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Old 02-20-2013, 09:05 AM   #1
gelswick
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Walk in the park.....

At OK RV in Moab for a couple of weeks. Since it is supposed to rain this afternoon thought we would take an easy and quick morning drive up Long Canyon since it is short and close to town, has an unexpected treat for Nancy at the end and than an easy drive back into town. We stopped and got some coffee to go and proceeded out Potash Road, found the turn to Long Canyon and off we went down the Canyon. Started out as hard packed red clay/sand, a beautiful drive with breath taking scenery.

After a mile or two we start climbing up and there is some snow on the road in the shady areas. Stop at the first patch of snow for another round of picture taking, go to take off again and the rear wheels spin a little. OK, to be on the safe side I put it into four wheel drive and we are off. Make it through several more shady snow covered patches and notice that there is only a half inch or so of snow over ice so stay on the areas no one had already driven on for the extra traction. Shortly we come around a corner and there it is. A huge house size boulder that has fallen over the road but it is so large we can still drive under it. Nancy is not happy since she knows my "treats" for her usually involves scaring her to death, which is fairly easy to do here since she is afraid of heights. Frequently on the way up she had closed her eyes or stared at me so she would not have to look at the cliff on her side.

We paused for another round of pictures of the rock and to let her get her nerve up to let me drive under it. I had wanted to stop under the rock but it looked slick and I decided to keep my momentum going to get to a little hump on the other side and stop on it. We did and took yet another round of pictures of the other side of the rock.

Starting up again I told Nancy don't be afraid but I am going to go a little faster now to get the momentum up to make it over the steep grade in front of us, the steepest yet. Took right off and was doing great, until suddenly just short of the top all four wheels are spinning. I quickly slammed on the brakes to keep from rolling back wards, but, the harder I pushed the faster back wards we slid. We are sliding back wards out of control towards a cliff......

I remember thinking if I don't let up on the brakes we are going to slide over the edge for sure. I think I let up on the brakes but can't really say for sure. I don't remember turning the steering wheel either however the steering wheel was up against the left stop and suddenly we hit the vertical wall on the left side because the front wheels had suddenly caught traction on something which jerked the front end around, put the rear wheels in the ditch and still had enough momentum going to swing the front end all the way around, over looking the down side cliff on the way by, and than come to a stop just above the hump we had left a minute before but facing the way we had come CENTERED in the road.

Only than did Nancy see my face and realize that I had not been driving but hanging on for dear life. Then she was really scared because she had thought I was backing up real fast to scare her, not knowing I had no control over the truck at all.

We calmed down and I got out of the truck to see the damage but could find none. So what did we hit that spun the truck around and stop the downhill momentum?

There was only one tire skid mark that went into the ditch, the left rear, the skid mark from the right rear stopped at the top of the ditch, rotated about 180° and than led to where the truck was resting on down the hill. The front tire skid marks made a neat half circle around the ditch impact point. There was no evidence of hitting the cliff wall, with the bumper or any of the under carriage.

I wish I could say it was my expert driving skills that got us out of that situation but I was hanging on hopeing the truck would slide into the ditch and not over the cliff.

Now it is time to consider our position, we are almost at the top of the cliff, nothing separates us from the top but a sheet of ice. We are facing back down hill and i certainly don't want to try turning the truck around and attempting going on up. But, there are known slick spots on the way down and now I realize it was about 32° when we left town and near 40° now so the snow covered ice is melting and getting slicker by the minute. Also the rain is expected in an hour or two so we need to get off this cliffside NOW before it is all wet ice and we are stuck here. Now is a fine time to think about the above, so much for the morning "walk in the park" drive.....

OK, we decide that Nancy will walk down the snow/ice covered areas and I will try to drive the truck down before it gets any slicker and if it gets too slick (and the unspoken I don't end up over the side) I'll park the truck and we will walk the several miles back to the highway. I manage to make it down past the snow covered areas with little problem, wait for Nancy and we head back to town.

On the way back we also realize no one knew where we were going and we had no water or food since it was a "walk in the park" drive. The lat and long of the house sized rock is: N 38°32'36.22" W 109°42'23.28". Google Earth shows about a 90' drop off the edge to the bottom and it is not a vertical drop but the truck wou
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:07 AM   #2
gelswick
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would have certainly rolled over and over to the bottom and out of sight unless someone was standing right at the edge of the road.

Anyone want to go 4-wheelin with me??
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:47 AM   #3
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MMMMM, really, no thanks.

But, I would like to see some of those photos!

P.S. Glad you two are OK, other than severely jangled nerves, that is.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:50 AM   #4
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Wow, wow and in case I forget to mention it, wow!! Great descriptive writing. Hopefully, you will not be making too many more posts like this in the future. Glad everything turned out well, and it sounds like you have reinforced my belief in Bonus Days! Going forward, it is definite that every day should be considered a Bonus Day for both of you after what you went through.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:02 AM   #5
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Wow! Glad you guys made it Ok. You just never know what is 'around that bend' in life. So scary!
I always have extra food (Those energy bars: a case of them) and water in the truck: a case, as we go out into the desert almost daily...way out there.
I keep a Marine (Water/boat type flare kit) with extra flares, truck flares, the extra long ones with a spike in the end, guns, ammo, blankets, even extra socks. Matches, hatchet, 2 different cell phones, tarp, battery powered sawzall, 2 first aid kits, one really good one with sutures and dental kit, 2-way radios with weather channel, GPS, compass, 2 tow straps, tire plug kit, CO2 gas for the tires, bottle jack, cheater for the tire wrench, whistle, extra batteries for everything, and cold weather jackets and sweaters for sue and I.
When you are truly broke down..and maybe a little lost, it pays to be prepared.
I will look up your Long and Lat..
Stay safe out there.

Yikes!!! That looks scary!! Glad you are back.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:12 AM   #6
Ozz
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Check the rock over the road where you were! Cool!

http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explo...rder=date_desc
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:26 AM   #7
Bill-N-Donna
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Nothing I could add to that except,
I’m glad everything turned out ok.
Would like to see the photos though!
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:59 PM   #8
gelswick
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Normally when we go into the boonies we are pretty well equipped, but when we left this morning I did not consider this much more then going to the corner gas station. On the way back I was thinking of all the things we should have had (not as much as Oz of course). Ron/nunya has been working in the park all day and I don't think he has seen this yet.

I checked on tire chains and the grizzly local behind the counter wanted to know why I needed them. When I told him what happened he was very tactful in letting me know that locals don't go up there this time of year and was reluctant in selling them to me. I took his sage advice.

Until I figure out how to post pictures there are lots on Google Earth and Nancy says on youtube also, search long canyon.

I think we will stick to something easy like driving the million dollar highway again from Silverton to Ouray....

I emailed the above account to my siblings and children also and now am dodging all the "are you crazy" replies.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:25 PM   #9
gelswick
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In Oz's link you are looking up hill and the first hump is just barely visible on the other side. In the youtube videos there are rocks blocking the cliff drop off, they are NOT there now, I have a pic looking over the edge.

I am quickly thinking that every day from now on is special.....
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:48 PM   #10
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Great read! I'm kidding, Thanks a lot! I am sick now. I'm glad I wear Depends (I really don't but I better start).

As being as prepared as Ozz, THAT'S NOT POSSIBLE! Did you read his list closely? He even carries a dental kit? I don't even want to know that he can use it. He's a heating and air guy! I'll bet when he's not towing his Monty he tows a Gatlin gun, or a 6 pounder and I'm sure he's taught DW to be his assistant.

If the locals don't go where you are trying to go, that makes for feeling pretty lucky, eh? Remind me to say, "NO!" if you ever offer up to go for a walk somewhere!
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:04 PM   #11
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You say Long Canyon? We will be staying at OK RV Park & Canyon-land Stables on May 7th for a few days so I'll be sure to NOT go up there if its been raining (or snowing)! Glad you are still "vertical" so you could give us that report!
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:07 PM   #12
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I have glad you guys made it out OK... I think that would of scarred the hell out of me. You did the right thing by getting off the bakes. Not something easy to do when you are sliding backwards.

Words of wisdom from my father.

Only difference between 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive... 4-wheel drive get stuck deeper.

If you get stuck in a wash by yourself, and you have a winch, but nothing to hook onto, you can bury your spare tire and hook the winch onto that and pull yourself out.

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Old 02-20-2013, 04:57 PM   #13
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Glad your both ok. Alls well that ends well, but next time you may want to be more prepared.
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:01 AM   #14
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Hey Gary! You better come talk to me before you take a stroll today!! Glad ya made the ride........guess ya got your quarters worth on that one! This time of year here in Moab can be very tricky for the reasons you now know! Snow, ice, sun, shade,wet sand n mud and really slick redrock, but hey your in Moab! cya later. That is a really nice ride when dry, and lots of people do it goin downhill.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:13 AM   #15
gelswick
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Here are a couple test pictures to see if I am doing this correctly.

The cliff we missed:


After we "decided" to turn around:
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:21 AM   #16
gelswick
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Uh...for some reason those are not the 160 pixel wide photos I uploaded to tinypic.....
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:32 AM   #17
Ozz
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I think you need to click on a smaller one, not default??? when you resize.
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Old 05-18-2013, 02:19 AM   #18
gelswick
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Got a desire for another one of Milts fish tacos, so am heading west this morning. Will be spending a day or so in Estes Park on the way so should be at OK RV Park about Tuesday-Wednesday. See you then Nunya!

Milts is a 50's dinner in Moab and is on my personal 5 star gourmet restaurant list. Be prepared to wait but it is worth it. They have about 8-10 seats inside.
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Old 10-19-2013, 05:12 AM   #19
gelswick
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Back for the second time since the May post, this time with a pair of Yamaha dirt bikes, I'm sure we can't get into trouble with those....
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Old 10-19-2013, 10:02 AM   #20
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Ozz

Wow! Glad you guys made it Ok. You just never know what is 'around that bend' in life. So scary!
I always have extra food (Those energy bars: a case of them) and water in the truck: a case, as we go out into the desert almost daily...way out there.
I keep a Marine (Water/boat type flare kit) with extra flares, truck flares, the extra long ones with a spike in the end, guns, ammo, blankets, even extra socks. Matches, hatchet, 2 different cell phones, tarp, battery powered sawzall, 2 first aid kits, one really good one with sutures and dental kit, 2-way radios with weather channel, GPS, compass, 2 tow straps, tire plug kit, CO2 gas for the tires, bottle jack, cheater for the tire wrench, whistle, extra batteries for everything, and cold weather jackets and sweaters for sue and I.
When you are truly broke down..and maybe a little lost, it pays to be prepared.
I will look up your Long and Lat..
Stay safe out there.

Yikes!!! That looks scary!! Glad you are back.
I think you have made a mistake in your post Ozz. You said that maybe when you get lost. Well I have never in my life gotten lost. Every time I think I am lost I just simply turn around and look and sure I can be I am right here. One can never be lost .............lol
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