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August 2010 4xForward

Posted in Features on August 1, 2010
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Photographers: Rick Péwé

Creatures Of Habit
If you think the photo looks familiar, you're right. I stop at the Dairy Café in Bluff, Utah, every year while coming back from Moab. It's one of my favorite road trip stops and the only one I consistently visit for the food, ambiance, and friendliness. The gas part is long gone, since the pumps won't register over $3 a gallon, but Fay Belle and daughter Nancy are always a delight to visit with. I just wish it could be more than an hour's respite on my way back to what we call civilization. But on the other hand, as creatures of habit we tend to repeat many actions, good or bad, again and again. For better or worse and either through laziness or lack of foresight, we tend to trap ourselves into patterns that may not be doing us any good.

For instance, take some of the trails in Moab or anywhere else around the country. I've done some of those trails so many times that I can honestly say, "Oh, not again." And somehow that's wrong, as any day in the dirt is better than a day in the office or at work. But having a bit of variety in some form or fashion sure gets the juices flowing, that look in the eye that makes you want to go down the trail again.

Fortunately two things won't change: Dirt Every Day (D.E.D) adventures, and stopping by the Dairy Café. There's more than enough variety in both of those activities that it just doesn't get any better. Our latest D.E.D. tour took us 500 miles through the wilds of Arizona and California, and you can read about it in next month's issue. As for the Dairy Café, with luck I can make it there a few more times a year, or at least until I've tried everything on the menu. Now that would be a challenge! Check them out at

So that's why you see me in a bone-stock 60-year-old 4x4 without lockers, winches, tops, or doors. By getting rid of those driving aids I find a whole new experience in wheeling. Well, not exactly new, as that is how I started my 4x4 career, but it sure is fun to try obstacles with 31s instead of 42-inch-tall tires. It brings back the skills I've let languish by having too many fancy-ass parts and products bolted onto my do-anything vehicles. And even though I may be towing that hacked-out ride with a giga-dollar tow rig, rest assured that I'd rather be doing it all on dirt, every day, if I had the time.

For me, I've found that changing trail rigs is one way to mix it up a bit. That keeps me sharp and on my toes instead of being complacent in my point-and-shoot ride, which I've honed to what I call perfection.

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