A few weeks ago, Katie Kolahi and I were at Washington State University in Pullman, WA meeting with their College of Pharmacy. This was our first meeting with the team after being hired to develop key messaging and a new website for the College.
The meeting date happened to be a morning that a big snow storm hit the Inland Northwest. Katie and I drove the 80 miles to Pullman on icy roads and into about 8 inches of snow in the roads in Pullman. We found a parking space in an unplowed lot and headed to the meeting.
We had a great session with the the client and representatives from WSU's marketing team. After the meeting, we got into the truck to head back to Spokane. On the highway home, I asked Katie to find my iPhone in the back seat so that I could call my wife and let her know that in spite of the snowy roads, we were headed back to Spokane.
After looking around, Katie reported that she couldn't find my phone. I had her call it so we could hear it ringing, but no ringing came from the backseat, either.
That left one conclusion... my iPhone had fallen out of of the vehicle when we got out for our meeting and was currently buried under 8 (and deepening) inches of snow.
Not wanting to turn back in the storm, I'd have to find a way to get my iPhone out of the snowbank the next day.
The next morning, classes were cancelled at WSU. I emailed my brother-in-law, Brett, who works in Pullman at SEL to see if he could do search for my phone. It was a long shot, but it was my only shot.
That afternoon, Brett called and talked with Katie (I was in a meeting at a client's office). She told Brett where I may have dropped my phone. Brett hiked through the snow to the area that Katie had mentioned. Standing in over a foot of new snow, Brett called my number. In the distance, a dog quietly started barking. Wondering if the barking dog was my ringtone, Brett hung up his phone. The barking stopped. Calling again, the barking resumed. Brett turned his ear to the ground and reached down into the pristine snow. With snow up to his elbow, his fingers closed around my iPhone. The phone was working and Katie's directions had Brett standing 6 inches away from it when he called.
Brett dried out my iPhone and FedEX'd it to me the next day. The phone arrived safely, with 50% of the battery charge still remaining.
I've got to hand it to Apple for developing a phone that can survive being buried for over 24-hours in a cold and wet Pullman snowbank. But then again, maybe its survival had something to do with the iPhone case my wife had bought me for Father's Day last year.