Trip report for off-camber crawlers from big dogs Spring Fling.
Alan Staiman 1986 CJ7 (broken again)
Jeff Jurgrau (TJ)
Mike Anderson (TJ)
John P (CJ5)
Peter A (Half TJ, Half Dodeg Power Wagon)
Pete M. CJ8
I arrived Friday night and set up camp at the OCC Camp with Greg Browning and his brother.
Took the Jeep out drove around , see who was there, say Hi to John Hunt and spend some time with my friends from Richmond.
Brad B. had already grenaded his rear diff so he was looking for a ride. Little did I know I would soon be doing the same.
About 6 we all cooked dinner and headed down to Camp 6 to watch some mud bogging.
Try as he might Eugene was only able to get 3 vehicles to try to run the mud bog. The first one through was a Toyota.
He gave it a really good try, ran out at several times and finally ended up with two wheels in the mud and two wheels on the bank. He asked me to try and winch him out from the front while another vehicle stabilized him of the strap. I put the CJ up against a tree spooled the winch out and started
pulling. The bumper of the CJ slipped off the tree and must have hooked the driver side front wheel and pushed it all the way over. I put The Jeep gear to backup and snap! I broke my right front axle shaft.
I turned the locker on backed the CJ up and put it against the tree to finished winching the Toyota out. A couple of other people tried.. and failed.. and then finally everybody started leaving, I hopped in the Jeep tried to start it and had no power. I'm guessing that I melted my battery disconnect switch on the negative side.
Eugene and a few others helped me troubleshoot then I rewired one battery and was able to start the Jeep. I drove it back to camp and put it in the trailer for the weekend.
That night Walli R and a couple of others people arrived and set up camp.
Saturday morning I met up with Jeff J. and rode with him and and the group from 4-wheel to Heal. We intended to go up V trail with our group as we had a mixed group of experience and vehicles.
We found the V Trail blocked due to a broken down Jeep. Turned out that was the other OCC bunch. So we decided let's try something else next thing we know we're going up ET. This ended up not working out as well as we would have liked.
Jeff and 3 others had no problem going up lower ET, but the rest tried the bypassed. One Jeep somehow bounded his nose up in the air and blew a tire. That group spending the next hour and a half getting the tire changed.
We finally got them going down U Turn Hard and back to camp. We drove down toward Corum rocks. We got really close to the rocks and then ended up stuck in line with about 10 other Jeeps.
Everyone was just sitting and waiting, so I walked up to the front to find out what was happening. I found a TJ that had lost the castle nut on his tierod. He was trying to see hwo he coudl fix it so I took over. I walked back up the line and found someone who had sapre nuts that would fit and someone else
who had bottle jack so we could push the tie rod back into place. I got the Jack in place ands set the tie rod. The other guy put the new nut on cotter pin on and we finally got him moving and on the way. Our crew made short work of going down Corum (Jeff ran it without using his lockers). We then we headed back
to Camp to meet up with the rest of the group. Lunch was Hot Dogs and Burritos .. all coooked on our engines as we wheeled.
Mike Anderson arrived at that point and joined our group. We took off with me leading the run with a goal of running as may trails as we could before the 5 PM deadline.
We ran up camp 6 and onto the timber trail... well, not exacty. We ended up on the Chestnut trail back to Overlook. Ok back to Camp 6 and this time to Timber Trail. We went past Pucker and Squealer, down through Log Bridge, down Sissy and then we took Cobra to get back up to Upper Road. We were going up the last section of Cobra when the CJ8 got stuck. I had Mike get his winch out and borrowed a snatch block and tree saver. We started to pull the CJ8 when I noticed a problem...one of the front leaf springs had broken off the spring hanger.
A quick trail fix of 2 clevis's attached to the spring eye and to his bumper tow point stabilized him enough to get back to camp. We all got back to camp in more or less one piece after that.
Next, it was time for dinner and then to head down and listen to music, watch people play on The Rock Pile, meet friends and buy raffle tickets for the giveaways.
The next morning Jeff, Mike Anderson and two other members of four-wheeling to heal decided we were going to check out a new trail that had been cut up at the top near pinnacle.
This Trail runs on the same side as Insanity and has similar rocks. We were told it tends to be between the 7-9 rating. It has a lot of very large Boulders in a field that you have to run up very similar to Corum rocks. It has some very steep up climbs and is a bit off camber. Just past the sratt of it there's another section that's even harder which has an even steeper exit climb.
Jeff and I took the lead on this one with Mike following behind. With a lot of wheel spin and banging got a little ways up. Jeff stopped to survey the path and I got out to walk it to the top. I then saw the other two Jeeps head to the other section of the trail. I walked over there and ended up helping spot John up and around in the section he tried. Meanwhile Jeff and Mike had succeeded in getting up to the top but couldn't figure out where to go from there.
So I ran back up the trail to them and found that there were two possible exits...so course we took the harder one. We all met up where the trail comes back to the Pinnacle Trail. That's when John noticed that he could not find his GoPro.
We looked through the Jeep but couldn't find it. We then walked the trail all the way back to where he'd been wheeling but didn't find it. We headed back to the Jeep somewhat in a bad mood. John then looked underneath his tool bag in the Jeep and lo and behold, there it was.
The camera had bounced underneath the tool bag.
Ok All good, time to go. We headed on back down to main camp and packed up our rigs for the run home.
I was unhappy that it had now been 4 trips to gore in a row that had mechanical issues either on the Tow rig or the CJ7 and did not get to wheel it. I did have a great time Wheeling with the four-wheel to heal crew and Jeff and Mike.
It was kind of a neat experience not driving but spotting and taking photographs all the way through the Run. However next time I'll have my jeep fixed and be ready to try it again.