Thank God for a Well Built Truck!
I had this weekend off and I couldn’t stand the thought of sitting around the house. We have had a terrible winter. The temperatures have been SO cold and we’ve had tons of snow. I thought I would drive out to Wendover to enjoy a nice buffet and try my hand at some Blackjack. I talked Michelle into going with me. Cody has just started a job at Little Cesars Pizza so he couldn’t go and I didn’t want to leave Jake here. We ended up taking Jake and his buddy Kieth with us.
I have been wanting to take the boys out shooting so we decided to spend the night in Wendover and then drive down the old Pony Express road all the way back home. When you first start on the Pony Express road at the western border of Utah there are some very large mountains, the “Deep Creeks”. I knew there would be snow but thought that the roads would probably be clear since there is a little town called Gold Hill and another one called Callao. I’m sure there are probably less than 20 people in each town.
Gold Hill has some working gold mines and Callao has some OLD cabins that people still live in. I’m sure those cabins are over 100 years old and they look it! LOL. The snow was pretty deep around Gold Hill but the Deep Creeks have a way of blocking the snow from the Callao area. Past Callao we got into some incredibly slick mud. The mud was flying all over my truck to the point we couldn’t even see out of the side and rear windows at all. Luckily I had plenty of windshield washer fluid to use to keep the windshield clear.
We stopped and let the boys shoot the .22 but Jake’s friend was afraid to shoot the pistol. They had a good time. We came through Fish Springs wildlife refuge area and the snow was getting deeper. It was snowing on the whole trip. You’ve got to understand, this road is in EXTREME desert. If you broke down or got stranded out here it may be hours and it could even be days before someone could find you. You must be self sufficient when spending time in the desert.
As we were about to leave Fish Springs, we met 6 other four wheel drive vehicles. I think they were out on a four wheel drive expedition. The driving was pretty smooth up until this time because we were driving on fresh snow but it took a lot of power for my big tires to dig through it. It was about a foot deep at this time. After we passed the other vehicles, the road got really bad. The narrow axles of the Range Rover and the Toyotas we met were narrower than my truck. The ruts would pull me to one side and then the other. It was that way all the way back home, for another 100 miles or so.
The snow kept getting deeper and deeper and when we finally got to Simpson Springs (An old re-created Pony Express station house and campground) and it was getting very foggy and harder to see the ruts on the road. There is water at Simpson Springs so I washed all of my windows off. I was hoping to drive about 10 miles east and then about 10 miles north to get to pavement at Dugway (where America does it’s biological warfare testing).
I was getting really worried about getting out of the desert before the sun went down. If it got dark it would be even harder to try to stay in the middle of the road. Slipping off into the ditch or off into a draw could bring a disastrous end to our trip. We finally reached the pavement at Dugway. I unlocked my hubs to disengage the four wheel drive and washed my side window enough to see the mirror. I was about out of gas since we had driven about 200 miles since leaving Wendover.
I always carry a five gallon gas can on top of my truck with a spare tire when I go to the desert. I poured all of the gasoline in and headed to I-80, about 30 miles north. When we reached I-80 we were very low on gas again and the low gas warning light came on. We could turn west for about two miles and go to Delle, Utah (Delle is a small town that consists of a gas station and a motel and you never know if they will be open,,the whole town was for sale when I moved to Utah!LOL) to get gas or we could turn east about 20 miles to Lakeside, Utah for gas and dinner.
I took a chance and headed east. Michelle and I both were on pins and needles, hoping we wouldn’t run out of gas. We made it to the gas pumps, running on fumes. We ate supper and continued home on the slushy freeway. We finally got home about 9pm. Michelle and I both are worn out! I love the desert in the summer but I think I’ll skip it in the winter from now on. I’ve included some photos. When I took them, I was standing in about two feet of snow.