Friday, June 2, 2017

Mistakes Made, Fun To Be Had

  Maybe you happened to misplace your keys or send your wallet through the wash. You might have forgotten to feed your kids' gold fish resulting a very teary eyed funeral around the old porcelain pot to which your daughter will never let you live down. The point is; we make mistakes.
  The funny thing about mistakes is that we make them even when we're fully aware that we are making them. It's okay because we can justify them. Right? 
  I don't like to make mistakes. It usually means that I wasn't paying good enough attention to my task or that I didn't properly plan. It makes me feel silly and incompetent. Of course that doesn't stop me from making mistakes and I will probably always beat myself up about it but that's just life. When on an adventure even the smallest of mistakes can turn into catastrophes that can ruin a good time. During our recent trip to Fillmore, Utah we had a situation that could have turned into a real pain in the neck but as luck would have it all turned out just fine but it's just an example of what happens when you don't follow the 6 P's. What are the 6 P's? Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.
  We headed south out of Fillmore with four Polaris RZR's and passed through the towns of Meadow and Kanosh before heading up into the mountains intending to make a 70 mile loop back to the town of Fillmore well within the fuel ranges of our vehicles. We filled up the UTV's at the gas station on the way out of town. At the beginning of the weekend we had two five gallon gas cans and one four gallon that are typically mounted to the RZR's for those just in case moments. However one of the five gallon tanks was leaking and was removed from the bike while the other had been used earlier to avoid a gas station trip for a shorter ride the day before. We didn't bother filling them up again. This left us with the four gallon tank.
  The day was sunny and beautiful and the trail was a little dusty but everybody was having a good time. During our lunch stop we discussed the fact that we were only 7 miles from the town of Richfield. We were closer to a gas station than we would be the rest of the day. 3 of the 4 of us had 9 gallon gas tanks while the other, older RZR, only had a 5 gallon tank. We felt that Fillmore was well within our reach and pressed on into the mountains for the last 20 miles of our trip. As we climbed we could started seeing snow hiding in the shadows. This was expected. It's the end of May after all and Utah had a pretty good winter. It didn't take long before a passing vehicle warned us about the road being snowed over and that she had just been pulled out of the drift. Undeterred, we pressed on.
  Fifty feet long and about three and a half feet deep the snow drift stopped us in our tracks. We walked around it and surveyed the drift to decide if we could get over it. There was a chance that if we got over this obstacle we would be home free. Of course there was a chance that it wouldn't be the last drift blocking the road. After weighing our options we decided that it was too late in the day and not worth the chance to continue. We chose to turn around.
  We dumped the four gallons of extra gas into the older RZR and turned back. It wasn't long before we passed the intersection that would take us to Richfield. We didn't bother slowing down. After a few miles I looked down at my own fuel gauge and discovered that I only had a quarter of a tank of gas left. Humbug!
  We had been checking with one another as we had been driving along. We were staying pretty close on fuel levels despite my RZR being a larger four seater with four occupants. It's a newer machine that we had only had out once before so we haven't gotten to know each other yet. Well we were getting our dirty laundry out now. 
  The good news is that we had one more town that we could drop down into. The bad news is that it added miles and wasted time. Part of me wanted to roll the dice and try for Kanosh on the other side of the mountain. I thought better of it and we dropped into Elsinore for gas. Had we had our extra fuel tanks we wouldn't have had a problem. Of course if there hadn't have been a snow drift up at 6500 ft we would have been fine too. Dem's da breaks!
  The boring end of the story is that we made it back to camp at 8:45 pm with what might have been five pounds of dust in some of our lungs and we all had smiles on our faces. We were happy to be done with the ride and ready for dinner but at the same time I was a little disappointed that it was still light. I had some new drive lights that I was hoping to try out. What started out to be about a 70 mile trip clocked in at 126 miles. Not a bad ride for one day.
  Even though everything worked out just fine and in reality this wasn't really more than just an inconvenience I still consider it a mistake. Like all mistakes we will learn from this and I will soon have a new gas can mounted in the RZR before our next trip. After all, I'll probably need the gas to ensure I'm out long enough to try out those drive lights.

See you next week.


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