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Tag: rescue

Dan's Stuck | Montana #2

Having only gotten a few hours of shuteye before setting off on this adventure, the cool night air of western Montana - somewhere in the low 30s °F - made my cozy down comforters the perfect place to snuggle in for one of the best nights of sleep I've had in a long time. I'm not sure if I woke up at all through the night, only realizing when the sky was beginning to brighten that a thin layer of frost covered not only the exterior my tent, but also the top of my bedding. Knowing that I still had…

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Hard Times at Poker Flat | Plumas 1

For much of my childhood, summers were spent in the Plumas National Forest. I have such fond memories of waking up in our favorite campground, earning Junior Ranger patches, and fishing in creeks recently stocked with so many fish that the stream bed was obscured by wriggling tails. And yet, when out exploring as an adult, I've spent almost no time in the Sierra, much less the Plumas National Forest. So, it was with great anticipation that we set out to wind our way through on the Plumas National Forest Backcountry Discovery Trail. Like a BDR, we figured this would…

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A Stressful Day in Pleasant Canyon | Stranded #2

Previously in Almost Stranded... It was - as we were contemplating camp, and headed through the grove of pinyon pine at the top of Pleasant Canyon - that I initially heard a clunking sound. To me, it sounded like it was coming from the front of the truck, as though something was dropping down and hitting the skid plate as the suspension flexed over the undulations of the road. Such a change of landscape from earlier in the day - I counted on these trees providing us a bit of shelter from the gusty winds. Getting out to inspect the…

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Our Paths Finally Cross | Hiking #5

As I mentioned in the first post, I have organized this trip report a bit differently than most. Some of the hiking locations have little or no reporting on the internet and I feel they should remain that way; as such, locations will be redacted and/or not mentioned, and the order of the trip will be randomized. The first and last posts will cover some of the driving, in order to separate it - and location information - from the hikes. Please, if you know the locations of the hikes, I encourage you to enjoy them as much as I did…

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Snowy Roads, Dusty Roads, and a Small Tug | Hiking #1

More and more I've found that I enjoy hiking - more than driving - in Death Valley. Getting out into a canyon, walking across the desert, hiking up a sand dune - these are the times when I really find joy in the beauty of this grand place. And so, for the fifth time in two months, I'm headed back. The plan this time is to hike for three days, to three very special places. These are places that not many people visit, and that I'll do my best to keep a little more obscured than normal. Oh, and of…

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Cuba to Colorado - A Sloppy Finish | NMBDR 7

Stage 7 of the New Mexico Backcountry Discovery Route - Cuba to Colorado. We'd entered Cuba from the south on NM-550, and we exited the same direction - though on different pavement - for the first 20 miles of the stage. Cuba then, is a stop for fuel - and a good one at that, as the price is quite reasonable - but not much more than that, route wise, anyway. In 1769, Spanish Governor Pedro Fermin de Mendinueta made the San Joaquin del Nacimiento land grant to 35 pioneering families who had settled the headwaters of the Rio Puerco…

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Into the Dome Fire | Mojave #3

Unlike the previous night, the wind at the mouth of Caruthers Canyon never abated, making for the worst sleep of the trip. Tossing and turning as the wind buffeted the tent, I was glad when my alarm went off - simply because it meant I could be done trying to sleep. Update: August 2023 The York Fire (wikipedia) (inciweb) has burned through Caruthers Canyon (and more than 93,000 acres), changing the landscape for our lifetimes. I visited again in December 2023, and the aftermath was stunning. An orange glow just poking up over the horizon, I climbed out of the…

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We Arrive, and Our Timing is Perfect | Colorado #2

I should preface the title to this post with a bit of a caveat. Our perfect timing had nothing to do with when we all showed up at the camp site. In fact, only Dan @drr and Mike @Digiratus were really "on time." See, Mark @IDTrucks had coordinated a meeting with Monte @Blackdawg in Grand Junction where he'd gotten a local shop to open up on a Sunday evening in order to help swap a coil spring from one of Monte's old front shocks to replace the broken one he'd discovered less than two days before the trip started. Monte…

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This is Not a Jeep Commercial

I was going to title this story Our Snowy Adventures in the Cascades, but our last day in the mountains changed all that. So, let's get right down to it. Day 1 Our adventures started out early one morning - probably way too early - as we packed into the car at 5:00am and headed north. Our objective for the day - at least for us - was unusual. There was to be no off-road driving, no hiking to splendiferous overlooks. No, today was to be about sitting and then sliding, then sitting... and sliding again. We'd do it for…

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Redhead Down #10: Dealing with the Fallout

Still unsure exactly what the day would hold, we were up before 9:00am to get an early start on figuring out how to get the Redhead home. As we broke down camp, I happened to notice that if I stood in just the right place, I got a single bar of Internet on my phone, and soon enough we'd done a bunch of research that made us all feel quite a bit better. The Internet is better up here. I was able to download my 1st gen Tacoma parts list and to our surprise, shock towers were a separately orderable…

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Redhead Down #9: The Last Hour

The day started out like any other. I was up a little before sunrise looking for color, and while there wasn't much, I did get a little splash on the horizon that seemed to mimic the angle of Brett @Squeaky Penguin's GFC. While the clear skies may have minimized the colorful sunrise, they did mean that morning in camp was a rather pleasant affair, the views back towards the Collegiate Peaks a striking way to enjoy the warming sun. And then - just as we were enjoying the peace and tranquility and our trucks and tents were thawing out -…

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Redhead Down #6: Chihuahua, Webster, Red Cone and Radical!

As it seems many of our nights in Colorado were, this one was a cold one. Camped at 10,400', that was probably to be expected, but I didn't expect my packaged of baby wipes to be frozen in the morning, and my morning clean-up wasn't a pleasant experience given that they were. But the elevation did make for a nice sky at sunrise - for that, I was grateful. And, with another day - or morning as it'd turn out - of clear blue skies above, it didn't take long for the sun to warm camp up enough that we all ventured…

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Four, Three Wheeling Tacomas | Whipsaw Trail #3

It was 5:00am or so when I awoke after a shockingly chilly - yet pleasant - night’s sleep. I could see Monte @Blackdawg hanging out behind his truck, waiting for the sunrise from my tent door. Figuring I'd let him enjoy the peaceful solitude, I donned my clothes and made my way to a spot 50' or so away to capture the morning, the colors joyfully doubled by the surface of Wells Lake. I'd later hear from Monte that I'd been ninja-like in my approach. As he told the story to Dan @drr and Mike @Digiratus, he described completely silent…

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Some Winching Necessary | Whipsaw Trail #2

August 28, 2019. The day had been hot, but it cooled right down overnight - much nicer for sleeping, we all agreed. And sleep we did - it was 8:30am before the last of us finally climbed down from our tents, having missed the sunrise entirely - a cloudless sky transitioning from deep blue to orange, then to pink and finally blue again. We all set about making our breakfast - coffee for Mike @Digiratus, cereal for me, an amazing looking breakfast burrito for Dan @drr, and - of course - Donettes for Monte @Blackdawg - as the sun beamed…

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The Curse of the Lolo Motorway | IDBDR #7

July 23, 2019. We couldn't have chosen a better spot to setup camp when we pulled up to Rocky Point lookout. Our view east was spectacular, and the clouds and lightning storms from the night before had cleared out, leaving just enough moisture in the air for an amazing sunrise - the orange on the horizon slowly emanating out to a pink before transitioning once again to the deep blue of the clear sky. Unlike most mornings where a few shots of the glow™ are enough for me and I climb back into bed, this morning was something special. I…

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Stuck in the Snow! Washington Basin

July 5, 2019. For most of us, the night passed peacefully. It was reasonably warm and calm, the creek flowing through the meadow gurgling rather than rushing by. I mean, there was that one UTV that revved its way by camp around 1:00am, but what can you expect on the 4th of July, really? Unfortunately for Mikey @pizzaviolence however, the action in his tent more than made up for the rest of us. Riggs, who'd been feeling a bit under the weather the previous day had an accident around 2:00am. Luckily, according to Mikey, it was mostly contained to the…

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Groundhog Day | Craig Mountain #2

May 26, 2019. Parked in the wrong spot to catch sunrise, I slept in until the oh-so-late hour of 6:15am. But then, as I looked out the tent door, I noticed the fog over the valley and couldn't help myself but to get up and take a closer look. And then, it was back to bed. Not because it wasn't a beautiful morning - in fact, the clouds had mostly vanished and the blue sky was spectacular - but because it was cold! 34°F according to my phone - not something I wanted to hang around in for a couple hours…

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We Don't Want to Pull Anyone Out | Alvord Desert #2

April 26, 2019. I don't know what the deal is exactly, but it seems that last year was a year of trips with rain and snow, and this year - at least so far - it's all about the wind. It was so windy through the night that at some point I closed the door to the tent just to give us a bit of a reprieve from the insidious cold that kept pushing it's way under our comforters. As the sun rose, so did the wind speeds - clouds zooming across the sky, Earth's natural kaleidoscope. I popped out…

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We Trek Miles Across the Desert | Hiking Death Valley #3

Our sleep was short-lived, the wind continuing to pick up as the night wore on. In fact, this chapter technically starts on February 15th, since it was 11:45pm when we awoke to the most violent shaking of the tent I've ever experienced - significantly more violent than the night I spent with Monte @Blackdawg and Mike @Digiratus at the base of the Henry Mountains in Utah. I'd already gotten up once to secure the ladder, tying it to a full 5-gallon jerry can of water and the slider of the truck to ensure that the fold-out half of the tent wouldn't make…

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Snow, Sun, and Storms | Montana in May #2

May 26, 2018. We survived the night, the lightning storm and associated rain passing both east and west of our perch atop Monument Peak. As has become a habit, I was up early - I knew our location and the clouds in the sky could make for a spectacular morning. The sun did not disappoint. As high as we were, it wasn't long before the sun was over the horizon and illuminating the truck and lookout; the storm obviously a thing of the past, a beautiful day in the works for our adventure. We ate breakfast and enjoyed our surroundings…

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