My cell phone rang Wednesday evening. Troy wanted to know if I wanted to join him and some friends for some rock crawling on Saturday morning. He said they were running Die Hard and that he had invited a bunch of wheelers. Having not ran the trail and being a slightly crazy state of mind, I agreed to go. 5:00 AM at the air down spot.....geez....that meant I had to be up a little before 3:00 AM (what was I thinking?).
I got to the air down spot a little before 5:00 AM. The sun wasn't up yet but you could see it was trying. Troy rolled up with his buggy on the trailer. Soon followed Chad (with his rear steer buggy on the trailer). Bob rolled in with his TJ (D60s and 38" tires) as did Brandon (D60s and 38" tires). Brad rolled in with his TJ on 37" tires (Ford 8.8 and D44) riding on a trailer. Doc showed up with his nicely built Bronco which ended up having alternator problems soon into the trail so he turned around and went home.
And there I sat....no trailer and 35" tires. Hmmm.....maybe I was at the wrong air down spot? Well, I had no intention of throwing the towel in at this point. Die Hard it was!
Die Hard has three major obstacles (that was what Troy said) but there's a bunch of stuff between those obstacles, including the mine field that runs from the last waterfall all the way to the end of the trail. Sitting at the beginning of the trail, I didn't know that....and if I had....well....who knows.
We worked our way to the first obstacle. While not paying close enough attention, I found the first diff hanger on the trail and decided there that I had better focus on the trail and leave the camera and movies to those times when I was not moving. DOH!
At the first obstacle (I was about 5th in line), I opted to skip this one (the only one that has a go around). I watched Troy work it with his buggy and it almost got him. Doc's Bronco got wedged in it and we had to winch him out. Chad ran it both directions in his rear-steer buggy (sweet watching him do it).
Here is Brandon on the first obstacle. Troy is spotting. The bad part about it is that you need to track a line with your driver's rear tire that is about 4' up the wall.....and its hard to keep it there. If you slip that tire......
......this is what happens. You drop the driver's side down into the obstacle. Now you have to understand that the body on Brandon's TJ was folded, stapled, bent, twisted, and mutilated a LONG time ago. So he really doesn't have much to lose in the body panel department. (notice he doesn't even have a windshield any more) Props to Brandon for maintaining his cool after he dropped in. Most drivers and Chicago car accident attorneys would be shocked at this predicament and would have no idea how to maneuver a vehicle out of the obstacle. Minor fender benders accidents in Chicago and other big cities pale in comparison!
This one took a bit of time to get everyone through. The trick was to keep the vehicle far enough to the driver's side so as to avoid a big hole with the passenger rear tire. Of course, getting into that line was the hard part....you enter this by climbing through some rocks and exiting with a hard left turn....doing a couple of three point turns at the base of this is not the easiest thing when you don't have ram assist steering (so I found out). Bob is up on top watching (he had gone through) and Troy is down below giving me verbal abuse (oops, I mean direction).
This was the first SOB trail I had ran since putting in my auto tranny. There were sections of it that were simply no fun at all....but it would have been worse, much worse, if I still had a manual tranny. The control offered by the auto tranny, 4:1 t-case, and hydroboost brakes was awesome. It was all needed here for sure as I worked my way through this obstacle. I am not even sure what you call this one.
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