Ok, this post will start off a little odd. You see I bought a shovel. Why did I buy a shovel, because it will look cool. Ok, let me explain. Ashley and I wanted a tow vehicle that was 4wd capable and needed to be in our budget of next to free. We ended up trading our 1990 Miata for a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. It has been a welcome addition to the family, but not without it’s issues. We have whipped it into shape and really enjoy having it. But what would a Jeep be without a few off roading accessories. But this is where Ashley and I had a difference of opinion about our fun little Jeep. You see she refers to it as a “princess” Jeep, one that is made to go from this baseball practice to that dance recital and so on. Basically Ashley views it as a 4×4 minivan. I on the other hand see it for what it is, not a lifted Wrangler, but as a fairly capable off-road vehicle with limitations. So I decided to purchase a basket for the top of the roof to carry a second spare tire in. As you can see below.
The next step in true off road awesomeness would have to be a shovel and an axe strapped to the side of the basket. So off to Lowe’s I went to acquire the “required” equipment. The plan was simple I was going to instantly take my Jeep from soccer-mom to badass mobile in just a few short minutes. Needless to say Ashley made fun of me, asking “when the heck are you ever going to need a shovel and an axe.” She even offered to buy me a plastic one as it would be more appropriate. But despite her ribbing I kept the shovel and the axe and threw them into the rear cargo area to be installed at a later date.
Fast forward to just a few days ago here are an amazing location in Lone Rock Beach, UT I needed that shovel!
Lone Rock is an amazing place located just north of Page, AZ near Big Water, UT. The only issue with Lone Rock is that the roads are very sandy, except for one main hard packed gravel road that runs down the center. Being a chicken I stayed to the main drag and found a place close to the road to setup camp without incident.
A few days into our stay I received a startling knock at the door. I opened the door to find a guy asking if I had of all things…… a shovel. I looked back at Ashley and then back at who I would later meet as Blake, and said as a matter of fact I do!
Blake explained that he and his wife Brittany had become ensnared in a sand trap on the road over from us. So I hopped in the Jeep and met him at his entrenched rig. It was a small RV, what he referred to as a B+, not quite a van camper, but not a full blown Class C either. It is a really neat option for a couple like Blake and Brittany. I met Brittany and their two pups Huckleberry and Teddy when I arrived with my trusty shovel. To make a long story short, after a few hours of shoveling, two broken tie-down straps, a bunch of laughs two things happened. One we met two really nice people that we are happy to call friends, and two we realized that we suck at removing a RV that is stuck in the sand and gave up and called AAA, which by the way had Blake out in about 3 mins. The driver looked and us and asked, isn’t it a little cold to be at the lake? I turned to Brittany and said, “that is his way of telling us that we are stupid.” So what is the moral of the story, the dang shovel. Without it we would have never had a chance to get to know Blake and Brittany, the girls would not have had a chance to ride on a stand up paddle board on Lake Powell in December, and we would not had a chance to meet such great people.
You can meet Blake and Brittany and hear about their big adventure living full time on the road in their Class B+ at http://campsomewhere.blogspot.com/
It all ends with this, sometimes it is good to have a shovel.
Author: Zachary Rackovan
I am a 33 year old father of two amazing daughters! I am lucky to be married to the most amazing wife in the world. I am a retired Detective and currently pursuing my dream of living on the road with my family, while working as a professional photographer. My work can be found at www.abi-photo.com/art