It was a beautiful Saturday morning, the weekend before Thanksgiving, 2006. Some friends had come down out of the high country to catch some warmer weather and run a few of the local trails. I had gotten an e-mail earlier in the week asking if I wanted to join in on the fun. Sure! It would be good to see the guys and there was even a BBQ scheduled later in the day when we wrapped up the rock crawling at Table Mesa.
You have to understand that I stayed up really late Friday night prepping the TJ….and I mean really late. I got very little sleep (had to be at the trail head at 7:00 AM) and my TJ got even less. To say that we were both dead tired when the alarm clock went off would be a big understatement. With all that in mind, let’s get on with the trail run.
I was working my way down the trail when all of a sudden, that warm Phoenix winter sun and the fresh air, combined with almost no sleep the previous night, caught me completely off guard. Rich was behind me on the trail and gave me a courtesy call on the CB to see if I was sleeping.
Sure enough, my Jeep and I had both dozed off at the most inopportune time. I was traversing a “V” notch in the rock when the TJ got so tired she just kind of slid down into the notch, laid over on her side, and started catch 40 winks. I wasn’t paying attention and so when all forward progress stopped, I just kind of relaxed in that nice warm sun and was sawing logs in nothing flat. I was so embarrassed when Rich woke me up. Never had we nodded off in the middle of a trail run. Sure glad I wasn’t leading this one….at least the guys up front didn’t catch us sleeping on the job.
As I crept forward….trying to sneak back into formation before anyone else was the wiser, we kept leaning further and further over to the side. I think Lady was damn near under the influence and had I not known better, I would have thought someone may have tried to spike her coolant. It was no use….she was so relaxed by now that she was really leaning over with her rear passenger tire in the air. Luckily the side slider bars kept the rocks from getting into the body and the flare got just a couple of light scratches.
By now, Rich had let the cat out of the bag. Before we know it, Lady is being shaken side to side, trying to get her to wake up. She felt like a drunk passed out on a park bench, being hassled by the cop on his local beat. I was trying to explain to the guys that she was really tired (like me) and that if they could just push the snooze button so we could get five more minutes of sack time, all would be good.
No way….I couldn’t talk them into it. Lady reluctantly rolled back over onto her tires and I got myself repositioned in the seat and off we went. The guys up front were looking back to see what was happening but as far as I know, they never caught on. When asked later what had happened, I told them that I was doing product testing on the side sliders and was checking to make sure there was proper clearance between the bar and the body panel. (grin)
The remainder of the trail was quite uneventful. Tired as we were, we both managed to stay awake and didn’t have to test out the armour again.