Saturday, October 20, 2012

Stuck in the Sand

We had our first off-road desert adventure this weekend. Our goal was to meet friends out at a deserted compound to play paintball and barbeque. The night was going to end with a giant bonfire and a DJ spinning in a deserted building. Beyond all that, we were excited to test our jeep’s off-road capabilities and get a little desert wheeling in.

We left in the morning and headed northwest out of the city. We had never been this way and I was excited to see what lay ahead, B assured me it was more desert, but one can never be sure.

Eventually, we reached the edge of city. We were surrounded by desert (B was right, ugh, why does that happen so often?!?) The road stretched ahead of us for miles and miles, eventually leading to the border crossing into Iraq. Our last glimpse of an English road sign was just after the military/police station and all it stated that Iraq was 55 kilometers ahead and desert was to the left. (B especially loved that sign actually pointed to the desert, as if we couldn’t find it.)

Our directions said that after the station we had to drive exactly 33 kilometers ahead and then turn left into the desert. We did just that and ended up at the deserted compound.

We pulled up to park and that is when the trouble started. It was the desert, we could park anywhere, but we didn’t know where we should. We stopped to ask and the guy gestured forward. B began to drive forward onto a sand drift. As soon as we reached the peak of the drift, we began to sink. B threw it into 4 low and hit the gas. The wheels spun, the sand flew and we sunk – more gas, more spinning, more sinking. A couple men ran up and gestured to us to climb out. The back end was buried.

B was shocked. How could we be stuck? Why weren’t the front wheels spinning? He climbed under to look while the other men hooked a tow strap to the front of the jeep. He shook his head as he climbed out and announced that our front drive shift was missing. Not sure how it happened, but its just not there and it should be.

We would have been surprised, but at this point nothing with our darling jeep surprises us. Ever since we discovered the “spare tire” was shredded, as we stood stranded on the side of the highway, we have been prepared for the worst.

Luckily, this was far from the worst, and the guys pulled us out no problem. Plus, it gives us a new adventure for next weekend: find a front drive shaft and install it. 


  1. Hi Jackie. I finally found some quiet time to read your blog, I've really enjoyed it. Keep writing and posting pics, it's so interesting to learn about other cultures. I miss you tons, take care. Big hug.
    P.S. I will definetly share some of your stories with my 5th graders.

    1. Hi Nino! I am so glad you enjoyed it. I miss our team bunches. Especially, when Nuria posts pictures of you all!! Tell everyone I say hi and send lots and lots of love!