When we arrived at the swell, our first stop was to see a “pancake” rock formation—basically, rocks that look like pancakes. Or hamburger buns.
As we drove across the winding, nearly invisible dirt roads, we saw a yellow Jeep headed our way. It, too, stopped at the pancake rocks.
A man got out. He was wearing khaki pants and a loose white shirt. He had long brown hair and a beard, and I turned to Dexter and said, “Look, it’s Jesus.”
He didn’t linger long at the pancake rocks, and we felt bad for disturbing him. And what are the odds that, in all this wide open space, two cars arrive at the same spot at the same time? It was practically impossible.
We saw his Jeep later, as we drove towards the Wedge to find a camp site.
On Sunday, around noon, as we were headed out into the desert in search of Interstate 70, we passed Jeepsus sitting in the open door of his yellow Jeep, eating lunch. I had a fleeting thought: If we break down, at least he’s right there.
About 15 minutes later, as we trundled along the dirt road with increasing difficulty, we came upon a rutted hill that we thought was hardened mud but turned out to be about two feet of loose, sucking sand.
The Honda quickly became mired in the red sand, and we couldn’t get it out no matter how we tried. When we got out and tried to push it back down the hill, we sank up to our ankles in the stuff. The whole interior and exterior of the car were coated in a drifting layer of fine, russet-colored dirt.
And then I looked up and saw the yellow Jeep headed our way. Jeepsus had come.
He, being a smart man who had adequately prepared for desert travel, had a shovel and a strap. We dug down below the Honda until we found a sturdy spot to affix the strap.
Then Jeepsus towed us carefully back down the hill.
On the way down, I had to hold up the front bumper so it didn’t drag half the hill down with us.
Instead of heading along this road in the hopes of reaching Highway 6, we turned back the way we came. We knew we could make it, since we’d already come that way. Jeepsus followed us for a few miles to make sure we didn’t get stuck again, and then he was gone.