Topic: Check the Road Ahead
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Sometimes driving your Sport Utility Vehicle blindly down 4 wheel drive roads is not a very good idea. There are situations where you should get out and walk a bit to check the condition of the road ahead.

If you are embarking down a road that has not been used in a long time, be cautious. There is often a good reason the road is not being used. If the road is littered with pine needles and leaves or there are no recent signs of other vehicle tire tracks, get out and start walking. Whatever you do, never drive down a steep 4 wheel drive road that looks unused! Your vehicle may not be able to climb back up the hill. Walk down the road for awhile to assure that the road is passable and that there areas where you can turn around.

The middle and bottom photographs show an example of a real problem area. Our SUV driver has traveled down a steep, narrow, seldom used, 4 wheel drive road only to find the creek has washed out the bridge. And there is no place to turn around at the bottom! The only way out for this driver is to back up a very steep hill, for over 1/2 mile. This will be impossible to do, even for the most experienced off-road enthusiasts

If you do get stuck in this situation, do the following. Hike out to the nearest telephone. Call a logging company and hire them to come in with a big caterpillar tractor to make a clearing for you so you can turn around. Be prepared for a wait of several weeks and be prepared to pay them several thousand dollars for their time and effort.

Better yet, if you have any doubts about the road you are traveling, either find another route or get out and hike the road long enough to assure yourself that you are going to be able to get back out.
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