Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Back Country Wildflower Hunting After A Series of Big Storms: There Is No Joy in Mudville...

Why I need 4WD High Clearance...With so much rain in recent days and more to come, Spring wildflower hunting can get trecherous.  Even paved roads can get washed out and dirt roads can turn into rivers of mud that are virtually impenetrable by any kind of vehicle. 

Chances are, it's going to take a couple of weeks for the flowers to show after these latest storms anyway.  By then, the roads should be at least somewhat dry and passable with care.  With luck, they'll get freshly graded so rock falls, trees and other hazards are out of the way. 

Of course, if someone with a huge vehicle drives through them while they're still muddy, you could be facing something like the road depicted here.  Even dry, negotiating this in my Corolla was quite the challenge!

Unless you have a 4x4 with high clearance, wait until things have a chance to dry out thoroughly.  And even if you do want to be adventurous and test the limits of those all terrain tires, make sure to check locally for the latest road conditions.  It is not fun to get stuck.  Be safe out there!