|Date:||Aug 28th 2011|
|Trip Leader:||Rob Cooper|
|Members Present:||Sue Fisher|
|Guests Present:||Chad Warrington and Friends|
|Picture Link:||Rob's Pictrues|
Redcone Trip Report
The trip started out like any other trip. I was running late as usual and rushing to hook up the jeep so I could get to the meeting place on time. I finally get out the door about 7:15 am and head toward the South-gate Starbucks. All I could think of was getting that fresh cup of coffee. I finally get to the stoplight right of Nevada ready to turn into the complex and it dawns on me, I'm at the wrong meeting place!
I finally get turned around and headed to the correct meeting place. I take quick glance at the clock showing 7:50 am and just know I'm going to take some banter for being late to my own trip. It was a good thing Sue had a lot of patience or the trip might have been a bust before we even left Colorado Springs. After chatting with Sue for a few min and explaining why I was so late I ran in to Safeway to finally get my cup of coffee.
Shortly after 8:15 am Sue, my passenger Paul and I headed out for a day of fun wheeling Redcone pass. At this point we were a little pressed for time due to the fact we were meeting some guests from denver at 10:00 am near the trailhead.
I'd like to say the drive out was smooth sailing but I'd be lying if I did. Just outside woodland park I started hearing a knocking noise coming from my jeep. I ignored it for a while thinking its was just lose parts on my jeep. Well, after about 30 min I decided to pull over and check out the noise. I suspected it was coming from the front drivers side u-joint so I checked there first. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary so I did a quick once over and decided again it was just the normal sounds of my tired old Jeep.
We made it to the meeting place a little early which was good because it gave me time to start unloading the Jeep. Once I got the jeep unhooked and the top down I notice a lot of gear oil was coating my drivers side knuckle and outer stub shaft. This got me looking a bit closer and to my surprise, or not, I found that one of the caps on my u-joint had come off. This explains the knocking noise and the gear oil, but now what to do about the broken u-joint. Duct tape! Yes, all I had was a cap from a drive shaft so I pounded it in as far as I could and put several layers of Duct tape around it to hold it in.
The trail from that point on was really uneventful until after lunch when the afternoon rain storms rolled in! I normally don't mind the rain but when you're 12,000 feet up and on the ridge of a Redcone its a little unsettling. Fortunately the rain only lasted about 20 minutes and we were back to overcast sky's in no time at all.
Just as the rain is clearing and we are motoring along enjoying the view from the high mountain ridges, I look up and about 30 feet in front of us on the trail is a Mountain Goat! I snapped a few pictures and tried to sneak on by so the others could get some but of course it scared him away so I told everyone to give me their email addresses and I'd send them the pictures.
The decent down the last few ridges was quick and uneventful, thankfully! Although it did cross my mind as I was coming down the last steep hill that my U-Joint was still just Duct tapped.
Webster pass was a pretty easy and relaxing trail back. We stopped a few times for bathroom breaks and general chit chat which included a fairly heated debate between the denver folks about who made or didn't make at tire carrier that one of them was sporting.
You'd think that way back when I told you I Duct taped my u-joint it would be the last you'd hear of it right? Wrong! On the way back to my truck the cap let loose and I started to get the loud knock again, only this time it was a lot more fierce.
I thought about just hooking up the jeep as is and flat towing it home but decided the best thing to do was to fix it. The executive decision was made, I was going to pull the inner axle shaft. I wasn't to keen about towing my jeep down the road and having the u-joint explode destroying my front end. This is where the denver folks came in really handy. To my surprise they pulled out a full floor jack and informed me they both were mechanics! Needless to say the removal of the shaft was a sight you might see on a nascar pit stop.
We said our goodbyes to the denver crew and headed home, but not before stopping at the Bucksnort to have a few beers, great conversation and one of the best burgers i've ever had!