Another interesting run on Fordyce Trail in Northern California. Our group consisted of three JKs from JKO and two Broncos from NorCal Broncos. JeepThing, Olegrock, Rubirobv, 69Crawler and Bent70.
Our plan was to meet at Eagle Lakes, friday night and camp. We would start saturday morning and run all five winch hills, camp at Meadow Lake that night, then run back down the trail to Committee Crossing and out to Cisco Grove.
John, Oleg and I made it to the trailhead with about one hour of daylight left. We drove up to "Driveline Hill", the first obstacle on the trail. I took the left line which can be tricky because of a deep hole on the right side of the line, that if you drop into, bad things happen. As I climbed up, I felt the rear slide to the right, so I stopped. Then SOMEBODY backed me into the hole and the front of the Jeep went straight up and stopped short of doing a backward endo. I started yelling for someone to put weight on the front end. John grabbed the underside of my front bumper and placed his feet on the tierod, giving me 180 lbs of counter weight. Oleg pulled the winch line and wrapped it around a tree. I didn't start breathing until I felt the winch line bring the front end down. That would have been a bad start . Anyway we made to camp where Nate had already setup.
The next day we went back to Driveline Hill to run it in daylight, where we met Darin and Scott, the two Broncos, who were behind a group of about ten rigs. Oleg and I ran the left line again and with Nate spotting, we walked right up it. A TJ that was with the group of ten, found himself in the same situation that I was in the night before and was winched out.
Darin, in the yellow Bronco wasn't getting any traction so he tried to hammer up the ledge and ended up shearing four bolts off of a control arm bracket. ( I think?) and broke a rear brake line. He made the repairs and we were finally on the trail. Next it was Scott's turn. He broke the mounting bracket on the front radius arm, at the lower control arm and destroyed a heim joint. Fortunately, the group behind us had an on board welder. Thanks to them, we were back on the trail after awhile. Making it to Meadow Lake was highly unlikely at this point.
The wheelin' was good after that and we finally made it to Winch Hill 1, where I flopped my Jeep a month earlier. The yellow Bronco was the first to go. Darin found himself hungup, got sideways and came close to rolling backward. Oleg ran up to put some weight on the front as Darin was ready to put his foot in it, thinking he was going over and just about tore Oleg's arm off. Not good. As we were making our way through winch hill 1, a group of morons showed up who happened to be driving toyotas. So the shit talking began as the JKs started to go. Nate went first. He asked me which line I took the last time out. I told him the right side. He took that line and found himself pinned against the rockface and winched away from it with just a small booboo. He made it through without a problem after that. At this point it was dark and it was my turn. With Nate spotting , I made it through and learned I didn't have to go as high as I did on the rock face which led to my flop, the last time out. Nate did a great job spotting Oleg also. Scott pounded through with his bald 35s, faster than everyone.
We finally made it to Committee Crossing, where we camped. We had a nice campfire, where I sat with a bottle of tequilla, hoping to sleep that night. The rain came in late that night and early the next morning. With the rain working against us and an infection running up Scott's arm, we decided to head out Committee and home. As we crossed the creek, I broke the bead on my right rear tire, climbing the bank. Oleg stayed behind to lend a hand and the rest went on.
While we changed the tire, two groups passed us, each one towing a disabled rig out. That slowed our exit out. To pass the time we setup some targets and did a little shooting. Later we drove out to the Dam at Fordyce Lake and took in the vistas. We made it home without anymore issues.
As usual, another Fordyce adventure.
Here's a slide show I put together. I'm working on a video but I suck at it.
YouTube - Fordyce Oct 2010