The Aftermath at Mason Draw II

Sometimes, putting your faith into a meager mesquite tree some 40 miles from freedom is all you have.

One fine Sunday afternoon we found ourselves far from pavement and cell service stuck axle-deep in clay. After multiple messy arroyo crossings our luck ran out; we sunk like a torpedoed battle ship. It’s hard to explain feelings that accompany getting stuck in the middle of nowhere; the heart often sinks faster than the vehicle. With time, I’ve learned to stop throttling in mud at the exact moment momentum stops. Years back, I would have buried the truck before raising the white flag.

A great bit of advice from Martyn Davies of Adventure Trailers comes to mind for dealing with the unexpected—“Stop for a moment and have a think, possibly a drink (tea of course!), and make a proper assessment of the situation before acting”.

The NMBR 4Runner is equipped with a Warn M8000 winch and 110 feet of synthetic winch line. My recovery kit is comprised of various shackles, tree straps, snatch blocks, and other essentials that make winching recovery a bit more civilized. Needless to say, equipment was not an issue—it was finding something to which to attach the winch.

I put my faith in a small mesquite upstream and wrapped the tree saver around its base. With Meghan behind the wheel, lockers engaged and me at the winch controller; we made slow forward progress. Despite living in the warpath an arroyo, being subject drought and viewed by most as “scrub”; the mesquite was good to us and held strong. We were soon free. We shouted for joy—we had emerged victorious—baptized by the muck.

On a side note- Recovery is often a messy and potentially dangerous operation requiring the full attention of those involved. The camera only came out once the recovery operation was complete. As anything else, the equipment means nothing without practice and real world experience. My advice for drivers is to stage a recovery in a controlled setting to get better acquainted winching equipment and recovery techniques.

For more info on winching & recovery read  The Basic Guide to Winching Techniques- By Warn Industries CLICK HERE