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For about six
months now, fellow Right
Coast Crawlers member, Bill Ansel, has been telling me that
he found some areas that we need to check out. He feels that these
areas could end up being Nova Scotia's closest thing to Moab.
I met Bill and
Rowland Spear at the Tim Horton's in Halifax . Rowland was driving
his new black TJ. Bill has a highly modified Cherokee, but recent
setbacks (blown locker, ailing motor) meant that he was less capable
than usual. Rowland's TJ is basically stock and my YJ is somewhat
modified. Also on this trip with us was my son, James.
initial part of the Sub Killer trail is quite tight and cuts through
the bushes near an ATV trail. This part of the trail requires extra
attention to not end up scraping the trees, before it dumps you
out onto what we call the main trail.
The main trail
leads from the tight ATV trail to the rocks at the destination,
and is in itself a nice trail. It winds its way along a point of
land and the views as you traverse this part of the trail of the
ocean and beaches are quite spectacular. The trail is very rocky,
although none of the rocks was significant enough to hang me up.
Rowland in the stock TJ was having a fun time, though. It was interesting
to watch him working that puppy back and forth over the rocks, while
seesawing back and forth across the trail looking for enough clearance.
In the end, he ended up losing one of his side steps, but did not
seem too concerned about it.
We carried on
along the trail and eventually got kind of strung out. I heard Rowland
say "I'm hung up back here", so I indicated to Bill that he needed
help. Bill and I attempted a multiple point turn on the trail to
go back and help him. What's that hissing sound? It's the air being
let out of Bill's tire! DOH! By the time we got around to changing
the tire, Rowland had extricated himself from his dilemna and had
caught up with us. We carried on with Bill using his spare.
the tire incident, we noticed a burned out wreck along the trail.
Obviously, some bonehead(s) had stolen this vehicle, driven it into
the woods, flipped it over, and torched it. As we got closer, it
became obvious that it was a Cherokee. Bill said "That's a Dana
44 rear end!" Out we all hopped to inspect it and, yes, lo and behold,
it WAS a Dana 44 XJ rear end!
was kind of unique timing, given that Bill had just blown the EZ-Locker
in his rear end and was going through the old "do I upgrade to a
stronger axle or try to get by with this Dana 35C junk" routine.
Bill was also planning on going to 33's, so when you combine one
blown tire (meaning he's only got three 31's left) and a found Dana
44, you get one upgrade from Dana 35C/31's to Dana 44/33's all at
once! Won't Bill's wife be happy to hear about this!
We decided to
carry on to the end of the trail and see how much of this junk (including
the rear end) we could carry out on our way back. As Bill pointed
out, "I don't appear to be in much competition for this rear end."
So we carried on the rest of the trail, which included one creek
crossing and more minor rockcrawling.
we ended up at our destination; the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.
There were gorgeous views of nothing but blue skies, crashing waves,
and rocks as far as the eye could see. The rocks are huge in areas,
and nice and pristine - no vegetation or moss - with massive amounts
of traction available. They run the whole length of the shore, extending
quite far inshore. There are miles and miles and miles of these
types of rocks here, and one could easily play for weeks in here
without hitting the same obstacle twice!
trail was becoming more and more useful all the time. The trail
getting to the rocks was fine and was a nice little run that ended
in a stunning place to have lunch. You could go home at that point
and be completely satisfied with your spectacular day of wheeling,
but if you've got the time and inclination, there were miles and
miles of rocks to play with and you could play as hard or as easy
as you liked. The ATV guys were hitting this spot, but we basically
appear to be the only rockcrawlers in Nova Scotia, so the rocks
As this was
the first time we had ever been here, we decided to make only a
small foray into the rocks and return to map out a usable (low impact)
trail at a later date. So I slowly crawled my way onto the shore
so we could have lunch.
After a little
time spent eating our lunches and admiring the incredible beauty
of the area, we packed up a bunch of garbage left by hikers and
sunbathers, and I tried to crawl my way off the rocks and back onto
the main trail. I promptly got high-centered on some rocks. Some
8274 winching action promptly got me out of there. The trail back
to the main road seemed to somehow have gotten rougher and we did
a lot of carriage scraping on the way and I got hung up several
times on my rear shock mounts. I'm going to have to relocate those!
the way we also picked up about 300 lbs of garbage from our of the
burned out cherokee. There was no way to get it out of there except
drag it out small piece by small piece. Hopefully, it will all be
gone some day. The rear differential ended up being useful garbage,
and is now happily riding around in the back of Bill's XJ with a
Detroit locker, 4.56 gears, and a really cool home-made disk brake
conversion Bill did himself using Grand Cherokee parts.
Since that day
we've been back several times, mostly on foot, to map out what we
think is going to become one of our premier trails. We have the
entrance almost worked out and now we can start mapping out trails
through the rocks. Hopefully, we will complete this process by the
time summer roles around so we can spend the summer on the glorious
shore of the Atlantic ocean!
LOTS More Photos! --->>>