Jeep Enthusiast Praises Carbon County for Recent Rescue


In the beginning of June, Jeep enthusiast Kevin Novesl penned a letter to the office of Governor Spencer J. Cox regarding an incident in Carbon County that took place in April. In this letter, he explained that Utah has become his favorite Jeep and hiking destination over the course of the past five years of adventuring.

His wife booked a trip to Moab for them those five years ago and since that trip, Novesl often finds himself coming back to Utah roads and trails more than once per year.

On April 16, Novesl was in the middle of a five-week “JeepCation.” While his wife, Kelly, had joined him for a portion of the journey, he was alone at the time of the incident. Novesl was equipped with his Jeep, RV, trail apps and books. On the date mentioned, he intended to leave from Green River to the San Rafael Swell to peruse the “Little Grand Canyon,” which was one of two trails he had researched the evening before.

“However, on the way to Wellington, I recalled East Carbon City was the base of the second trails, which led to Bruin Point,” said Novesl. “I decided on a change in plans. Following my trail app, I headed up Book Cliffs instead.”

Once he passed Bruin Point, Novesl traversed down Water Canyon Road and stated that it proved to be a packed, snow-covered road. He drove about three miles before it began to snow and Novesl found himself stuck between private property and a gate that prohibited further entry.

Though he chose to turn back, he only traveled about two miles before he became stuck. He was in snow to the chassis and around a mile from the intersection to Bruin Point and Patmos ridge, close to the summit. Novesl said that he attempted to dig and winch himself out as it snowed for nearly two hours, though his endeavors were unsuccessful.

“This is where residents, law enforcement of Carbon County and the great state of Utah really made Utah shine,” said Novesl. “From the first phone call to 911, to my rescue a few hundred yards past the summit a few hours later, to my transportation from East Carbon City back to Green River, the agencies of the Carbon County 911 office, the Carbon County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah state police made sure I was rescued and returned to my motorhome, safe and sound.”

Novesl named Guy Webster of Utah Highway Patrol as well as Carbon County deputy Andy Leonard, deputy sheriff Cletis Steele and sheriff Jeff Wood, hoping that they get the credit they “so richly deserve” for being outstanding assets to not only to Carbon County, but the state of Utah.

“He was very prepared,” stated Carbon County Sheriff Jeff Wood. “It wasn’t like he was somebody that wasn’t prepared to be there.”

The following Monday, Novesl received further assistance from Sheriff Wood as he shared his contact information with some residents of the mountain, Michael Siaperas and Daniel Campbell. They worked over the next few days to devise a plan with Novesl to retrieve the Jeep from the mountain.

Through a group effort and much planning, Novesl was able to retrieve his Jeep from the mountain, extending appreciation to Jared Medina and Hagen Campbell for the help, in which they insisted on accepting no compensation.

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