Whew. Drove an exhilarating event recently. Boss wanted to hit Death Valley for the annual Death Valley Experience March 22-25. Hosted by the California Four Wheel Drive Association, this trip lived up to its name. What an experience it was! But ol’ Pickle came through with flying colors (well, green, anyway).
Did the entire 1,200 miles without needing a drop of that black fluid. Quite proud of myself, if I may say so.
But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Please allow me to introduce myself….
Pickle in name only
Now, about that name. Pickle? For an off-road warrior? Sounds like a vegetable. I’ve heard Boss say it’s because I’m good at getting other vehicles out of a pickle. Or maybe because I am green. True, but I’m still not keen on the name.
Born in ’98, I’m what they call a ‘rescue dog’. Yeah, had a couple masters before this one. One wasn’t so nice to me. Caused me to roll one day. I picked up a few scars – scrapes and dents – but Boss doesn’t mind.
And get this. Soon after the rescue, Boss takes me to this place where they raise me up in the air. I heard him say to one of the fellas, “I gotta know whether it’s male or female.” Huh? Geez, Boss, can’t you tell?
Officially a Jeep TJ, I have 148,000 miles on me but am going strong.
One tough four-wheeling dog
As I like to say, what doesn’t destroy me makes me stronger. Now I’m Boss’ choice for taking on the Rubicon. Have done it dozens of times. Those rocks? Pickle says, “No problema, senor!”
Just last month, I was plowing through 4-foot snow drifts, one after another. On some drifts, I started losing traction toward the end. Then I just dug in the mud terrains and gutted it through.
I’m a bit long-legged: I wear 35-inch tires, but am very stealthy. I can crawl low and slow as needed.
As for fuel, well, it has to be super-charged caffeine. None of that wimpy stuff they serve the SUVs, CRVs, and Mini Coopers. No sir. Only truck-driver grade for this king of the trails.
A Pickle for the streets
Unlike most four-wheeled folks, I prefer the street life. This dog doesn’t need a roof over his head. I like to hang out and make sure everything’s cool in the ‘hood.
Am definitely top dog in my household. I have two very dear friends nearby, Ashley and Kay. They’re a bit pampered, though. Boss keeps them in the stable. Still, we hang out on occasion.
None of those fancy electronic gadgets for me, either. Just good old hardcore iron. Hell, you won’t find a button to unlock the anti-sway bars!
Honking my own horn at the shopping mall
What’s really fun is when Boss takes me to the mall. Scrapes, scratches and all, I’m still the envy of the Jeeps, SUVs, CRVs and sedans in the parking lot. I get to spend my weekends romping in the mud and snow, and all that real-man stuff. The ladies just can’t get enough of my winch system, diff lockers and tail gate.
Polished in all their glory, my city-slicker friends are stuck cruising from one boring urban location to another. What kind of life is that? I keep telling them they need to get their tailpipes off road. They don’t listen.
Not every day is sunny, though. I blew my tranny once while on the Rubicon. Just started slipping and sliding; I didn’t have the oomph in me anymore. Doctor Ron said my guts gave out.
Worst part – and this really humiliating – I had to get towed out behind a U-haul truck. Oh, the indignity! You should’ve heard the catcalls from the other Jeeps and 4X4s in the group. Took me a while to get over that.
I’m also a bit hard on my shoes. Always blowing them out. Boss bought one of those insurance plans. If the guys can’t repair my shoes, I get new ones. New rubber for free. Cool! One of these days I’ll figure out how to fake it just to score some new soles. But don’t tell Boss. He might get a little hot under the hood knowing I’m trying to dill the system.
Boss bought me a new pair of spectacles recently, courtesy of Larry Bernstein over at Dirty Parts. Now I really shine at night. Even better, Boss can see where he’s taking me. Sometimes I wonder. But we always make it back to our comfy abode near the beach. (By the way, when do I get to go to the beach?)
Gotta run. I can hear the keys jingling again. It must be time for more romping and rolling. Hey, get out there and do the same. As Boss likes to say, We’ll see you on the trails!
# # #
Did you miss the previous articles?
- 2023-03-10 Don’t Let Inclement Weather Dampen Camping Experience
- 2023-02-15 Be A Good Sport: Tread Lightly
- 2023-01-13 What We Share And Don’t Share Off-Road
Some Upcoming Events (click on the link for details)
April 1, 2023 Tire Repair And Hi-Lift Clinic
April 15, 2023 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 16, 2023 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
April 15-16, 2023 Getting Started Off-Road Driving Two Day Package – LA Area
April 22, 2023 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
April 23, 2023 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – SD Area
April 22-23, 2023 Getting Started Off-Road Driving Two Day Package – SD Area
April 29, 2023 Getting Started Off-Road – All Wheel Drive – SD Area
May 6, 2023 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
May 7, 2023 Day 2 Getting Started Off-Road – LA Area
May 6-7, 2023 Getting Started Off-Road Driving Two Day Package – LA Area
May 10-14, 2023 Utah Adventure
May 20, 2023 Winching Clinic
May 21, 2023 Day 3 Putting It All Together – LA Area
May 27-29, 2023 Memorial Day Club Run
June 3, 2023 Tire Repair And Hi-Lift Clinic
June 17, 2023 Staring Rock Crawling
June 23, 2023 OAUSA Field Day
San Rafael Swell Off Road Guide Book & Companion Map $38.50
To order one: https://www.4x4training.com/w/product/san-rafael-swell-off-road-guide-book/
At almost 300 pages, “San Rafael Swell Off Road: A Trail Guide to 42 Destinations for Automobiles, 4WD Trucks & ATVs” is a guide to the in the San Rafael Swell area of Emery County. The desert area is ringed by small towns like Price, Green River and Castle Dale.
“Every chapter includes helpful advice for novice or experienced explorers of the area, such as, “Easy dirt road for high clearance automobile, although four-wheel drive is recommended to several sandy sections along the road. “according to Ed Helmick the author.
The San Rafael Swell area of south-central Utah. This is an area that provides approximately 2,000 square miles of fantastic scenery, fascinating history, and fun off-road adventures. The only paved roads in the San Rafael Swell are Interstate 70, which bisects the Swell in an east-west direction for 67 miles, and a spur of I-70 called the Moore Cutoff. The major difference between off-roading in the Moab area and the Swell area is fewer people, and the area is more remote in regard to the distances to small towns with services. Utah towns that ring the Swell are: Price, Green River, Hanksville, Cainsville, Emery, Castle Dale, Huntington, and Cleveland.
The companion map, the National Geographic San Rafael Swell (#712) comes as a package deal with your book order.
I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President Badlands Off Road Adventures, Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
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Copyright 2023, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.
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