Today has been remarkable! I set off to drive the Cerro Gordo Road. http://www.theadventureportal.com/death-valley-national-park/cerro-gordo-road/
I tried to drive this road 11 years ago in a Range Rover. Alas, it kept breaking down, down and I never made it. I am very confident that the Tacoma/Camper combo can make it.
The trail is tough, with many patches of very broken road and steep inclines. The Tacoma does really well and we reach the half way point without too much trouble.
On we go, up and up. I stop the truck to walk up the next stretch to reconnoiter the difficulty. Returning I notice something. There is no longer a camper on the truck! I had felt nothing. She must have slipped off the back very discretely. About half a mile down the road, I find this.
This is very, very bad news. I am truly in the middle of nowhere. 7000 feet up and 20 miles of very narrow broken road before you hit paved highway. To get here you have to have a very capable 4 wheel drive vehicle. I will need crane to lift the camper back onto the truck. How many off-road machines with cranes are there? Oh dear.
Anyway, I managed to drive the truck around the road-blocking camper and set off back to civilization. I am very down. The logistics of getting the camper back on my truck are very daunting. A mega-off/road, crane truck? Maybe they have one somewhere in the States. I cannot leave her there in the middle of the road and I foresee a helicopter lifting her up and dumping her at the side of the road. All options involve thousands of dollars. So much for my dream of bumbling around the U.S. watching birds and sleeping in the camper. I have only owned her for 3 weeks!
I slowly make my way down and meet this.
Twelve of America’s top off-road experts are doing a comparative test of the 2019 models. There is at least $500,000 of truck in a line. Range Rovers, Toyotas, General Motors, Jeep, Ford, the creme de la creme of off road machines. They are writing articles, making videos and recording podcasts. Buy Four Wheeler Magazine. Go to their website: http://www.fourwheeler.com , listen to their podcasts: @truckshowpodcast.
They are equally surprised to see me as I am to see them. We are in a very remote place.
There are 12 guys. ” No problem Neil, we can find a way to get her off the mountain.”
We manage to lift her back on the truck. These guys are very skilled and a major problem becomes a minor hiccup.
So I do interviews for the podcast, a Scot, living in Japan with a disconnected camper on the notorious Cerro Gordo Road is a good story. They shepherd me down the mountain and after effusive thanks, I head back home.
I think I have have mentioned my good luck before. I cannot shake it off. After a disaster, what chances of meeting the 12 most qualified people to help, an hour later, high up on a very lonely mountain? Thank you er Jesus.
Seriously though, I am for ever indebted to Sean, Verne and all the other guys, who I am sure were on a very tight schedule, but dropped everything to help me. People are good.