Adventuring in Hellwig’s 2016 Nissan Titan XD with Lance Camper when…
Big Load, Small Road
Committed. It’s good to be willingly committed to a relationship, career, sport, hobby, or goal. Commitment turns a woeful corner when it becomes unwilling. In our case, we were unwillingly committed to a road into a Southern California OHV (Off Highway Vehicle) area. The narrow, rocky switchback “road” down the side of the mountain wasn’t the wrong way per se. In fact, Google Maps had recommended it as the fastest route to our destination. However, it was the wrong path for a truck with a bed camper towing a Jeep. It was steep and narrow and littered with rocks, and the mountain highway above was too busy to back out onto again. So began our slow, nerve-wracking adventure down the treacherous “road.” You could say the adrenaline rush was fun, in a way, but at the same time, we couldn’t help wondering What are we going to do if and when this simply becomes impassable with a trailer?
The further we went, the worse it got, and the more committed we became. Yep, we were officially rockcrawling our 18-foot trailer, and it was going to be interesting to see how our two winches and recovery shovel were going to get us out of the imminent mess that lurked with each passing boulder. By the grace of God, we hit a switchback that allowed us enough mountainside room to unload the Jeep and get it in front of the truck and trailer. Now we could navigate the terrain ahead while also lightening the downhill mass of a loaded trailer. The prognosis was to proceed because the other option was—wait, there was no other option. Committed. The rolling circus trundled its way over (or through, literally) each hurdle, eventually reaching—though not without trailer damage—the flat, open utopia below, which the other camper trailers had entered via the official, grated entrance down the highway a few miles—Smarts Ranch Road.
We got a good laugh out of our journey down the road less traveled and used this trail to traverse to and from our campsite throughout the weekend. We even picked up our busted reflector so the only sign of our journey was some black rubber deposited on jagged rocks by the aggressive Mickey Thompson STZ all-terrain trailer tires as they squeezed, rubbed, and crawled their way through nature’s obstacle course. When it came time to go home, you better believe we happy campers used our smarts and took the longer, safer passage on Smarts Ranch Road.
Have you ever found yourself on an unwillingly committed journey, where the shortest route was not the best route, and your only option was to proceed? Make us feel better by telling us we’re not alone!