Alright I promised the story of why we called for help. I've been on a 60+ hour work week so it's taken me a bit to have free time to write.
So I took Joe out near Vernonia for some trail scouting. I didn't expect there'd be much to do, other than a strip of trail I had looked at about a month ago, that at the time was too much for my stock tires and one guy to do. Little did I know that it was going to last several miles and involve some pretty good driving!
If you look back at Joe's pics, you can see where we battled through some pretty good puddles, deep ruts that commanded you where to go, and some interesting obstacles. In the pics where you see me use sliders, the trail did a quick series of S turns. Joe managed to get a good line, but the mud got the best of me. We assessed the situation and determined that if I got my front end far enough forward, I could use the stump for a right turn and get back on the trail. We didn't get a pic of it, but Joe showed off a bunch of flexing skill to wrangle the ruts to get the truck going where he wanted. Needless to say, this was much more trail than we thought we were getting!
At the end of the trail, the road widens to a mudder's playground. The road forks, with the path on the left being a big puddle of unknown depth, the path on the right being rutted and having a steep, short hill. both looked to be a challenge.
This is looking back up the road. In other words, we were coming from the left. The picture doesn't do this justice.
Joe led the way, and decided the ruts were a safer bet. Joe tried keeping to the right out of the ruts, but you can see how the ruts won. The mud was pushing him around as he tried keeping momentum up.
It didn't turn out so easy. Joe got high centered. Front shocks fully extended so no traction in front, and gas just dug him in more.
We stopped to asses the situation and our gear
-2 short straps
-a big stick I picked up on the trail
-a bunch of d-ring shackles
Our first thought was to back me up so I could pull Joe with the snatch strap, but the strap would place me directly in the worst part of the ruts. I was unsure if I'd lose traction in the muddy ruts and make 1 stuck vehicle into two.
The mud puddle looked really deep, and I had already sunk down to the top of my boots in the 'drier' ruts.
I looked around, and saw a small rise to the left of the mud puddle.
The approach was slippery and required me to turn in towards the hill (you can't do it straight on due to the ruts). Instead of committing, I got nervous and backed off the gas to straighten up a bit more first.
No good - not enough grip for forward momentum to get out of the ruts. The more I tried gassing it, instead of going forward, I ended up moving horizontally.
Did you notice anything in the first pic that we didn't think about? If you saw the boulder, you're more perceptive than we were! After I got myself sideways, I managed to pin my receiver against it. No going backwards!
So now were were both stuck.
We tried doing a lot of thinking, but Joe was completely high centered and I was between a hill and a hard place - if I wanted to do anything, I would lose my rear bumper at minimum.
So, we busted out to TW for help!
James was first on my list, I knew he lived somewhere around that area. Called him up... and he's in Boise.
Jumped on the forum (thank you iPhone!) and posted up a help message... and waited.
Joe called his dad who had a Tundra, but that had street tires and he sounded a bit reluctant - and may have gotten stuck as well.
We got to work on Joe again. I tried sticking logs under the rear tires (they floated), shoveling in more dirt (too deep), old tires and a car seat (didn't work). I couldn't figure out what I could do with the hi-lift without getting us hurt, either.
After some thinking, we hatched an act of desperation:
put snatch strap around rock that was blocking me
hook snatch strap to come-along
put Joe's straps around a handy stump
hook Joe's straps to the come along
we knew the come along wasn't rated to move Joe, but this might just work.
the rock moved, but only about an inch at a time. The above pic is where we had to re-rig to a second stump. Really slow going but it worked.
I was now able to back out and get free.
As we were thinking about our next move, a guy on an ATV shows up - total country folk dude. He gives us beef about giving Tacos a bad name and how he goes through this all the time... then admits he drives an '81 totally built rig he can bash on
Now that we have some insurance with the guy from deliverance, so we decide I can try again with hooking up to Joe with the strap and pulling him backwards (with our new friend yelling 'give it hell' all the time).
Of course, my taco gets us unstuck as if it was nothing. Talk about me of little faith!
So all unstuck, how to get through? Country boy wants us to gun it through the mini-lake (he and his buds do it all the time), with talk of "once you're in, ya just gotta hammer down and commit!"
I'm just about convinced I'm going to try making it though the watery grave, when I decide to give the hill one last try - this time with more conviction.
I get lined up as best I can - take that turn to the left and put in a bit more throttle and trust the angle - and I'm over! Joe follows with success as well!
Here's the end shot. Where our trucks are is literally the end of the trail. The hump in the road is where Joe got high centered
Originally Posted by JoeTacoma02
I realized how unprepared I am when it comes to recovery gear
props to you Mike for being prepared.
Ha, I'm just starting. We were lucky enough the few things I did have were enough! Now hurry up and start getting some recovery gear, too!