Joe Ruby and I were wrapping up the 2nd day of our two day Jeep trip in the Bloody Basin area. Our friend, Joe Jones, had talked with us the previous day via ham radio and indicated he might try to hook up with us on day #2.
As Joe and I were retracing our track out of Red Creek, Joe Jones called on the radio. He was about 90 minutes away and was wondering were we were. We met up with each other near the start of the Red Creek Jeep trail. After a short lunch, we proceeded North to the Childs hydro plant via Forest Road 16 (Tonto National Forest). It is a 26 mile trail that cuts through some desolate country but scenic country.
All total, Joe Jones had driven 50+ miles of forest trail by the time we had arrived at the Verde River. The fastest route back to Phoenix started on the opposite side of the river, and he was pressed for time. Lucky for him, there is a ford at this point and we had talked with another off-roader who had crossed earlier in the day. So, Joe aimed his Suzuki at the opposite bank and headed off in a straight line for the distant shore.
These photos tell the rest of the story. I left the zoom on my digital camera at the same setting for all of the pictures, so you could get an idea of the distance across. Although I did not keep track, the elapsed time was somewhere between 60 and 120 seconds, per the time stamp of the digital photos.
Joe and his passenger are about 15 yards off shore. The water is lapping at his rear bumper.
Things are getting a bit deeper. The bumper is gone, and the pitch angle
shows the Suzuki going for deeper water. If you look just below the left
corner of his red license plate, you can see exhaust bubbles
making there way to the surface.
This was the deepest point of the crossing. The water is about 2″ below the
bottom of the rim on his spare tire.
He is almost there.
Joe yells back across the river that all is OK.
We gave him a call on the ham radio to get a status of the crossing. Joe said the water came into the Suzuki pretty fast, since he didn’t have the floor drain plugs installed. I think he got a bit of water in through the door and tailgate seals as well.