What's your strangest trail encounter?


rasband

Bent Currie Club... ugh
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After my experience on White Rim trail the last few days, a thread on weird trail encounters seems appropriate. What are the weird trail encounters you've had?

I'll start.

After reaching the Murphy camps on White Rim this week, we heard some nearby campers cheering on someone on the hogback/murphy climb... On walking over we find a driver is in a newish (rental) ford escape. While White Rim isn't a hard trail, it demands (and more importantly recommends) a little more than an AWD vehicle.

Anyway, he crests hogback and continues on after about 5:30pm (after commenting about how the car was trying to shutdown on him on the way up). Now white rim is a trail that takes around 8-10hr and he just hit the half way point in a car that will struggle more than anything else. As he passes, we raise our hats as a WTF. Sitting around camp with a beer, my buddy and I agree that we will probably see that car tomorrow - and turn in for the night.

This morning we made some coffee, ate a quick breakfast and left camp. After about 8 miles we see a very clear oil line on the trail (look at the middle of my hood on the dirt).

Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 8.03.43 PM.png


I started recording a bit late on this trail, so this isn't really early in the oil trail (we estimate about 3/4mi of pretty steady oil). However about a tenth or so of a mile earlier, there's also a kitchen knife with a white handle on the side of the trail. Naturally, we were on edge and made sure any resources we had available to us were within reach. As we continued on, we reached the escape and stopped about 1/4 mile shy to discuss our thoughts on approaches we were willing to take with the driver.

Screen Shot 2020-09-16 at 8.07.09 PM.png


We decided to stop and feel him out, but I had my buddy stay back a little just in case we needed more response time for anything weird. Fortunately the guy seemed normal enough so we picked him up and carried him out to deal with the tow on his own. He was pleasant and a self admitted bit of a risk taker - but said he would have turned around if the sign at the entrance was more explicit. The driver thought the trail was a lot shorter and didn't require much as it did and ended up spending the night in his car. Funny enough, he would have definitely ran out of fuel before the end, so this was just a slightly worse alternative.

The rest of the trail would have definitely been a bit for the AWD (a few pretty steep climbs), he really should have turned around before the hogsback climb.

Anyway, this was a great trail for something easier with some desert camping along the way. Last I heard from the driver he's back in town waiting on a tow from a local moab company and relaxing a little with the low proof Utah draughts (I recommended some cans instead, since they can be "full proof" by Utah standards).
 
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rasband

rasband

Bent Currie Club... ugh
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This guy’s recovery will probably be over 3 grand. If we had oil to spare and more importantly it wasn’t a rental we would have probably tried a temp patch with fiberglass tape and JB weld (similar to what I’d do on my radiator).
 

jjvw

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I was driving through Schofield Pass rounding a corner on a narrow shelf road. A short ways ahead, I see a dirt bike coming at me fast. I slow down to a near stop. He sees me, turns into the rock wall, bounces off the wall and disappears over the cliff side to the river below.

I race ahead to where he disappeared and jump out of the Jeep expecting to see a dead body on the rocks below. Instead, I see him on a narrow ledge 30 feet down, wearing jeans and a t-shirt and no protective gear, wrestling and yelling at his bike to get it upright. Somehow he is unhurt.

I spent the next hour winching him and his bike together up the rock wall and back onto the road. Once he is safe, I yell at him for being stupid and he rides off.
 

AMS417

"The Ayatollah of rock and rolla"
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Watched a Jeep Compass Trailhawk with dealer plates bash his way through a moderate trail. He had tires in the air every rock due to lack of articulation and visible damage to both bumper, and exhaust system. Dude was givin' her the beans too. Wish I had video, I was laughing my ass off. He was part of a convoy of relatively stock Jeeps of various model at the local offroad park. We ended up taking a different trail to get around them. I swear they moved slower than the speed of smell.
 

Zorba

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This guy’s recovery will probably be over 3 grand. If we had oil to spare and more importantly it wasn’t a rental we would have probably tried a temp patch with fiberglass tape and JB weld (similar to what I’d do on my radiator).
Then he has to deal with the rental company - their insurance usually doesn't apply off road...
 

WallyWest

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Years ago in my 4Runner (don't hate) on a moderate trail. Nothing too crazy, but definitely 4WD required for some parts. Or so we thought.

Sitting at the halfway point eating lunch and hear someone just gunning the crap out of their engine, tires spinning, general insanity. A few minutes later some dude blows past, going way too fast, in a Saturn coupe. FWD, all of 6 inches ground clearance, missing most of his front bumper. He gave us a wave as he sailed past, big grin on his face. We never saw him again so I guess he made it through.
 

Zorba

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Not my story, but that reminds me of one I heard from a friend many years ago. Drove in on some trail somewhere in 4WD, apparently fairly intense, blah, blah. When they got "all the way back there", there was a guy in a Buick (Sedan, this was WAAAY before Buick made anything but). He got there because "he just didn't care!". Apparently the guy drove back out too.
 
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jodomcfrodo

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When I was off-road every weekend in Wyoming I saw some strange stuff. A few cars or trucks stuck where people seemed to have abandoned them. A few I was able to help pull out. When I was out at night I saw lots of drunk people with guns waving them everywhere on multiple occasions. I saw one guy attempt to shoot down a tree with some sort of semi-auto (I'm not a gun guy). I'm not sure if he was successful since I got the hell out of there.

On two occasions, I saw three or four brand new black Suburbans pulled off to the side of a forest road in the same spot. Absolute middle of no where with no phone service. Didn't stick around to figure out what that was about either time. I'm probably on some list for knowing where we keep the aliens.

Came around a corner on a very skinny ATV trail (I got lost) and boom a moose! Thankfully he got out of there pretty quick.
 

Aviatortroy

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About 80% of my off roading is riding dual sports or dirt bikes so from the other side of the aisle I’ve seen more crazy stupidity from mall crawlers or tourists than I care to recall. Here in Colorado you will break your balls on some trail and when you stop for lunch 5 high school kids will go rolling by in a 1989 Honda civic.

And dare I mention Rampart Range?
 

TurboTJ

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I was coming down a trail near Bridgeport, CA that was pretty rough but doable in my minimally modified TJ. I came to a corner and there was a Volkswagen GTI stuck in the corner, hung-up and abandoned. It appeared to have a punctured gas tank and/or oil pan. There is no way that that GTI, gas tank or not, could go any farther. As a matter of fact, I was amazed that he had gone that far because the “road” below was pretty gnarly. Apparently, the guy had been rescued because no one was around. We managed to cut a path through the brambles to get around him. I have often wondered who removed the vehicle and how it was done. As best as I can determine they would have had to drag it down off that mountain, destroying what was left of it in the process.
 
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Jamesval035

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At the Gulches ORV in SC earlier this year and I see a Miata with probably 30 to 31” tires and a Buick town car with the same. I laughed and said to my daughter what in the redneck hell Is goin on here. They definitely wheeled and scraped every single piece of undercarriage they had. This photo is him getting winched out

4C2A50AB-19B9-44CE-BE6D-CEEEA356F910.jpeg
 

Irun

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I have several, but will pick a clean one. Many years ago I was night wheeling with a couple friends. We stumbled upon a truck that was nose down in a deep ditch. Its rear end almost straight up in the air, engine running, and tires still spinning. We immediately jumped out to see if anyone was in the vehicle. When we got close enough we could see someone slumped over the steering wheel. This was pre-air bags, so of course we thought the worst and got down in the ditch to see if the person was alive or dead.

As soon as we got into the ditch we could smell alcohol. Fortunately, the guy driving the truck was alive, which was validated by his snoring. We shut the vehicle off and tried to wake the guy. When we did finally manage to get him awake and communicating, he hurled lots of colorful insults at us and was super pissed that we woke him up. After trying to reason with him, to get him out of the truck, we gave up and left him there. We did come back the next day, but both he and the truck were gone!
 

Artsifrtsi

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When I was in Utah in July, went to Touqerville Falls, in a rented JLU. We walked the JL past a few stock Toyotas trying to make it up the 12 inch rock steps, etc. Made it to the falls, spent a little time there, and headed out. Almost back to where the road was just a dirt road again, and not a mild rock garden, there was a Ford Escape with two flats left abandoned in the middle of the trail... at the base of a long moderate descent ending in a sharp left. We needed to be guided around, as there was no option but to slightly drive up the wall of the hill there.
 
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MutantNinjaTJ

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Coming down the backside of Imogene in Co It's pretty rocky with some rain washouts and a rental van appears on my tail, full of Japanese tourists. I find a place to pull over and they bounce past me two wheels in the air, flying down the mountain. We caught up a mile down the road, high centered on a large rock. Using a lot of hand gestures they asked for help. We hooked up to them and pulled them off the rock but it tore the rear axel off the drivers side. Got them out of the way and helped them call for a tow. We proceeded on down, never saw them again.
 

Skylinessuck

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Gotta watch them Japanese people. Boy I tell you whut!

I took my Jimny down a trail we called Spider Alley that ran along the edge of the munitions storage area fenceline just off base which is in the middle of nowhere jungle. I was going to dump my old Christmas tree where it could RIP. On my way back, one of the security guards literally chased me on foot (from his side of the fence) while I drove down the trail. He had seen me dump it and figured he was going to "catch" me? I dunno. Old tree into the woods. Seems like a non-issue to me but definitely not his jurisdiction. Anywho, I saw him but pretended not to. AF folks tend to be a little less hard core and a little more round than the other services with maybe the exception of the Navy, so it was fun to watch him try and keep up. This lasted for maybe 2-300 yards when I finally stopped and let him catch up. He starts trying to chew my ass and say he was going to report me (guessing correctly that I was in the military). I told him I was just releasing it back into the wild and suggested he kiss my ass then headed out. I saw him snap a pic of my vehicle no doubt to look up my plate info. Too bad for him it was registered to my wife and base had no record of it. I really wish I would have recorded his fat ass trying to run and keep up with a vehicle 🤣
 

TurboTJ

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On a more somber note, this is a picture of the van that the “Death Valley Germans” tried to take down Anvil Canyon in Death Valley. Suffice it to say, they didn’t make it.

4CB6AB28-2759-4F50-9AFF-7B215C5130E4.jpeg
 
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