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TSF SNOW RUN WITH DIRT DEBS AND OBH, 2 FEB 02
Well, our original group of 12 from Dirt Debs/OBH was slowly whittled down by rig troubles and sickness. But, at 10am on Saturday morning, Keith (Sami, tailgunner) and his freind Jamie (passenger), myself (TJ, leader), Sharon (XJ), Traia (TJ), and Mel (TJ) met up at Rogers Camp. While there we ran into and hooked up with fellow OBH'ers Kevin (TJ) and passenger, and Jeremy (TJ). Our first fallout of the day happened also...the XJ wont go into 4L. We fixed this the easy way...we left the darn thing parked at Rogers Camp with Keith's tow rig. Sharon took my passenger seat, and then we all headed out for the trail.
My first thought was to catch Powerline... At the entrance I chose to start at, most of us were not going to make it up the little hill and around the corner without kissing the trees (if we even made it that far). I tried a couple of times and backed off. Mel decided that this wasn't the best place to test out her new lockers and declined to play - probably a smart idea. Jeremy treid and ended up getting the winch out to get off the rock and then away from the tree. Kevin finally made it up, and Keith was able to follow. They came back down in a few minutes, and we headed on up the road.
I had decided to head up to what used to be Back to Back - Ian just recently told me that yes, the trail is gone, and it is a road now. So, I thought this would be a good place to play for a while. Getting there the snow was getting deeper, and after a while I was tired of breaking trail, so I let Mel in front to break trail for a while. This was her first run with her RE Long Arm Kit and dual OX lockers - she was having fun. We got to the steep side road just prior to the clear cut at Back to Back, and I asked Kevin and Jeremy if they would check it out (last time I was there this road had a gate on it). They didnt have a lot of luck getting very far up the hill in the deep snow - in fact we never did get up far enough to see if it was gated. We went on foward. Mel hollered that we had a tree down. So she got out her hand saw and we proceded to cut thru it. Yanked it out of the way and on up the road we went...for a little ways and then we had another, much bigger, tree down over the road. The hand saw was too small, and the tree to heavy to pull, so we had our lunch and got turned around and headed back towards Powerline.
We caught the far end of Poweline right after the "little rubicon" section and headed East. Not much traffic up that way other than quads. After a bit I decided I was getting tired and that I would let Jeremy have some fun and break trail for us. We ran it almost all the way back, bypassing the long section that is closed. I popped back in front on the road, and when we got to the next section we hit traffic. A Blazer, a Toy, and a Scout coming up out of the trees...with a full sized pickup stuck behind them in the middle of the trail. Once the 3 rigs passed me, I went down to look at what was up. No one (except maybe a Zuk or a quad) was getting by this guy, he was stuck on a corner and had slid into the trees. I tried pulling him and moved the truck about a foot and a half and ended up off the trail stuck myself.
In the mean time the rest of the group was still trying to get moved so that the other group could get past and get turned around. It took a lot of jimmying and shuffling and most of our group had to back up a slimy clay hill. Mel said "we all succeeded in backing up the big hill, which was getting progressively muddier and churned up as each rig went up, even Traia with her open-diffed stocker. Following us came a locked full-size (the blazer) who struggled and struggled! By the time he finished chewing things up, Jenn had to accept a winch to get frontwards up the damn thing."
We finally got people moved around so that we could get the Blazer back down to winch the truck out (and me at this point). When the Blazer managed to get back down to us, he winched me out and got off the trail so that I could get by and then he started on the truck. In the mean time, Keith had headed down also to check it out. As he was trying to back up a part of the hill in the trees, in the snow and mud, he broke either an axle or a hub in the front end. He then had to winch (multi mounts are really nice!) himself around so he was turned correctly and we headed back out to the rest of the group - who I am sure were really bored with waiting for us by now.
On the way back out of there, we found out why it had taken so long to get everyone turned around. All the snow was gone from one spot and the clay mud was dug out deep...too deep for me (darn that Blazer anyway). Keith bounced thru ok, but I kept high centering. The rut was so deep you couldn't go over it on the main road (I treid that) and I kept hitting my diff if I stayed with the rut. Thank goodness for that OX locker front cover! Keith ended up winching me up the last 10-20 feel of the slick clay mud hill. It was a little iffy in spots, as the back of the Zuk would swing around under the dead weight of the stuck TJ. But, he did it just fine. (Thanks Keith!!) Once that was done, back to the group and we got outta there for the day. It was getting late and I think everyone was getting pretty tired too - just walking in knee deep snow (approx 15" up near back to back) takes a lot of energy. The snow was fun, we did more road than trail, but it was still good. Everyone got to play a little and some of the hills got pretty challenging for people, expecially the stock TJ, who did and excellent job. No stucks and no tows for her. Mel said " Probably the most fun was watching Traia kick it in her little TJ. No lift, no lockers, just some good tires and good driving skills. She went everywhere the rest of us did and didn't get stuck once. Could've been the star of a Jeep ad!" I was suprised as some of those clay hills are challenging for a stock TJ when just wet and we had snow to boot. I hope everyone had a good time. We couldnt have asked for better weather. The sun broke thru the clouds and it was broken clouds and sunshine all day. As we headed back to Rogers it started to sprinkle, but even then, it didnt really rain until we were down at the 76 station airing back up.
Thanks to everyone for coming, and Kevin and Jeremy, it was great to meet you guys and run with you. Catch you on the trails!
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