As we woke up at 4 a.m., it was still dark out. The thermometer couldn’t decide if it was below zero or if it had warmed up to zero. We were getting ready to go wheeling.
Some background: We’d gotten into Denver between two massive snow storms and raced the second one up into the mountains near Vail, Colorado, to watch the Our Gang Ice races (if you have time, you should check it out). We got to see the ice races, and the second storm turned out to only drop an inch or two of the white stuff, so it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. However, a third storm was right behind it and was due to shut the area down for a couple of days with expected snowfall of at least a foot.
Still, we’d been planning on going snow-bashing at the North Sand Hills OHV area for months, and we weren’t about to let something like a little storm get in the way. Besides, we were kind of sure we’d be able to get in, go wheeling, and get out before the storm hit. Fortunately, most of the guys who we were slated to go with agreed, and we still had our trail run story. So we jumped in TnT Custom’s big yellow JK with Bob Levenhagen driving and headed out.
Did you notice the “sand” in the OHV’s name? Yeah, we were heading out to go wheeling on snow-covered sand dunes. Floatation and power were to be the name of the game that day or we’d end up with lots of really, really stuck Jeeps. Unlike wheeling on normal ground, if you dig through the 3 or 4 feet of snow, then there is limitless sand that your tires can dig into. And remember that incoming storm? Yeah, it was due in a matter of hours.
We weren’t concerned though. A lot of the drivers and Jeeps we went out there with were veterans to the area, knew the spots the smaller Jeeps could go, and knew the spots the bigger Jeeps had to clear paths through first. Even though the temperature never got out of the teens, it was a great day wheeling, and we only lost one transmission. Did we escape before the snow hit? Read on.