Several miles after I reached the summit and started my trek across the flats, I spied a likely camping spot. A rancher had an irrigation ditch running right next to the right-of-way ditch, which meant i could water the horses. At a drive to a wire gate I pulled on to the right of way, drove about 100 feet and started to turn around. As I commenced my turn, the right side wheels on both the wagon and trailer seemed to disappear. The ground wasn’t marshy, so I hopped off the wagon to investigate.
Over the years, water from the irrigation ditch had honeycombed the soil on the right of way and left huge voids, many more than two feet deep. The only way I was going to get out was backwards, the same way I came in, but only in reverse. After jacking up the wagon and trailer and throwing whatever I could under the tires, I though I was set to drive out. What I ended up doing was - I went through several gyrations of jacking the tires up higher and throwing more stuff under the wheels. I also had to disconnect the trailer. Before I could use the teams to pull it backwards, I had to unload about half the supplies. The team was tired, but I finally managed to get the trailer back on to the solid access drive. The wagon was more difficult and the team took about an hour to pull it most of the way back to the access drive. Just short of the drive, I had to move the wagon tongue (the horses were pulling from the rear) so I had to stop the team. When I tried to start them up again, I saw that they had hit rock bottom and were played out. Knowing I couldn’t squeeze blood out of a carrot, I unhitched them an tied them to the wagon for the night. (I didn’t try to put out an electric fence, fearing a horse might break a leg in the honeycombed ground.
So my chore for tomorrow morning is to unstick the wagon, rehitch the trailer, then reload the supplies. With a fresh team this ought to work a lot better,. On the plus side, the horses have all been watered and my empty containers are full.
Right now, I’m beat and headed to bed.