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River of No Return

There it is Karl, cross and it's just a few minutes to home

BOAT, Karl, we don't need no stinkin boat!

Opps, Karl, is stuck!  HANG-ON, on the way...

Nearly there Karl

Karl, how long can you tread water

Umm, Jeep is filling with water

Jeep is jammed into your rig Karl

Getting dark

Water is COLD, my nuts are up in my ear lobes

Time for the Warn 9.5ti to earn its money, UNDERWATER

Masterpull Superline earning its keep

Karl and his “SilverBullet” took us on a trail run North of the Aqua Fria River [since it was impassable] today.  The trip was to do some exploring and see some less driven trails on the North side.  Try NEVER driven.

It was truly great fun and a rare adventure to be had by all.  I ran my AC and my heater, heard thunder, saw lighting and full rainbows. Got a sunburn in the pouring rain and did it pour!  Fun nonetheless as we went thru the ghost towns of Tip Top and Columbia. Mines were to be spotted from every window of your Jeep.  Old homesteads and saloons long since abandoned, yet still haunted by miners and bar girls.

However, the real fun and adventure started when we reached the impassable Aqua Fria on its North bank.  Its 6 pm and the way back is well over 20 miles of treacherous trail, trail that has rarely seen Jeeps and most often and last traveled by wagons pulled by mule.

Karl and his “Silver Bullet” is lead and I am his six. We pull up to the bank or the raging river and our thoughts turn to the trip back.  Most likely an all-nighter covering a trail that was dangerous to begin with and now rain soaked becoming slicker than Jose’s week old salsa two hours after you ate it.

Karl and I look at each other, no words are spoken, but the die is struck. Karl straps in his rig and drives toward the River as if he is going thru the Mickey’s D’s drive thru and he’s running an hour late.  Little does Karl know it’s the river of no return!

The rig slaps the water like 450 lb man doing a belly flop.  Karl is driving upstream with both feet on the floor and one is nailed to the accelerator, his exhaust gurgling like Monica choking on Bill’s cigar.

All is well until less than 35 feet from shore Karl’s now submarine strikes underwater hazards as if Karl had commanded, “All ahead STOP!”  The waterlogged rig coming to a halt faster than a young man’s hands on your 16-year-old daughter as you turn on the living room lights.

I watch the scene unfold like a Grade B movie. I know that hanging around like a cheap suit is not going to fix the situation. I jump in my Jeep and head out across the water to the rescue like John Wayne and the 7th Cavalry. As I approach Karl’s sunken treasure the onslaught of the River slams me into Karl. I am wedged into Karl’s rig by the raging River.

Karl can’t go and I can go, but would rip the side off his rig as a Buzzard rips the flesh off a highway carcass. 

By the time I notice those silly plugs in the foot wells of my Jeep aren’t in I notice the mornings coffee cup floating by. This and the fact that my crotch has shrunk up into my earlobes tells me I need to take some kind of action. Climbing out the window on the passenger side since I don’t dare open the door on my side or the water would rush in like the watered drinks down at the Dew Drop Inn.

I head to my Warn 9.5ti winch only to find it underwater up to my armpits.  I unreel my Warn winch with its stronger than hell MasterPull synthetic rope.  I pull out a 100’ of rope and I climb back in my Jeep and put the B&M shifter in 2nd gear, 4-low. With my thumb on the winch control and my right foot on the skinny pedal, I winch and drive upstream away from the SilverBullet, the water hazard and out of harms way.  This is gonna be a full pull of nearly 100 feet, winching under water upstream with my Warn 9.5 ti as my only paddle.

I land on the shore and in that, “Noah” of a rain I know that Karl and rig are heading downstream without a paddle unless I can get him out.  At this time, the water is rising faster than a Paris Hilton mini skirt and going faster than last weeks paycheck.  I also know that he is stuck on an underwater stump that is jammed between wheel and wheel well.

I get him hooked up to my Warn.  I pull and back out at the same time so as not to be sucked down stream with Karl.  My Jeep’s electrical system is dimmer than Brittany Spears at a MENSA convention, but Jeep, Warn, and Masterpull are not to be doubted.

His rig comes off the stump with a large splash as it lifts up and out of the water like a whale.  I am backing up the shore and winching the deader than road kill rig upstream then finally out onto the bank.

When all was said and done, the Warn 9.5ti did two full pulls in less than 15 minutes to get him out, off the stump and out of the water and one was underwater.  I winch Karl out, he hits the starter button and suddenly his once deader than road kill engine springs to life and all is well.

Many thanks to Warn winch for flawlessly working under water, Masterpull Superline synthetic rope for pulling when the pulling was really tuff and of course, my Jeep, for never missing a beat.


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