Wednesday, November 25, 2015

In recognition of back-roads trucks

Can you guess which member of our family has the best ground clearance, all-wheel drive, thick tires and a towing package? Boges the dog would be a good guess, but it's our "back-roads truck" lovingly known as "the Schplowa".

If you're going to the foothills of the Scapegoat Wilderness, a BRT will get you there.
Back-roads trucks are basic necessities for many sportsfolks, can be considered reliable fishing buddies, are usually well-used alternate/second vehicles and are often named, spoken to and otherwise beloved.

Mine is a 1998 Ford Explorer XLT (see above - yeah it's got rims). Key features:
  • It's been lifted a bit, which helps on the mountain Jeep trails
  • A V8 for pulling trailers over mountain passes
  • All-terrain tires for traction and rocky Jeep trails and eastern Montana's "gumbo" roads
  • All-wheel drive, which is huge on gumbo two-tracks and slick winter roads 
I dread the day I have to find another, but I'll be looking for another Explorer.

The BRT's Bitterroot office.
The back-roads truck is closely related to the fishing-guide rig (commonly a Toyota pickup with a topper and stickers) and the Western Mini-Van. These respected breeds are commonplace at bridge pull-offs, boat ramps, trailheads and campgrounds. It could be anything from a diesel work truck to a specialized cargo van, and while this trite homage awards them a little recognition, a good back-roads truck deserves high accolades and a place in the sportsman's driveway.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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