Fun, Carnage, and Dripping, Wet, Soaked, Muddy, Recovery
- 09Rubicon - Scott & Wife
- heepenjim - Jim & Son
- Family-JK - Jim S. & Wife/Kids
- rubirobv - Rob & Wife/Kids
- sbron - Ron
- BIGROCZ - Paul
- HOGGSTATUS - Jeff
- marinespence - Spencer
- cruzcode - Me
- Mystery Black JK Unlimited (did not meet driver)
- CJ-7 dude - Lee
What an outing! We had 8-10 rigs out this Sunday, for a little wet weather run at Hollister, and overall it was a blast.
We started out without Rob and Spencer, as they were unavoidably delayed. As we creep into the 4x4 play area, Scott's 4WD shift lever, decides to break a small, plastic, and according to Jeff, a $0.33 plastic piece that holds the mechanism together. Christmas came early though, as Jeff had purchased FOUR of the same piece, in anticipation for the home-service repair of Jerome, Marcy's rig (to be done at another time). Nice work, Jeff! So, after crawling about for a bit on a slip-n-slide, Scott repaired his rig, and claims to owe Jeff $0.33, $33.00, or 33 beers; I can't recall which...
We all cruz'd into the 4x4 play area next, to slush through a few obstacles, and then head over to the pipe climb. This is where you'll see footage (later this morning) of Jeff, taking on the pipe climb. He had the pipe in his grasp, but it was too slippery for him to gain any traction on, and ultimately had to call it quits. But, it was not without effort or driving, only the elements kept Jeff away. Several of us ran the pipe climb in reverse, which was an absolute blast!
I Paul and I both tried to climb the dumptruck/monster truck tire climb, but even fully locked, the rain wasn't having it. Strictly climbing was kept to minimum, and after a short bit, we realized it would be trail time soon.
Then I see a kid walking over from the trees, and he looked like a drown rat. Apparently his friend were stranded in the tank trap, and he was stuck on the side of the hill, after spending the night trying to get him out. I went over to winch him out, and between Paul, Scott, Jeff, and I, we all got his little Toy Truggy out of the trees.
We were going to attempt to truck/tank trap recovery, when we heard "ATTENTION JK Owners, is anyone out there???" Rob is in trouble. Screw the Toy Truck recovery, we have one of our own who needs us! Within moments, 9 JKs are headed down to "Foothill Road" (or was it some other road, I can't recall), to help Rob, who had a large, fuzzy, set of juevos to drive his motorhome, and trailered JK into this sloppy mess at Hollister! We were just happy that Rob could make it, so figuring out how to get him out, was of no consequence. Rob had a plan: The JK was off the trailer and backed up behind the trailer. The JK would 'tow' the trailer and RV in "triples" fashion, up to a better area, where the trailer would be turned 90 degrees, unhitched, rehitched to a rig, pulled up, and the RV driven back up the road it came. Well, after Rob, (his wife), Jim S., Scott, Paul, and a couple of others, made all of this happen, Rob, his family, his RV, and his JK, all miraculously appeared at the 4x4 Area / Campgrounds!
We all got together, had a sandwich, a coke (or beer), and a smile, and decided to go trail hunting. Jeff & Spencer led the way (we'll touch more on this later), and we followed them into oblivion. First stop was the quarry, which was a nice little place to stretch and flex, and get warmed up for the stuff to come. Everyone played around like it was Christmas morning, with presents under the tree. Then we when up some trail, somewhere, and there was this longggggg, MUDDY, hillclimb. Jeff and Spencer flew up at about 95 mph, and made it no problem. I cruz'd up, and at the very top, began to lose traction on all four... Ummm..., see, we're not supposed to be sliding back DOWN the hill in reverse. F***!!! So I let off of the brakes and slowly applied a little throttle, and caught myself after about 30-40 of sliding back down the hill. Good recovery, Mav. We continue on and then head up some gnarly trail that leads to the top of Black Diamond Mountain (name, correct?) Jeff led the way, followed by Spencer, followed by me. This was rocks, and now I'm happy. Enough with this mud shit. Jeff made it through in about 10 minutes, but with a lot of throttle, restabbing different lines, and a lot of momentum, took his open differential, two-door, through it. Spencer on the other hand, was beginning to earn his new nickname (which we'll get to later), by burning off 1/2" of rubber from his open differential, two-door, as he tried to get through. He needed a couple of straps, but got up the climb. The rest of the group went up pretty smoothly, and efficiently, but it was a nice run to the top of the mountain. Wow, when we got to the top, the view was surreal!
We all decided to head back down and find "The Jungle." Spencer warned everyone by saying "Anyone who does not want to damage their rig, should take the high road to the right, and should NOT follow Jeff and I." Well, wouldn't you know it, we all fell right behind these two knuckleheads, with Jim S. in the #3 spot. I was behind Jim at #4, and this is where the story gets interesting... We go through the off-camber section of the jungle, and the rigs are 40 degrees, maybe 45 at certain points, because if a cube of ice shifts in the cooler, the rig is going to flop. (Im still looking for my bluetooth headset that was in my cup holder). We make it through Phase 1, and are just getting the first four of us through Phase 2, when Spencer runs into some trouble. He should comment on this, because we were all pinned in our rigs, between the walls of mud, so to be honest, I'm not quite certain what went wrong. I know that he ended popping both beads on the is front, driver, tire, and ripped off his driver, rear, fender, using it for traction, but ultimately the open differentialed two-door, was struggling a bit. Jeff got out of Phase 2, and came back to spot Spencer. The rest of the rigs behind Rob (#5 spot), were ABLE to backed out, took the high road, and went to winch out Spencer. Scott, Jim, and several others contributed to this recovery.
Well, now it is dark out. Jim backed out successfully, but I did not. I hit some slippery mud, and ended up nose down, ass up, into the ravine, centered on a ledge. I'll admit, it was a little freaking hairy. Blood pressure definitely rose. I said, "Jimmm, I need you." Wouldn't you know it, Jim flies around the corner like Starsky & Hutch, and came to the rescue. He pulls me out of the first portion, and was going to redirect for the second pull. He went to pull me out, but the soft section beneath began to give, and Jim's winch line was not yet taut, so I hammer the throttle, and Jim jumps on the gas, only to keep my rig from missing the slippery, collapsing mud, by inches. WHEW! Rollover averted! Jim, I owe you a beer, a case of beer, or some streaking in the quad stories.
We all get back to the campgrounds, with Spencer nursing blown beads, he changes his tires, we all air up, and everyone hits the road.
I was able to meet new people, wheel with some I knew, but have never wheeled with before, and ultimately, wheeled my rig pretty well, facing a lot of challenges for it's first real
time out to wheel (Carnegie's do not count.) I loved it, and can't wait for the next run.
Here are several observations from the trip:
- Everyone was a blast
- Many changes of clothes and raincoats are helpful
- Rubber boots would have been smart
- Don't wheel with your windows down in the mud
- Jim can drive well in reverse (log run + Phase 2 of The Jungle)
- RVs shouldn't be taken into the tank trap
- Always help your fellow man with a recovery (but abandon your fellow man's recovery, if your friend needs you first!)
- Spencer is no longer allowed to be in the front of the pack with open differentials
- Spencer's new nickname is "ARB Posterboy"
- Chrome wheels just as hard as black does
- Do not leave your food at camp, because wheeling with this group could leave you hungry!
I will get pics & video on later! For those who couldn't make it, you'll have to come on the next one, because overall it was a blast!