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After Joe made it to the top, the rest of us had to check out the rock. You don't go zipping up a 30°+ rock face without seeing what is there, right? I caught my best Jeepin' buddy seeing just how comfortable it was....well, it was about the right angle for a recliner, right?
After relaxing there for a bit, she said it was a bit too hard. With the camera out of my hands, I was caught giving the international "Piece of Cake" symbol, otherwise known as "Okey-Dokey". You can get an idea of how steep this puppy is....I could get just enough traction in my shoes to walk up the rock face. (assuming I didn't get into that oily stuff, eah?)
So, with the analysis out of the way and everyone having had a chance to check out the "lay of the land", it was time to give it a shot.
Joe fired up the Suzuki and gave it a try. He didn't expect to make it, (that gearing problem again), but wanted to see just how far up he could get. He made it about half way up before the engine would lug down.
Next it was my turn. I gave the digital camera to my wife and told her to just keeping shooting. I was going to try a couple of short climbs up the rock just to see what it felt like. Our trail leader encourages this kind of approach (when it is practical) to help you get the feel of the obstacle. Joe showed me the line I should take to avoid the sheet metal eating rocks on the right had side. If you slip a tire, the slope to the right will put you up against the rocks and there goes your body work.
I'm part way up on my first attempt and things feel great. RPMs are at about 1100, the engine is not bogging down, traction feels good, and the tires haven't chirped yet. Hey, why not go for it, right?
Just before the top, your front left tire breaks over a small ledge and you need to start bringing everything to the right to catch the exit off the rock and continue on the trail. Oh yeah, we are there on the first shot and it feels good!
Here I am at the top. This shot gives you a better feeling for the right hand slope into the rocks and the angle of the ledge that cuts across the top of the rock face. Would I do it again, IN A HEART BEAT!
After I got to the top, Joe decided he needed to practice just one more time (grin). So, he brought his CJ up to the edge where I got him to hold it for a second while I snapped this shot (check out the shiny rims this guy has!).
Joe made it down just fine and then came back up a 2nd time just to prove the first one was not just a freak trail-thing occurrence (really Joe, I believed you when you said you could do it again!)
From here, we headed back for the main road, only to find that our trail through the wash had been closed by a rock avalanche. Several boulders, one the size of my TJ, had fallen down into the wash. Now, we all know that if it had been the size of the Suzuki, we could have gotten over it, but such was not the case. We back tracked a bit and took off on an alternate route. We enjoyed a series of hill climbs and enough whoop-dee-doos to last me until the next trip. Joe piloted his Suzuki towards a hill that I knew he could not make. By golly, he made it, with room to spare. A few rocks got dislodged along the way but new gearing will help in the that department.
We got back out to the gravel road and stopped to air up. While the QuickAir2 was pumping up the tires, we looked at the pictures on the digital camera, joking and laughing about the various shots and what had occurred during the day. So, you are probably wondering how Jack's Rock got it's name, right? Well, I am hear to tell you that I still don't know.....and I still don't think it has anything to do with Tom's Hill either!
It was the perfect wrap up for a great Thanksgiving Holiday. I couldn't think of a better way to spend time with my very good friends. I hope your rides are as enjoyable as mine have been. And remember, pack it in, pack it out, and always TREAD lightly!
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