Slick Rock


Attendees (apologies if I miss anyone or have forgotten names): Brian Geranen, Magnus, Dick, CJ w/Dad on Friday and friend on Sat, Rick, Big Mike, Mike Sickels, Howard and Sue, Gary and significant other, Clayton and Artem, Detlef and Ursula, Swanson Family, Joe Kennedy and Greg Youree. In total, there were 14 rigs on the trail Saturday, 12 jeep, an FJ Cruiser and the MOG. Friday: Left San Jose at around 7:00 am and made it to Arnold around 10:00, gassed up, met my dad who was my copilot for the weekend, got a little work done at our cabin and headed for the Snowshoe to meet up with anyone wanting to do the Deer Valley pre-run. I had not really heard from anyone so I was pleasantly surprised to get an email from CJ who would meet us at Camp Connell, Rick who would meet us at the trailhead and Magnus and Dick who were at the Snowshoe. After a quick lunch, we headed up the hill, met up with CJ and then on to the trailhead to meet with Rick. We were able to get on the trail @ 2:00 pm. There was a sign posted for the partial closure and the open portion being to 2.1 miles north of Hermit Valley. I did not think the trail was in too bad of shape, but did not seem as well defined as the last time I ran it. Definitely more exposed tree roots than I remembered. The first mile is a lot of rock crawling, tire placement and some tight turns. We had one quick stop to fix a leaky power steering line on Magnus' rig. We found a good turn around spot at the 1 mile mark and decided we would split into two groups for Saturday afternoon with a faster group going first and a slower group going second with the thought that we would all meet up somewhere around the mile mark with the first group heading back from the end and then head back. We did get a couple of really good dumpings from the thunder showers including hail at one point. I was hoping that would be enough to get the storm to pop over to the eastern side of the Sierras and clear our Saturday up. We made it back off the trail around 4:30. We aired up and headed back. We were going to top off fuel at Bear Valley but it was already closed when we got there about 5:15, so it was just back to the Tamarack (CJ to Dorrington). It was nice to see everyone getting in and look at the line of jeeps for Saturday!

Saturday: The storm did not pop over to the Eastern side! We woke up to some dumping rain. But at that point we were undeterred, everyone was awesome about being lined up and ready to go nice and early and I think it was around 7:35 - 7:40 when we pulled out of the Tamarack and headed for the Lake Alpine trailhead of the Slickrock trail. We aired down at the trailhead and headed out. For me, the most agonizing part of the trail was watching the rain. It was a tug of war in my head, the rain would dump and I would say "no way we are doing Deer Valley in this" and then it would lighten up or stop and I would be saying "well, if it stays like this, we will be ok" and back and forth it went for the whole trail. It was really dumping when we hit the stair steps and then the thunder seemed to say don't press your luck! Thank you to Kelly for being the main spotter at the top of the stair step. The last part of the trail getting to the Union/Utica trailhead was pretty cool as it seemed like you were running in a creek bed. Once we were off the Slickrock trail, it was decided to not do the Deer Valley trail. I did not want to risk body damage, trail repairs or even having to have someone out spotting in the downpour. I hope everyone was ok with that decision. Timing wise, everything went well, we would have had no problems with our timing of the 2 trails if the weather had been more cooperative. So, we were back at the Tamarack by noon, had lunch and everyone kind of did there own thing. There was a game being played in the dining area, college football on the TV, napping, cigar smoking, a few people headed down the hill to Arnold. And the thunder showers kept coming until @ 5:00pm (I was still doing the tug of war in my head about whether we should have tried Deer Valley)

The potluck was wonderful, we had Linguine and Clams, Meatballs and Kraut, Chili, Pork Loin and Kraut, Brats, Badassery Wings, Deviled Eggs, Potato Salads, Key Lime Pie, Baked Smores and cookies and more cookies. There was plenty of beer and wine and some JD and coke. I hope everyone had enough to eat, because I know I did (had to try everything)! The winner of the night for me was Clayton's linguine and clams, they were great. After dinner, Magnus had a couple of rounds of trivia which was fun and then we had a variety of music, with some good Oktoberfest stuff mixed in.

Sunday: I woke up to clouds but no rain. Unfortunately, I had already committed to being back in San Jose early, so I packed up and headed out. I hope that anyone wanting to get in more trail time was able to get out. I do not know if the rain stayed away all day or not. Made it back to San Jose by noon, and then got everything laid out in the driveway to dry and shopvac'ed the water out of the jeep. Wrapped it all up by 3:00, in time to watch the last of the niner game.

Thanks to everyone for coming! Brian

Trail Report for Deer Valley Trip on Friday 16 October 2015

It’s important to note that this was my first trip with the club and although I’ve had my Jeep for about a year and have complete about 5 or 6 runs this weekend was the most thrilling. The trail challenges and weather combined with the team comradely made for a great outing.Those who left the Santa Clara Valley early Friday morning to meet up with the pre-run trip for Deer Valley were greeted with grid lock on just about every major freeway. I left around 6:30 AM and as I listened to traffic report regarding collisions on Highways 101, 80, and 17 was thankful that 680 was in good shape. However I didn’t hear the news about an accident on 580 which blocked 3 lanes until I was in the thick of it. Luckily I made it to the Snowshoe Brewery in plenty of time to meet up with Brian, his dad Alan, Magnus and his friend Fred. We all had low cal burgers and fries topped off with a brew. Our host Brian really knows how to get everyone off to a great start, not to mention he also treated to the lunch! We then made a drive by stop at the Tamarack Lodge to meet up with CJ and then Rick at the trail head for the start of the Deer Valley Trail. Brian led the way followed by Magnus, Dick, CJ and Rick. I have to admit that since getting my Jeep about a year ago I’ve only completed about 6 trips none of which had the level of difficulty as this trail. Most trails give you a bit of easy to moderate to start before it jumps into Difficult. We aired down and went about 50 feet before we were full into what I believe is called climbing the Rock Garden. These are boulders not just huge rocks combined with tight turns and trees but also with tippy angles (at least for the novice like me). We proceeded for what seemed like at least a mile of boulders before we were faced with some regular trail combined with some tree sentinels that were looking to take off a mirror or two for the attention deficit disorder (ADD) or the too wide vehicle. We made one short stop to tighten a power steering hose and thankfully CJ was packing power steering fluid!

It started to get a little gloomy and then came a sprinkle and then a light rain which wasn’t bad on the way up but added challenge for the trip back down the trail. CJ had some additional fun and entertained us by taking a couple of more aggressive side trips up some steep sections with big boulders that added a couple more degrees of challenge to the trail. On the way back it was definitely slick from the rain and I for one ended up a couple of times on boulders in a tight turn headed down on a steep slope with no room to maneuver.

At the end of the day we all added a few more scrapes to the rims but it was a thoroughly enjoyable trip. Many thanks to Brian for leading the trip and to the rest of the guys for a great meet. Dick

Octoberfest Trip Report

Patty and I left a rainy bay area on Thursday for Sonora. Our plan was to spend the night in Sonora, then have a liesurely drive up Friday to Bear Valley. Friday morning, we departed Sonora for Bear Valley (1 1/2 hr drive). We were somewhat concerned about all the snow up there since we have never done a snow run before. When we gassed up in Arnold, we noticed someone pulling a Samurai up the road (we thought it might be an ED4 person). We later stopped at a vista point, and rolling in comes the Samurai. It was Daryl!. We arrived at the lodge about 12:30 and there was snow most everywhere. Most of the parking lot had 6" to 8" of snow. It was definetly challanging to move around. As we brought our stuff into the lodge, we were met by Ed and his wife Toni. Ed pointed out the checkin sheet and mentioned that the rooms had name tags. Great organization Ed! Around 2 pm, we headed for Lake Alpine and the trail head for Slick Rock. Mike Cline was the trail leader. CJ agreed to be the tail gunner. At the trail head, we aired down and started. There were at least 10 rigs on the run. Patty and I ran Slick Rock earlier this year. The snow definetely add another dimension to the run. The snow filled in holes, hide rocks, and created a more slippery trail. The scenery was awesome. When we reache the stairstep, CJ spotted for everyone. A couple of the stock vehicles needed some help up, Mike C. doing the winching. I did see a piece of the Toyota FJ (rear bumper) laying on the trail. We all had fun getting up the ladder. At the end of the trail, Greg had a cloud of steam coming from the engine compartment. Seems he forgot to turn his cooling fan on! Robert did a great job of venting the steam so Greg could add more coolant. Fortunately, he had some cool;ant with him. We made a fast exit from the trail since it was getting late and cold. Utica Reservoir had a nice mist floating over it. After airing up, most of the group headed down to Arnold for gas and dinner at the Snowshoe Brewery. The restaurant was very accomodating, moving a number of tables together. They even gave us separate tabs. It was great to get to get to know CJ and his dad, Loro, and James.

The plan for the next morning was to meet at 8 am. As we went to the parking lot, we discovered that it had turned into a skating rink, black ice and slippery. Jason decided it best to wait for the ice to melt a bit before going over the pass. Around 9 am, we headed out. I think Connie's accelerator pedal was stuck, or she was really eager since she took off really fast!. At the trail head, we (17 vehicles) aired down and started thru the gatekeeper. I had Daryl, CJ, and Carlos in front of me and Vidas behind me. The snow again added a new dimension for me since it made things slippery. Past gatekeeper, the group ran into an area that required spotting. Tom was spotting, doing a good job. Things went well as long as I listened to him. We continued quite a ways (going slowly) until we came to a downed tree. I just barely squeezed around it. It was decided that we would be better off to winch the tree off the trail. Vidas stepped up and yanked it off the trail in a smashing effort! A little later, Jason also had to winch a tree off the trail.

Eventually we made it to the turn around point at a meadow and had a group lunch. After lunch, Jason organized a group photo, all the vehicles lined up. Awesome picture. The trip back seemed a lot shorter (1 1/2 hrs versus 3 hrs). Maybe because the snow was melting, or we were all growing bolder. Jason greeted us as we came off the trail. After airing up, I proceeded back to the lodge. I then noticed that my steering wheel was off center about 20 degree's. This caused havoc with the JK computer kicking in the ESP BAS system and the electronic throttle control. Slowly driving back to the lodge, I recentered the steering wheel. This did not clear the warning lights. Robert took a look and tightened up the drag link connector at the steering knuckle which was loose. The lights persisted. Oh well, there's a party going on in the lodge. After cleaning up, we came down to watch Jason's video of the run. Eventually the crew (Ed L, Jason, Tom, and Mike P) started on dinner. The Octoberfest feast was delicious. We capped off the evening with a slideshow from pictures taken during the weekend.

Sunday morning, we left around 9 am. Ed and his wife Toni had already cleaned the place up (great job!). As we left the lodge, the warning lights on the dash were still on, though the Jeep handled ok. We stopped in Arnold for a donut, and when I started the Jeep warning lights! Go figure. The rest of the drive home was quiet, nice. We had a great time and appreciate all the effort that the ED4 group put out to organize and execute this fantastic weekend. We really appreciate how Ed and Toni worked hard the whole weekend so that they rest of us could play! Patty and I can't wait to do this again.

Slick Rock

Here is highlight of Saturday’s run Saturday we (John R, CJ, Dennis and his son, Greg Q., Brian and his family) decided to run the Slick Rock trail from Utica to Alpine. The water crossing right after the stair steeps was high. It was around 30” deep but not moving fast. Everyone made it thru fine but Greg’s Jeep made some strange noises. 10 minutes later as we were getting ready to go up the Slick rock section Greg’s Jeep over heated. All the fan blades on his only fan had broke off.

As everyone was figuring out what to do I remember I run 2 extra electric fans. We spent the next hour pulling one fan off my Jeep. Then we took Greg’s fan out of his Jeep. We were then able to combine parts from both fans to something that would install in Greg’s Jeep.

Greg was able to drive his Jeep out his no major issues. I think he made it home.

It was one of those time where everything came together. I had an extra fan. CJ had snips to cut the mount up. Brian had the torx sockets. Dennis and his son gave muscle and support.

Ocktoberfest Run

2009_1016_connie_01October 16th, 17th & 18th

Attendees: Carlos & the kids/Cherokee CJ/CJ7 GaryF & D/JK GaryS, Marleene & Molly/TJ MikeC, Herb/JK Myself/CJ7

Friday 16th - What beautiful weather for a trip! I left Fremont Friday morning heading for the hills. I stopped at the Pro Bass Shop off in Manteca for fun. When I got back to my Jeep it wouldn’t start. It sounded strong trying to turn over but just wouldn’t catch. Thanks to the detailed email CJ had sent out just before the weekend I knew roughly what time he might be passing through the area. It contained the contact info I needed too. Guess I’ll be keeping that Data Plan for my cell phone!

CJ was like a dog on a bone. He would not give up on my Jeep. And it was hot in Manteca. I decided on the last parts run that if that didn’t fix it I would hand the Jeep over to the towing service and take CJ up on his offer that I hop a ride with him up to Dorrington. Amazing! It was the last part that fixed it. The magnetic pickup in the distributor, a brand new part, less than a week old. CJ I can’t thank you enough for rescuing me! You are awesome!

It was because of me that CJ didn’t make it up to Arnold in time to organize the Friday afternoon Pine Needle Flat Trail. My apologies to all.

I stopped at the grocery store & sandwich shop in Arnold to pick up food items for the Saturday run. Then checked into my chalet at the Dorrington Inn.

Saturday 17th – At 7:00am we met up in the Dorrington Hotel parking lot. I was hesitant to take my Jeep on the run for a few reasons. I have no idea why a brand new magnetic pickup would fail, I didn’t have another one and I would have been the only vehicle without lockers. CJ offered that I could ride shotgun for him and I did. We left on time.

I see why they call the entrance “The Gate Keeper”. After airing down, we all walked up it and CJ pointed out the best line. He spotted everyone up. Mike C wanted to test his skills & vehicle on a different line and CJ spotted him through it. That JK is so dialed in it looked like he was floating over those big boulders.

The pace was nice and I got the added attraction of watching our progress on CJ’s laptop with Topo software. Pretty nice set up! I even got to enter a few Way Points to mark where the fallen trees were across the trail.

This was my first time riding through a water crossing that came up over the hubs. Right full rudder! Five degree down bubble! Dive! Dive! Dive! [I think I’ve seen too many submarine movies. But I could have sworn I heard the soundtrack to “The Hunt for Red October”.]

We stopped when spotting was necessary, at different areas to enjoy the scenery, discuss obstacles just tackled and where to have lunch. I think we reached Blue Lake around 12:10. Found a nice area with a picnic table in the shade and ample seating size rocks in the sun. A little something for everyone.

After lunch Carlos & the kids took the highway back to the RV park. The rest of the group returned via the trail. It was interesting how different the trail looked and felt going in the opposite direction. Some areas seemed easier and others more difficult.

We had a little excitement near the end when the rear driver side tire of GaryS’s TJ slide off a rock and he wound up in an off camber position. It was a perfect time for Mike C to try out his winch! We all got to see it in use. Well, maybe not Marlene, as she was sitting calmly in the passenger seat holding onto Molly [the lab] who was laying partially between the driver & passenger seat. Great job everyone!

After passing through The Gate Keeper everyone hopped out and began the duties of airing up and organizing items in the vehicles. We discussed dinner and decided on the Snowshoe Brewery.

It was a real treat for me to be riding with CJ. I had my own personal tour guide. His knowledge of the local history, sprinkled with stories of times spent at the family cabin, were wonderful.

Dinner time: Despite the restaurant being busy, we were lucky enough to be able to sit together for dinner, recapping the events of the day. I couldn’t believe it, but GaryF had already downloaded his photos onto his laptop and brought it in to show a few shots of when GaryS was in his off camber situation.

The conversation turned towards Sunday’s run. Slickrock was the plan. After the meeting time and place was determined, everyone headed off to their various abodes for a night of restful slumber.

Sunday 18th – I had planned on sleeping in and then heading home. I awoke in time to check out, drive over and wish the others a good day. Loro was there with Sierra & Alpine. I’m glad she made it as she was looking forward to the Slickrock run and missed the Deer Valley one.

My thanks to all for making it a fun event, and especially to CJ for hosting it and for rescuing me in Manteca! I’ll say it again You’re Awesome!

Sincerely, Connie 1980 Green CJ7

Newbie Run

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 GǪ.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.


Slick Rock

I packed my Jeep & my brother Glenn packed the Expedition, and we headed up to the mountains with his daughters Brooke & Katie. We met with solid walls of traffic, but creative navigation got us up to Snowshoe in about 4 1/2 hours. He’s very good at creative navigation. Brooke decided that the Jeep was too hot in 90 degree weather with the top up and no air conditioning. So did I but someone had to drive it… We got to Horse Gulch and found Ira, and a nice gentleman in a motorhome who was not expecting his usually private campsite to be flooded with other vehicles! He sat up with us at the campfire, but was gone early the next morning. He had a friendly dog and gave the girls some ice cream. Scheduled for a leisurely take off at 10am Saturday morning, most vehicles were on their way by 10:15. I packed my family & some lunch in the Jeep and hit the road. Because I knew the route, I somehow ended up in front. Along with Jason, Dave and Mike, we had Dave & Desiree (and their Australian Shepherd) in the brown scrambler, and Grant & Joe in the brown TJ. We took a very quick break to let people catch up at the V-groove, and then headed into the trail.

It took a while to get everyone through the V - Dave’s heavy Land Cruiser slid down a bit more than expected creating a scratch in the new paint, and the Toyota T100 got a bit of a scrape on the rear quarter panel and lost a bit of trim. Ron in the slightly smaller Toyota pick up made it.

Another group of vehicles moving in the other direction was kind enough to wait and let us all pass (thank you!) and we ran into some of them later at the other end of the trail. Not sure how they managed that… Altogether, the other people on the trail were very patient with us.

After a couple more tricky spots without problems, I jumped out and let Glenn drive and spotted for the others in a couple of places. When we came around the rocks to the Slickrock drop off, I crossed my fingers, I told Glenn to put it in low, feather the brakes & not to try to stop. Brooke opted to watch, so we ran down the bypass and waved Glenn on down. With couple of hand signals, he landed fairly gently at the bottom, and drove on down the trail while I guided a couple of the stock vehicles down. No one had much trouble except those who weren’t geared.

Jason took the steepest possible line, and I think he got a bit of rear tire air. The TJ & Scrambler just walked it although the longer scrambler threatened to scrape. We waited until the next group caught up and then went on down the trail.

This time I walked (jogged more like) - there isn’t much difficult until the creek. We stopped there for lunch and to let the rest catch up. Evidently the rest chose to eat lunch at the bottom of Slickrock ’cause it took about an hour. The girls had a blast in the creek, and were pretty wet by the time the group got there. We loaded up and headed up the stair steps. Having a winch, Dave went up first just in case it was needed.

The stair steps had gained a couple of boulders in the middle of the trail just below the rocky chute at the top. Dave & Jason went over them, I ZigZagged through them while my family opted to watch from the safety of the rocks. The stock vehicles had a bit more trouble, and we started throwing rocks to build up a trail around them. Lockers & low gears were very useful. We got everyone through, although the smoother route to the left became popular and a couple of vehicles had to get a little tug with a towstrap. There are photos out there of us trying the “15 man winch team” to tug one of the Toyotas up. We didn’t make it and recruited a TJ to do the pulling for us.

Talk about a multiple use trail: we got passed by a couple of hikers, several motorcycles, and a lot of bicycles. It was a lovely day for one of the prettiest trails in the area. My brother is hooked - I think he & the girls are going to be doing this again sometime…

Thanks, Ellen