Posted by: theurban6 | September 27, 2010

In 1996 my father decided to take one of his spontaneous trips with the family. We had been living in Colorado for a few years, and he had just recently bought his first Jeep, a cherokee town and country. He had heard me talking about my friends and I camping at Guanella pass, in Colorado, and decided that would be a good place to try out his new Jeep. The trip there was uneventful, but the trail he took once we got to our destination was. It was April, and as we turned on to the trail, it started to snow. We did not let that stop us as the trail was bare, with no snow to be seen. Soon this changed as the trail went into a thick aspen grove. Dad had to put the Jeep into Four wheel drive, with much protesting from my mother who thought we should turn around, and me encouraging him to continue, as the grove could not be that big. The snow on the trail was getting thicker as we continued, and finally dad stopped the Jeep to see how deep it was.

We found that the snow was about a foot and a half deep, and he decided we had gone far enough. So he put the Jeep into reverse, and attempted to turn the Jeep around. Evidently the snow off the trail was thicker than it was on the trail. Which means we were soon stopped dead in our tracks. When we got out to access the situation, we found the Jeeps weight was on the bottom of the body, not on the tires. Meaning the tires were just hanging in mid air.

Needless to say we were getting worried about our situation, especially when we started trying to dig the snow out from under the Jeep to get the tires on solid ground. After roughly an hour of digging the snow we were making no progress other then sinking the Jeep deeper, and deeper in the snow.

We stepped back and took a moment, as one should do in these situations, (meaning my Dad needed to smoke a cigarette) when the thought occurred to me that we could pick up all the broken green limbs off of the ground (due to a freezing rain that had happened recent to that time period), and use them like a snow shoe. So we gathered as many green limbs as we could find and jacked up each tire, and proceeded to stack the limbs under the tire. Then we made our own trail out of the limbs that connected to the ones under the tires. As soon as we were done, dad smoked another cigarette, and I said a prayer, then he fired the Jeep up and tried to go forward.

The Jeep moved as if it had never been stuck in the first place. Funny thing was, once the Jeep was moving and back on the trail, dad didn’t stop to let me in until we were back to where the snow was not so thick.

Lesson 1:
Never go offroading with only one vehicle.

Lesson 2:
In a scary situation, take a few minutes to stop, calm down, and think out your situation.

Lesson 3:
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box.


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