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.
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.
The desert is a great place to store old vehicles.
Willie arrived and immediately went to work loading up the equipment on his semi-truck.
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.
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.
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.
Then we just hung out until we saw the semi and pick-up truck in the distance.
We drove out to meet them at a staging area where the playa is firm enough for big vehicles.
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.
Story continued in the next post. I’m breaking up Saturday’s events because there are a lot photos and videos.