It's been a while and I have lots of stuff to add to the blog, but I thought I'd get this one in while it was still fresh.
While our niece, Kaleigh, was visiting ( more on that later ), we worked our way through some back roads to a place called Robber's Roost. Supposedly, it was named that because robbers and bootleggers hid there and could have a clear view across the landscape to see anyone approaching. It was a really cool spot but not for the faint of heart. Kaleigh was ahead of us and had branched off to climb to the top of the formation. Meanwhile, Judy and I hit what looked like the end of the trail as the next steps would bring us along a very narrow, slanted bit of slip rock with a wall on one side and a 150 foot, or so, drop on the other. I said this can't be it. I wanted no part of those few steps as I couldn't see what was around the corner. We eventually found Kaleigh. She wanted to take another look at the narrow path and, after some preliminary scouting, convinced me that it got a bit wider and flatter around the corner. She went ahead and I gingerly made my way across the narrow path behind her and, sure enough, it got flatter and brought us to a unique sight. There was a cave with a stone wall in front and a natural window looking out over the area. Here is Kaleigh making her way along the wide portion of slip rock and then sitting in the window.
On our way back to town, we took another back road and saw a white pickup and yellow tent out in the wilderness. We made a wide circle around it and worked our way up a rocky, narrow trail.
This is when it happened. I must have hit a good sized rock and slid into a tree root because I felt a bump, heard a thump and then SSSSSSSSSSssssssssss. I drove another 10' or so to get on level land and by then my tire was totally flat. I had cut a 2" long gash in the sidewall of the right rear tire. We were about 20 miles from civilization, but luckily I had two terrific helpers who offered all kinds of advice and assistance.
At this point the white pickup came up the trail behind us. I started to wave it around but a woman stepped out to say she had seen us go up the hill and stop and she was just checking on us. She told us her life story in about 15 minutes. She was out camping to meditate and fast, in preparation for doing her thesis on Art Therapy. She said she used to live in Phoenix but got fed up with city life, sold her Harley and moved to Jackson Hole for the peaceful solitude. For someone who wanted a solitary existance in the middle of nowhere, she sure talked a lot.
Last but not least, here is the flat mounted on the back of the Jeep with a pencil sticking through the sidewall. I sent this photo to my brother John, at Sullivan Tire, so he could give me an idea how badly I was going to get screwed when replacing the tire.