Dec 2, 2007

Lessons learned

I learned a few lessons this weekend. Get a real axe, don't offroad at night if alone, and if there is a tree in the road there will be more. All of these things seem self evident. I don't often hold commonly accepted truths to be self evident though. I just have to learn things on my own.
Here is how I learned them. On the day that Arizona got more rain than we've had in a year I headed to Sedona. I know what you're thinking. Red mud, slick rocks etc.
I was pleasently surprised. The rocks were grippier than ever and I don't think I hit more than a couple patches of mud.
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Toyota Commercial!
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Broken Arrow was wonderful. Not a single other vehicle on the whole trail. This trail normally has lots of traffic on it so it was exciting to have it to ourselves.
The steps were intersting in the rain. Definately exciting.
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POSERS!
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We then headed off to do Soldier Pass.
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It was nice to actually see water in the 7 pools.
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We actually saw our first other vehicle of the day. A red rock tour jeep. It was actually nice to see we weren't the only ones out there.
We then headed off to do Oak Creek Homestead trail.
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No way we were crossing that river!
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I know I know! What have I learned so far. No hard lessons yet, just a great day!
We went our seperate ways. Wormhole was heading to camp and we were headed for Shnelby hill road. Well, we headed for Jerome instead. Had some dinner and headed out to camp on the road to Smiley rock.
We found a great spot, but this old feed trough, bed... who knows what creeped us out so we kept driving.
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The trail went from easy to hard fast.
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How do you know you're still on the right track? Follow the scrape marks on the rocks. Its somewhere around here that there is an adorable rock with a happy face on it. I wouldn't know, I didn't see it. At this point I already knew I was breaking all the rules being on a new trail, at night, and alone. I was on a mission just trying to get through it all.
After all of the hard rocks is where I started to realize that there is more to this outing. The uphills were muddy and this is what greeted me ahead.
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After some hacking with an axe and a tow strap I conquered!
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Look at me... so cocky. So stupid.
We came to another log in the road. Again, a tow strap pulled it out of the way and I just cleared the parts of the logs left and we headed out again.
Then we get to our third fallen tree of the night.
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Well, I was pretty confident at this point that I could tow it out of the way. I towed and I towed. This log was heavy and would not leave the road. At this point the off camber trail was getting muddier and my tires were twice their normal size and covered in what looked like black road tar. The mud was bad. Everytime I tried to move now I would slide closer to the edge of the trail. My left rear was a couple inches from the side. I couldn't move without fear of sliding the last critical few inches.
It was now about 8 at night and I had to get the tree moved so I could get past this part of the trail.
I took out my axe and started hacking...

3 hours later I was cold and exhausted and only about half way through the log. It was about 20 degrees now so I was a little cold. Mud was everywhere. In and out of the car. The good thing about carrying your bed with you... we went to bed in the back of the 4runner to fight again in the morning.
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Get a real axe! After sharpening this one several times during the night it had almost had it.
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Victory!
As a bonus the mud and water had all frozen solid. When I put it in gear the car didn't so much as slip.
The rest of the trip was a beaut! Nature let me off easy this time. Lessons learned. Learn from my mistake or call me when you learn your lesson. I'll take sympathy and come tow you out. :)
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Nice drive through Prescott and wickenburg! Tomorrow, a new axe...

1 comment:

motochain said...

Definitely a new ax.. haha. Next time hopefully we'll meet up. I was there on Sunday.

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