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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    157

    Default A Cautionary Tale

    There was an article in the Phoenix newspaper this morning, about a guy who moved to Arizona from Minnesota, and even though he knew next to nothing about the desert or its dangers, he decided to go out into it and have an adventure in his Honda CRV. He drove to a remote town called Crown King, in a rugged area 80 miles or so northwest of the city. Then he programmed his GPS to find him a route back to his home and to “avoid highways”.

    You old-timers know what’s coming next: he wound up on a rocky wisp of a jeep track barely suitable for dirt bikes, at the bottom of a grade so steep that when he turned around, he couldn’t get back up it in his Honda. So he pressed on, getting out every now and again to roll boulders out of his path, until his transmission completely gave out, hot fluid pouring all over the ground in the middle of absolute nowhere. What followed was a classic tale of ordeal and survival, close to 48 hours in the wilderness that very nearly cost this man his life; the only good thing about it is the fact that he lived to tell the tale.

    The story illustrates two important points. First: an “SUV” is not automatically an off-road vehicle. Most of them are no more suited to rugged terrain than your grandmother’s Buick. And even if they are true off-road vehicles, that doesn’t mean you can charge off into the unknown without knowing where you’re going, much less without the proper skills and equipment. (Not to mention plenty of water, especially in July, in the Arizona desert!)

    The second point, which is something that’s emphasized frequently on these forums: don’t ever blindly trust your GPS. Not ever. Especially when dirt roads are involved!

    Rick

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    12,985

    Default wow indeed

    Thanks for sharing. Here's the full story from the AZ Republic: http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/...ays/531479001/

    Sometimes it is amazing just how little common sense people can have. Of all the SUVs out there, I'd have to put a CRV as up there among the least capable for doing any off-roading, and the idea of going down a dirt road in Arizona when all you have is one bottle of water and a few beers is just stunningly foolish. And of course, there is the blindly follow the GPS, even when common sense should tell you that you're heading down a dangerous path, that so many people still do (and somehow blame the GPS!). I'm glad he got home safely, but if it weren't for a rain storm that brought other people out onto that remote road, he wouldn't be here to tell his story.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,215

    Default

    I'll take roads and trails in my 2wd F150 that I wouldn't go near in a 4wd car or small SUV. It's called ground clearance.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Posts
    157

    Default

    That's what you call the bottom line. Even those crazy jacked up trucks (which are highly prone to tipping over) only have as much clearance as the bottom of their differential. Coolest production model all terrain vehicle I've ever seen was an old Mercedes Unimog. Looked like this:
    Unimog.jpg.

    I met a guy tried to use one of these to cross the Darien Gap--the trackless jungle south of Panama City? He had all the traction he needed, but not enough clearance (much of the terrain is swamp ;-)

    Rick

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,052

    Default Someone needs to be in charge of cognitive thinking

    I used to participate in a UniMog forum and I am still in touch with a bunch of off-highway gear heads. Such vehicles can go a lot places but they still rely on the relative common sense of the operator to get back home at night.

    Actually, here is another one...


    Reminds me of the "Sedenquist's Rule of Serial Consequences" that I proposed several years ago. Basically it says that you are "allowed" three stupid decisions when traveling off-highway or in areas that are not familiar. Generally 1 or even 3 errors of judgment will just result in a grand adventure -- but three consecutive errors of judgment is often fatal.


    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 08-04-2017 at 05:00 PM.

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