Ranger Kathryn's Arches

April 15, 2011

“Speed is your enemy; gears are your friends”

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:47 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This vehicle is way older than I am. Perhaps it wouldnt have gotten stuck here if it had had a 4-Low.

The vehicle lurched into 4-Low as I moved the shifter thingy on the floor during our training. I cringed when the rear axle pumpkin scraped on a rock, but at least I didn’t high-center it. Please don’t laugh; I’m learning another new skill.

I know that if I’m off road and the conditions warrant the use of it, I can shift my work truck into 4WD. I know not to crank my wheels, and to please put the transmission in neutral before shifting into or out of 4-Low. I know the scraping sound that tells me I chose a poor line. I know not to slow down in soft sand, and that if I do get stuck I can let air out of my tires for about 15 seconds each to get better traction. In conversation I can casually mention “4:1 gear ratios” and “axle lock.” I can repeat the mantra that was the theme of our training, now the post’s title. Preparedness is good, although I’ll probably not need to drive much in 4-Low for the type of work I am doing this season.

With a backpacking trip to a remote wilderness area coming up next week, and the realization that 4WD opens up a great deal more backcountry to me than my Prius does, I have a new appreciation for specialized equipment that is designed to get you where ordinary wheels won’t.


  1. This is such a milestone! It won’t be long before you start counting your cylinders!!!! lawnmower, 1. motorcycle, 2. truck, 8. prius, well i’m not sure on that, don’t even know if it qualifies. JUst remember, he (she) who dies with the most cylinders, wins!

    Comment by john — April 16, 2011 @ 6:37 am | Reply

    • My water bottle is the only cylinder I care about…

      Comment by Kathryn Burke — April 16, 2011 @ 11:42 am | Reply

  2. Kathryn,
    I have a similar vehicle sitting in front of my house…headed to the salvage yard on Monday if no one comes forth with cash to show their appreciation! Looking forward to your next adventure…Chichi

    Comment by Chichi Mosher — April 16, 2011 @ 10:22 pm | Reply

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