Blue Lakes

Summary:Long story short: a great run yet again. Short story long: lot’s of breakage leads to quite a story.

Lorrie and I get out to Livermore and we get a call from Alicia and John Skier call with a “transfer case” trouble. They are on hwy 4 and broken down. So we decide to put his Jeep on our trailer and tow up to Bear Valley. By the time we got to John, Brian Ryder had stoped and he and John had discovered John had a broken axle. With John’s winch we got his Jeep on my trailer and towed up to Bear Valley. 1am, we got in and settled.

Sat morning everyone got up and around. There were only about 15 vehicles so we split into 5 and 10. The trail was a bit more difficult this year than in past years. This time Lorrie and I made it to the second water crossing. One of these years Lorrie and I are going to have to get up earlier and make it farther out.

Things to mention are: Mark did a great job with his stock Toyota. I could not believe the things he got through. Mark also shared that he made it in Four Wheeler magazine.

Lorrie and I had some trouble with our steering. We did a simple trail fix which did not completely do the job. After the trail and before dinner Brian, Mark and I were able to get my steering box straightened out. (PS I am still looking for a pitman arm which is the right length… ;-)

On the way down we came head to head with a small group heading back in to their camp site for the night. They decided to back down since we had come farther down then they had come up but a flat fender in their group had trouble getting started for the decent. That took about 30-45min to get cleared up. But it gave us all some time to talk about what we love best, 4×4’s … ;-)

Dinner and the lodge after was great. We all had a great time talking and drinking, and talking and drinking, and drinking, and talking and… Well you get the idea.

This year there was some dissapointment they did not keep the bar open very late. I myself got an extra from the bar and stowed it in Elen’s cooler. Worked just fine.

By the time the night was up we had not decided what to do for Sunday except that we wanted to do “some trail”.

Breakfast conversation included safty clinic, and other club activities. Lorrie had the idea that if we do a safty inspection on our vehicles we should hold it at Holister Hills. That way we have enough room for all our members to show up.

After much deliberation we decided to do Slick Rock rather than Matley loop. I don’t know why but it too seemed harder. If we do a beginner run I don’t know if it can be Slick Rock. We might want to get up there and do the run or make it a true intermediate run for those who have built vehicles but maybe not much experience. I don’t know, something like that.

Lorrie drove all of Slick Rock in the “normal” direction. From there we did Slick Rock in the oposite direction. This trail is different in that direction and a lot of fun. The other added advantage of going backwards was that it left us on the main road East of Bear Valley which allowed us to pick up our tow vehicles on the way out.

The drive home should have been uneventfull but of course it was not. Lorrie was driving the rig with John’s Jeep. In Arnold we stoped to regroup and Eric radioed that he smelled smoke from my Dodge or Trailer. Turns out the trailer brakes were not enganging properly. However, while inspecting the brakes we noticed a loop in the brake line which crimped when turning. Very interesting job Dodge did on me. We did a quick fix by fliping the caliper 180 and got underway.

The rest of the trip off the mountain was nice easy drive.