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The day was September, 30, 2000. The high for the day was forecasted to be between 100° and 105°. This is 10° or more above average for this time of year. However, the nights have been cooling down into the high 70°s so if you can stay in the shade near mid-day, it isn't too bad....at least, nothing like it would be if it were the last day of July.
Six of us arrived at the designated air down point to plot the day's activities. I had loaded up my GPS receiver with several trails that ran North from our regular wheelin' area. We decided we would explore this area for some new trails, hoping to find a couple of replacements for some land that was recently sold and posted as NO TRESPASSING. I hate to see that happen, but there is nothing you can do when the land owner decides to post his land. Smile and move on....that is about it.
Today's participants included 3 TJs, a CJ-7, and 2 YJs. Larry, Dion, Scott, Mike, John, and myself. John joined us for the first time with his CJ-7 and as it turned out, had a good time. I look forward to wheelin' with him again. Strangely enough, he lives very close to Dion so I hope he will drag John along (or vice-a-versa) when we hit the trail the next time.
Dion asked me if we could stop off at Three-Line Rock before we got serious about finding a new trail. Feeling more like a DJ playing oldie requests, we headed down the trail only to find that we were headed in the right direction, but on a different route. I zoomed out the resolution on my Garmin GPS and scrolled further ahead to see what was coming up. Sure enough, there was a cut-off to the right that would bring us to where we wanted to go, albeit from the opposite direction.
We headed down the cut-off and five minutes of travel time put us at ground zero.....but on the high side of our desired obstacle. We took the by-pass so as to get down below Three-Line Rock since we all agree that climbing up it is much more fun. We got out and walked through the various lines that present varying degrees of difficulty. John had never been here before and it had been a while since Scott was. With the discussion and advice rendering out of the way, we proceeded to spend an hour or so playing on the rocks. (Who would think that so little could keep so many entertained for so long!)
Dion starts me out by climbing up the middle of three entry points into Three-Line Rock. One of the things I like best about running with this group of Jeepers is their willingness to stop and discuss the lines through an obstacle. Spotting is a skill unto itself....as you need to know what the vehicle is going to be doing before you lead it on a path over the obstacle. Sometimes it is quite a challenge to get the driver to stay focused on the spotter. They want to stick their head out the door and see what is happening, which gives a very limited perspective of what the other side of their vehicle is doing.
Having made it up the entry line, I maneuvered off the rock to get myself placed for the exit out of the obstacle. As I was just about off the top and cranking the wheels around to the left, Larry yelled for me to hold it since I was quite twisted up.
Opposite corners of the vehicle were stuffed and at full droop. This is about as much as my suspension will provide for. I'm not quite sure what I'll be doing when I get my next set of tires. I plan on going up a size (or two?) and I'm not quite sure where the extra rubber is going to fit.. Oh well, I'll worry about that when I get closer to replacement time.
More Rock Crawlin'
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