Monday, August 14, 2017

Lesson Learned

I'm coming back from town with $300 worth of perishable groceries trying to get back as quick as possible. Then I come to the caravan of vehicles in front of me. It's so hard to pass then one at a time and it's rare for a whole convoy to pull over so one vehicle can go by and understandably so. The lead driver sees this little turn around spot by a climbing area called The Ice Cream Parlor and pulls in there does the loop, everybody follows him, and without them even slowing down minus the 20 seconds they did the mini loop I'm able to pass by everyone. Class act by the lead driver.

As I start up Hurrah Pass I realize when I passed them that they are loaded heavy and one jeep was carrying a trailer so they are going to be out here awhile. If they are going down Kane Creek Canyon and they are good drivers they might make it. If they're going down Lockhart Basin they'll be in big trouble. When I get to the lodge I'm unloading all the water and groceries as quick as possible hoping I don't see them come over Hurrah Pass which can only mean Lockhart Basin. As I get the last of the groceries in I see the lead vehicle coming over Hurrah. If I can get all the water jugs unloaded I might be able to get to the sand hill to see a slight challenge they'll have there and give me an idea as to if they have a chance for Lockhart or not.

I drop the last water jug on the porch and jump on a trials bike and head for the Sand Hill. The last four vehicles are going up.......slowly. They don't have a chance on Lockhart. I can see they are loaded down planning a multiple day event and it's unlikely they'll believe me when I tell them not to go down Lockhart. I can just see them getting in the canyon, the lead vehicles getting stuck, the every evening rain coming, no one able to turn around, and then it's all bad. I've seen it before.

I pass everyone and wait for the lead driver. I motion them over and everyone stops and gets out. I tell them it was a class act thing they did doing the short loop so I could pass and I'm right now going to try and make it up to them. I tell them I don't think they can make it down Lockhart and ask if anybody scouted the route first. They say they talked to the BLM that morning and they said it was passable and kind of boring. The BLM is responsible for a lot of trails and they can't know the condition of every trail after a rain or even if it did rain on that trail.

I suggest that they camp at the Wind Caves and give me their most expendable driver in case he doesn't make it and he can follow me into the canyon and I'll try and guide him through and then he can decide if they can make it. They agree. I tell them how to get to the Wind Caves and tell them I'm going to go feed critters while they set up and I'll come get the lead guy in 30 minutes.

An hour later myself and two of their vehicles head into Lockhart Canyon.

They spend Friday night at the Wind Caves. On Saturday they swing by to say thank you and good bye as they continue on their journey alternating it a bit so Lockhart Basin isn't included in it.


Slevin/Peiffer said...

Thank you for saving us a world of blood, sweat, and tears Tom!

Chris Weathers said...

Tom, thank you again for sharing your knowledge and your hospitality with us over the last weekend.

lue said...

He is one of the honest,hard working ,humble guy you'll ever met, glad you had the chance to met him and that you had a great time in that beautiful corner of the world.

cyn said...

He's a class act, and it sounds like you and your group are pretty wise too.