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Now That's a Bad Road

Monday, November 9, 2009

We are not yet finished hiking Dean's Fork. We're about two miles up the six-mile trace. Finally, we reached the scene of my automotive humiliation. Shila points to where my driver's side wheel dropped. It was not good. There is about a four-foot sheer drop below it, enough to roll the new 'baru. The tire track you see is from the right front wheel. It was only by dint of mighty control that I did not leave a big pile of Zick scat at this place.

And the road got a little worse,

and a little worse...

and then it got baaaad

and baaader

and after that, as forgotten traces will, it got kind of ridiculous

but all along Shila was saying, "Oh, I could get my RAV-4 through this. I'd put one wheel here and one wheel here..." and I was laughing at her and with each water hazard we'd assess the best path through, as if we'd EVER bring a car up here again...

not bloody likely...but it's fun to imagine how you'd do it. We began to understand, perhaps a tiny glimmer, the people who go fourwheelin' on weekends for fun...there's always that possibility that your vehicle will go in up to its steering wheel and never be seen again, and isn't that a thrill?
until we reached the point where we were both just helpless with laughter imagining ourselfs trying to get through the next hazard

and Shila even said she could do this one, but then we found THIS ONE

and it was a foot deep, and whoops! there was a tail light from some poor schnook who thought he could make it, for we know it had to be a man...

When we reached the first house on the other side of all this, the only inhabited house on the whole road, in fact, we talked with Harvey, and he said,

"You know, every weekend I see these people in these little Ford Fiestas go by my place, headed on down the road, and I never see them coming back."

To which I said,

"Oh, that explains all the skeletons."

So the township's response to having to drag all those people and their Ford Fiestas out of there is putting a sign at the better-traveled end of Dean's Fork, announcing some sort of official "closure" of the road, which of course is closed only by virtue of the fact that you will drown before you get out to the other side.

Shila and I just returned from another expotition, and we found mainly poop, but it was interesting poop. That will have to wait until we're finished with Dean's Fork. Because we're not done yet.


I recognized one of those ruts! Seen it recently! It's Lake Baikal!

OK, so just the mere thought of having my vehicle up that road makes shivers run through me. Guess I am anything BUT an adrenaline junkie. YIKES! I can not even imagine it, but I'm guessing the last thing spoken by the man whose tail light you found was, "Watch this!" Uh-huh.

I have a Jeep Wrangler and I don't think I'd even try to drive that down this road! Love these old forgotten places, though, the cycle of nature to man to nature again. What fun!

My first thought on seeing these pictures was, "Oh, looks like Adirondack mud!" Parts of the Adirondack Mountains are notorious for mud-laden roads and trails. Then I remembered the mud our birding group encountered near Magee Marsh and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge: a few steps out of the car and our boots were weighed down with about 5 pounds of Ohio clay that was nearly impossible to remove. If THAT's the kind of mud along this road, yikes!!

Thank you, BTW, for visiting my blog. You have no idea how excited I am to have a comment from you! Wish I could frame it.... :) I "met" you at the Whitefish Point Spring Fling in April '08, took your nature writing workshop. You're an inspiration. Thanks again.

Been there. Done that. But in the middle of remote Ontario at the bottom of a steep hill. Getting down was OK, but getting out we finally found a metal grid to put under the worst wheel. I think Devine Intervention. Yup, I envisioned skeletons too. Ours!
Love your blog. Can't wait for the ending.

Wow, that really IS a pretty scary road. Infinitely more fun to walk than drive. Fun post Julie!

Marie: :-) :-) :-) I feel bad that I get to read so few blogs. It's all I can do to take care of my family, try to get work done on my book, and regurge a post every day. I'm delighted you're moved to blog. It's such good exercise for a writer and photographer. Everybody go see Marie!

I am glad your bones are not moldering in a Dean's Fork mudhole. Though had you gotten stuck I am sure Baker would have run for home to alert me to your plight.

"No Lassie, that's the cheese slicer! I need the C-CLAMP, Lassie! The C-CLAMP!"

Doggoned if those pictures do not look like the alley behind my house that I have been trying to get the city to fix for the last several months.


Posted by Anonymous November 10, 2009 at 7:53 AM

"It was only by dint of mighty control that I did not leave a big pile of Zick scat at this place."

Okay, I laughed out loud at that line. Not a good thing when folks think I'm busy working!!

Those roads bring back fond memories of my trip to East Africa where the old Range Rovers our guides were driving frequently got stuck in mud wallows. Luckily all the drivers had walkie talkies, shovels and ropes in order to pull one another out. One time the noise from trying to get out of a wallow was starting to really irritate a bull elephant. So much so that I quickly found my passport in my backpack and put it close to my body in a buttoned inside jacket pocket for identification purposes!

Your car was made for roads such as these! Although, I am not sure you want to have to tow it out of somewhere. Congrats on at least being adventurous enough to try it. Kudos to you for then hiking it. I can't wait for the rest of the story...

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