Well El Jepo Negro survived another trail… Molina was great, the trail that is. Friday found us frantically, as always, trying to get out of town. Alicia had similar problems with getting away from work and we met up in Morgan Hill.
The drive down was uneventfull even though dark. The event was FULL this year. Although Lorrie and I have not been before I could tell that this was unusually crowded. The camping area was full and shortly after we arived they were turning people away. We had towed down but the Dodge with just the shell was able to sqeeze by back to a quite place for the two nights camping.
THANKS go to Joe Farley and Denny for saving some room for straglers such as ourselves even though we did not answer his email.
5am, yessss 5am! we were up and lined up at the front of the line. Ron Fox was no 1 followed by Alicia, another Jeep, Lorrie and I, and then Denny behind. Joe and Bill Farley were just a few vehicles back with some of Joe’s friends.
All told I think ED4 members in attendance were:
Alicia Wilson Ron Fox Joe Farley Bill Farley Denny (last name? sorry) Brian Ryder Lorrie and Ira (us!) Correct me if I am wrong and missed anyone. I did not mean to. We started up the hill at 7am. Not far up Denny had some trouble with his fuel system. At first we thought he was out of fuel. I walked back with some of Alicias extra fuel to help out. But turns out it must have been vapor lock or air getting sucked into the line. Just priming the fuel line up to the pump and it ran the rest of the day fine. Lorrie, Alicia, and Brian went on ahead as Denny and I trouble shot his fuel system. As always I learned some more tricks from a more experienced driver, thanks Denny. The trails were apparently different this year in that there was not just one loop. The “mud pit” was a central place where “sub-runs” started and looped back to. Because of this people were spread out and in my opinion seemed to work well. We really did not have to wait in line much and Denny was able to catch back up to the group and I rejoined Lorrie in our Jeep. One drawback is that I don’t think we did all of the runs which were available. But oh well. After Denny caught back up we stopped at the mud pit for an early lunch.
We did an easy loop which presented some slipery mud and nice senery. And ended back at the “pit”. Shortly after we went on a more advanced loop. Bill and Denny remarked after the first few “obstacles” that this was much easier than past years since it was dry. Apparently the mud caused much more excitement before.
This run took us through 2 rock gardens which provided for the highlights of the trip. The first was not that bad but I took a bad line which required me to lock up both the front and rear to get out. The Jeep is going to need some maintenance! Can’t wait to get my 4:1 kit in!
The second caused much more excitement. The top of which was where the action was… First Joe Farley knocked a valve stem off and had to replace a tire. Shortly after Brian Ryder got wedged in some rocks and, from what I am told, did a spectacular wheely while getting tugged out. Sorry Brian Lorrie missed the moment. I know that camera should have done everything for her. She did however get my slow crawl out of the small hole which tried to swallow my left rear tire. This action caused my right front tire to be about 2-3 feet in the air. This made for some great excitement. I did not actually feel all that scared… Could I be getting more confident? Probably just more stupid!
From here on in we had a pretty uneventfull trip back to camp. Everyone else got through the rock gardens pretty unscathed. Lorrie thought Denny put on the next best show with high off camber situations.
Once back in camp we relaxed a bit. There was an RTI ramp and for $5 each I talked Alicia into checking out our flexibility. I was right about 600 which is what I figured. Most of us were just looking for a benchmark out of curiousity.
Diner was served at 6. It was really good. Considering there was like 600 people there I think they did a good job. Later Alicia, Lorrie, and I braved the cold to listen to the raffle. Other ED4 members camped out farther away from the fire but we wanted to try and keep warm. I don’t know if anything was won or not, although Joe and Bill Farley were up getting something at least one time…
Sunday we drove home and I got the pictures up… Have fun: