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Dusy-Ershim Trail

 

If memory serves me correctly, this is the bottom of another huge granite slab known as Chicken Rock.  Lee works his way around a couple of large rocks just before he gets onto the slap and starts a rather steep ascent.  The traction is nothing short of awesome so not to worry....you will make it to the top.


The view out of the driver's side window as you climb the granite slab.  It is actually just a bit steeper than this.  As you can see, I had the camera tilted a bit and it took at little bit away from what was actually there.


At the top of Chicken Rock, you can see the Courtright Reservoir.  This is, in my opinion, one of those million dollar views that simply don't quit.  Can you imagine having a view ;ole this off of the front deck of your house?


This is part way up Thompson Hill, the last section of trail we did before calling it quits for day #1.  Thompson Hill is only .2 miles long but you will gain some 600 feet in elevation once you get to the top.  It was not overly difficult, but you had to stay focused, picking your lines carefully.  Getting yourself sideways on parts of this section would quickly put you over onto your side. 


Robert caught me working my way through more of the rocks that made up most of Thompson Hill.  If I had to compare it to another section of trail that we had ran, it was probably along the same lines as Cadillac Hill on the Rubicon Trail.  We all managed to get hung up on one ledge but a couple of rocks solved the problem.  For the most part, leaving the rear ARB engaged and the front ARB open provided reliable traction while allowing the necessary steering for good tire placement on the rocks.  We topped Thompson Hill shortly before sunset.
 


Shortly after finishing Thompson Hill, we found a turn off from the trail that had a fire ring needing just a bit of repair and plenty of room to set up a couple of tents.  This would be home for the first night.  We quickly broke out our camping gear, erected tents, unfolded the chairs, and got a nice warm fire going.  The fire was not quite as big as it appears in the above pic.....I was shooting a time elapsed picture when it was taken so the flames looked better than they actually were.

Robert broke out a little gas grill he had brought along and soon had his Tri-Tip sizzling.  Donna had packed a number of dinners for me that were frozen before going into the cooler.  With the dry-ice I had put in on Friday evening, everything was still quite frozen.  I fired up my single burner butane backpacking stove and had my dinner warmed up in about five minutes.  We had skipped lunch (hey, that is why you stash jerky in the center console) so everyone was pretty hungry and dinner tasted great.  The sunset caused a most wonderful illumination of the nearby granite rocks, turning it a brilliant red/yellow.  Unfortunately, catching that with a camera and no tripod turned out to be a very blurry picture.  You'll have to trust me that it was a site to behold. 

We spent a couple of hours talking around the campfire, talking about the usual things....other Jeep trips, suspension systems, etc.  Somewhere around 9:30, we called it a day and turned in for the night.  Several hours after that, the first bit of rain started.



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