Montana Outdoors

January 12, 2014

Stream crossing

Filed under: Arizona, Superstition Mountains — Tags: — montucky @ 10:07 pm

Stream crossing

During the years we lived in the Phoenix valley we spent a lot of time in the desert and one place to which we returned many times was a Jeep trail that led far back into the Superstition Mountains. A small dirt road gave access to the start of the Jeep tail after a few miles from the highway and at the start of the trail it was necessary to cross a wash which was normally dry. After a storm it could quite different and sometimes challenging as the photo from 1974 shows.


  1. Oh…the driver must know it isn’t going to get too deep?
    Can Jeeps float? If the water gets any higher, I think it might stall out. Eeek!


    Comment by Mary Strong-Spaid — January 12, 2014 @ 10:10 pm

    • I knew that wash very well and have driven through it when it was running much deeper than that. You really have to know the capability of your vehicle. Sometimes in similar cases I would wade through to make sure a deep hole hadn’t developed. I also winched many, many vehicles out of it! When it was running deep I always went with a friend so we had two vehicles and could help each other if necessary.


      Comment by montucky — January 12, 2014 @ 10:51 pm

  2. Yikes! That would make me REALLY nervous! Wading through first is probably a good idea.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 12, 2014 @ 11:13 pm

    • It takes a few trips to get used to the experience and some skill driving a 4 X 4, and walking through a new crossing before driving is always a good idea although sometimes a cold one.


      Comment by montucky — January 12, 2014 @ 11:27 pm

      • Better than getting one wheel stuck in a very deep washed out hole. I suppose there’s always the come-along winch. Hope there are trees on the other side.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — January 13, 2014 @ 12:10 am

        • That Land Cruiser had an 8000 lb PTO winch on the front. I used it only once to pull myself out and many dozen times for other people.


          Comment by montucky — January 13, 2014 @ 12:49 am

  3. That looks exciting, and the photo is great, it doesn’t look like it was taken in 1974, it doesn’t look old – Superstition mountains is another place I’ve read about and would like to visit


    Comment by Mike Howe — January 13, 2014 @ 2:37 am

  4. That would be fun as long as you knew the depth of the stream. From what I’ve heard it’s amazing how fast those dry stream beds can fill with water.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — January 13, 2014 @ 5:19 am

    • Yes, I’ve seen the stream come thundering down a wash. This one was very predictable, but only after the storm was over and the surges had gone down. We became trapped by one one time and had to leave our Jeep in a higher spot for a few days


      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2014 @ 7:47 pm

  5. A classic vehicle!


    Comment by centralohionature — January 13, 2014 @ 5:24 am

    • It was! That was a 1972 Land Cruiser that we bought brand new for only $4500. Sold it 10 years later for $4000.


      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2014 @ 7:48 pm

  6. Eek! That looks a bit scary!


    Comment by TheDailyClick — January 13, 2014 @ 5:33 am

  7. Sounds like you knew what you were doing, but it still looks rather unnerving.


    Comment by seekraz — January 13, 2014 @ 7:43 am

    • We did that quite a bit, and the experiences we got from them were valuable a few times when the circumstances were more threatening.


      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

  8. Local knowledge is a wonderful thing! Dry water crossings in the Texas Hill Country can present their own challenges, and I’ve chosen to stay put a time or two. Combine a Toyota Corolla with 3′ of water over the road and it surely is a time for discretion rather than valor stupidity.


    Comment by shoreacres — January 13, 2014 @ 12:54 pm

    • Yes, you have to know the area and the conditions very well to do that… and test the footing before committing to it. So many folks get into trouble by guessing and guessing wrong. If it’s a place where a test wade lets me know I don’t want to wade through it, then it’s clearly no place to drive.


      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

  9. Hi Montucky, You sure were brave! I accidentally floated on a South Dallas suburban street a long time ago during a severe thunderstorm. Had to actually drive onto the sidewalk just to get back on solid ground. Never again! Nice picture! Have a fine day tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — January 13, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

    • Driving through water can be interesting no matter how you do it. I’ve hydroplaned on the highway at high speeds too and greatly prefer driving through a stream in a 4 X 4!


      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2014 @ 10:36 pm

  10. That is so cool, I can feel the fear and the panic of not making and the exhilaration when you do. What a wonderful photo.


    Comment by Charlie@Seattle Trekker — January 13, 2014 @ 10:27 pm

    • Yes, there can be that too. One time a hunting buddy and I went crossed that stream early in the morning and hunted about 15 miles up the Jeep trail in an all day rain, not thinking much about the wash. When we got back to it on the way out, there was about a foot and a half more water in it than the day in this photo. That was an “iffy” feeling that day!


      Comment by montucky — January 13, 2014 @ 10:38 pm

  11. It looks very scary, but I’m sure that like most 4Wd’s you would be skilled in river crossings.

    My Father’s property up in the mountains can only be accessed via 4WD over the river and he has mentioned its levels waxing and waning with the seasons.


    Comment by Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) — January 14, 2014 @ 6:20 am

    • There have been many! I’m old enough to remember some of the minor roads around here had fords to drive through the smaller streams instead of very expensive bridges. And in the days before cars, horse and wagon did it all of the time. Judgement, common sense and discretion used to work quite well.


      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2014 @ 8:19 pm

  12. That looks like a fun adventure!


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — January 14, 2014 @ 7:53 pm

    • Streams and mud were the places our kids liked the most. In their early years they had plenty of both!


      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2014 @ 8:20 pm

      • I still enjoy streams and mud! Thank you for that! ❤


        Comment by Anonymous — March 10, 2014 @ 8:32 pm

        • Sorry, “anonymous” is your daughter, but I’m sure you gathered that from what I said. Hehe. Love you!


          Comment by Anonymous — March 10, 2014 @ 8:34 pm

  13. So many inexperienced people try in it the washes here after the monsoons and wind up having to get help from the police, etc. Taht would be embarrassing especially since they charge you for it if you were taking an unnecessary chance.


    Comment by Candace — January 14, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

    • Yes, I’ve seen that far too many times in the years we spent in the desert. I pulled out a lot of vehicles on the back roads and trails, but the worst were where people tried to drive through deep, swift water that crossed the highways. Those seldom turned out well.


      Comment by montucky — January 14, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

  14. Guess you’re a brave-heart to plow through that stream. Why do they call it Superstition Mountains?


    Comment by Mary Gilmartin — January 15, 2014 @ 8:07 am

    • The area containing what we now call the “Superstition Mountains” has had human inhabitants for around 9000 years, various Indian tribes migrants from Mexico, gold miners and present day adventurers. Throughout that time many strange events occurred there and hundreds of legends formed and have been continued even today. I remember when I lived in the area back in the 1970’s being warned that my visits into the Superstition Wilderness were very dangerous because of various bands of wild and lawless “Vaqueros” who reportedly were living there.

      I’ve read that the name became more or less official in the mid to late 1800’s because all of the stories and fears of the Pima Indians about the suspected goings-on in the area caused the farmers who settled in the farmland at their base to be superstitious about them.


      Comment by montucky — January 15, 2014 @ 8:21 pm

  15. To me this is wow-photo. I love it very much. Some humor – You got free car wash! 🙂


    Comment by Sartenada — January 24, 2014 @ 1:14 am

  16. Yikes!!!


    Comment by Watching Seasons — February 7, 2014 @ 12:15 pm

  17. YIKES!


    Comment by Bo Mackison — March 21, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

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