Next, it was
my turn. I did not like the looks of Shawn's line. Toooo close.
I thought I could do a version of Peter's route. Well, with lots
of ideas from all (there really can be too many cooks in the kitchen),
I ended up doing a deal that would take way too long to describe.
"I love my '69 Five" was next. This hybrid has spring
overs, a Corvette motor, Dana 60 rear, 4.88's, 465 transmission,
and 36's. He took Shawn's line and, again, with the tilt as he crawled
over big rocks etc. and some great spotting, made it over. "Well
done" came to mind.
"401" Dave, in his CJ-7 with a 401, Dana 60 rear, and
36's took that same line. This time the thickness of his soft top
was the only thing between him and the boulder. Still, nicely done!
Hope the top can be fixed.
around the country have names for their obstacles. This trail has
so many that it would take a laptop to keep them straight. The trail
never lets up. You always need to be lining up for the next obsticle
as you come off of the present one.
At about a third
of the way through the trail you come to the first waterfall. It
is steep enough that the front tires like to lift off of the rock
face. There is a large V notch at the top, the left part of which
is a sharp, pointy rock. Once you've passed through the middle of
this notch you will want to turn right, however, turning left as
you hang is what gets you over. Mike's Five was just short enough
that he opted for the winch. We have some good air pics of both
Shawn and I at this spot.
more and more and then you get to the half-way point. We were told
that this is a 2.2 mile trip. Remember, we are running down in a
wash, and in Colorado that means there are HIGH banks... REALLY
There is only
one place to get out of this and we were long past it. At this spot
you need to drive up the bank, bumping up a small undercut ledge
as you drive next to a five-foot high boulder on the right. When
you get to where you are looking straight up, you have to turn right
and let your front tires slide until you get around the bolder on
That all sounds
good and we had seen this on the video that Mike had bought. Peter
and Shawn must have done it (we were at times a two-part group)
but I was too far to the right. The difference between right and
wrong is very small and I needed a winch. My mind somehow misfired
(no kidding). As the winch loaded, my front end and pulled forward
and I was somehow in reverse. Now, I had the winch control and I
was driving, but I only did 2 of 3 things. I didn't think and I
still have no idea what happened but the death of that right u-joint
still haunts me. Mike was kind enough to pull my butt over to the
left as I backed down. Out came my U-joint tool, and the fix was
there was more and still more, including a punctured sidewall fixed
by a plug, and finally, there was the end. The end is long as you
turn left up a waterfall. The first part is a rock garden of medium
sized rocks, followed by a left turn up a smooth rock with a vertical
crack that your tire must ride in for a short stretch and then a
stair step that resembles Rocker Knocker, only it's bigger and steeper.
Up some more, over a ledge, a differential-getter, and a right,
places you in front of a steep loose dirt hill with a double ledge
at the top where wheelies were quite common.
We were finally
finished and the sun was headed down. We headed back into town at
an off-road racing pace. Fred had set up a dinner date with Terry
and his bride where we swapped stories and learned the history of
the trail. Oddly enough, the fellow that owns the restaurant is
a Jeeper and had just finished a beautiful CJ-7 with a Corvette
motor, Dana 60's, 38.5's and lots of neat custom stuff.
time was 11:30pm and the damage reads like this
- 1 TJ JKS
- 1 TJ drag
- 1 TJ U-joint
- Mike's motor
torqued so hard that the distributor had some damage
- An assortment
of bumps and scrapes to all.
We had three
sticks and two automatics in the parade. The autos really shined
on this trail. I get the most trouble award, though and Shawn gets
the least noticed (no faults). Peter gets the thanks for leading
award and to Fred, thanks for riding along, videoing, spotting and
being open for new friends. Mike and Dave, it's always good to see
you and I'm glad we did it.
Die tryin' is
a truly great trail. Some call it the toughest trail in the country
with good reason.
Terry and friends:
Thanks so much for all of your hard work. By the way, the talk at
dinner also included "have you done topless?" No. Maybe