~Thursday, April 14, 2022~
A bit colder last night…..the trailer got down to 40 degrees. It looks like the light winds decided to bring in a few clouds and haze along with it. There was quite a hub of activity with the popular trailhead just across from our site. These backpackers are definitely on to a good thing so we’ll be checking it out ourselves. Today brought several large vans loaded with high school youth groups as well as a tour bus picking up exhausted hikers.
We headed out to the visitor center to take care of a few emails before embarking on our off-road adventure. But first, we needed to remove the hitch for the inevitable low-clearance sections of the trip. The Colorado Overlook Road is just off the visitor center parking lot that our park ranger recommended for us. As I mentioned before, Canyonlands and Moab are super popular areas for off-road enthusiasts. Our road would be the only 4-wheel drive road that she felt Hank could handle. What she didn’t know was how maxed out we already were with our “garage” weight at the rear of the truck. I had my reservations about going from the very beginning, but Jeff was set on it. At the onset, the road was gentle, yet required 4-wheel drive due to the sandy road conditions. Within a mile the road got a little narrow at times, prompting my endless worry of ruining Hank’s beautiful paint job with the gnarly, stiff desert shrubs we were brushing up against. With very few pull-outs, and 1-car wideness, we hoped we wouldn’t encounter anyone else coming in the opposite direction. About 2 miles in, we did. Luckily, the timing was good as we had a “wash” area to the left we could pull over to let them pass. I think Jeff got some sense of relief seeing their Subaru Outback managing the terrain. “If they can do it, we can do it,” he said with determination. Being at the wheel certainly makes you feel more in control and maybe a little invincible. I felt neither of these. There’s something to be said about being the wing-man, or in more derogatory terms, the “backseat driver”. But, maybe we see things that drivers can’t. Off-roading in this vehicle brought out the worst in me. As we continued just past meeting the Subaru, the real challenges began. Thank goodness for Hank’s high clearance as we encountered boulders across the road, causing the truck to violently wobble back and forth. This would have been fun in an ATV or a Jeep, but thought it was putting too much strain on the truck. That’s when I put the kibosh on the endeavor, much to Jeff’s disappointment. For all we knew, it could have been the turn around point for the Subaru as well. It’s one thing to do these off-road adventures in a 4-wheel drive vehicle, but an altogether different story when the 4-wheel drive is already maxed out on weight. Where’s my Jeep when I need it? A short wheel-base and high clearance vehicle, with no added weight, no problem. Maybe I was overly concerned, but thought it irresponsible to jeopardize our only vehicle that tows our home on wheels. To me it wasn’t worth the risk. I felt compelled in the silence to say, “You’ll thank me later for turning around”. (silence) “Well then, how about a hike?” (silence). I guess the best thing to do is let things rest.
Back to the campsite we went where Jeff read and I stitched. And what’s a girl to do when her husband is altogether too quiet? Bake!! Thank God for my package of Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chips as I needed some sort of peace offering!!