2017-03-18&19 Trail Report: Off-Camber Crawlers Colossal Canines Members Only Run
Arrival at The Cove Campgrounds and finding the campsite and tables covered in a bit of snow.
Joe and Shannon, Jeff, and I set up tents while Ed and Chip shared a cabin. After eating and keeping warm during a light rain under the First-Up tarp with the big Heater Buddy (thanks Alan!), Chip started a fire. While sitting around the campfire that evening it lightly sleeted/snowed/rained off and on. That night was cold, windy, and rainy, but everyone got some sleep.
We got off to a late start Saturday morning. It took a while for everyone to arrive and prepare their vehicles. At 10 AM we all lined up and headed towards the trails. The plan was to head down Wahoo and Trickle first. Wahoo was mostly uneventful except for a slight tug given to Joe near the end of the trail. While headed down Middle Road towards Trickle we changed plans.
The three big rigs, Ryan’s Buggy, Jeff’s beta TJ, and Mike’s Hummer wheeled Wrangler decided to try Corum in the snow. The rest of the group paralleled them by going up Cobra. About half way up, both trails are close enough to be able to watch the other group. Mike looked to be high centered at that point on Corum. On Cobra, headed up and away from Corum there’s a steep muddy section that required a bit of speed to get up. Close to the top of Cobra is a long steep and muddy hill climb right after a couple boulders that slowed my YJ down. I needed to pull about 100 feet of winch line to get my YJ up the muddy hill climb. All the other rigs had bigger tires and were able, with different levels of difficulty, to get past that section un-aided. Both groups arrived on Upper Road about the same time and broke for lunch. Chip had punctured a sidewall on the last push up Cobra, and changed tires during the lunch break.
At 1 o’clock we headed down Upper Road and met back up with the big rigs and we all joined as one group again. The next trail was going down U-turn Easy. Two thirds of the way down we came across a couple downed trees stacked upon one another. I pulled out my battery powered chain saw and managed to two cuts through one log before the battery died. We got the logs lying side by side and stacked a few rocks to get by. We also noted a large “widow maker” tree trunk hanging just above where we were working. That was very unnerving, but it did not fall. Once back on the Middle Road we headed to Horseshoe where the three big rigs split off again to run V-trail. Going up Horseshoe we came across another fallen tree blocking the trail. Four of us took turns pairing off with a hand chain saw and cut through it in about ten minutes or so of hard sweaty work. At three o’clock we had finished Horseshoe and decided to take it easy on the way back to camp. We stopped at the Outlook about half an hour later for a beautiful view of The Cove, lakes, and Camp 2. While at the Outlook, we heard that DK had arrived at camp to cook dinner so we headed that way via the 101 Area. The 101 area was covered in a few inches of slippery mud. After creeping through the short twisty trail, posing on the rocks, and a dip in the deep water hole we headed back to camp.
Thank You DK for coming out and cooking some great burgers for us!! It started to rain fairly hard, but DK stuck with the grill and everyone was fed. That evening it rained off and on while we hung around the campfire, and overnight it rained enough to melt all the snow remaining on the ground.
We had a small group of four rigs on Sunday. The smallest, my 87 YJ, and the three big rigs, Ryan’s Buggy, Jeff’s beta TJ, and Mike’s Hummer wheeled Wrangler. Like Saturday, we started off about 10 am. We took the shortest route to the U-turns; Up U-turn Hard and down U-turn Easy. At the bottom of U-turn Easy we crossed Middle Road and ran the short loop around Hell’s Hole. Back on Middle Road and on to run Horseshoe the opposite way from yesterday. Mirroring the group I led yesterday we headed up to the Lookout, and we broke for lunch. After lunch we went to the 101 Area. All the big rigs went through the deep water hole and on down the muddy and rutted side of the trail headed to the opening at Camp 8. From there we took Cove Road all the way to the field so Ryan could flex out on the RTI ramp to check clearances on the new buggy. All the big rigs then began to pose on the boulder pile. A good picture opportunity and a good ending to a great weekend of wheeling!
Thanks to the Board of Directors for setting this Members Only Run, and Thank You again DK for coming out to cook dinner!! Thank you to all who came out and wheeled!
Chip Woods, 04 TJ
Ryan Connor & family, Buggy
Jeff Eppolite, Beta TJ
Mike Anderson, 00 Wrangler
Bryan Folts, 87 Wrangler (trail leader both days)
Joe Edwards & Shannon, 14 JK
Paul Neubert, 93 Explorer
Edward Salas, 05 TJ
DK Stewart, the wet chef
Off-Camber Crawlers Member