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Mr.T

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Posts: 40
 #31 
A good reply, David. 

One practical driving tip for next time:  When a road gets rough with the potential for not turning around or backing up; stop.  Get out and walk it, assess the odds, how you might improve the odds, and what is the backup plan.  Don't go further without a reasonable plan for success.  Back up or turn around if it's beyond your capabilities before getting stuck and damaged.

This general theme works with a lot of things -- More adventure, less risk.

Best of luck,

[smile]
uhrdavid
 #32 
BTW, Mr. T, you asked a question, so I will oblige: 

"Rather than renting and thinking insurance would cover anything, would you have driven the same if you paid cash for that new Camry, or rented it from a friend?"

The only thing that I can tell you about this "ethical" question that you posed is this: I was in a spot where I needed to make a definite decision. I needed to decide what the best course of action was. I made that decision and it was clearly the wrong one. I explained my train of though in my blog posting, and that is as truthful as I can be about it. I wish that the car had belonged to me, instead of being a rental. When the majority of the damage was being done to the car, I was more worried about getting through the situation than I was about the monetary concerns. I had assumed that insurance would not cover the damages, and was momentarily relieved when I was talking to the insurance company, thinking that I had caught a huge break. To me, this is not an ethical question. At the time, I thought that I was doing what I needed to do to get us to a safer spot. I did not know about the Lippencott Pass, nor did I know that the road would get worse. I optimistically had convinced myself that things would clear up, and that the worst was behind us, and freely admit that I was wrong to do this. 

Also, I am not ashamed to post this story online. It is a part of my story and life and I feel only the proper shame that someone should feel after making a mistake. If future employers or landlords would see this story and judge me for it, that is their prerogative, and I would not hide it from them. If they would use it as a means to keep me from working with them or residing at their residence, than clearly it would not be the place for me. Fortunately, everyone aside from the people on this board and boards like it have understood the situation much like I did, just after it happened and have given me their support and understanding. I can appreciate how the members of this site feel, as residents of this area, but am also glad that others don't take my mistakes quite as personally.
uhrdavid
 #33 
I get it, guys, and I apologize for being so butt-hurt about the jabs you guys poked at me. I do understand why they were levied against me, and I never had issue with having my idiotic mistakes pointed out or made light of. I was just a bit too sensitive about what I felt were personal attacks. I don't get the "supposed combat vet" remark, but in that regard, I have nothing to prove to you emjay. I have seen enough carnage on that front, not to be foolish enough to compare a shitty trip in the Saline Valley to the IED's that have killed some of my best friends. I would ask you to tread a little more lightly in that respect, however. Anyway, all in all, I'm glad that my story made it to you all here in this forum. If I ever make it back out there, I will give you the chance to give me sh*t in person, over a beer and a bourbon, rather than an internet chat room.
Mr.T

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Posts: 40
 #34 
A few comments, David.

Insurance has a lot of fine print for a reason.  And the bigger the claim, the more they look for an exclusion.  Even if the credit card company hadn't found the time limit exclusion, and even if insurance was purchased separately, they probably have exclusions for off-road driving, stunt driving, or similar.  See http://www.rentalcars.com/Help.do and search for "off road" on that page, or search for "unpaved" on this page http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0411/8-things-you-need-to-know-before-renting-a-car.aspx.  Press on regardless of the hazard isn't the expectation. 

Even Farabee's Jeep rentals is now warning that Geico insurance will deny damage claims with their rental Jeep's off the pavement, and other auto insurance companies probably have similar exclusions that may leave the driver with any repair bills.

And an ethical question kept running through my head while reading this story: Rather than renting and thinking insurance would cover anything, would you have driven the same if you paid cash for that new Camry, or rented it from a friend?

We all make mistakes, and they often make interesting stories.  But unless one is very confident about their ability to remain anonymous, it's probably best to wait a long time (as in after retirement) before posting them on the internet.  That story is a big red-flag to many employers or landlords.
Salt Peter

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 #35 
David will become a fixture at the springs and be known as the one who tried to kill a Camry in Saline.
Sparky of SoCal

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Posts: 87
 #36 
Uhrdavid, I've been up some roads that I shouldn't have in my vw. If someone called me a dumbass for doing it I would blush red with embarrassment and get over it. Bring poor Betsy along when you come to the springs. We can all soak and tell stories about the dumbest thing we ever did in a vehicle. That we survived, of course.


Those stupid stories are so much fun to be in on.I have a few I can look back on.Not to this poor fellows degree but looking back on mine I did more than a few dumb things.They didn't kill me but taught me something's
Salt Peter

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 #37 
Black Bear - Check!
Did it with my Tacoma. It was amazing. The switchbacks are actually the easier part. Above that is some serious pucker factor loose rocks that gravity helps you get down.
VegasNaturist

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Posts: 40
 #38 
Salt Peter, my comments were more tongue in cheek, comparing my Jeep and a Camry... But you knew that. ;-) My ultimate "Bucket List" ride would be Black Bear Pass in Telluride CO.

John
florida

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Posts: 295
 #39 
Uhrdavid, I've been up some roads that I shouldn't have in my vw. If someone called me a dumbass for doing it I would blush red with embarrassment and get over it. Bring poor Betsy along when you come to the springs. We can all soak and tell stories about the dumbest thing we ever did in a vehicle. That we survived, of course.
uhrdavid
 #40 
Then keep up the good work, I guess. Hopefully it accomplishes what you are going for.
Big Jeff

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Posts: 106
 #41 
David

I have reread this thread from the beginning and I found just a few things that could have been said differently to convey the same message, but I presented mine for their Shock Value to you and others, and would do the same again.   It is true we don't know you but that makes no difference, we would say the same things to our friends if they made mistakes (such as: You dumb F**k you must have your head up your ass for doing that) whether that be on-line or face to face.   It should be made clear that no one wanted you to die, it's just away of expressing displeasure in the situation.   We for the most part are here to provide help and information to all good people that shall pass this way.   If you read some of the other topics on this forum you will see that people like Silver Bob and others go out of their way to do that.   Learn   Share   Enjoy
uhrdavid
 #42 
Jeff, your point is well taken, but until I chimed in, there was nothing in any of the comments that could be construed as "tough love." I only found out about this thread because someone pointed me to it, and then I saw all of the hate filled messages. I guess I just found it difficult to comprehend perfect strangers that would deem unworthy of the human race, or would talk about me with such distain (even your own Silver Bob decided that I should have died out there and commented on my blog that Darwin would have been disappointed that I had survived). There have been certain messages that have conveyed a more constructive criticism... posters who were able to convey the message that I was an idiot without resorting to personal attacks (like Salt Peter). And btw, your point about my drill sergeants isn't the same, because those men actually had to look me in the face when they called me scum. They didn't go back to the office and talk about what scum I was, when they didn't know me, or anything about me. It may be subtle, but there is a difference. Anyway, I am glad that forums like this exist, at least as resources for other potential travelers.
Big Jeff

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Posts: 106
 #43 
David
I have to agree with Silver Bob and the others who have posted to your responses.   I do believe it is necessary to make explicit points in situations like this, it's called tough love.   You came across in your story like it was just another adventure with some glitches and then a happy ending.   I am sure your DI in the army was sweet as peach pie and in growing up no one had any stern discussions regarding any of your actions.   We have made strong and vitriolic statements in this forum to get your and others attention.   This was a serious situation that could have gotten a lot lot worse.   We do not want anyone to think that a cell phone will be able to solve any problem in a back country emergency.   The lesson to be learned here is Ask, Listen and Prepare.   And by the way the computer we sit behind is just one of the tools to be used, in addition to proper vehicles, gear, ETC., to explore the desert and beyond.   You should heed this:
                                                                                                                                                   "Part of becoming a professional bartender is paying attention and learning from those around you, taking notes (both mental and actual) and using the bartenders and managers on staff as resources. But, that will only take you so far. From day one, there were expectations that I needed to meet. I also have certain expectations of myself. Being in the service industry for many years, I have always looked up to those around me who were accomplished bartenders."     From David's site

Thanks for your service and you are welcome at the Springs any time but be safe
Hi Desert Warrior

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Posts: 211
 #44 
David-  Thank you for your service and carrying the torch.  As a Army brother, I too served in Iraq, in 2001 and we kicked ass big time.  As you well know we all went to Ft. Irwin for desert training and survival.  What they taught there in survival can and should be applied in Death Valley.  That's why, when I go to Saline Valley I have a tray of bottled water and a weeks supply of MRE's as back up.  Thanks for relating your experiences, I hope novices that come to the valley will heed to the important posting on this site.
SilverBob

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Posts: 384
 #45 
David,

I'll bet if you asked around of the people who actually know me, you'd find that what I post on this forum is pretty much what I'll tell you face to face.  I'm an opinionated SOB, and I'm OK with that.  Don't think I'm making any special effort to offend you.

That said, I wonder, just what type of reception did you expect from these forums?  Suppose I posted a blog about taking my girlfriend muskie fishing in northern Minnesota in December.  Suppose I didn't take a map, didn't know the lake, didn't check the weather, ran out of gas at the other end of the lake, forgot to put the drain plug in the boat, and was only saved by a passing Mountie on a dogsled who just happened to hear our teeth chattering.  Do you think the members of the LakeoftheWoodsMuskieMooseandMukluks.com forum would be any less hostile to me than we've been to you?  If so, you're nuts! 

You're really getting off easy here.  If you're really that sensitive,  you'd better hope your story doesn't get linked to Pirate4x4.com or AR15.com.  I sound like a choir boy compared to those guys! 
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