Bog Runner Project Vehicle … In Development – High Level, Alberta

Bog Runner Project Vehicle ... In Development - High Level, Alberta

Bog Runner Project Vehicle … In Development – High Level, Alberta

5 Comments on “Bog Runner Project Vehicle … In Development – High Level, Alberta

  1. Interesting…. Tractor tires, no grill, sheet metal for a bumper, webbing on the front (which I’m not sure why), a bungee holding something on….

    • Definitely a vehicle in development, but also a vehicle that’s been tested before other creature comforts are gathered and added; the webbing on the front is most likely only to prevent dirt, mud and spray from entering the engine area. In winter you’ll find people working in the logging industry draping canvas over the front grill and under the engine compartment as a means not to lose heat at -40C and colder. The bungee stuff is old fire hose … strong schtuff for pulling vehicles, stronger than many nylon tow ropes. High Level is geographic center to both the largest forest in the world and to muskeg bog; it is named for being the highest level in relation to the surrounding water table.

      When I lived in Wood Buffalo National Park and came out to High Level for groceries this vehicle would have been useful. In June and September the road was greasy clay corduroy road and rarely was my Nissan Pathfinder tracking forward, more a sideways endeavor in the general direction of town; the 200 km trek could take from 3 to 12 hours depending on what happened with the road.

      Anyway … good, fun, older memories.

      • I got stuck on a greasy clay back road in Utah once. Just the right amount of dampness to make it slick as snot, and about a 5 degree slope. That was all it took.

      • Getting stuck – in my last year in Wood Buffalo National Park getting stuck was a regular humbling experience; whereas in the previous five years I’d been one who’d always make it through, my last year saw me and my second Nissan Pathfinder needing a tow or to be winched out of muck eight times by different people – the RCMP, the local first nation, other friends, guys who’d idle along through mud in their diesel one ton Ford … one was a former Vietnam Vet, an American Ranger. In one instance, a culvert had washed out leaving a twenty foot gap; a few of us worked at dropping six trees with chain saws and then positioning the trees across the gap to create two tracks for our wheels. We made it to High Level for last call in the Frontier Motor Inn. What was also remarkable were the friends who could take an old seventies station wagon, something like a Ford Country Squire and idle the vehicle through the 200km with minor and curious course deviations without stopping, always making it through.

        Greasy clay, slick as snot and a five degree slope; yes that has slowed me down some too. It did for others, too. I’d get out once in a while with the RCMP in small planes to search for people who hadn’t made it to destination or home. “Into each life a little rain must fall,” was one aphorism of Fort Vermilion’s RCMP Staff Sergeant – I’m sure he was speaking of moments we can’t always get out of.

        Utah – there’s been a few rusting relics to be photographed down that way; were you snapping photographs … perhaps landscapes?

      • No, actually I was in Utah guiding a back pack trip for the Sierra Club. We were doing our vehicle shuttle… driving and distributing vehicles between the in and take out points. We were on a “legitimate” road (it had a Route number) and stopped. It’s been too many years and cannot remember why, but we did. Then when we went to move again, one car was on that spot I described and wouldn’t move. Just rather started slipping sideways. I cannot remember what we finally did to get it moving, but I do remember being covered with wet clay, so assuming several of us pushed.

        Another trip I did I was there early because I needed to scout a few possible exit routes out of the canyons – I specialized in canyoneering, especially slot canyons. So I found a BLM ranger to assist me and show me a few alternatives. He drove. A front wheel drive small pickup. When we were hiking out the slot to return to the truck, the winds had picked up horribly – and I was wearing hard contact lenses then. The sand was blowing in my eyes so bad, I literally couldn’t keep them open. I kid you not… I had to walk along holding his arm with my eyes closed like a blind person. He had to tell me when to step up, what was coming etc.

        So, we make it back to the truck. On the way out, we had to drive through a very soft section of loose sand. Well, Ranger “Bob” got stuck. And when trying to get out, only managed to succeed in burying his tires in the sand all the way up to the hub caps. So we dig them out. Throw tumbleweed under them, sticks, brush, whatever we could find. Didn’t work. Buried again. Dug again. Kept trying. No luck. And we are at least 10 miles from the nearest paved road with traffic, and sun was setting. Hiking to the road was becoming a very awful possibility – and I had to get up early the next morning to meet my hikers.

        Then, ol’ Ranger “Bob” here in all his wisdom, remembered he had an old remnant of carpet in the bed of the pickup (it had a cover – he’d use it to sleep in from time to time when in the back country). Gee, now you mention it “Bob.” So we pull the carpet out, throw it under the back tires, and I pushed. I told him that if he gets going, don’t worry about me… I’ll jump in the back. If I can’t then do NOT stop until you hit hard dirt.

        It worked. Finally, out to there. Needless to say, I did NOT use that exit route.

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