Fishing buddy Dave Cole and I were headed up to fish Laurel Lake, high in California's eastern Sierra Nevada. As experienced offroaders, we were part of a caravan of three vehicles, the occupants of which were embarking on a Labor Day weekend fishing and camping trip. Charley Cornelius, veteran high Sierra trout man was in the lead with his vintage Ford 4x4. Just behind us in a 4x4 Ford Ranger were Dave's son, Jeremy, and Ray Fundura, vice president of Leer, manufacturer of truck caps and hard tonneaus. Dave and I were sandwiched in between in a two-wheel-drive Nissan Frontier in which we had installed a rear locking differential from ARB. Ordinarily, a two-wheel-drive so equipped can successfully navigate 90 percent of the obstacles found when driving offroad trails. Unfortunately for us, we had ventured into the dreaded 10 percent--a narrow, steep trail that turned from dirt and rock into a nasty sluice filled with fist-sized stones that offered no traction whatsoever. Compounding the problem was a manual transmission not geared for offroad duty.