Timber Tamers met at the parking lot at 9:00 am. The 10-vehicle lineup included: Dave F and his LJ, Jeremy and Noni in their CJ, John in his JKR, Eric in his new EV, Will and his Dad in the TJ, and Bill in his Toyota Pickup. Guests included Tony driving with Lexi (Noniâ€™s daughter) in her JKR, Dave and Nikki in their JKUR, Jared and his wife Lindsey in their LJ, and Conner, Jaredâ€™s son in his Toyota 4Runner. Headed out at about 9:15 with Jeremy and Noni leading.
The first trail was Trail 55. No real problems there. Up next, the new South Loop where Bill got stuck on the first rock pile, an optional line to the right of the trail when his passenger rear slipped off the wet rocks and hooked his axle on the rock. Getting unstuck required jacking up the rear and driving off the jack a bit to free his axle. Then more Tank Traps, and a traffic jam due to a broken vehicle in another group.
Took some time to let everyone go through the new rock garden/obstacle there on the South Loop with everyone who tried it getting through successfully before moving on to the revamped Baby sasquatch and Lunch at Sasquatch as Bill conquered the hill and Jon debated but ultimately decided against trying it.
Headed up to the Lake which was predictably full of water and several people had fun going over the rockpile there in a number of ways, including Conner with his 4Runner with an open front diff which was quite impressive! Bill at this point started having some issues with his Hydro steering setup but deemed he had enough steering to continue on.
We took a look at Twin Rocks hill while Dave F pulled some bark out of one tire’s bead and determined it was still a mess not worth attempting at that time, especially with other hills ahead and darkness approaching.
At Yellowjacket Hill we waited a bit for a broken YJ in another group to clear the hill before several in our group made their way up the again redone climb with assistance from multiple spotters.
Bill went through the now narrowed and much more difficult Rock Box near Yellowjacket, but Will and John each failed to make it through fully and that convinced the rest of us to not try. Not sure what they were thinking in changing that spot but itâ€™s not very doable without larger than 37â€ť tires.
After the box and the tank traps near it, is the hill of which we couldnâ€™t determine the name, a rock hill with one side lined with concrete blocks. This hill too has changed with the big hole at the top filled in and the entrance modified. Dave F managed it the day before in his LJ, but this day would see just one person attempt it. Bill was doing his Yota thing trying to get up the hill when all around heard something let go with a bang. Turns out the bracket attaching his upper control arm and track bar had broken off of the axle, and the entire rear axle had rotated nearly 90 degrees upwards, breaking shocks/drive line etc. in the process.
Club being what the club is, multiple people jumped in to help, detaching the broken driveline and strapping up the axle to try to keep it in place, though any use of the brakes etc. was still causing it to rotate with only the two lower control arms to keep it in place. Once that was done Wil used his TJ to pull Bill down off the hill (using Bill’s winch as his brakes) until he was on the trail again. After that Dave F strapped the front to play locomotive, and Will stayed strapped to the back to provide brakes as we pulled Bill back out to the other entrance (through the tank traps and past the rock box). During this time Jeremy and Noni led the rest of the pack back to the Elfendahl parking lot.
We then gave Bill a ride to his truck (thankfully heâ€™d towed his rig) and followed him back to provide some lighting via headlights (it was past dark at this point) and ensure he was able to get loaded and on his way OK.
Great group of people, really glad the newcomers came out with their very capable rigs, and hope they all join us on the trail again.
Co-Lead by Dave Fasset TT#326 and Jeremy and Noni Jones TT#325