Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: New Mexico
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another piece of the story
A couple days before it had been asked if any one can go out and recover this stock Nissan truck that had made it out to the glacier and had gotten stuck in the crazy silt mud. This stuff is solid when you first drive over it, once you agitate it turns to a Jello like state. Its some very deceiving stuff but that was least of out worries.
Thursday morning I wake up in a cold sweat after having a nightmare that I cannot recall and I go take a shower and start preparing my stuff and loading it up into my truck. I grab all my tools, spare parts, 2 sets a clothes and a sleeping bag. I would rather be over prepared and look like I&#8217;m paranoid that not be prepared and have to pay for it.
After every thing is loaded up I head out to the grocery store to get food and water. On my way to the store a friend of mine Justin calls me up and says he would like to come along since he doesn&#8217;t have to go to work. I pick him up and head back to the grocery store for supplies.
After leaving the store we take New Seward to 5th and drive to the Williams gas station next to Merrill field. The meeting time was 9 am I arrive early so I can fill up on gas and grab what ever I forgot to get at the grocery store. I wait around for a while looking for a black TJ and a guy in a extended cab Dodge pulls up next to me rolls down his window and asks about my truck and so on. I talk with the guy about lift kits, winches and stuff for the next couple minutes then he leaves. Wait a little longer and a black jeep on 33&#8217;s rolls up and assume it must be them. They get out and introduce themselves and we talk about how hard it is going to be to get it out and that the winch should be able to handle the load plus the Nissans clutch is fried from the previous day were they flew out there to dig it out. They drive to the pump and get gas and food.
Justin and I sitting and waiting listening to the radio, that &#8220;wake me up inside&#8221; song is playing and he jokingly mentions that what would happened if this whole thing is a plot to kill us and steal my truck. We joke around some more and they come over and talk some more, I ask if there are any more trucks coming I was under the assumption that a huge ford was going with us, Aaron (jeep owner) says that he got called out to fly some were.
We leave town headed out town on the Glenn Highway, were doing about 60-65 since I guess jeeps have a problem with speed wobble when their running disconnects. We pass the first Eagle River exit and another friend of mine drives by headed to work at the airport. I call him up on his cell and tell him were I&#8217;m going and what is going on.
We pull in on the road that the drag track is on and I proceed to fallow him down the road and into what looks like a neiborhood about ready to be built. We stop in a cleared lot and talk some more and get ready for the trail. I hook up my winch controller and open up my cutout. We head out on the trail and fallow down it for a while till it gets really rutted up and we pass by a newer Chevy that some got high centered and left only to come back to have it burnt to the ground.
We emerge from the woods out into Jims creek were every body is running around on 4 wheelers and camping out. We drive by a couple more burnt up cars and cross the first water crossing with ease. We head out on the first riverbed having fun with all the whoops and stuff going along at a semi fast pace. We cut off towards the mountains to fallow another riverbed, cross another river and enter the woods again which are called the &#8220;beaver ponds&#8221;. We weave around the woods crossing threw numerous other water holes. We come out of the woods and came upon another creek (Friday creek?). We crossed it and I hit the opposing bank with some speed and got my front end off the ground, remembering it was crap like that how I originally messed up my front end and I slowed down.
Again we drive along the riverbed and finally come upon Metal creek. Metal Creek is a bad name for this body of water. Creek is misleading Metal River is better name for it since it is about a quarter mile wide and can flow very fast. We had been warned as to the danger of this place and that it will try to kill you and will try to steal you vehicle. We got out and discussed the best plan to cross, we talk for a while looking for the best place to start the crossing, I suggest that the jeep go first since they crossed it the day their friend got stuck. They enter the water and make their way to the first bank and I fallow. We do this across the creek with out incident. Finally we are across and drive along a trail that winds along to the glacier. We come upon the Nissan and we look around a little and figure out as to how we are going to do this. I hook up my winch and pull it outg far enough to were we can figure out what we are going to need to do to get this thing out. The wheels are locked up from the silt creeping in between the wheels and brakes/hub and drying out and basically turning to cement. We jack up the truck to pull the wheels off and clean them out. We deal with the truck falling off the jacks and them sinking into the mud.
We get every thing cleaned out and the wheels roll so I strap up to the Nissan since the clutch is fried and we make our way back to the river. Once we arrive at the river we realize the water had risen. We talk some about how to do this and the jeep enters the water and makes its way to the first bank and I fallow with the Nissan still attached to me. We hop from bank to bank once more and just as the jeep starts to cross the widest part of the river it hits a drop off in the middle and starts floating away.
This is one of those times were time slows down, way down. As we watch helpless as the jeep keeps on floating away. About 300 feet down stream the jeep stops as it hits a under water sand bar. Immediately I jump out unhook the Nissan, the driver hops in with us (sorry I don&#8217;t remember his name) I haul ass up stream along the bar we were on and cross diagonally down stream towards the sand bar that was adjacent to us. I enter the water and realize this was a bad spot to cross. I go off a drop off and water crashes over my hood, I proceed to power of out it and the engine starts to bog down I come out onto the sand bar. I haul ass down the sand bar next to were they are stuck at. By this time they are on the top of the jeep. I back up into the water with and they try to too us their tow strap, after many tries we realize the strap wont reach. I again run up stream and drive down in the water so I am about 10 feet away from them and we try to throw the strap. Were I am positioned is very silty and I can feel the ground from under my truck eroding away. I hold that position as long as I can till I&#8217;m about stuck, I get out of it and make my way to the bank ingesting more water.
They finally abandon the jeep and swim off to were I am. Glad every one is still alive and no one lost their life it is discussed as to if we can get the jeep out and we decide that at this point in time that we need to get the hell out of there and trying to recover the jeep is not worth us getting stranded out in there if my truck got sucked away with the jeep still attached. We all load up into the Dodge and I make my way up the up the river and start another crossing. All is fine in the part of the river it is about level with the top of my 35&#8217;s and I am making it along fine until I hit a raise in the bottom of the river. Forward momentum stops and my tires start to dig in. I try to reverse and go forward again with no luck I got my boggers dug in to deep and cant climb out of the whole they have made for them selves. If I would have made it 1 or 2 more feet I could have made it out of that part of the river.
I realize I am not going any were and that I need to get my truck out as soon as possible since were my air box is located is now level with the water. I have Justin keep my truck from dieing. I grab my hi-lift and wade around to the back of the truck to try and get the back up and push the jack over to get out of the hole. With no luck since the jack just sinks into the silt I pull it off and loose the handle in the water. I open up my tool box and grab my breaker bar for a handle and move up to the front of the truck and try to jack it up and again no luck.
My last chance is my winch and with nothing to hookup I decide to try and use my tire as an anchor and berry it in the ground. We move the tire out of the back and dig a whole for it. We throw the tire in the hole with a strap attached to it and hook up the winch. I run back to my truck to find Justin has to floor my truck just to get it to stay alive at 1500 rpm. My engine is not running well it all I open my hood and find that a gray oily substance is coming out of my intake. I hope in look at my gauges and notice that my battery isn&#8217;t charging any more. I start to winch and realize that I didn&#8217;t engage it and it was still in free spool. I run out and engage it and start to winch again only to have wasted the little bit of my battery left. The tire pulls out of the ground. And the line speed is so slow with it only pulling the tire the battery must be dead. I shut down my truck.
We strip every thing from my truck that will can use. We grab the sleeping bag, dry clothes (both in garbage bags lucky) food and water and leave the truck. We make our way across the river on foot with every thing over out heads so we get them wet. This water is near freezing and we needed dry clothes so we don&#8217;t get hypothermia. We cross the other half of the river and finally we get the shore and are thankful no one is hurt or dead.
Ill write the wrest of the story of how we get out and the recovery effort tomorrow.