Wow, what a way to start off the day; not 5 minutes in and there is a truck flipped on its side with people staggering about looking dazed. Hell, and that was just on the LIE to the trail. With the slick roads there were more accidents on the roads last Sunday then carnage on the trails. That is a change. I figured we would have a small turnout due to the weather but it ended up being like 15 rigs or so.
We had a few late arrivals so I was nice and waited for them to air down, see what taking St. John's Wort does for you. As we made our way to the trailhead we started on in and then we got to the bypass. Well now the bypass is probably harder then the regular trail. It has some nice little rocky sections and when coming back out this way at the end of the trail it is hard for the less modified rigs.
After the bypass we came back out to the main trail and made our way to the first set of obstacles. It is a rock filled trench that has your suspension flexing nicely. Add in a little bit of water flowing over the rocks and it makes for a nice obstacle. For those who didn't want to "drop in" you could just drive down the middle of the trail and bypass this obstacle. A few of the stock rigs did just that.
The best photo op was Frank in the Defender 90. There is a rock at the beginning that if you hit it just right will cause the drivers side front to raise in the air. He had about 2' of air under the tire, which seemed to make his girlfriend very happy… After a bit of maneuvering we had him through this section without incident. After getting everyone through this section there are only a few small rocky sections to deal with. Most are small holes that test the suspension a bit. Nothing major unless you aren't paying attention and get a rock against a diff.
This leads us to the watery middle section of the trail. For those not familiar with this trail there is a major water/mud hole that swallows up 44" tire trucks easily and late model Land Cruisers too. We did the two smaller water holes before the major one and they weren't that deep maybe hub deep or so. We then took the bypass around the "sink pit" and continued on to the last series of obstacles, the hills. There are two hill decents to do, which after we turn around become pretty tough climbs, right Ted. The first one is rocky and shorter and the second one gives you the option of going down the right side of loose rocks to the left which has a dogleg and is more gravely and has one nice rock drop off down near its base. Coming down is like a controlled skid. I asked Mark Silverman if the lower gears in his YJ's t-case made a difference and he said not really. It's just too damn loose.
After getting everyone down, except for a few of the stock rigs, we turned everyone around and started back up the hill. I was the first to go up and did the right hand side. That first rock hump in the middle gave me a little trouble and I had to give it two tries before I was up and over it. You had to hit it just right with a bit of momentum. Then Dan in his YJ tried the left-hand side and made it though I didn't get to see it. The only others to make the left hand side where Trevor in his CJ-7 and Keith in his CJ-5. A few others tried but either had to back down or winch up. On the right hand side everyone made it up with a bit of throttle except Abe who had to winch. Ted made it up in his TJ but later found out that it was at the expense of his side gears in his rear diff. Can't wait to see that new Currie high pinion 9" underneath the TJ.
We then hit all the other obstacles on the way back out and except for a few tugs here and there we didn't have any problems. When we got off the main trail and headed back out towards the road we hit the bypass trail, which is getting pretty tough. A few people even did the main trail back up and it is now getting tougher again with the help of Mother Nature. More holes and loose rocks are showing back up. This trail seems to have a lot of potential and being only an hour away makes it a winner. One last note is that I started accepting donations for our land acquisition fund and we raised $160.00 on this ride. Well, until next month's adventures at Wurtsboro, this is Wilbur saying happy trails to you.