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Driving Trails - Muddy Escape Pics & Video

4010 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  futameca
I had quite a driving adventure Saturday. :play:

I went Geocaching in Land Between the Lakes in KY/TN and headed back lots of old and sometimes poorly maintained dirt and gravel trails. Most of the day was smooth sailing, just being careful not to hit chunk rocks or tree limbs, but I unintentionally found a hole the Escape didn't want to power on through.

I had passed a difficult spot in the road with deep muddy ruts to find a downhill grade with some more rutting, so I decided to back up and just park at the top of the hill, since it was only 150ft or so to my destination. Well in the process of trying to reverse my track I slipped into the ruts and got temporarily stuck. I had friends with me so I had help filling in the ruts with nearby fallen tree limbs and such. After some back and forth, finally got on top the filler and out of the rut, but I still had to go down the hill and turn around. I maneuvered a lot coming up trying to stay out of the ruts, leaning the Escape on it's side and getting up on the opposite bank, but always sliding back into the rut. We filled that rut at the place I was hung before and the Escape tracked right up the hill and out. I would have loved to had video of all this, but in the process of trying to get out and not be seriously stuck in the middle of nowhere, none of us thought to film it.

For a mechanically stock Escape on road tires, I was impressed. I had to ride it hard sometimes, but it came out the other side covered in mud and looking like a real 4X4. :D

Here are photos and soon I'll post a video of me going down one of the trails.

Before getting stuck:



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Well the quality was better but somehow didn't do so well after the upload.

megascape said:
Do you think 4LO would have got you out of the mud or do you think even with 4LO you'd be stuck?
It's hard to tell.
Do you know how to do the gas tap and brake method? It works pretty good..
Not sure if 4LO would have helped a lot, but I'm sure it couldn't have hurt if only to reduce stress on my clutch. I had to rev the engine to get the wheels to spin, and once they did it was a pretty fast spin, so being able to slow it down might have helped, my tires were grabbing okay it seemed, I was bottomed out on the top of the rut and not getting enough weight on the wheels.

As for the brake tap method I did know about it but didn't think to try it while I was stuck there. It could possibly have helped, but my biggest issue at that time was ground clearance.

What got me out is filling the ruts with fallen tree trunks and limbs. We tried backing up and pulling forward, but I could only move about a foot either direction with my friend trying to push and hopping on the back. At that point we just started filling the ruts with as much as we could find, once we got what we thought was enough in there, I hopped in, hit the gas, and it came right out.

At that point I still had to go down the hill, turn around, and come back through it again. I tried to stay out if the rut, but I couldn't stay out of it for as far as I needed to go. But while I was trying to get up the hill and not get in the rut, my friend moved most of the filler into that rut I had to come back through, and then waved me to come up the hill and got out of my way, so I held it in 1st and kept my momentum all the way to the top and back through the mud.
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Thanks everyone. :D

oskerb said:
I need to head out there I still havent gotten a chance to get out there. Where did you go?
The video shows the Northern section of Road 342, the rest of the roads I drove that day were pretty much south of there, working my way into TN and eventually back out to the Trace.
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