Black Rock Desert, Stuck in the Playa, Day 4 (Pre-Recovery) – June 4, 2016

We were scheduled to meet Willie in Gerlach at 9:00. So we had a little breakfast at the hotel before Carman picked us up.

"Bruno's Shell & Towing"

“Bruno’s Shell & Towing”

We were meeting at Bruno’s Shell and Towing on Main St. The funny thing about the garage’s name is that Bruno no longer owns it and it is no longer a Shell station. We were informed by Cecil, the owner of the garage, that Willie was going to be there, but he was running a little late.

We wandered around the lot surrounding the garage. It contained a wide collection of vehicles and equipment in various states of decay.

Very old trucks.

Very old trucks.

 

The desert is a great place to store old vehicles.

Two old RVs.

Two old RVs.

Willie arrived and immediately went to work loading up the equipment on his semi-truck.

Courtney Rock and Transport

Courtney Rock and Transport

That meant a 22,500 pound bulldozer and a mini excavator, both with caterpillar tracks. Plus a tan pick-up truck with shovels, wood, and other miscellaneous supplies. Willie had some additional help, Gary. He helped load the equipment and drive the pick-up truck.

Willie loading up the equipment.

Willie loading up the equipment.

The biggest problem about the area where we are stuck is that most vehicles big enough to pull us out would also be so heavy that they would also sink. The caterpillar tracks will do a lot to mitigate that problem. As it is, Willie will have to park his semi-truck on firm ground and then drive the equipment to the Fuso.

We would all meet at the Fuso. We had GPS coordinates for our camper making it pretty easy to find if you are familiar with the area. Since we were in Carman’s Xterra, we arrived long before Willie and Gary.

The Fuso is still really stuck.

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Jon getting out recovery equipment.

You can see how far to the right the whole vehicle has shifted from its tire tracks.

You can see how far to the right the whole vehicle has shifted from the original tire tracks.

In preparation, Jon and Carman did a little digging to be able to attach a recovery chain to the frame on the low side of the Fuso.

Attaching a recovery chain to the frame.

Then we just hung out until we saw the semi and pick-up truck in the distance.

We can see the semi-truck and pick-up truck heading in our direction.

Dust clouds are good indications of vehicles.

We drove out to meet them at a staging area where the playa is firm enough for big vehicles.

 

The ramp gets unfolded first.

The ramp gets unfolded first.

 

Unloading the heavy equipment.

Unloading the heavy equipment.

 

With Willie and Gary driving the bulldozer and excavator, Jon volunteered to drive the pick-up truck to the Fuso. Carman and I rode back to the Fuso in his Xterra.

As expected, the trucks were a whole lot faster than the bulldozer and excavator.

The bulldozer is on its way.

The bulldozer is on its way.

 

Bulldozer followed by the mini excavator with the semi-truck in the background.

Bulldozer followed by the mini excavator with the semi-truck in the background.

Story continued in the next post. I’m breaking up Saturday’s events because there are a lot photos and videos.

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Categories: Prep | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Black Rock Desert, Stuck in the Playa, Day 4 (Pre-Recovery) – June 4, 2016

  1. Horace T Bone

    You should turn this into a film and show at the Sundance Festival.

  2. Questor @ Expedition Portal and ADVrider

    Wow. That’s quite the adventure. I hope the Fuso did not sustain any major damage.

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