Angle to the dangle…Or how to get your Gator on…

The laws of physics apply wherever you are.  At home, in the workplace in the woods. Never fails and never changes.


So we take the “Gator” our all terrain vehicle down into the bowels of the deep dark woods. We checked with the Ranger to make sure the trail was passable and he gave us the thumbs up. So off we go… We spend the day clearing the trail and save about and hour of our normal time to make it back to the compound be for all the Rangers leave for the day. Note that the Rangers do not leave until everyone has checked in…

We knew it was going to be a hard climb back up the switchbacks and planned for that. What we could not plan for is how slick the trail really was. We knew one area was going to be a challenge but a not four or five!

The very first “slick” switchbacks we thought would be a breeze for the terrain monster was a total fail. Up two feet and slide back three. Up four feet and slide back five. CRAP. Out comes the four letter word: winch. I know it is five but at the time it was four letters.

The most important thing about a winch out job is not the angle to the dangle, but the fact you have something to latch on to.. We had lots of trees at great angles. Now we can apply our superior knowledge to angle/dangling to the immobile “never get stuck” Gator. Here is our first “up” .

You can barely see the back of the Gator in this picture. It was real steep. Then we winch the other direction…

Notice the cable running from the tree to the Gator. And finally for THIS turn up a few more feet…

Many thanks to Heather the “cable master” of the day. She actually pulled the Gator by hand when there was no tree to latch on to. We were at the “pivot” spot on a turn and needed just a touch of pull to get over… Go Heather!

Repeat this procedure about four or five times. Around four or five corners… What should have taken us about 30 minutes to climb took about an hour. We got to the top just in time to notify the Rangers that we were on the way.

Of course the last step in any Gator/winch maneuver is to hide the evidence…

Hosting at a state park boring?

Never! Perhaps for the normal park host. We are not normal. Nothing we do is normal.

And that’s just “normal” for us…


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