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

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We finally got the Fuso out of the hole that we had been stuck in for the last four days. All it took was five people, a 22,500 pound bulldozer, a mini excavator and a lot of digging.

Video of the bulldozer leading the Fuso into a turn

To get back on firm ground, we needed to turn the Fuso around (180 degrees) and drive over more ground just like the stuff we got stuck in.

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We got stuck so far into it because of Jon’s great driving and inertia. The problem is getting up a little momentum while on an unstable surface.

Jon and Willie stopped after they pulled away from the immediate area around the hole. The Fuso was level and stable. It had cut into the playa surface, but it didn’t really dig in.
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It was so fantastic to have the Fuso out of the hole. Now that it was out, it was time to check out the area. The hole was amazing.
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Jon is standing in the passenger side side wheel rut.

The Fuso’s underside drag marks are visible behind Jon in the picture above. You can see how the underside of the truck dragged along the dirt.
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A closer view of the drag marks.

It explains why it required so much force to get it out.
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The passenger side tire rut was incredibly deep.

After spending some time looking around, we were ready to pick up all of our equipment and head to firm ground. There was a lot of gear.
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Since we were so focused on getting the Fuso out of the hole, we didn’t have a specific route planned out to get us back to the staging area. We were all just so relieved to have the Fuso free.
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We had five vehicles to return to the staging area. It is a good thing we had five people to drive them all rather than making multiple trips. Willie was in the bulldozer pulling the Fuso with Jon at its wheel. Gary drove the mini excavator. That left Carman to drive the pick-up truck while I drove Carman’s Xterra.
The plan was for all of us to meet at the staging area and the semi-truck.
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Finally on the way back to the firm ground.

But we weren’t there quite yet.

To be continued in the Second Recovery.

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