May 28th 2012 - Chinamen
May 20th 2012 - Eagle Rock
April 27th 2012 - Martinez Cabin and Canyon Trail
April 26th 2012 - Woodpecker Mine / Ajax Mine
April, 24th 2012 - New River Trail
Apr 23rd 2012 - Crown King - AZ
Mar 24th 2012 - Independence Trails
Aug 28th 2011 - Redcone
Aug 21st 2011 - Mosquito/Weston Pass
Jul 22nd, 2011 - Holy Cross
Jul 19th, 2011 - Spring Creek
Jun 19th, 2011 - Twin Cone Peaks
Jun 5th & 12th, 2011 - Scouting/Work trip to Eagle Rock
May 22nd, 2011 - Chinaman Gulch
May 15th, 2011 - Slaugterhouse Gulch
Jan 30th, 2011 - Hotel Gulch
|Woodpecker Mine / Ajax Mine|
|Date:||April 26th 2012|
|Members Present:||Rob Cooper, Sue Fisher, Bob Novak, Russ Rose, Mac & Levi McMullen, Dave Peaslee|
|Guests Present:||Amanda, Jim, Wayne, Gill, JC|
Where do I begin?
We were not even packed up yet, when Sue shows up at the campground and announces that her check engine light is on and her speedometer isn't working. A quick dive under her rig, and we quickly see the problem: the speed sensor module that normally is bolted into the t-case is hanging by the wires, and there's ATF all over the underside. Russ and Dave quickly get to work, I supply the tools and tarp, and Mac finds a washer. Several bottles of ATF and Sue is happy again.
We get to the trailhead and it's cloudy, cool, and threatening rain as we air down. At least the sprinkles kept the dust down as we made our way through the desert to the Woodpecker Mine trailhead.
Levi get's his chance to drive on the first serious obstacle, and promptly scrapes the corner of the windshield frame on a rock wall. No biggie.
We quickly learn that this trail has non-stop obstacles, similar to 21 Road in Grand Jct. The first real challenge is called appropiately "The Firehole".
Rob gave some great lines to use to straddle this booger of an obstacle, and just a few scrapes of my undercarriage and a drag on my rear spare tire, and I'm up and over. Rob does his typical Bonzai! job, and hops over the thing, as does Sue. Russ takes an aggressive approach, and catches his muffler on a jutting rock. Now that V8 under the hood actually sounds gnarly!
Mac takes Levi on a slightly different line, and gets the rig in a bit of a bind. For some odd reason, the front locker decides to stop workng and a visual inspection reveals a melted section of air line going to the ARB. A winch cable is all it takes to get the rig through the Firehole. Oh, but the front brake line snaps during all of this manuevering and the black rig is crippled the rest of the day. The lesser rigs of Jim and JC take the bypass around Firehole, but Bob won't have that. He gets his rig looking pretty good and then...a pickle.
The Jeep is seriously leaning into the rock on the left and he's high-centered on the right. With nowhere to go, it takes some creative thinking and two winches, a tow strap, and a bunch of rock stacking to get Bob's now beaten rig off the rocks. Although the left rear panel has some rock rash, it's Bob's ego that took the most beating. And we're not done yet! While wounds are being licked and lunch is being consumed, Mac welds up the busted muffler on Russ's rig, splices a new section of ARB air line in, and tries to mend the brake line.
The next obstacle is named Devil's Back and it's really not hard, but is a roadbed of jutting rocks that gets your rig leaning pretty hard.
The next obstacle, V-Notch is a fun little bit of action, and also tries to lean you into a rock wall (see a theme here?). Most of us who attempted it made short work of it, but here comes Bob! This time his 33s betrayed him again and he slid hard into the rock and tore a dollar sized hole in the soft top at the rear corner. Bob's having a great time, just ask him!
We finally get to the Woodpecker Mine. It's clear why it's called this: the whole area is inumdated with mineshafts. There are few relics left to determine where the actual mine might have been, but the views are great from up here.
On the way out of the trail, we pick up the last section of the Ajax Mine trail, and whil Bob and JC decide not to press their luck and stayed on the main road, the rest of us dropped down into another wash and tackled more obstacles. Over the radio, I hear Rob yell, "No steering!". Sure enough, the track bar link threads are totally trashed in the bar itself. Luckily we keep Mac arounmd for just such an emergency, and the welder comes out and all is better.
The rest of the ride out is uneventful, but it is nearly dark as we finally get on the highway back to the KOA. Along the way, Jim is griping about death wobble, so it's a bit slower of a go.
Let's just say that it was a lot of fun on this difficult trail, and there are at least 3 members who must really want the Hard Luck Award this year!