This is why join a club. When things happen you have good people to deal with them and what could be a major issue gets dealt with quickly.
The meet up was at 7:30 to beat the rush of groups meeting at 9. After normal airing down we headed out. With some help from Joe we found the entrance to the Naches trail. The first climb is a good one with loose rock. Our Rubicon makes it somewhat easy and walked up it without much of a fuss. In this very spot many years ago we drove over a small log coming down this hill and put a big dent in the transmission pan. A week later Chris Brown and I retrieved that log and I still have it in my yard today. Most of us made it up without issue and no one needed to take to the winch. Above the first hill there is a section that has some fun off camber ruts. To Wendyâ€™s joy (Not joy) I drove up them putting Wendyâ€™s side of the jeep hard over on her side so much she had to pull the mirror in. Jeremy and Noni made easy work of it in there CJ7. Steven and Rudy with Rudy driving did a few nice Jeep waves with the front tire coming way off the ground. He repositioned with a better line and drove right up. I saw Travis run the rut too before having to corral the group forward. With this many rigs it is very hard to keep everyone moving and in one group.
We stopped for a few minutes in a field where Chris, Rick and Jennifer met up with us. At some point I heard from Joe that Cassidyâ€™s Cj was having fuel issues and that he asked that we keep going.
Rick led us to the next hill the one with the stump half way up. We climbed it without too much fuss and parked to run back to keep an eye on the others. When it was Daveâ€™s turn things did not go so well. Although it did not seem to be bucking like I have seen in times before it did seem to have trouble climbing. Jeremy too was there and I shouted to him that I did not think the fronts were spinning. Several times the front came off the ground. Jeremy checked the hubs and they were both locked. Dave continued up the hill where he came to the rock step. I think the fronts were turning at this point but I am not sure. It looked to me like he was going to make it when the jeep rolled back and the left rear slipped in to the valley of the rut and over it went. I later heard Dave say that he slipped into neutral or something like that. Jeremy and I jumped into action. Dave are you OKAY! Shut it Down! Turn it off! The tail pipe smoke turned blue before Dave could hear us and turned the key. I took a good look at the jeep to make sure it was done moving and Jeremy checked on Dave. As far as roll overs go this was a good one. Dave was fine. The speed at which it rolled was pretty slow. I called on the radio to send a jeep down as we had a roll over. The first issue was that the winch controller was trapped. Travis dropped in nose first with his jeep. Dave or Jeremy was able to get Daveâ€™s winch controller free and we used his winch to take up slack to a tree. This would hold Daveâ€™s jeep as we used Travisâ€™s to right the jeep over. Several winches later we had Daveâ€™s Jeep safely at the top. Within about a minute Jeremy was already pulling plugs. A few cranks and the oil was cleared out of the 5th and 6th cylinders. After a good checkup we where back under way. Credit to Dave for shaking off the roll over. I think I would have called it a day at that point but Dave drove the rest of the run like a champ.
Rudi P took the lower group around the bypass road. While I moved the middle group back up the trail. Way in front was another group with Rick. We found Rudi and had a quick bite to eat. Back on the trail we ran into rush hour traffic. It seems that two opus trailers were trying to drive down the trail. I guess they must have been watching to many Australian offroading shows and did not know that this was a very bad idea. I spoke to the rig in front of us and found they had been sitting there for 20 minutes. After a good wait we were back under way. Rick and his group were at Government camp and instead of stopping we kept going while Rick took up the rear. At some point we heard that the CJ5 was having fuel issues again and Rudi was going to change out the fuel pump on the trail. He asked for us to keep going. I am not a fan of splitting groups up but when you have this many on one trip it is almost a necessity. With the knowledge that Rickâ€™s group was with Rudi we moved on. We were in contact with Rudi off and on throughout the drive. Our group opted to drive to the end of the section. We could not take 410 as the road to 410 is currently closed. We decided to come back on pyramid pass. Considering we were getting conflicting information from 4 different GPSs we only made one wrong turn. At the bottom a few of us waited around to make sure that Rudi and his group made it back ok. Rickâ€™s group headed back to their camping area. Rudy D took some time to check the fluid levels of Daveâ€™s jeep and found out that the trans needed oil. Rudy and Steven had some ATF which was added to the trans. Once Rudi P was back we heard about how they ran into a group where one of the jeeps had a broken sector shaft and Rudi P helped them get it off the trail to a service road. Rudi looked exhausted from all the work but the good news is that everyone was safe and we headed home.
Jr recovery expert second class