wasn’t any other options and I was really excited about their wedding. I was also super excited about her dress and was really happy to be able to photograph it the day before the wedding so we had lots of time to do something really cool.

The day was going just fine. We got up early, left the hotel early to go scout and I felt really good about the day. The rehearsal was at 5:30pm so we had plenty of time. We were showing their engagement video at the rehearsal so it was important that we get there. We also had her rings and wedding dress in our car.

I had this vision of a sweet barn. I mean, it’s an Iowa wedding so it just felt right but we couldn’t find one! What are the odds? We found a couple but either nobody was home or they wouldn’t let us shoot on their property. We were just about done scouting for the day and just needed one last good location. So we were driving down this wide gravel road when I saw a cool barn to our left. I told Ryan we should go back and take a look at it. Since it was such a wide road and nobody else was driving down it, he was just going to turn around in the road instead of driving out of our way to a driveway or something.

I personally would never do this because I always play it safe and obey the rules. However, I didn’t think anything of it because the road was so wide and there was no traffic.

What does this look like to you? The side of a gravel road, just grass, right?

Ok well it’s NOT. It’s a huge ditch. When he went a little off the edge of the road to turn around thinking it was just flat grassy ground we were both pretty shocked when it swallowed us up! I guess you guys in Iowa don’t mow your ditches like we do here in Michigan. That’s good to know. I’m sure we will never make that mistake again after this very expensive lesson.
At this point, we are mostly screwed. A few people stop to see if they can help but don’t have any way to pull us out. We got the number of a local tow truck but they didn’t answer so we had to call a one from the next town over. It cost us a LOT of money. :( A lot of money that I would have liked to spend on a birthday present for myself, haha. We were also running out of time. There was no time to find our last shooting location now and I was really doubting if we would even make it to the rehearsal. I worked really hard on the video so I was pretty bummed it might not be shown then.

This is Ryan waiting for the tow truck being sad that the earth tried to eat our car. 

Finally the tow truck gets there. It was almost an hour since we fell in. When he pulls the car out, it turns weird and hits on the right passenger side. I heard a explosion and sure enough, we blew a big hole in the tire. That just so happens to be the same tire we just replaced maybe a month prior. I was second shooting a wedding in Grand Rapids with another photographer and ran over a curb on my way home. I was in a major ghetto stuck at a creepy gas station all alone. Another really bad night. That situation was one of the scariest in a long time. I’d much rather be stuck on the side of the road in the country, in daylight, with Ryan.

So we just replaced that tire and now blew out the new one, so our faithful donut went back on. We were actually not too far from the church and were able to make it to the rehearsal right at the end when they wanted to show everyone the video so that all worked out. We just had to go back out scouting after dinner making it a very long day.

It’s sure not how I planned on spending by 26th birthday, but sometimes life throws these things at you. Since I’ve had so many issues with stress in the past year I’m trying to constantly remind myself that I have a choice in how I react and respond to the things that happen. It’s quite easy to forget that and I’m hoping it will eventually become a mental habit. That has really helped control the crazy that tries to escape. When we fell in, I felt like we were about to tip over so it certainly could have been a lot worse.

I’m really hoping we don’t have any more car trouble this year! I think I’ve really had enough about now. :)

PS – These are all iPhone pictures, decent right?

August 19, 2011 - 11:24 am

Brooke Summer Photography - Oh no!!! That sucks. :( 26 is a good year though, it will be awesome for you. Even if ditches at the car right before the big day!

March 23, 2014 - 3:29 pm

Tony Brierly - Hey guys, I’m sorry you found out about Iowa wildlife havens called “Ditches”. Here in Iowa we try to mow as few ditches as possible because many species nest in the ditches and hide their young in the tall grass ie…Ringneck Pheasant, Redwing blackbird, Possum, Red Fox, snakes to mention a few. Ditches are in reality like mini eco-systems with food chains etc…
Tip for the next time…..in your first photo there is a wide leafed plant in the middle, that is a deep ditch water loving plant that we know too well here. We do 3 point turns on gravel roads at least those of us who are born and learn to drive on gravel. If it makes you feel better I’m sure everyone who lives in Iowa has at one time (maybe more) visited a ditch.

Please come back to Iowa, We like Michiganites..(=
Happy Belated Birthday
P.S. my sister works for MSU go Spartans!

March 24, 2014 - 11:09 am

Holly - haha wow this post brings me back!

There should be a sign when entering Iowa to warn people of the mystery ditches. :) I am also now horrified that there were probably snakes in there! Ahhhh!

Other than the ditch that tried to eat us, we really enjoyed Iowa and would LOVE to come back, so if you know someone getting married, we would love to have a reason to return :)

-Holly

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