Yesterday evening on the mesa there was a cool, fitful blustery wind and that pretty reliably announces a change in the weather, usually for the worse. So when I finished up I put the boys in the laundry/mud room with a bucket of water. At the time I considered it an excess of caution since there was no word at all in the forecast about rain.
Started raining overnight. Rained all night. First light revealed that the gullies were running. Still raining.
I had intended to go early because the boys would need feeding. But poor roads + poor visibility + the windshield wipers don’t work dictated that I wait until the rain at least slacked off. Finally left at 7:30ish when it was just sprinkling.
The road was saturated and slippery, but that’s what 4WD is for. I could even have crossed the south wash with relative safety. Not very deep, not very fast…
…because the ground at that crossing is usually nice and firm when wet. Would have been a scary problem with the damaged front axle because the wash commonly digs channels on either side of the crossing, but I could have done it.
I didn’t, though, because I have to cross the same wash a ways downstream and that crossing is soft and quicksandy even without the running water. Chances of successfully crossing there are far worse.
Normally of course I’d have simply turned around and gone up to the plateau on the Bumpy Road, which bypasses the south wash entirely. But that’s what got me into this mess a week ago in the first place. Now it’s asking for a frankly busted axle on a “road” no tow truck will risk. I did go do chicken chores early in case the east wash decided to run, which I don’t really expect. But what the hell? Already wet.
I’ll try again in a few hours. The boys will be hungry, but they’re dogs; they’re always hungry. At least they’re safe and dry.