Words and Pictures by Randall Davis
A day on new trails
*Note: the names of the trails in this story have been protected for personal interests and will be named Trail X and Y.
On Saturday I met up with 4 guys from Extreme Wheelers 4 Christ: Steve, Doug, Bob, and Greg. We were excited about getting in the rocks and exploring some new trails. When I first met up with them at Pappy and Harriet’s in Pioneer Town, I felt a bit out of place. Looking at their rigs I knew they meant business; Steve sported a Toyota SR5 on 35’s with a partial Exo‐Cage and tuber bed, Doug a Jeep CJ stretched to 104” and on 37s, Bob a ToyZuki tuber thing on 37’s, and Greg drove an impressive purpose built tuber crawler on 44’s with rear steer.
Nonetheless, they said I would fit in, so we headed to the drop spot for the trailer queens, made our plan of attack, and aired down.
Down Trail Y 1.8 1:00
Our first trail of choice was to locate Trail Y. We only had an approximate GPS coordinate to go on so of course we spent lots of time studying Google Earth. I have heard a lot about this new trail and all the reports were good. Some calling it a “Mini Hammers” trail. We came to a wash crossing on the trail and guessed that it would head us in the right direction. As we traveled this trail we realized that we were heading down the wash instead of the intended direction which is up. The rocks were very similar to that of the Hammers trails, a variety of sharp jagged rocks that are lying there ready to leave their impression under the rig. As we traveled the trail, we started to see that the obstacles were getting harder and harder. At one point, we had to use the winch to get Bob unstuck.
The obstacles proved to make the trail a pleasure to drive through. This trail has plenty of optional lines to make the challenge good and give some play-time in certain sections.
The obstacles proved to make the trail a pleasure to drive through. This trail has plenty of optional lines to make the challenge good and give some play‐time in certain sections. The scenery was just awesome! The weather was hot but not miserable….How could it be…we were wheeling a new trail.
The trail lead us to another sandy wash that would lead us back to the road. At this point we had to figure out if we wanted to go back up Trail Y (the intended direction) or head over to Trail X. Since I was the only one in the group that has ran down Trail X entirely, I was concerned that it may be impassable going the other direction (up). I was unsure but they convinced me that we should try it. “Have winch will travel,” Steve said.
Up Trail X 1.2 miles 3:00
So we are approaching the bottom of Trail X. This trail is one of the best out on the east side of the mountain. It takes the cake in my opinion for one of the greatest trails in this area. This trail has several obstacles that have no by‐pass routes. If you can’t make it, you can’t make it. The use of the Hi‐Lift was required at one point to get my Jeep off being high centered and then later the winch was used to get Steve and I up the waterfall.
The other guys did make it but it was not a walk in the park. I was able to revive my skills by making it up another waterfall. The tires would not crawl up, so I had to let them spin a bit and walk the Jeep from side to side and at the right moment get on the gas a little and bump the Jeep up. There is a small amount of water running down the creek still, just enough to wet the tires and limit good traction. Once we got to the top of Trail X, a 3‐hour‐tour (ha..get it?) we had to figure out whether to head home or go for
more. The trailer queens decided they had enough.
Up Trail Y 1.8 miles 1:15
But that was not enough for Steve, Doug and I. We opted to go for broke and head back to Trail Y and run it the intended direction….which was UP. This time was even more fun than the way down. We knew where we were going and we were going to have fun. We blazed to the trail and dropped the rigs into 4‐LO. The attitude towards the trail this time was even better than on the way down.
We had already conquered the trail so this time we were just looking to have some fun on the obstacles. We found more new lines on the trail, even a small off‐shoot that had a really cool step up. We got to the top of Trail Y and realized that we could continue beyond the road all the way up the sandy wash to one of the other main dirt roads. We hit the dirt road and blazed to the pavement. We got to pavement and had to call it a close for the day…but, wait there’s more! We went for broke going up Trail Y and that is exactly what we did. I apparently blew out one of the caps on the uni‐joint on the right front axle. So here I was 130 miles from home with a blown axle, thinking now what? And Doug suggests that he has a uni‐joint with caps and we could use the cap to replace the one I had blown. He offered to weld it in place to ensure that it wouldn’t blow out again on the way home. Steve took liberties to turn his Toyota around to be the one to aid in the repairs. Doug busted out the tools and worked his magic t o get the Jeep repaired and took the welder to it to add necessary love to the joint to make sure it stuck all the way home.
Conclusion 4.8 5:15
This was one of the best wheeling days that I have had recently. The guys from EW4C are great and very knowledgeable about Jeeping. They were able to give me some good driving tips and spot me through the tuff stuff with confidence. The trails are sure to test your skills and your rig. Even though I broke the Jeep, the fun I had was worth it. The scenery is awesome on both trails and being set around an elevation of 4500 feet the air is great too. I am sure that I will be going back to run the trails again.
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