Ghost Run, Clear Creek, CA
were ridge-running now with our next obstacle fast approaching.
Nestled at the top of the next obstacle was a well-prepared
Jeep Commando. As we were guided up to a launching point, for
what I thought was for hang gliders, we were told that the trail
headed downward a bit and to the left. All I saw was sky...
so out we popped to take a look.
fairly steep downhill over a mixture of loose dirt and small
rocks was a good test for our new low gears. So geared down,
we popped over the ledge, feeling a bit tense, not being able
to see where we where going. But both rigs made the climb down
without the use of our brakes.
there, the trail wanders over hill and dale, sometimes taking
us over a rock-riddled path upward, or down a tree-lined dirt
road with awesome views of the surrounding valleys. About twenty
minutes later we arrived at a fork in the trail. To the right
was the "Red Rock Loop" and the optional hard route was straight
ahead. Decisions, decisions... Off to the right we went to face
our next challenge.
were required for this loop as we traveled uphill over small
red rocks, which were like traveling over a road bed of marbles.
Our lockers made this challenge look easy, but without them
we certainly would have struggled.
on the main trail, we headed to our second check point where
we spotted several rigs off to the left crawling up a very steep
hill. Boy, that looked like fun, but we seemed to be heading
away from this trail climb. Had we missed a turn? How do we
get to that steep hill climb? All of this was to be answered
at the next check point, and location of the famous Molina mud
mud bowl, alone, usually attracts a large gathering and special
group of long wheel base 4x4 vehicles. But this year, the bowl
was fairly dry where we were able to drive through. Normally,
we wouldn't even dream of testing our rigs through six-eight
feet of muck, but with only two-three, it provided a little
trail from the mud bowl was to head back to the hill climb we
had seen, and then back to the mud bowl where we would start
heading back to base camp. So, off we went, excited about the
hill climb to come, but not realizing the challenges that were
about to come. For what must go up, first must go down, and
the downward path we arrived at was a also known in California
as summer-time 4x4 skiing.
came to another one of those pop-over a small ledge to a steep
down grade spots, only this down grade was steeper than the
last and there was no help as to the best line down. After reviewing
several motorcycles slide their way down, my brave friend was
the first to test the hill. Machine (actually low gearing) verses
a hill of loose dirt. We actually both made the descent without
the use of brakes, but the first part of popping over the legde
got the blood flowing.