Not all heroes wear caps. Sometimes it’s a spare wheel carrier and a set of BF Goodrich’s. When one of our fellow road tripper’s got stuck on a dune, this green Nissan Xterra was the life line we needed to get one of the team back to the motel, safe & sound.
While on the Open Highway Tours trip of the US, it’s inevitable that they’re going to take us to an off-road area and this location was amazingly sited at the base of the Mexican Hat rock, near Monument Valley.
After some trekking in our rental vehicles and placing them in some great locations, the 4X4 pick-up in our group went to conquer the mother of all sandy peaks in the immediate area. Roosts of orange dirt and the combination of road tyre and damp mulch, meant that there was one inevitable outcome. It was an effort of grand magnitude to even get this builders wagon beyond halfway up the slope. The crackle of radio chat and the news of abandoning Ford pick-up came through loud and clear.
Like a group of 4X4 super heroes, we assembled. Pedal was pressed and the group of road trippers headed to the scene. One, to help, two to take pictures, three for the bants that would be delivered over pints at the bar later that night.
Before the mass of us had arrived, a stranger and fellow 4X4 trekker had arrived and offered to save the team in the Ford – one thing I think I love about the US and desert life. No matter if you’re fine, there is a code that people look out for others out enjoying the terrain and has a ‘leave no man behind’ feel to it. Stranger no more, we meet Keenan ( @stoic_Keenan ), his awesome Nissan Xterra Pro-4X and his dog companions.
This Nissan Platform is amazing and the Pro-4X is the flagship option out of three variants of Xterra. Keenan, a petrol head who has had some amazing cars, such as Mazda RX-7 and BMW E36 M3 – let me take a sneaky peak around this tricked out off-roader.
While he and the Ford team worked to get off the dune, I took the chance to get some shots of our desert rescuer’s utility vehicle. It didn’t take much to make this Nissan look great, lifted, grappler tyres and a roof cage – the rest of the trick bits come from factory like the hill-descent, electric locking diff’s, skid plates, etc.
It’s amazing that being stuck in the desert, throws up opportunities to meet cool people and then chat cars. As soon as I get a chance I’m keen to get back out into overlanding mode and the US wilderness once more.
Check out more from my US trip and the Rat Rod I found lurking in a Gold Rush town here