Variety is the spice of Life
Last weekend we went out to do some exploring for the day and invited a bunch a friends, the group we got was pretty random. At the end of the day someone asked “So how do you know everyone” Tim and I looked at each other and kind of chuckled. Everyone came from some other activity we do in life, some we knew well and some not so well but no one knew each other. If nothing else it would be an interesting day. We also ended up making some new friends literally on the trail that day. It was so fun to watch this rag tag group of people, some with experience and some with very little, but all with an excitement for some dirt (although none of us knew what the day had in store).
Tim, had done this trail about 5 years back, on a mountain bike, (he is crazy) and had done some quick research on the area in the days leading up to our little trail run. In his reading he found that these were Subaru worthy roads and expected the trails would be how they were when he had biked them 5 years ago...I’m not sure what kind of Subaru the park service is referring to but not one that I have ever seen. (Park service you might want to update your web page).
Goose (The fearless leader who makes everything look effortless)
Infiniti QX4 (Completely stock and running Discount Tire all terrains)
The trail starts out super mellow meandering through a canyon/wash with only a few mild rocks to navigate around, still Subaru friendly at this point.
It slowly climbed out of the wash onto a rocky hillside where there were a few larger step ups that were not so well suited to a Subaru, and, shall we say, the wheel travel challenged portion of our group had more trouble with these obstacles but luckily we have Tim, who has the uncanny ability to get a driver and vehicle through anything. He can see the best line. Seemingly stuck, Tim will come over look and say “Hold it, back up about two inches and turn the wheel hard driver then slowly give it some gas”, and just like that up they crawl like it was no big deal.
I have to say through this whole trail I was wondering at what point the stock Infiniti would need to just be dragged over or up something and to the credit of Tim and the driver, who by the end of this day knew this truck like the back of his hand. Buzz light-year (the infinity) only had to be yanked out once.
The award for most improved driver of the day goes to Ben! His wife and dogs win the award for putting up with riding in that all day (it could not have been a pleasant ride!)
As I mentioned we did pick up another member of our group about ¼ of the way through the trail, it was a couple in a jeep who were doing this trail for the first time and asked, if we didn’t mind, could they just follow us through? So they became part of the group Tim spotting them along with everyone else when needed. They loyally stick by our side until the end, having a great time along the way. What a pleasure it is to run into people like them.
Tim and I do this a lot, we adventure, we are used to not having expectations. We know the way you hoped would go through doesn’t always - whether the road is washed out, the mud is stickier than expected, or the water is too high. Whatever the reason your day does not go as planned it is what it is. When we are alone that isn’t a point of stress, there isn’t a second thought there isn’t any anger towards each other it’s just how it goes!
Because Tim had done this route before and has the most experience of the group we fell into the lead. When you are “leading” a group the group expectations are an interesting aspect to manage and always a huge point of stress for both of us. In a world where google maps can tell you down to the minute when you will arrive somewhere and warn you of traffic etc. people forget that out here there are so many unknowns it is impossible to know what the day holds. You either embrace that and enjoy it or you don’t...Last night I was reading and this quote summed up how I feel about adventure.
“The armchair adventurer has all the advantages, believe me. As I have said elsewhere, and more than once, I believe adventure is nothing but a romantic name for trouble.
What people speak of as adventure is something nobody in his right mind would seek out, and it becomes romantic only when one is safely at home, It is much better to watch someone riding a camel across a desert on a movie screen than it is to be up on the camel’s back, traveling at a pace of two and a half to three miles per hour through a blazing hot day with the sand blowing.”
- Louis L’Amour
Many people we talk to say “The adventures you guys have are so cool!” I agree I love our adventures but we are a little crazy. Something in me loves the torture that sometimes is adventure. When we find ourselves stuck in the middle of nowhere, covered in dirt, sweaty, digging, tediously and slowly (maybe) making progress to get unstuck, all with the ignored fear of how bad our situation could be and the determination that we will get out, and even in that moment I am not unhappy I don’t find myself wishing I was anywhere else besides right here. That is the adventure!
That quote really made think about the fact that there is a distinction between, those who love the adventure and those who love the idea of adventure. There is nothing wrong with either. As the quotes says nobody in his right mind would seek it out so I can’t blame anyone for not seeking trouble. With the trouble comes so many rewards that I would not trade it for anything myself.
In the end the trail was in no way Subaru friendly, it was not even Montero or Infiniti friendly so we found a route that worked for everyone. It was a longer day than any of us expected and we were all exhausted, but It was a good day.
I love that we have so many adventurous friends. I hope everyone enjoyed the sometimes slow, tough, and long day filled with friends and some pretty amazing views as much as we did.