Bouncing, Bonding, Stuck

Back-roads on BLM land are the worst roads I have ever driven. Riddled with rocks (nay, boulders), slashed by streambeds, and marred by mud, they are an obstacle and an adventure everyday. 5 months of driving on these roads has taught me to be cautious, careful and to drive slowly. Really slowly. But, until last week, these Nevadan roads had not yet taught me how to unstick a truck from a muddy ditch.

The lesson began after a long day of fire monitoring. We were headed toward our second site (and the promise of dinnertime), up a mountain, around tight bends, over stones, when the front truck met her match. Sue, as we’ve taken to calling her, was stuck. A steep hill, a muddy road, and a deep ditch had proven too much for our trusty steed. After a bit of head-scratching, we hatched a plan. Before long we were grabbing supplies from the emergency kits, hauling rocks, digging out the tires, and building a ramp for Sue to climb out on. Then came the moment of truth. Two hands on the wheel and 14 on the tailgate, we shoved and steered Sue to safety.

An experience that could have been stressful or scary was edifying and enriching. We learned how to unstick a truck. And, more importantly, we learned that we could.

Whooping, my team got back to work.

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Carson City, NV

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