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The Minotaur and the Mud-pit

 Sometimes you just have to take a chance.  I chose to return to camp on an unfamiliar road.  Actually I knew it looked OK on the high-altitude end, and the low-altitude end started graded and wide.  But one can get a 'sinking' feeling while ascending a mountain.  It was not confidence-building to have to cross a couple streams.

Think of all the $5.45/gallon gasoline disappearing into a 6.0 liter V8 engine.  This had better work.  The view was certainly nice towards the top.

Looking down on the Grande Ronde valley, Oregon.

Finally the road was starting to flatten out, and the forest had the same look as it did back at camp.  So I've made it!

Whoops. Ahead of me was 75 yards of axle-deep ruts in mud ooze.  There was no way to drive around it.  At least I am old and wise enough to not make matters worse by being stubborn and macho.  So I surrendered, but how?  There was no way to turn around.

I had to back up a quarter mile to a junction where I could do a three point turn. Every 25 feet or so, I had to jump out of the van and see where my tires were.

It feels so humiliating to retreat -- and so close to victory!  But it is remarkable how easy it is to retrace your route, especially downhill.  The bad spots are known to you.  The engine merely purrs.  The road keeps getting wider and smoother.

It makes you feel you are in the Greek legend of the Minotaur in the Labyrinth.  You remember the trick with the ball of string?  In this case, gravity was the string.

And how did the Little Cute One take all this?  She was running through the mud-pit while I was focusing on backing up. Back at camp, she got showered immediately.  Want proof?