Coal Wash, the Drips

Today was a good ending for what was looking like a lackluster weekend. Traci had been planning on going out of town with her mom to do some scrapbooking, but the weather was pretty terrible on Thursday and they decided to cancel their trip. Instead, they stayed in town at Traci’s mom’s most of the weekend, and the kids and I stayed at home and held down the fort. We actually tried making a snow fort yesterday, but the snow had gone from wet to hard and brittle overnight, and it was a lot of work just to get part of it built.
On the snowy roadThis morning, Traci and the boys and I headed out of town with the intention of meeting up with the Hunt family to do some 4-wheeling in Coal Wash to see the Drips, which is a spring that drips out of an overhanging cliff. Cortney suggested the idea to me earlier in the week, and we both thought it would be awesome to see the Drips frozen over. We’d planned on meeting at Gilly’s in Ferron at 10:30 in the morning, though my family was running about 20 minutes early and expected to have to wait there for the Hunts. When we pulled in to town, we found the Hunts already waiting for us, so we set out into the snow-covered desert with ATVs in tow to see what wonders awaited us.
StuckI expected the county to have plowed the dirt road all the way to the Coal Wash staging area, but just a couple of miles from Ferron they’d abruptly stopped. On the first big hill after the deep snow began, Cortney lost his forward momentum and couldn’t make it to the top. He gave it a couple more attempts, but there was just too much snow on the road. Since there was no place to turn around, we decided to back our trailers down the road to where it had been plowed, then unload the ATVs and ride them to Coal Wash. Backing has always been a challenge for me, but doing it with my tiny ATV trailer, in the snow, was terrible. Apparently it was worse for Cortney with his larger trailer with three ATVs on it, since on his way down he slid down off into the ditch on the side of the road into some very deep snow. We tried for quite some time to get him out–digging the snow out with shovels, shoveling dirt under his tires, etc.–but he was stuck good. I even dropped my trailer and got in front of him and tried pulling him out, but it wasn’t enough.

Slush puddleCort eventually dropped his trailer and was able to get his truck unstuck with a little finesse, but the trailer was still down in the ditch. I hitched my truck onto the trailer and was able to pull it out just enough to unload his ATVs, then I pulled the empty trailer up the hill and found a place to get turned around and met everyone else back where the road had been plowed. I got my ATVs unloaded and we set out once more, after considerable delay, toward Coal Wash. There had been only a couple of full-sized vehicles down that road since our last snow storm, so with our narrower tracks we were pushing a lot of snow on the way there. I had been taking up the rear, and I stopped once to get Bradley’s facemask out because his face was cold. When I caught up to the group again, they were stopped just beyond a big icy puddle that was taking up the entire width of the road. Cortney’s right-rear tire had lost some air and slipped off the rim, and he was attempting to re-seat the bead. He used a ratcheting strap around the circumference of the tire to pull it tight against the rim while he let his compressor run, and that was enough to get the tire re-seated and get us on our way again.
Icicles at the DripsFrom there it was an uneventful ride to Coal Wash, and by the time we passed the staging area there were no other tire tracks in the snow. We were the first ones to ride Coal Wash since it had snowed last, and it was pretty fun being out there in fresh snow. We got to the Drips and it was pretty much as we expected–a lot of icicles hanging off the cliff. I was kind of surprised to see that there was still a lot of flowing water and a good-sized unfrozen pool on the ground below. We took a lot of photos and ate lunch there, but due to how late it was, we didn’t press on any farther up Coal Wash. We made it back to the trucks, then back into town without any more problems. It was a fun day out with family and friends, and I hope to do it again soon.

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4 thoughts on “Coal Wash, the Drips

  1. I’m sure they make tire chains for both. I haven’t had much of a need for chains, except when pulling out stuck Dodge trucks. πŸ™‚ Seriously though, I can think of only a couple of times where chains would have been nice to have, but not 100% necessary.

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