|Date:||Sept 10 2016|
|Members Present:||Sam, Tracy, Ben, Mike, Ray and Leia, Colin and Stephanie , Alex n Kristine|
|Guests Present:||Sam McIntyre, Jim and Debbie|
|Picture Link:||photo's              |
We had a GREAT time last Saturday wheeling Spring Creek!
Attendees were: Tracy, Ben, Mike, and me in our 78 Power Wagon, Ray and Leia in their Bronco, newcommers Colin and Stephanie in their Rubicon, Alex n Kristine in the Tiger Monkey, and we had guest Sam McIntyre in his hardcore Jeep J10, as well as we picked up Jim and Debbie right at the trail head in their megastrong JK Rubicon.
We met at the Walmart north parking lot, and departed just after 8am. The trip up to Denver and over to Downiville was uneventful, picking up Sam in his J10 along the way. Pulled off at Downiville and on Ben's advice and decided to drive down the frontage road to Georgetown (where the trail ends) and unloaded there. As we drove past the trail entrance we noticed about 10 well built Jeeps waiting to begin their run up the trail - so we'd likely have some company today! We unloaded in Georgetown right alongside the lake, then drove back along the frontage road to begin the trail. That's where we met Jim and Debbie in their huge JK on 42" Pit Bull Rockers. We all aired down and hit the trail! The gatekeeper comes up quickly - dubbed 'Carb Cleaner', it was the worst I'd seen it in the three times I've been on the trail. It's called 'carb cleaner' because if you stall on it, and you have a carbureted engine, it is so steep that the fuel in your carb will likely drain out and fill in whichever cylinders have opened intake valves, and hydrolock your engine (ask me how I know sometime - it's a good story!). All of us clawed our way past the gatekeeper without winching, and we were on towards several sets of tight switchbacks, until we came to the next major obstacle, a knarly set of big boulders in the middle of a tight uphill switchback.
As we came up to the switchback we had to stop the train and park 'em right there because the club in front of us was in the middle of making their way through the obstacle. Turns our these folks were from the Mile High Jeep Club in Denver - good bunch of folks and fun to chat with . The big 'problem' with this obstacle was a fairly large boulder that was lose right in the middle of the trail, and because it was moving around it was making every attempt 'new' for every vehicle. There were several possible lines, which changed each attempt to get past. It was pretty fun!
They all got past and then we took our turns. It took me a few attempts to get the moving boulder positioned under my right front tire just right, then I lumbered over it and moved on up and out of the way (thanks for the spotting Alex!). The others all clawed their way in/past/through, but it was at this time that Sam reported that his fuel pump was 'acting up' - rut roe - that could be a problem later on! We all got through and then headed up towards the rock garden.
The Rock Garden was actually not as 'big' as I remembered it being, but it did provide quite a challenge for a few of our rigs with tires even as big as 37's. Even the Rock Monkey himself had to use some cable to get un-high-centered. Hell even my truck with 46's got held up a few times drag the diffs over a few boulders.
We all got through the garden and to the top, and stopped for a photo shoot (attached). At that time Sam notified us his fuel pump was all but done, and he had a buddy already coming up the trail to bring him spare parts and that he was going to hang out for him to arrive and that we should carry on down Saxon Rd to the exit, so we did just that.
The switchbacks down the other side towards Georgetown are pretty fun and not too difficult except for a few very narrow parts. One particular spot got even me a little nervous, but big Bud was able to keep his tires on the trail while also going over a fairly large rock right in the middle of the trail - and on the other side was literally D&D (Death and Destruction) - I'm told however that I did 'push' a few loose rocks off the edge of the trail. About this point I realized my steering had a 'stuck' point through its travel, and upon checking it out I realized my tie rod had been bent upwards pretty good and the ram-assist mount was...depending on the articulation...hitting the lowest leaf on the left turns. Wasn't a major problem so I left it alone and will repair (unbend) the tie rod this week so the rig is ready for the Eagle Rock night run.
Tracy, Kristine and Ben were taking a different route down the mountain as they were hiking down between the switchbacks , and we'd meet them again and again as we made our way down.
We all got down safe n sound, loaded up, and head out for Tommyknockers. Parking was a bit of a challenge for the trailers, but we got sorted and got in and got some good food and drink.
We got back home just before midnight - a long but very fun day for sure! Thanks to all who came out - it was a really great time!
Cheers, - Sam