18. August 2010 08:44
A theme of our trip from Moab through the Petrified Forest. We had a few things planned we could not accomplish. While off roading was part of the plan, the vehicle prepped, the reality is we simply did not have a big enough engine at times, or big enough tires / clearance to make it every where we had hoped. Our first rough experience came when we went hunting on Long Canyon Road, so that we could get some photos of us driving under a big fallen over rock on a scenic road. Well planned, until the storm hit the night before, and caused a bit of flooding and some washed out areas of road. The dirt roads quickly turned to very thick, deep, impassable mud. We learned this the hard way as we got the Ford stuck in a good chunk, had to get a ride back to town and order up a tow with a long strong wench to pull the car back out of the mud. Good Times.
Later in the trip we went on a long drive through some green washes at fairly low elevation by the river. Again, after a good long treck, we simply found a section we could not pass. Instead of being silly and trying it anyway, this time we exited the car, and tested the muds depth with some sticks and rock, deciding it was too deep and turning the car around. This little adventure happened 2 more times after this, but we never got the car stuck again at least.
While the lightning storm early on was a beautiful expereince, one of a kind watching the storms from up so close, almost in the clouds, with them touching the ground as we were up in the mountains between 4-6 thousand feet elevation. It put a little bit of a damper on several plans for the next few days, as the water quickly collects at the bottoms of the canyons and mountains washing out several roads. The rangers also seem a bit behind in what roads they feel are still driveable or not, or they simply do not understand the limitations of our vehicle vs. those of a Rubicon.
The Slightly more capable Rubicon :-) (Picture borrowed from 4x4offroads.com).