Kelsie Mac uses her experience off roading to help navigate others through the snow. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Kelsie Mac uses her experience off roading to help navigate others through the snow. Photo by Laura Guido/Whidbey News-Times

Good Samaritans offer help to Whidbey drivers during winter storm

Gabe and Isaac Bozeman can’t legally vote, but they are able to drive in the snow.

The brothers, who are 15 and 17 respectively, grew up in Colorado before moving to Oak Harbor in 2013. Much of their snow driving experience might have been in a golf cart, but it was enough for them to feel like they had something to offer the less prepared.

The brothers, with their tow rope and parents’ Range Rover, posted to the Whidbey Island Community page that they’re ready and willing to help those whose cars left the road during this week’s snowstorm.

They aren’t the only ones offering to help out those who weren’t feeling so confident in the winter weather conditions.

Kelsie Mac, 24, also posted to social media that she was happy to give a ride to people around the city who needed to get somewhere. She’s lived in the Pacific Northwest since she was 15 but does a lot of off-roading with her boyfriend, she said.

After seeing people walking in the cold and wet snow, she asked her boyfriend if he’d be okay with her using the Jeep to give lifts to people who needed it.

“I don’t think he realized I was serious,” Mac said.

Neither the Bozemans nor Mac ever considered charging for their services, they were just looking for a way to help out.

Gabe Bozeman, left, and older brother Isaac Bozeman use their experience with snow and cars to help those in need. Photo provided

Gabe Bozeman, left, and older brother Isaac Bozeman use their experience with snow and cars to help those in need. Photo provided

Mac is attending Skagit Valley College and Whatcom Community College to become a nurse. Since the snow had canceled classes, she spent Tuesday and Wednesday shuttling people around between study sessions.

She took a woman with a young child across town so the woman could check on her mother. She also drove someone almost to Coupeville before the passenger realized they’d gone the wrong way and needed to go to the North End instead.

“It wasn’t too bad though,” Mac said with a shrug.

She didn’t really mind how early people asked for rides either, because she’s up at 4:30 a.m. for work anyway. The nursing student works at the pool and as an EMT for North Whidbey Fire and Rescue.

The Bozemans were a little more discerning about when they went out to help, knowing that towing someone in the dark could be dangerous. They were also careful to not try anything outside their abilities.

Despite their youth, they do have some experience with getting vehicles out of undesirable situations. Gabe Bozeman might not technically be allowed to drive on his own yet, but he’s studying automotive technology as a full-time running start student at Skagit Valley College.

He also plans “overlanding” trips, which he describes as a combination of off-roading and camping.

“Gabe is the mastermind behind everything,” Isaac Bozeman said. “I just drive.”

In addition to his valid driver’s license, Isaac Bozeman also brings to the table his desire to help others and volunteer. The 17-year-old is a frequent volunteer with state and national parks, the Orca Network and the Skagit Search and Rescue team.

As the brothers saw many Whidbey drivers’ reactions to snow over the past couple of winters, they described the scene as “funny and frightening.” It just made sense for them to try and help out when they’re available, they said.

“We have the experience,” Gabe Bozeman said.

“We have the tools. And it’s really fun, actually.”

More in Life

Members of the public and Whidbey Island Rocks are encouraged to paint and hide stones with Garry oak designs or other local flora and fauna this week in preparation for a hunt Saturday. Photo by Jane Geddes
Island rock hunt celebrates Oak Harbor ‘Year of the Oak’

Whidbey Island Rocks is encouraging people to paint stones with Garry oaks before a hunt Saturday.

Photo provided
The Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron, also known as America’s Boating Club of Deception Pass, hosts jamborees and other social events, along with boater safety and education classes.
Whidbey boaters promote safety, education

The Deception Pass Sail and Power Squadron hosts education and safety classes, and social events.

Michael Nichols, owner of Whidbey Green Goods, stands in his hoop house, also known as “The Hovel.” Customers visit the Clinton farm to pick up their own produce and plant starts. (Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News Group)
One-man Whidbey Island farm gears up for spring

The pandemic has brought a longtime farmer out of retirement.

Master Gardener Don Krafft gathers some broccoli in his garden plot at South Whidbey Tilth. He grows several things that are available for purchase at the Island County Master Gardener online plant sale. (Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record)
Master Gardeners kick off plant sale, continue clincs

Green thumbs who have had a taste of spring sunshine and want to begin planting can do so with the help of the Island County Master Gardeners.

Photo provided
Stella Rowan, left, Savannah Mounce and Luna Grove, right, get together for swims and photoshoots like this one at Deception Pass State Park. The trio of two mermaids and a self-described “heavy metal selkie” call themselves the Whidbey Island Sirens.
Whidbey Island Sirens making quite a splash

The trio will be at Windjammer Park in Oak Harbor this Saturday.

Frances Schultz, holding a picture of her younger self, recently turned 100 years old. Her daughter, Connie Van Dyke, right, said her mother’s photo looks like one of actress Barbara Stanwyck. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
At 100, Oak Harbor woman reflects on busy life

Frances Schultz turned 100 years old on March 30.

Joel Atienza’s uniform’s USAF/USSF patches prior to transfer. Photo provided
Oak Harbor 2010 grad selected for U.S. Space Force

Joel Atienza’s advice to Space Force hopefuls? “Remember, ‘The sky is not the limit.’”

The Oystercatcher’s owner and chef, Tyler Hansen, prepares a dozen 3 Sisters beef bolognese lasagnas to go on the shelves at 3 Sisters Market. Photo by Emily Gilbert/Whidbey News-Times
Chef liaises with other business owners

A Coupeville chef has expanded his partnership with local business owners to… Continue reading

Joe Gunn holding a freshly backed rhubarb pie. (Photo by Harry Anderson)
How a pie on the Rock became a brand and legend

Whidbey Pies is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year.

Color Guard Capt. Mike Hutchins, at left, and John Kraft present the Sons of the American Revolution Bronze Good Citizenship Medal to Bobbi Lornson, center. (Photo by Teresa Addison)
Oak Harbor woman awarded ‘Good Citizenship’ medal

Bobbi Lornson, past president of the Oak Harbor Lions Club president and volunteer, was recently recognized for her contributions to the community.

Tim Leonard, owner of the Machine Shop in Langley, hangs a purple neon star he made on the wall of his arcade. Photo by Kira Erickson/Whidbey News Group
Neon art show colorizes Machine Shop’s reopening

A cacophony of happy buzzers and bells and a riot of glowing… Continue reading

Photo by Kira Erickson/South Whidbey Record
Third grader Laszlo McDowell gets up close and personal with a gray whale skull.
Students learn about being ‘whale-wise’

South Whidbey Elementary School students got a taste of what it would be like to live as gray whales.