Been cooped up in the house too long! Needed to get out. So me and my buddy Steve headed out for the weekend to some lonely country to see what we could see and maybe pop a few varmints.
Chucks and Squirrels and Such
We got out in the stuff and per the normal procedure, started glassing for ‘chucks. Zapping a couple here, a few there. Stopping wherever a ground squirrel colony presented itself to give the .17 HMR some work.
Weather and scenery were glorious! Besides the beautiful country and the cooperative varmints, we stopped to check out an old cabin or two here and there as well. This appears to have been a schoolhouse, pretty cool old building.
Getting on towards evening we started looking for a flat spot for the tent to spend the night. After pitching camp Steve whipped up some amazing carne asada tacos!
Next morning, I was awakened by the sound of sage grouse lekking. Got up and saw eight of them puffing and thumping and strutting on a small hill side only 100 yards from the tent. Don’t get to see that too often anymore! I watched them with binoculars for awhile – too cool! The only camera I had with me was my little point and shoot. I tried sneaking up close for some pictures but they were on to me and most of them boogied. I only got close enough to get a couple not so great pics – still way too far away for the little camera.
So… We’re tootling along, just loving the morning. Got a boggy spot to get across. Looks kind of iffy for Steve’s F-150. We get out, survey it, decide we should be okay, get across it just fine. Go around the corner and a much less scary looking boggy spot presents itself. I tell Steve it looks like “no problem”. In we go. Problem… Truck was wedged/high centered front and back, stuck in the mud, under the water, absolutely no moving forward or back.
Twenty miles to the nearest occupied ranch. Dang…
Not either of our first rodeo though. Steve had a pretty good assortment of recovery gear on board. We just set about the business of doing whatever needed to be done.
The pic below is the first rigging attempt. A single stake pounded all the way in and winching off it with the Hi Lift jack. You can see another stake laying there – pretty beefy and we got the first one pounded all the way into the ground.
But… It wasn’t going to work. The truck didn’t budge. Instead, the stake just started ripping the ground towards the truck.
Kind of thought that might happen though. So, second stake, picketed to the first one with a ratchet strap. So that the first stake would have to pull the second stake to move. Snapped the ratchet strap like nothing, didn’t move the truck.
So we quit messing around. Moved everything a bit and completely re-rigged with three stakes, picketed with grade 70 chain. Now, all three sakes would have to get pulled toward the truck, or the truck would have to move, or the jack would break.
The truck started moving.
Can only pull part of the length of the jack before re-rigging and choking up to pull a couple more feet. Took four such re-riggings but we could see progress being made. Video of the operation below.
Truck un stuck, recovery gear stowed, we resumed our awesome morning! A repeat of the day before, putting along lonely high desert two track, glassing likely looking rocks for ‘chucks, popping a couple here and there, etc.
Along towards evening, pitched camp again. Ribeyes for dinner this night!
Last Morning, Murphy Still Hanging Around
Next morning after breaking camp, we did a bit more varmint popping on our way out to the highway to head home. Didn’t get too far before the passenger rear tire let go though.
Usually, changing out a tire is a quick and easy affair. This time, not so much. Stupid Ford lug nuts! The lug nuts have chrome caps on them. Which, had “swollen”, to the point that the right size lug wrench wouldn’t go on them. So we had to use one size larger. Then then had to beat the wrench off of each lug nut with a hammer. A couple of the stupid chrome caps got stuck in the wrench and took a good bit of persuading to get them out.
All in all, those stupid Ford lug nuts made what should have been a quick and easy job not very quick or very easy. We got ‘er done though!
Public service announcement! Replace your stupid Ford lug nuts before this happens to you!
So, that was pretty much the end of the adventure. Back to the highway, back home, back to the grind.
Until next time…