I’m not sure where the digital camera was when I was in high school (1999-2003), but be thankful I didn’t have one. Wrapping Murphy’s car in police tape, rock-climbing the school parking lot dividers, and oh the four-wheeling trips. Shifting Creations today would probably be a lot less design, a lot more Dolly.

Like the weekend my brother and I got a call from Brandon and his “Mighty Dodge.” How that kid thought his red Ram could ford a crater of mud, I haven’t a clue. We followed the power lines for at least a few miles, which when on an off-road trail at creeping pace, seems like forever. Through afternoon drizzle and fog, we found Brandon at the foot of a steep climb, his rig less four tires as the mud had made light snack of the stock rubber. And did I say steep? Dolly stalled a couple times making the traverse downward, the angle too great for the carburetor to easily drink from such tilted fuel bowls. Add to that, the drop wasn’t consistent but the sort of grade littered with undulating potholes and protruding boulders the size of an engine block.

Of course, much like the digital camera, a winch would have been invaluable but was nowhere to be seen. Fortunately, Dolly’s fresh set of 35inch shoes were doing quite well on their inaugural mud bath. Half a tank o’ gas later, one snapped tow strap, and yards of airborne mud, the Dodge remained immobile and we gathered the survivors. The trek back was no easier than the entrance, that same steep climb only wetter than before. After a few hairy attempts, we throttled our way up the bank and back to civilization.

One of a thousand stories, it’s fun to look back on all our four-wheeling days. Still I wonder, where was that camera when we needed it?!

May 13, 2006 — Life