Do you really want to know what happens to your rig between the time you drop it off and the time it magically appears in a far-away parking lot at the end of your fishing trip? Are you sure? Writer Ben Romans knows and it’s not for the squeamish. Having rattled countless cars along Montana’s infamous Rock Creek Road as a shuttle pilot, Romans shares a behind-the-wheel look at the flat tires, empty gas tanks and stolen Jeeps that make shuttle driving such an unwise career move.

Words: Ben RomansI’m sincerely worried my truck isn’t waiting for me at the trailhead parking lot. Seven days earlier, in a flurry of last-minute, early-morning phone calls and text messages, I finally coordinated a vehicle shuttle from my entry point in Ovando, to my exit near Hungry Horse, MT—a 200-mile, one-way delivery with a $300 price tag. Even with the supposed discount, it’s the most expensive transfer I’ve ever bankrolled, but significantly less expensive than the competition.

My friend Jay Nichols and I set our sights on the remote waters of the South Fork of the Flathead so matters of life, death and any other potential pitfalls possible in the course of 168 hours of wilderness living was seemingly more important than whether our truck moved from point A to point B. Still, it’s tough to be completely worry free.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t believe the worst was yet to come before the trailhead disappeared behind us to the tune of clip-clopping horse hooves. Out of cellular reach and miles from the nearest hint of civilization, whether eight cylinders of diesel power waited at the end of the line was moot, so Jay and I never discussed it.

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