Iron Fens, a Lunch Date and a Pebble

The intended plan was to drive up to the gate to the Iron Fens up Geneva Creek, and do the easy 2.5 mile hike to the fens and finish in time to meet my sister for lunch in Georgetown at 2 pm, about 30+ minutes down the other side of Guanella pass. We met in Bailey at 9, and it was probably about 45 minutes to get to the trail head, and the hike would probably take less than 2 hours. But noooooo, that was NOT how it went down.

I have a 2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk which is a very nimble vehicle to 4 wheel in, and it has new shocks, struts and brakes. We left Rona’s car at the parking lot at the Duck Creek Picnic area and loaded her dogs in the back with Xena to drive up the bumpy road that deteriorates as one heads up to the top. We were only going about a quarter of the way up. The road was in pretty bad shape with huge, deep puddles covering the entire width. No problem for my nimble trail hawk, until right after the biggest, deepest puddle. The jeep started to make the most unnerving screeching sound that came from the wheels. Shit, did the brakes or shocks fail? I drove a little and people on the side of the road in their camping spots were saying how bad my car sounded. I had no idea what was wrong, so I parked it and we decided to walk up to the trailhead to the fens.

In hindsight, as I add up the time it would have taken to do the original plan, it would have been a little tight to do everything I had originally planned. What was I thinking when I thought we could hike up to the trailhead to the fens. The problem was that I wasn’t thinking. I was actually delusional, thinking that time would bend to my intentions. Recently, I’ve been studying ADHD, and one of the symptoms is something called time blindness, where one does not have a realistic perception of how long things take. So instead of having a nice, fun, relaxing hike, I was berating myself with my thoughts and rushing down as fast as I could to somehow make the lunch date with my sister. Another frustrating thing was that I knew there was no cell service where we were hiking. My relationship with my sister is rather fragile and I felt awful about leaving her in the lurch. I also would have felt bad not getting Rona to the Iron Fens. Where in reality, she would have been fine if we planned it another day and just futzed around a little with the dogs. I’m definitely a work in progress.

We got to the car, and I had hoped that things on my car dried off and that the sound would be gone. No such luck. We drove down a little and another set of campers said, “Your car sounds really bad!” I agreed. We asked if we could get a ride to Rona’s car and a sweet, Jesus loving man named Mike offered to take us to the car, but it would take 2 trips as it was only a 2 seated “side by side.” A side by side is like a four wheelin’ spider, much more nimble than even the most souped up Jeep Rubicon. For some silly reason I sent Rona off with her smaller dog and I kept Xena and her puppy. So I walked up the road and asked Mike to give us a ride as well. Looking into the cab I knew It was gonna be a challenge fitting us all in. Kobe rode between me and Mike and my 75 pound Xena who had recently jumped in puddles was on my lap. Riding in this vehicle was fun – more fun for Rona and her little dog, but I still laughed a lot about the absurdity of this crazy scenario.

Rona gave me a ride home and I called Scott, my spouse, car guy extraordinaire and said there was something wrong with my car and that it was on the road in the Duck Creek Campground area. He came right home from work and we headed up there in his more sporty Jeep Rubicon. We splashed through the puddles easily and I laughed as I always do when splashing through puddles. We got to my jeep and after figuring out where the sound was coming from and he jacked up the car and removed a garbanzo bean sized pebble that was lodged between my rotor and backing plate. Fixed in less than 10 minutes. I was so relieved that I didn’t have to arrange for a tow truck to get out there. So my Trailhawk, Roxy redeemed herself and we happily splashed through the puddles on our way out.

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