Participates: Ira & Lorrie WeinyJim Hodges Ed Lorenzen & son Richard Beard Rob (EdGÇÖs Friend) Another friend of EdGÇÖs Tom Vella
The trip started for me when I met up with Richard Beard at Noon on Sept. 23rd at the 76 Gas station in Milpitas (Calvarias & Hwy 680). We were to meet and then caravan up to the campgrounds off of Hwy 4. The drive up was pretty much uneventful with a stop for lunch in Stockton, stop in Arnold for gas, and the last stop to get a fire permit. It was at the stop for the fire permit we found out this weekend was the opening of deer hunting season. Richard and I both looked at each other and decide we should have brought some bright orange clothes.
Once we arrived at the campgrounds (around 5:00 pm), Jim Hodges who was setting up his camp met us. Richard and I spent some time catching up with Jim and then began to set up our camp with our tents, sleeping bag, and the other misc. items we had. The rest of the early evening was spent eating dinner and sitting around and talking.
Ira and Lorrie made it into camp around 9:30 pm. As they pulled into camp I notice they were pulling a CJ-7. I though the Jeep would be a good icebreaker as my rig is a Jeep CJ-7 too. Keep in mind, this was my first trip with the club and knew only Richard. Ira and LorrieGÇÖs CJ-7 did the trick for the icebreaker. Ira and I spent a lot of time that evening talking about our rigs and more specifically about his fuel injection set-up. IGÇÖve been considering putting fuel injection in my Jeep for some time now.
Saturday morning was clear and cold (Jim made a comment that it got down to 35 degrees that night). Around 8:30 am the rest of the trip members came into camp. In the group were Ed Lorenzen and his son, Rob, and one other guy whose name IGÇÖve forgotten. We spent some time with introductions and catching up on events. Ira had a quick meeting and we were ready to start airing down and disconnecting.
The plan was to start the run at 9:30 am. The group decided it would be best to start with Corral Hollow. The trial was dry and dusty. For a Saturday, there was a fair amount of traffic on the trail. We stopped at the backpackerGÇÖs cabin, which was occupied by a couple of hunters. After an outhouse brake and talking with the hunter, we were on our way. A couple more quick stops to admire the views and we were at the end of the trail.
We decided that it would be good time to have lunch before heading to Slick Rock. Lunch was a good time to get to know the group a little more and to talk 4 wheeling (of course).
With lunch completed, it was time to move on to Slick Rock. This is where the real fun and action started. On the way, one of our group rigs went missing in action. But with some searching we were all back together. Turned out the lost little sheep got a bit confused where the trail was.
Slick Rock was as fun as usual. The trail was dry and, as with Corral Hollow, had a fair amount of traffic. Going down the slick rock section was fun and all rigs made it with no trouble. We got to the stair step section and came upon a Jeep TJ that was attempting to go up it. When we arrived he was pretty much going nowhere. Tires were spinning and he couldnGÇÖt get any traction. With some of us providing some advice and rock rolling, he still was not making it. Then one of our group members suggested he air down his tires. After doing so, he made it up with no problems. How about that GÇª.go figure, you need to air down your tires!
Now it was our turn. Ira took the lead and with a few adjustments and a few tries he was up with no problems. It was then my turn and after watching Ira, I pretty much knew what line I wanted to take and got up it with no issues. With a few adjustments here and there and some rock rolling, the rest of the rigs made it with no trouble. We completed the trail and took some time to reflex on the fun.
We decided we had enough time still in the day to make a return trip back through Slick Rock. With the group going back through, we reached the stair steps. Most of the group had gotten down without incident. For me it was a different story. Going down the steps always seems to be more difficult for me. It proved to be the case. As I was going down, I got centered on a rock and couldnGÇÖt get loose. After a few attempts, Ed notices that I broke a front hub. We got my rig off the trail and as IGÇÖm getting it off, IGÇÖm thinking, IGÇÖm going to have to finish the run in two wheel drive (I didnGÇÖt have a spare hub). ThatGÇÖs when the members of Esprit de Four came to the rescue. I was headed to the back off my Jeep to get tools and things I thought we might need. But before I knew it, the team was at work. Ira had a spare hub for his GÇÖ86 CJ-7 (I have an GÇÖ85 CJ-7). Richard had a blue tarp laid out, Ed had a bottle jack under my right front, and Rob was working the lug nuts, and extracting the broken studs. Jim was looking for needed hardware. I thought I was watching an Indy 500 pit stop. With all the help, I think, I was up and going in less than 30 minutes. I own a big thank-you for the help from all the guys.
The rest of the run out was routine with no issues. We made our way to a parking lot to air up. This is were the guys that had come up for the day and the group that was camping over night said their good byes and went their separate ways.
Ira, Lorrie, Jim, Richard, and myself headed back to camp. With a nice big fire going and full stomachs after dinner, we had a ton of fun talking about that days adventure.
Sunday morning we loaded up our vehicles with our camping gear and said our good-byes. I started for back home around 10:00 am and got into town around 2:00 pm. I had a great time and met a lot of neat folks. A+ trip.