Totally worked. Larry and Ian figured out the dimensions of the repair parts. We drilled the holes needed to match up the fuel tank mount bolts and then “cut” them to length. Once we had the steel cut to fit it was a simple matter of bolting them in.
Larry hopped in and moved the truck under power and we had no cab to box separation. Problem #1 solved for the moment.
Larry could still feel a little flex when the rear axle started to take on the power, so he used the twin-stick 205 and engaged the front-drive only. This didn’t add any stress to the rear half of the truck but would mean he’d lose traction going up any climbs.
Still coming out of the Overlook, Ian’s view before it got steeper.
Which as we could see on the map the shortest way out of the area we were in was going up.
As in getting to the top of the butte in the picture here.
A few hundred feet up in less than a mile. Meaning switchbacks. 5 of them. Each turn within a tenth to two-tenths of a mile from each other.
This was going to be our next problem. The other way out would have us going south to Hite and that’s a rough road 30 miles further out of the way. The group decides the best way is up. Ty would do the pulling, I’d get ahead and block the way so nobody could come down. Ian would bring up the rear keeping his eyes on the situation and be the extra hands to help if the need arise.
Off we went in front wheel drive with Ty tugging where needed.
About a 1 mile up the trail Larry got enough cell service to send a text into our buddy, Bill, who was with us at the beginning of the trip but left for home on Tuesday. Larry advised by text that we had a major issue and to start assembling a rescue mission and he would call back with more details as soon as we had cell service. I got up to each turn calling out anything I noticed along the way that they should avoid or watch out for. Ty locked the Dodge into low/low and started tugging. Knowing I was taking 3 point turns around the corners, Ty was going to need more to get going the right way. The issue was the blue K10 on the end of the rope. The plan was get up to the turn, unhook the strap and let Ty navigate the corner. Larry would get up and around the corner as well as he could in front wheel drive, Ty’s wife Jody would reattach the strap and they would slowly get to the next corner and repeat the process. It was slow process but steady.
Ever the shutterbug Larry still managed to get a shot of the valley we climbed out of as he got pulled.
Since I was above them I had a chance to stop and look down on the progress.
Zoomed in here.
A bird’s eye view of the trail in front of Tow-Mater and wounded K10.
Thankfully it was late in the afternoon and anybody heading down now would be still hours away from the campgrounds at the Maze overlook or the Dollhouse so the chances of a vehicle coming are way was minimal. It seemed like it took longer than it did. The last climb up was the worst as the steepest section with loose uneven ground to claw your way up. My truck was working hard at it, but I couldn’t imagine how they were doing.
Nearing the top on the strap.
A short while later Larry’s phone started making noise and we had a bleep of 4G so he called back home to let Bill know what the situation was all about. They quickly hatched a plan for Bill to run by Larry’s house and grab his Power Wagon then stop by Ian’s house to pick up the car trailer then make the 10 hour drive to met us near Hanksville. We carried on for what felt like hours then took a quick break at the top to regroup. We got an update on Bill’s progress on his end of the rescue mission. He was already on his way to Larry’s to pick up the Waggy and snag Ian’s trailer with the plan to leave Pueblo at 4 AM the next morning (Friday, June 19th).
Our new mission was to find a spot to camp on BLM land outside of the National park to camp for the night. We took what seemed forever to get up to the Ranger station we headed down Hans Flat road on the hunt for a spot to make camp. It didn’t take long, I saw a truck on side road and went down it. The road ended quickly but had a nice wide area with pretty good views in any direction. We made camp quickly and set up the shower tent as rolling around under the truck on the trail had everybody dirty.
Looking back east from our campsite.
Looking southwest off of Larry’s truck.
We snacked on chips and salsa as we unwound from the day's surprise events.
Before dinner Larry had to go take a walk in the woods. Ian and I had been waiting for an opportunity to get back at the original merry prankster of these trips. Considering what had happened earlier I asked Ian if it was the right time to pull off the prank. Ian’s response was “Hell yeah, he’d do it to us if the roles were reversed”. So we hopped into action. By now Ty and Jody were in on what we were up to. I ran to my truck to grab the devices and Ty and Ian stood as lookouts as I hopped into Larry’s camper. Knowing I didn’t have much time I turned one on and threw it between his fridge and the outside wall. I took the second one and turned it on and set it inside one of the drawers. What did I put in there? It was a prank noise maker that gave off a cricket chip about every 30 seconds for up to 8 hours. As an added layer of deviousness, if he managed to find the devices and rip it open in attempt to shut it off, he’d be showered with glitter. I had tested them and they were LOUD! Muhahaha!
With his camper door open you could hear the cricket noises standing 10 feet away. They were working for sure. Larry had come back and hopped inside to make a call back home and we could hear it going off as he was on the phone. The four of us were giggling as we sat there.
Larry came out of the camper and announced he had a cricket inside his camper now. We chuckled some more and asked “really?”
After getting cleaned up we cooked up some burgers and hung out watching the sunset over the mountains to our west.
The sunset was a good one too.
We all turned in pretty early knowing the rescue trailer would be on it’s way the next morning.