After we cleared Appetizer, YJ John took over the lead from Steve and we headed out for Tax Collector. This trail got its name around the same time the Arizona Virtual Jeep Club first ran it on April 15, 2000....TAX DAY! Tax collector will take everything you got if you are not careful, just like the IRS. I think the name that those first folks that ran it came up with was quite fitting.
Here is Chip making his way up the wash. This is pretty much what the easy part of the trail looks like. Do you see that rock outcropping just off the passenger side door of Chip's CJ? Well, the next picture has Steve up on top of that little ledge.
Here is Steve on top of that outcropping. YJ John is checking to see what he is hung up on (t-case skid) while Dion looks on, not quite believing that Steve is driving his YJ up there. Someone borrowed Steve's camera and took a 10 shot series of him getting up there and then back down. At times, there was better than 3 feet of air under his left front tire while his right front sidewall was running up the rock.
Here is Dion's YJ just existing the waterfall. CJ John watches as YJ John spots Dion. Dion commented later that his was the scariest situation he had been in. Easy to tip over right in here. During the April 15th run, one person laid their Jeep on its side just a few yards before this spot. As I mentioned earlier, YJ John is an excellent spotter and everyone was most grateful for his work on this day.
Here is Steve just after clearing the entrance to the waterfalls. Those jagged rocks on the lower right part of the photo have claimed a number of sidewalls since this trail has become more popular. With the recent rains we have had, there was a bit of mud right at the start. It was impossible to keep your line with this mud here. As soon as the front end started climbing, the Jeep's weight was transferred to the rear axle and the additional weight and mud caused everything to slide right and directly into those two rocks. Steve's rear rim got tangled up in it and I wasn't sure what was going to happen. It finally let go with a bang and he got up on better footing and was able to continue up the waterfalls.
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