Wellsville, OH Trail report July 9, 2005: JK5 & Buford

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 78Buford, Jul 10, 2005.

  1. 78Buford

    78Buford 1/2 ton status

    Apr 1, 2005
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    Wellsville Trail Report. July 8th-10th 2005

    Chapter 1: The Drive.

    I left my house around 12:45 on Friday July 8, 2005. After acquiring gasoline, beer, cigarettes, ice, food, water, and a case of 20W50 oil (Buford is a rather heavy drinker as well) I pulled onto I-70 east around 1:45 pm.

    The ride to Wellsville was uneventful. Cruising between 60 and 70 mph the entire way, the engine temps ran at 190 on the flat, 200 uphill, and 180 downhill.

    Chapter 2: Arrival/Campsite Search

    I arrived at the Oaktree Campground around 4:00 pm. I paid my $10 and signed a waiver and put both in the drop-box at the entrance to the campground. The place was a rather barren wasteland with trails leading into the riding area. I drove around for a few minutes, and called Jamie who should have been arriving a little while before me. I told Jamie that I was at the campground, and a moment later he said, “Yeah, I see you.” He was sitting down over a hill beside a bulldozer. He drove up and after BS-ing for a few minutes drove off in his Jeep to find a suitable campsite…..with grass. After driving for a while, we found a decent area up an embankment from one of the trails. We began to setup camp. Jamie mentioned cracking a beer, and I advised that I do not like to drink alcohol before 7:00 pm. “Why?” he asked. “I don’t know….that’s my 5:00 I guess.” After thinking about it, and realizing that I was thirsty, I cracked a Natty Ice, and he cracked a Schaefer’s. I have drank this stuff before (Schaefer’s) and found it to be an average brew.

    Chapter 3: Into town in the Jeep

    After setting up our tents and talking to a local guy on a Quad for a few minutes, we decided to head into town for firewood. We knew that we could round up some wood (as we were in the woods) but Jamie wanted the convenience of some pre-cut stuff. I locked up for Ford, jumped in Jamie’s Jeep with a few beers stuffed into a small cooler, and my advice to Jamie that if he were stopped, I’d pay for the open container charge if worst came to worst. No top, no doors, no carpet, etc. Definitely different than the Ford, but it was fun to get some air after sweating like a hog setting up camp. I wondered aloud if they actually sold wood in Wellsville. Jamie figured they did. They did not. I was advised by a nice local dude with very few teeth that we would have to drive a 35 mile round trip to find firewood, and after giving directions of “he’s probably in the bar across the street from where he splits the wood” we decided to get back to camp and search for wood in the woods.

    Chapter 4: Getting Wood.

    Yeah, that sounds bad. We found some wood in Jamie’s Jeep, and then he got into Buford with me riding shotty in search of “bigger wood” further away. We were in 2wd with 30 psi in the tires. We headed down a heavily rutted trail that had a narrow path on each side of it. When Jamie tried to back up (2wd low range…..front flanges were sitting in the toolbox) the welded rear spun the 42’s, but we didn’t move. I scooted over and tried to back up with the same result. Jamie drove the truck down the hill further, as we thought perhaps we could turn around. While slowly descending the hill, we found a nasty rock drop off that would have provided Buford a significant challenge to climb……in 4wd with the tires aired down. Uh oh. Jamie jumped out, and I scooted over to the driver seat to hold the brakes while he started fiddling with the drive flanges. If I released my foot from the brakes, the hill was steep enough to drag the Ford’s locked rear tires (from being in Park). After a minute, I decided that I would put the flanges in, while Jamie held the brakes. Five minutes later, they were in, the tools were back in the truck, and Jamie was ready to back the Ford up the hill. I stood back and spotted him. The Ford easily backed up, and Jamie did a good job of turning the truck around in the relatively tight quarters. We did find some decent sized pieces of wood to burn, and headed back to our campsite. It was probably 7:00 pm at this point.

    Chapter 5: Into town in the Ford

    Mike Lambert was supposed to leave home around 4:15ish after he picked up Kari, his girlfriend. We thought Lambert may have arrived at the campground while we were piddling on the hill in the truck. Lambert wasn’t there, so Jamie kept driving the Ford, back into Wellsville. My 12 pack of Natty Ice was already nearly half gone, and we had nothing to do but kill time until others arrived. The trip into town is only about 8 minutes. As Jamie drove slowly through town, a small child of African American decent pointed at the truck and noted, “Monster truck, monster truck.” When we stopped for brew and to fill up the truck a couple other locals commented about the truck. Jamie was driving and observed to get a kick out of driving the hideous looking truck through town. At one point, he commented that if he owned the truck he wouldn’t wheel it, he’d simply drive it on the street as is. I shook my head. Jamie stopped at a dairy Queen, and as we were leaving, we passed Lambert and Kari in Mike’s motor home. We stopped in the street, advised him of where we were camping, and hoped he could get his motor home back to our area. We led Mike back to Oak tree, and to our spot. Others had arrived, and after Lambert found our area, he decided to camp right near the road, where most of the others were going to be.

    Chapter 6: Moving our stuff

    Not wanting to tear down and re-assemble our tents, we had the idea to load my tent into-onto the bed of the Ford, and drive it back to the new campsite. This worked…..kinda, with me riding in the bed to stabilize it, as Jamie drove 1mph over the fairly rough dirt road. We dropped it off at the new site, and returned for Jamie’s, and repeated the process. Others were arriving and it was now after 9:00 pm. We got everything setup once and for all, and gathered round to BS. Lambert got a kick out of our impromptu wheeling episode, and installing drive flanges on a hillside.

    Chapter 7: Friday night

    Mike Sauer and his wife arrived, amongst others, and we soon realized that no one had any significant amount of wood for a fire. Mike Scott (built CJ….they guy who snapped his transfer case output shaft on the rock @ Beard Memorial weekend) loaded into the Ford, with Jamie driving, and me on the passenger side. About 700 pounds of dudes were crammed onto the blue bench seat of the truck. We loaded up wood, and returned. The fire was lit (sans gasoline for those who were fearing Slade-fire part deux) and we all drank some brew and discussed the weekend ahead. Some of the highlights of the evening:

    After everyone guessed that Sauer was about 45 years old, he produced his driver license, and proved that he is indeed in his early 30s’s………..born in 1971.

    We listened to “Big Truck” and “Sway” by Coal Chamber. “Sway” starts out by a guy whispering, “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don’t need no water, let the mother****er burn.” The whispering stops, heavy metal starts, and the lead singer is blaring, “Burn mother****er, burn!!”

    After much prodding, Sauer did indeed drink a Steel Reserve. Mike has officially earned his, “I have drank SR around the campfire and wheeled with Roy & the guys” T-shirt that I joked about several months ago.

    Jamie drank a small amount of a$5 bottle of Pink wine, and offered it to several others. He didn’t have many takers.

    Jamie cooked Bratwursts, and when I bit into one of them advised, “I need a light, this is awful squishy inside.” A flashlight revealed that it was indeed undercooked. Yeah, I finished eating it.

    Many other subjects were discussed ranging from family oriented wheeling type stuff to fairly vulgar topics. Nearly all of us checked in around midnight/12:30 am.

    Chapter 8: The Ride

    We had 17-20 rigs

    Mike Scott- CJ-7, 33’s Tiretown
    Jerry K-5- Blazer of 44’s, Tiretown
    Older Guy in a Dodge Raider, 33’s Tiretown
    Brian- John Deer CJ-5, 33’sTiretown
    Mike- K-35, 38’s Tiretown
    Mike- F.S. Bronco, 35’s Tiretown
    Guy with curly hair in a CJ-7, 32’s-33’s Tiretown

    The author in the Ford
    Lambert in the Buggy
    Jamie in the YJ, 34’s
    Sauer in the CJ, 33’s
    TB Shakie in the CJ, 33’s?
    TB Shakie’s friend in a built hybrid Ranger/F-250 35’s??
    Ron in the Blazer, 37’s
    Jason Johnson in the Toyota, 38’s
    Brent in the YJ, 35’s
    Ernie in the K-5, 33’s

    There may have been others….I remember at least 17.

    Saturday morning, a driver meeting was held, and it was determined to try & start out together, then branch off if necessary. Ernie said he was about to leave due to having to pay $50 cash for his family as it was “$10 per head.” I told Ernie to hang on and went for my wallet in the truck as this was BS, and we’d all chip in and pay. By the time I arrived back, someone/a couple people had loaned Ernie some $$ and we were good to go. The first couple hours of the ride were rather slow. Brian was leading, and I was generally between 2-5 vehicles from the front. I missed some action at the rear, and for those in the back, you’ll have to add your own tales. Within the first couple hours, Brian rolled the JD Jeep on a steep descent. It looked to be in a bad spot, but was corrected my Mike Scott’s brand new Milemarker 9000K winch. Brian’s brand new windshield frame (just purchased after rolling at the Memorial weekend ride) was ruined. It hit so hard, that it popped the windshield out of the frame, and luckily spared the glass itself. After winching the Jeep upright, Mike Scott’s winch ****ed up would not power all of the way in. I advised that my MM was POS. Jamie noted that he has had “good luck” with his MM. I advised Jamie that they were junk. Jamie wound the winch in by hand, as it was new and the cable was in perfect order. The rest of us descended the trail without incident.

    At the bottom, Lambert, Mike Scott, Jamie, Jason Johnson, Mike Simmons, and maybe a couple others went up a fairly decent hill. Jamie, Jason, and I took the more difficult rutted line, and made it to the top. Jason nearly had his rig on its side on several occasions during this climb. It was nearly noon, and the smaller group of us stopped at the top of the hill, and knew we needed to branch off into at least two groups, more built/less built to run what we wanted to run. I was looking at Mike Scott’s clean/well built CJ-7. I noted that he had Revolver Shackles, and asked him how he liked them……I told him that I had heard some people love them, and others think they are a waste. He stated that they helped a lot, and while saying this, he noted, for no apparent reason to me, “This will go anywhere your truck with big tires will go.” I made a mental note of this, and said nothing.

    I wanted to wheel with Jerry and Mike from Tiretown, as they have fullsize rigs, and Jerry’s Blazer is pretty much the shiznit. Go to CK5.com…it is currently featured as the rig of the month.

    We eventually drove around the corner, and arrive at the “Playground.” This area has many steep fairly smooth hills to climb. I rode with Jamie in his Jeep up one of them, and spent the rest of my time watching Ernie play on several of them, getting quite tippy on a few occasions. Ernie’s son was riding with me. Another brief drivers meeting gave us the following group:

    The author
    Lambert & Kari
    Mike –K35 Chevy
    Jerry in the K-5 Blazer
    Ron in the K-5 Blazer
    Brent in the YJ
    Guy with curly hair in the CJ-7
    Jason J & Renee

    We headed to the Rock Garden. Lambert drove his buggy up and around the trail, and parked at the end. When I was at Wellsville in 2004, there was a huge tree in the trail, and it was impassable. At the time, a few Jeeps played on the rocks, but no one could get over the first big rock. I didn’t try as Lambert advised that it may rip out my rear driveshaft. I was on 38’s at the time, and didn’t have a spare driveshaft back in the day. Jamie went first, and observed to be excited as he blurted something to the effect of “Holy sheet, this looks like a baby Widowmaker trail!” I asked Jamie if he wanted to let Jerry lead, as he was familiar with it, and Jamie said, “There’s only one way to learn” and headed for the start. The first big rock is a real PITA as it is straight up & down/maybe even undercut, and wreaks havoc on the underbelly/rear driveshaft area of a rig. Jamie became hung up on the bellypan of his Jeep & winched. Jason Johnson was hitting his rear driveshaft with me spotting and telling him to stop & reverse. Jason tried many different lines and was bouncing violently on the rock several times. Eventually it bounced the right way, and he was able to clear the rock with his driveshaft intact. I was next, and waited for Jerry, as he wanted to take pictures of Buford on the rock. The safety of the rear driveshaft was my only concern, as my spare uses smaller U-joints/yokes. I carry everything I need to convert it back to 1330 yokes, with the U-joints, and a complete rear shaft, but I view this as a “get me home on the road shaft” as it isn’t as strong for wheeling. I crawled the nose over the rock, and had Jamie keep an eye on the rear shaft. “You have plenty of room”, he noted. I gave it mild throttle, and to quote Jim Wagner of Tiretown (who wasn’t there BTW) “I didn’t spin a tire.” The rest of the trail is slow going, and fairly technical, but Jamie and Jason were at the end. I made it to the end without any problems.

    The brown CJ driven by the “guy with curly hair”……sorry I forgot his name made it towards me in a hurry….I didn’t get to see what happened on the first big rock. He became stuck on a rock near the end of the trail, where it starts into a clearing. I pulled him off this rock with the Ford, and we was finished with the trail.

    I didn’t see Ron go over the first big rock, so I’m not sure if he made it or was pulled. Ron became hung-up further up the trail, and Jason Johnson came back stating that Ron was specifically asking for me (or me & Jamie) to try & spot him. He was stuck on the front diff, and on the rear axle tube at the same time. The Blazer wouldn’t budge either way. Brent winched him rearwards a couple feet, and after much finagling to get the right line, Ron made it through the tight spot. It should be noted that this was the second most difficult spot in this trail. Brent went next, and became bottomed out on the first rock, as had Jamie. He winched (I think……..I know he winched or was pulled over the first rock, but I didn’t pull him…..perhaps the order is messed up). Anyway, Brent made it to the end without further trouble.

    Jerry went next, and this was the first difficult obstacle I was able to watch the Blazer attempt. Jerry got the nose over the rock, and hit it with some throttle. The rear 44” TSL’s aired down to 5.5 psi hit the rock and bounded around. Jerry backed up a couple times and hit it harder, and the rear clumb over the rock. Jerry idled the rest of the trail without incident. Mike in the K-35 Chevy, 14B locked, D60 front-open, 38’s, built 489 (stroked Chevy big block) 4 speed was next. Mike got the front over, but his rear driveshaft was hitting the rock. I spotted the driver shaft area, and Jerry spotted from the front. After many tries, much bouncing, and some driver side body damage from a tree, Jerry told Mike to back out and go a round the big rock, which he did. He did not have trouble with the rest of the trail.

    I wanted to hit the “Chinese Waterfall” or the “Big Waterfall” whichever you choose to call it, and Jerry advised that we weren’t far away. The Chinese Waterfall is a rocky, et waterfall obstacle up a deep ravine. The ledges are steep with the nastiest part being on the driver side front, when climbing the most difficult section. The wider a rig is, the steeper the climb in the passenger side. I (and several others) parked at the start of the obstacle, and walked up the ravine to inspect it. It was pleasantly cool in the dark, shady ravine…..a welcome break from the hot July sun. I told Jamie and Brent to be leery of getting too far left when climbing the obstacle, as I observed nearly every rig that attempted it made it over a year ago plow their driver front corner of their vehicle into a jutting rock. With my beefy Lambert-built front bumper, I broke a chunk of the rock off when I did this very thing Easter weekend 2004.

    Jerry started up the obstacle, and hit it hard, skying the front of the big Blazer. The rear clumb over, and he hit his driver side beadlock/tire assembly hard on the jutting rock. It sounded nasty, but the big Blazer shrugged it off and drove to the top. I went next, and was gentler than Jerry. The climb is steep enough that I was dragging the bottom passenger corner of my front bumper when approaching the obstacle. I grunted the front end over, and gave it mild throttle and the rear conquered the obstacle. Jamie went next (while I was driving down the connector trail to meet back up with the group at the bottom. When I exited the Ford, several people were commenting about Jamie’s approach, which apparently was quite aggressive. He made it on the first attempt. Brent went (I’m a poet & don’t know it) next and after spotting advice from Jamie on one side and me on the other, made it after a few tries in the 4.0 auto YJ. Jason Johnson made it up without any real trouble. Some of the rigs didn’t want to try the waterfall. Mike in the clean, powerful, one ton Chevy truck went next. He could get the nose over with a lot of throttle, but he was bouncing all over the place. Many tries/different approaches with Jerry and me giving spotting advice, but without a front locker, Mike was having to brutalize the rig, and eventually backed down. He later found that his front CV joint in his driveshaft was about to bite the big one. It wasn’t completely broken, but he used 2wd the rest of the day whenever he could. Mike told me that with the 6” of lift (+3” body lift) that the CV joint doesn’t last very long when used on the trail.

    It was getting to be 3:00 pm or so, and Jerry told me of a “nasty climb out of a creek-bed that is one of, if not the most difficult obstacles at Wellsville.” I was interested. We soon arrived at the trail.

    It looks like a cross between the rock ledge part of “Slider” and the steep/muddy/rocky mess of Moonshine in Slade, KY. One must drive through a creek, and up greasy smooth and steep rocks with a large angled rock ledge, with a separate jutting rock near the center/driver side of the rig. Jerry advised that he had been there when “20 very built Jeeps could not climb it.” Jerry stressed that momentum coming out of the creek was the key ingredient to having a chance at the obstacle. I stood near the hard part. Jerry started the Blazer up it coming out of the creek quickly. The nose his the ledge, went over, the rear tires hit the ledge, and the Blazer was halted. Jerry backed down the hill, through the creek onto the other side. He hit it HARD. He hit it like I hit stuff when it’s balls to the wall, foot on the floor, grip the wheel, hold on, and hope it holds together HARD. Jerry’s ZZ4 350 has similar torque as my 460, with probably another 150 horsepower…..350 HP vs. my 200ish. Also, his Blazer by both Jerry and my own guestimations, weighs about 2000 pounds less………….likely 5200 lbs. for him, and around 7200 lbs. for me.

    The front of the Blazer hit the obstacle and carried at least the passenger front tire a few feet off the ground for at least 10 feet. The rear hit, bounced over, Jerry kept the throttle down, all four were spinning pretty quickly, and the Blazer climbed the rest of the hill without any problems. Jerry circled around at the top and drove down a connector trail, which exits back into the creek a few feet from the un-named nasty mess Jerry just climbed. I’ll give the name that I have in mind for this later in the report.

    Jason Johnson had his girlfriend drive his Toyota, and she tried valiantly several times. The front could not climb the obstacle, even with various attempts. Some violent bouncing ensued, but the Yota held together, Jason may have suffered minor body damage from an angled tree that is very close to the passenger side rear when backing down. After several tires, Jason backed out of the way.

    I advise onlookers that I wanted to crawl to it to get a feel for it. The Ford crawled through the creek, and was scratching for traction on the wet smooth rocks before the mud/large ledge. I crawled the nose to the rocks and (not to my surprise) didn’t come close to climbing it. I reversed and tried it a few more times with slightly more throttle each time. When backing down, I hit the top passenger side of the bed rail pretty hard on the angled tree. At one point, based on how hard it hit/wedged against the tree, I thought I may have to have the rear of my truck winched/pulled to the side, away from the tree. The 42’s fought for traction and pulled the truck far enough forwards to get me off of the bastardly tree. I knew if I had any chance, it was going to have to be to give Buford all he had, hold on, and see what happened.

    I backed up out of the creek. Trans in low. Crawled through the creek, and when the front tires came out of the creek, I planted my foot to the floor. The tired 460 gave maximum grunt, and the front hit the ledge and launched into the air………the front landed and tractions was poor, as the truck slowly drug the rear tires to the ledge, but not over. This was maximum throttle to get the front end over. I backed the front up to the edge of the ledge, and put my foot to the floor. Traction was piss-poor, even with sipped 42’s aired down to 9.5 psi front, 8.5 psi rear. The truck would get the rear to the ledge, and wiggle around, but not climb over it. I tried this a few more times. Once, I felt the rear lugs clawing at the rock, and I thought it may start to climb over, but it did not. I backed down, whacking the rear bedrail on the tree one more time. I told Jerry, “I’ll post this on CK5.com and tell them that you made this, and the Ford couldn’t.” Jerry stated, “That a lot of weight to drag up that ledge.” Not surprisingly, no one else wanted to try the hill/rock/mess. As I backed away, I gave the hill one more glance………..I’m pretty sure I heard the Ford whisper, “I’ll be back……….****er.”

    We passed the “Ugly Trail” and it looked more filled in/easier than it did in 2004, so we didn’t even mess with it. We proceeded on to Chicken Coup which is a low lying area with quad/motorcycle trails on one side, and a large rocky, dirty, dusty open hill climb area on the other side. There is a rockpile with large boulders that makes for some interesting photos/challenge for larger tired rigs. Jerry drove up onto it and wiggled around once or twice, but drove over it without any real trouble. I went next with Jerry spotting, and had to adjust my line. At one point, I had all four tires against large rocks. I put the throttle down and all Buford would do was grunt. Not enough gearing to turn the tires. I backed up and moved slightly towards the left with Jamie watching the rear driveshaft, and Jerry spotting from the front. Both said the line looked good, and the Ford crawled over the big pile of rocks. Jerry said he got some good pictures here. No one else wanted to play on the rock pile.

    Lambert played on the hills in his buggy, and took Jason Johnson for a white knuckle ride up one of the rocky trails. Jason was drinking a Coca Cola before strapping in to the buggy, and I told Renee that if Jason had a wet spot in the front of his pants after the ride, not to buy the “I spilled my pop” line.

    We stood around & BS’s a while and decided to head back to camp, as we had hit most of the difficult stuff. We headed back to camp. After leaving Chicken coup, the trail leader (whoever it was) took us up a trail that looped around and came out in the middle of the steep descent on chicken coup. After that, I looked in the rearview, ad no longer could see Ron in the Blazer who was behind me. I advised people of the CB to hold up, but no one heard/listened/responded. I went back and met up with Ron and Joe McHenry (Joe was riding with Ron) and they said that the rigs following them had not descended chicken coup. To make a long story short, Mike in the big Chevy truck had a flat, changed it quickly, and the group became spaced out. Roy’s simple trail advice of the day: “When you cannot see the rig behind you, a) STOP b) TELL OTHERS TO STOP c) BACK UP AND SEE WHAT HAPPENED.

    We arrived back at camp around 5:00-5:30 pm.

    Chapter 9: Back at camp

    Several others loaded up and headed home. I cracked a Natty Ice, Jamie had a few drinks of his wine, and finally found a taker, in the form of Jerry’s girlfriend to have some of it. Brent had a Bud Light or two.

    Chapter 10: Back to town

    Jamie wanted food, so I loaded up in the passenger seat of his Jeep, and Brent sat in the rear of the Jeep. We drove to town, and we went to the Dairy Queen. Brent and Jamie went inside for ice cream. I don’t like sweet foods, so I sat in the Jeep and enjoyed another Natty Ice wittily concealed in a Bud Light Coozy. They came out, and while driving back to the camp, I remembered Mike Scott’s comment about “It’ll go anywhere where you’re big tired truck will.” I told Jamie and Brent that when he said that, I was thinking: “No it won’t…………….****er.” Jamie and Brent started laughing. I advised that it was all in good fun, but I really didn’t see where the comment came from.

    Chapter 11: The Confrontation

    Back at camp, we ran into the other group. I talked to TB Shakie, his buddy, and Sauer. From the three, I’d learned that no one in their group had made it up the Chinese Waterfall………….Mike Scott was in that group…..Hmmmmn.

    Seconds later, Mike Scott walked by. I called him over, and said, “Hey Mike, I thought you could go anywhere I could with my big tires.” He said, “Yeah, I didn’t want to break it again.” He walked away, and I heard nothing else. A few seconds later, Jamie says, “Did you hear that, that’s BS.” Then Jamie says something to the effect of, “There’s no need for that” and a few other choice words directed in Mike’s direction. Apparently, several other guys heard Mike Scott say something to the effect of, “Huh………and Mike (referring to Lambert) said you were a nice guy.” A minute or so later, Mike walked back through, and I called him over to me, sitting on a bench. I asked Mike what did he say when he was walking away, and that I was “just ragging on you.” He sat down and said that he understood that I was just ragging on him, and that he rags on people, and can take it, etc. He said that he blew an inner bead on his bead lock wheels, and did not want to risk breaking it after all of the times it’s broken recently. I can dig that. I shook Mike’s hand, and he walked back to his camp at the other end of the area.

    Chapter 12: Trail stories

    We sat around and BS’s with TB Shakie (Paul) his buddy in the Ford hybrid (forget his name……nice guy, shaved head with a goatee. Jason and Renee left. I BS’d with Jerry in the Blazer and Mike in the K-35 before they left, stated that I looked forward to wheeling with them in the future, etc. We learned that the other group had some carnage, but nothing too awful: Brian rolled (again), Mike Simmons broke a front axle in the Bronco, Brian broke a motor mount, TB Shakie’s inner fiberglass fenders kept catching fire on the headers, and his buddy’s Ford hybrid’s hydro boost power steering pump/braking system burnt up (the pump….no fire involved). Paul (TBShakie) eventually snipped/cut out the offending area and corrected the problem. There may be other stuff that was broken/had issues, but this is what I remember at the moment.

    Chapter 13: Night Run

    A night run was planned, and did not get started until nearly 9:00 pm. For the record, all drivers were sober. Brent and I rode with Jamie in the YJ. Mike Scott went out. An unknown guy in a very clean red TJ went, Brian rode shotty in a yellow Tire-town Jeep, and led the way, there was a white lifted Cherokee on decent sized AT’s. There may have been others, and Jamie or Brent can point out the other rigs if I forgot someone, but it was a small group.

    Jamie drove up the Chinese Waterfall again with me riding shotty, and Brent out of the vehicle, standing at the bottom. Jamie went up it with an impressive amount of finesse/throttle at the right time. A couple times, the engine felt as if it may die, but it had the grunt to continue on. In a stock geared 4 cylinder, 5 speed, Jamie went up it about as calm and controlled as could be expected. I complimented his driving, and jumped out, with SR in hand. The red TJ wanted to try, and Jamie rode shotty with him. I was standing near the nasty section of the trail with SR in hand, giving spotting advice. (That probably sounds similar to having a starving stray Tom-cat babysitting your pet birds.) However, I assure you that I was doing my best to keep the rig damage free. My recurring advice throughout this obstacle was “Constant medium throttle” that I often mention. The driver simply could not get the technique down. It was jerky and simply not working. He could not make it up the waterfall after many attempts, and many different lines.

    We went to the “Little Waterfall” which is where Brad made it, I made it, Lambert broke many parts all at once, and no one else made it, Easter weekend 2004. It looks much worse than it did then. Jamie tried. It’s about 4’ high, and vertical on the left side, with the right side sloping off…..somewhat……looks nasty. Jamie tried hard a few times. The nose would go up, but the rear did not feel close to making it. I repeatedly advised Jamie that I recommending stopping…..immediately before something broke. Mike Scott tried several times, slowly, and different lines, basically avoiding the steep part (and the entire obstacle IMO) and still could not get up it. BTW, I was spotting him, and telling him that the only way he had a chance was to hit it hard, and I personally would not do that (if I were driving a Jeep, that is ;). Mike drove off the obstacle at an easy exit. Brent and I loaded back into Jamie’s Jeep, and we all headed back to camp.

    Chapter 14: Campfire

    It was after 11:00 pm, and we BS’s around the campfire, and Mike Scott loaned me his “hamburger holder” to cook my 5 Brats in. When I opened it, a few fell into the ashes, but I picked them up, took the two dirtiest ones for myself, wiped them off, and ate them. Others ate the other three. They were fully cooked BTW. We all checked in around 12:30 am.

    Chapter 15: Sunday morning:

    We awoke around 7:30 am. I wanted to go and hit the “Little Waterfall” in the morning, then pack up & leave. No one else wanted to try it. Jamie, Brent, and I were going to go into town in the Ford to grad some McDonald’s breakfast. I started up the Ford, and the throttle felt “soggy and weak.” It had no power trying to pull forwards or backwards. I told Jamie and Brent to head on into town, and called Lambert over to inspect. I advised Mike that it acted fine when I parked it, and the accelerator pump pin (which had come loose at Barkcamp in March resulting in weak throttle response) was in place, and functioning as it should. We removed the carb in 3-4 minutes, found that a small portion of the carb gasket had “sucked into the intake.” I bummed a dab of RTV from Brian, and Lambert put a dab or two on the metal/paper gasket. I reinstalled the carb. Lambert adjusted the ignition timing and the carb air/fuel screws, and it was OK again. Yep, the 2bbl Motorcraft is going back on.  The Quadrajet is kinda cool on the road, but even after tweaking its accelerator pump response, it still doesn’t have as much low end grunt on the trail as the 2bbl, and most importantly, it is not as reliable.

    Jamie and Brent returned with 2 breakfast burritos and 2 hash browns for me. I ate one of each, and threw the rest in the cooler. I thanked Lambert and Brian for their assistance in fixing my carb problem. I removed the flanges, aired up my tires, aired up Jamie’s tires, and BS’d with Jamie for a few minutes before he left for home.

    Chapter 16: The Ride Home

    I followed Lambert out of the campsite a few minutes after Jamie left. The trip home was relatively fast and uneventful. We cruised at 65 mph with Mike in the motor home, and the author driving the Ford. On the way home, I realized that I have at least 2,400 road miles on the truck since mid March 2005. Barkcamp, Slade, Furnace twice, Beard/Quarry twice, KY Outback Park, Wellsville, etc. Lambert and I stopped near Cambridge OH for fuel. I added a few gallons of gas, and three quarts of oil. Lambert and I went our separate ways in Duncan Falls. I thanked him for hanging back with me for the trip home, and advised Mike and Kari to have a good afternoon.

    Chapter 17: Conclusion

    NOTE: I’ll edit my errors as needed tomorrow.

    I arrived home around 1:00 pm. I parked the Ford in the driveway. Sadie the German Shepherd observed to be happy to see my stinky/smelly arse. Bowser was going nuts when she heard my famous line of “Eeees ‘ole Bowser!!!!!!” as I came bounding up the basement steps. Hugged/kissed my wife and Bowser, petted the cat, had a cigarette, took a shower, took a nap, hung out with my wife & pets & started on this trail report around 7:00 pm. Three days, good friends, good trails, many beers, good stories, etc. I’ll see you guys at the Novice Ride.

  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Jul 23, 2000
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    E-town baby!
    Wow, that has got to be one of the longest posts I've seen in a while...:eek1:

    Any pic's? (I hear they're worth 1000 words each :wink1: )

  3. mudslinger99

    mudslinger99 1/2 ton status

    Oct 8, 2004
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    East Coast
    I agree that has got to be the longest single post I have ever read.. :crazy:

    That post must be atleast 4 or s pics worth :haha:

    Good Job 78Buford on the story it made me feel just like I was there and some of it was pretty funny :waytogo: It sounds like you had a good weekend .. You mentioned somebody took some pics so lets see the action..
  4. JK5

    JK5 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

    Jan 31, 2002
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    Norton, Oh
    Nice write-up!!! :bow: :bow:

    I didn't see-it...at first...I reposted!!! :doah:
  5. 78Buford

    78Buford 1/2 ton status

    Apr 1, 2005
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  6. Brocky

    Brocky 1/2 ton status

    May 22, 2005
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    St.John's Newfoundland, Canada
    That's the most reading I've done since high school. Sounds like a good trip. :)
  7. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

    Feb 24, 2000
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    He does a write-up that long for every trip.......must have plenty of time on his hands.

    In any case wish I could have made it........I guarantee it was more fun than what I did this weekend.

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