Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Ride

I mentioned one of the things I enjoy is four wheeling. I have owned several; trucks, SUVs, ATV, and so on. There is something about going past the point everyone else has to stop. Around here the all wheel drive is for mud in the woods and sand on the beach.

When the love of my life and I went out west last, we did a little wheeling in the desert, at Moab. Moab isn't like any other place in the world. It's like going to the moon, or Mars. We were wheeling in our ride home, so caution was the word of the day. We spent the day driving out to Dead Horse Point. The bride made a critical error by allowing me to check out a dirt road on the mesa. I will lay a small wager that won't happen again anytime soon. We were soon cruising down a road that eased slowly over the edge of the mesa, and reached a point that didn't look bad, but you couldn't turn around and it was too far to back up.


I slowed down because the road is now very steep. I soon smelled the brakes getting hot, at three mph. With that I stopped and put the truck in four-low to use engine braking. As we inched along I looked ahead and saw switch backs that I was unsure the truck would go around. We made it, barely.

The wife mate is again unhappy with the progress because the "down" is all on her side. I don't have any idea why that bothers her, if we slid over the side, it's only two thousand miles home, which doesn't matter 'cause we would die on the spot! When we reached the steepest spot on the trail, we had to go down a fissure in the cliff narrow enough that the mirrors were about to drag on both sides. That was the quietest spot on the planet, I couldn't even hear the engine run, or wind blow. When we got past the crack In the rock I could see the road go under a huge spire of rock that had fallen. We walked down to see if the truck would fit because we were at the only place where we could corkscrew the truck around and go back. Luck was with us and we made it all the way down to Jug Handle Arch on the Colorado River.

I resolved to come back with a much more capable vehicle, on a trailer, with a camper to enjoy the experience in comfort. I bought a full size Bronco, for three thousand dollars and added seven thousand in parts. So now I have 35x12.5 tires 4.11 gears front and rear, lockers front and rear, 8000lb winch, soft top, dual batteries, manual locking hubs just to name a few changes. Bull bumpers and a roll cage are in the plans. The tow truck is an F350 diesel, crew cab, with an over the cab camper.

I wonder how the Iron Horse will look after partying in the rocks?