Sometimes going sideways is a good thing, usually not

by Bruce Bergman

If you have sufficient forward momentum, some traction (4WD with LSD or Locking devices) and a fairly reliable surface (no gotchas like 1000' drop-offs, Rivers or Lakes, boulders, etc) sometimes choosing Sideways under some sort of control is better than Stucked and going nowhere - but you have to be working your ass off to find a way to solid ground pronto.

This is how you drive someone else's clapped out Subaru Brat with partly aired down street tires out in the soft sand at Pismo Beach - if you stop in a bad spot like the leeward side of the dune, you're dead, so you know not to stop moving till you get back to the hard-pack sand at the surf line.

YOU DO NOT do this in snow or mud unless you are intimately familiar with the terrain underneath the traction altering substance, that's how you find that Fireplug hiding underneath the snow the hard way - and a witness post isn't going to help if it's buried too. Worse, most of those hidden obstructions don't have marker posts (unless it's your land and you are obsessive about such things), and trying to recall that 'memory photograph' from last summer in that much detail is flat out impossible.

Posted on Jan 6, 2018, 10:30 AM

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