View Full Version : That Wheeling Trip from Hell.

Coyote Red
August 6th, 2012, 11:01 AM
What was that one trip that you wish to never repeat. What made it so bad? What went wrong? Did it rain or did you just sweat off Aqua Man the whole time?

Mine was two years ago now in the winter. A friend and I from high school went north to the Luther area to make our own version of Sno-Blind. The ride on Saturday was uneventful, but fun, the typical stuck and stringing a tree savers and shoveling to get back on the road. The sun was starting to set and we set the GPS for the cabin and started on our way back. Following the direction lead us to a one lane wide seasonal road and we plunged into the snow. The trail tuned a corner and started to climb a hill that shouldn't be a problem but the center was packed from snowmobile traffic. The truck slide the passenger side into the snow and started to plow the TTB into the hard pack. We strung several different lines trying to drag the truck around and get on our way. The last attempt before we agreed to just back out and find another way the truck won't start. Power to everything but the starter. Now it is dark and starting to mist rain. I had a map and a dying cell phone to call my grandpa for rescue. The phone was cutting in and out of service while I tried to explain our location as we walked the roads back home. While walking the flashlight we had was starting to die and eventually ran out. So we were left in the dark and cold rain. Each coming to the realization that the other is a little uneasy by some of the noises coming from the woods as we walked. Headlight appeared after four miles of walking and just as the rainy/sleet started to pick up.

We got to the cabin without problem and planned to run to Cadillac to get a starter and starter solenoid and start replacing part in the woods the next day. When we went to start the truck the batteries had both died to the point it wouldn't crank. Great now we have a truck in the wood not running, and one with dead batteries. We got the truck jumped from a neighbor and started our way to Cadillac.

On the way to the truck in the woods Grandpa took a corner to fast and stuffed the front of his truck into a snowbank and left the front a diesel hanging. The roads were coated with some nice fresh ice in the morning to the point they turned school buses around after they started picking up kids. We started to dig ourselves out of the snow as the Lake County plow truck pulled up and threw us a strap, our lucky break! The last part of the trial the diesel could travel was about a mile walk from the other truck. So we started to walk in and were greeted by a very large but friendly dog who's owner was close behind. We talked to him for a minute as he saw the truck sitting stuck in the snow and was going to report the truck to the police. He offered to take his tractor with a loader and tire chains and plow us a path out of the woods. We thanked him and said we would contact him once the truck started. So I started to changed the solenoid which didn't remedy the problem and I didn't have the socket extension to remove the header and intake manifold since the exhaust pipe blocks the starter in. Thinking this was the final chance to start the truck or start dragging it out, I took a jumper cable and hooked it to the hot on the starter and touched the battery and she started to spin to life!!!!!!!!!! Leaving the truck idling we walked back to the guys house and he started on his way to clear the path. Three hours later he reached the truck and we started our way out very thankful to our new found friend. He was impressed that we made it that far since moving up there 15 years ago he has grown accustom to pulling out one person a year from that road, just not that far in.

TL/DR: truck stuck in the wood during winter over night, had to use a jumper cable to starter to start truck. Oh yeah it was raining and dark when we walked out of the woods.

SO what is your tale??

August 6th, 2012, 04:35 PM
A bad day of wheeling is better than a good day at work. With that, although the trip was fun, I spent 1 1/2 days at the back end of a strap in Canada, 40 miles from the nearest pavement, with a foot of snow on the ground. The rig that did the majority of the towing was getting 1 mpg towing me.

Now, the trip from hell was a different trailering experience. Years ago we were members of a competitive show ski team. I was one of 3 tow boat drivers and president of the club at the time. We were headed to Rock Island IL for our first out of state tournement. We all met on Friday morning to caravan out.
Problem #1. I realized I had left my headset radio home on the charger. So we headed home to grab it.

Problem #2. Now I am beat feeting it to catch up and my trans in my tow rig (AWD Ford Aerostar) starts to smoke. I stop and look underneat to see oil dripping out. I drive slower hoping I had just been running it hot. Nope, it's still leaking. At this time we are about an hour from home. I turn around and start making cell phone calls to find a tow rig. Unfortunately, most of the people I know with tow rigs are ahead of me towing team ski equipment. So, since I had just bought a new boat, I called the boat dealer and asked if they had any truck I could use. In the meantime, we stop at a friend's house, drop the boat, kids and equipment and head for home to grab my car. We get to the dealer and the owner hands me his PERSONAL 4wd loaded Suburban. Sweet! Now back to pick up the kids and the boat.

Problem #3. It's now late on Friday afternoon and my daughter is driving as I'm napping in the back seat. We hear THUD and I sit up to see one of my trailer tire rolling off into the woods on the side of the road. (mm #17 on SB I-94) We pull over and all 6 studs are sheared off the passenger hub. (assuming loose lug nuts on the new trailer) A passerby had seen our tire go off into the weeds and he pulls up with it. He then offers to drive me to the next town to try to find parts. He drives me into town and we see a cop in a parking lot. We stop to explain and the lady is a complete B&$ch. First thing she does is ask both of us for ID. My good samaritan says I don't have any. Why are you driving? "We are caravaning with others on vacation & my wallet is in the other car" She starts to get all pissy with him and I'm like c'mon, the guy stopped to help me, give him a break. So she lets him to. She then takes me to the local popo shop & wants to make a report. All the time I'm looking at my watch realizing that it's getting late and places are going to start to close. Finally, a cop takes me back to the truck/trailer and says here ya go.

In the meantime, my wife had been on the phone and found studs at a place 10 miles one way and a truck stop that would press them 10 miles the other way. So, I pull the hub, drop the trailer, leave my wife & kids with the trailer and off we go. I get the studs, go to the truck stop (who had stayed open for me) and he presses in the new studs. What was really cool is that he would not take any money, just told me to pass on a favor to someone else in the future. Now I'm back to the trailer and we get on the road and finally cross the Michigan line at 10:00pm. (Mind you, my daughter has to be on the water at 7:00am for her first comp)

Problem #4. Middle of the night & we are about a mile from our exit. We run out of gas. (yes, true story) I keep getting the Suburban started and it runs for a few seconds and we coast off the ramp. 3:00am and all gas stations are closed. So my wife has a brilliant idea. She has some plastic piping for costumes about 1/8" ID. So, we start siphoning gas out of the boat into a paper McDonald's cup. After a few rounds of dumping 12 oz at a time into the tank, the paper cup is about done. So, I pull the air cleaner cover off the TBI and dump a little gas into the throttle. I tell my wife to start it. WHOOMP the thing backfires & catches the air cleaner on fire because of the spilled gas on it!!! I whip it out into the grass & try to decide what to do next. Here I am with a borrowed vehicle I just caught on fire, 5 miles from my destination & I'm stranded again.:ahhh: So my kids walk to a local hotel and talk the shuttle bus driver to take them to a gas station a couple miles down the road. Bingo, here we go again.

We get to our hotel room at 5:00am & get a whopping 1 hour sleep.

The good news is that we made it to the comp on time, our team did OK and my daughter took 4th place in regionals. We were pleased. What was really amazing is that even our arch rival team had told us that if I couldn't get my boat there, just leave it and I could use one of theirs. Comraderie and sportsmanship are around in all sports.:thumb:

August 6th, 2012, 05:46 PM
First time I went "offroad" with my ride that I had just lifted a month earlyer. It was July 3rd and we had friend up from Ohio staying at my Granparents place in Cheboygan. After spending the entire day with them we headed home around 10:45pm. So my brother and I are cruising along and I go was that a Seasonal Road back there he didn't know. So I flip around to see if it was, and sure enough it was.

So its now 11:00pm and I decide to go down it. As were going along there were lots of down trees around 3"-5" in diameter they were just high enough I could clear them. We come up on a tree that we had to move to continue. We get out to move it and after we moved it stupid me, I RAN back to my ride and steped into a rut... I went to the ER the next day and they said I had Streched all 3 leigaments in my ankle and had a chip on my Ankle Bone.

August 6th, 2012, 08:09 PM
Mine is more of a hunting trip.....with wheeling.

I was up at the butt crack of dawn, hunting. Had driven the night before up to my friends cabin 8 hours away in the UP. I spent the day about 45 minutes from the cabin near a swamp listening to the deer avoid me completely. I parked about 3/4 mile away, so I left my chair and camo net up at the spot and walked back to the Jeep. I had to drive into town, another 45 minutes further away from the cabin so I could use the phone to talk to my wife and 2 month old baby. She is in a bit of a wacked state of mind (new baby and all......well, woman stuff)....she demands I come home now. I'm a little annoyed about this, so I'm driving a little faster than I should have through the woods.

I am in the middle of a swamp section of road (road is high) and at about 40 mph I go slightly airborn and my tire gets pulled off to the side and I go from 40 to 0 in about 15' at a 45 degree angle, at night, in the ice and snow, 45 minutes driving distance from help. Jeep is half in the marsh, water up to the drivers door handle and starting to freeze rather quickly.

Luckily I brought my recovery gear with me, so after another hour of struggling down the slope and back, in and out, I manage to hook up everything and perform a self recovery with my winch from the ditch to a tree that was about 3 feet short of being too far to reach. Whew! I recover my hunting chair etc.. and drive back to the cabin. Get my stuff and drive all night home. Make it home at about 10am and the wife says I didn't really need to come home, she was just emotional.....

I've been stuck on wheeling trips overnight etc... but that is usually fun because I meant to have it happen....LOL.

August 7th, 2012, 06:40 AM
Oh yeah, and then there was this time we found a trail called PIW.....................................

August 7th, 2012, 09:11 PM
Oh yeah, and then there was this time we found a trail called PIW.....................................

Wait......hmmmm Trail 17 and PIW......I think I can blame Jim for both those simply because he was there! But so was I so that doesn't work...

August 9th, 2012, 10:41 PM
Mine was last spring. I just bought a used small pickup truck to use for work (forestry). So I drive out to my spot, but the snow was still pretty deep. The road/trail was drivable thanks to snowmobilers packing it down and the fact that temps were below freezing. As I'm getting closer to my spot, I decide that the road is going to melt as the day goes on-time to head home. Well, the road had other ideas. I tried to drive around the puddle, but slid in anyway.Fortunately, I had brought along some recovery gear. I tried used the hi-lift and put some stuff under the back tire, but that didn't work. I couldn't lift the front (which was in the hole) because of the plastic body cladding. So I tried to make a winch using the hi lift, but it was making funny noises so I quit that idea. Did I mention that I had no cell phone service? About an hour into the ordeal, 3 guys come along on quads. Salvation! Well, one guy had a winch and I had my snatch block. We gave that a try, but the cable was overmatched and again made funny noises. So they gave me a ride back toward town and I called my friend who came and got me. Then, we went to my house and got the Cruiser with the winch, drove back (the road was now squishy) and pulled out the pickup. Not a bad day's work!

Coyote Red
August 10th, 2012, 07:17 AM
:poke:timbercruiser, are you sure that was work and not a day of playing in the woods??:poke:

August 11th, 2012, 10:49 PM
I think most of you have probably seen pics of my most forgettable trip. A little free time to explore the old Sundowners property...10 inches of recent rain...a puddle...a transmission....

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

August 11th, 2012, 11:20 PM
I do believe I remember said event and some floating shoes.

August 12th, 2012, 10:52 AM
:poke:timbercruiser, are you sure that was work and not a day of playing in the woods??:poke:

Sometimes, the two go hand-in-hand.

Coyote Red
August 13th, 2012, 07:15 AM
Sometimes, the two go hand-in-hand.

Trade for my desk job?

August 13th, 2012, 10:02 PM
Trade for my desk job?

And give up mosquitoes, deer flies and ticks?:poke: No way.

Coyote Red
August 14th, 2012, 07:23 AM
And give up mosquitoes, deer flies and ticks?:poke: No way.

You sure? Sounds like a rough job, I wouldn't want anyone to suffer like that. I know you mentioned that you work for a timber cutter, are you state or private? Out of curiosity.

August 15th, 2012, 05:49 PM
Trail 17 and PIW, the two runs that will go down in history. To that I can also add a third one, 'Dinosaur Snot Hill'. That was ALSO in Canada but with Marv Farley (Grandman) and the Frischs of Ohio and a few other notables. We returned home just under 26 hours of SOLID driving and winching with no rest. Still remember Sue making Marv coffee in the woods @ 3:00 am as we watch some 'know-it-alls' show us how to get up the fabled dinosaur snot hill.

August 15th, 2012, 08:12 PM
Trail 17 and PIW, the two runs that will go down in history. To that I can also add a third one, 'Dinosaur Snot Hill'. That was ALSO in Canada but with Marv Farley (Grandman) and the Frischs of Ohio and a few other notables. We returned home just under 26 hours of SOLID driving and winching with no rest. Still remember Sue making Marv coffee in the woods @ 3:00 am as we watch some 'know-it-alls' show us how to get up the fabled dinosaur snot hill.

Sounds like a good campfire story. :thumbup:

Sent from my Nexus S 4G using Tapatalk 2

Coyote Red
February 5th, 2013, 10:37 PM
I have to add my trip last fall o twisted as one that I do not want to repeat. The ride to the park went off with out a hitch. The two days at the park were uneventful except for a cracked leaf spring. The ride back is when the misery started. We left the park around 3:30 headed for Flint. This was one of those windy as hell days and I was loaded heavy, a four door XJ and a F-150 on the same trailer being pulled by a Ford IDI. With a SSE head wind I started down 10. The ride was slow since I was fighting to keep a lane and the low fuel pressure light flickering. When I turned on to 75 south the wind had shifted to a south wind at about 20mph or so. I had to send the guys who were following me around to the front to break the wind. Even with a wind break I was fighting to keep 60mph. I had to duck out to get fresh air on the truck to keep it cool. I took the Zilwakee at a blistering 35mph by the crest. Once i made in to city limits i really took note of how horrible Flint is at driving. I had to slam on the breaks and swerve over a lane on three different occasions as someone pulled out and never reached the speed limit. I crawled into bed around 9:30 or 10:00.

April 10th, 2013, 08:51 AM
I have one, before I was a Jeeper... but this gives you an example of what kind of people are still out there.

I worked down in Warren, right next to Warren Truck for Chrysler. There was a blackout, you guys probably remember the big blackout where 1/4 of MI was out of power all the way to New York. After 45 minutes sitting at work without power they said we could go home. I get out to my commuter car and guess what? Tank is in the red on E. I started N on I 75 and figured well, I have friends in Troy, Rochester and Auburn Hills so if I can't make it hopefully Im close to one of them. I head up I-75 and make it up to Auburn Hills. By this time all gas stations are shut down and its on the radio that people are fighting over generators at home depot which they won't be able to get gas for anyways... I'm now below the red line, wayyyyy under E. Then, the black knight saved me. A black TJ with a landscaping trailer, mower and about 4 gas cans pulls up in the lane next to me while were stopped in trafiic. I asked if there was ANY way possible he could sell me some gas? I had cash, no prob... He flags me over to the side of the road, put 4 gallons into my car and REFUSED to take anything for helping me. It was a blessing for sure, it gave me enough to get up north of Lapeer and fill up where we had power thus returning me home to the family safely.