: Martinez Canyon Newbie Run


Freak4pedals
09-05-2007, 12:51 AM
http://picasaweb.google.com/rob3033/MartinezCanyon

As you know my friend OC and I went to Martinez Cabins and then to the canyon on Monday. First let me say that this is my 4th trip ever offroading while OC is somewhat of a veteran offroader. My truck is a 1990 4runner with a V6, 5 speed manual transmission with stock gears and 35" tires. It has a 3" lift and 1" body lift. Needless to say, without lockers and the gears being stock...it sucks! I have to rev the engine and dump the clutch half the time to get over anything big and then with the tires being deflated and the suspension setup the way it is, it's one hell of a tippy bouncy guttless wobbley death trap and I love it!

Before we got to box canyon I diverted to the diversion dam and while in 4 wheel drive discovered that I had lost a bolt to the bracket that connects to the left side axle mount and was creating a bunch of noise when I was going down hill so we had to fix that by stealing a bolt from my trailer hitch. We flew through box canyon until we ran into some quad riders and one of them had crashed and hurt her head as well as bending the front rim on the quad. We lent them so tools to fix it so they could air up the tire. After that we got under way again and made good time to the cabins.

After a break we took off up the canyon and encountered our first serious obstacle. Now OC has a stock jeep with a winch but no lockers and mild offroad tires, but he decided to go the challenging way to the left. He got about half way up and got hung up on pretty much everything. So while he proceeded to winch up the rest of the way, I took the bypass hoping it would be easier (which it was). However halfway through I started seeing smoke coming from underneath my truck and figured it was my clutch so I shut her down and let her cool off. It got pretty damn hot up there don't know how hot but I was feeling the beginnings of heat stroke (seriously) So I downed about as much water as I could without puking.

We got to Martinez Mine and checked it out while we debated whether to continue on or not. However I was bound and determined to go...so we went! It just got harder and harder the further we went. Like I said before, I'm no expert on wheelin so let me just say that I was a little concerned at some of the obstacles we needed to get up. I was continually amazed at how well OC's jeep performed time and time again while my truck seemed to struggle up everything. Maybe it's the driver? I'm sure I'm fun to watch cause I hit just about everything your not supposed to and basically floor it and bounce all over the place. I can't believe we made it out of there in one piece.

At one point I had turned off the truck to scout ahead and when I tried to get going again, my truck wouldn't start. Turned out to be loose battery cables. By the way, I had a spare tire but no way to retrieve it from underneath the truck cause you need a long crank with a notched end to drop it down (which I don't have). With all the abuse my tires where taking I consider it a miracle I didn't get a flat. You guys should have warned me about how difficult this run is man. I mean it's a real ball buster and for a new guy...scary as hell in places.

At one point I almost tipped over and rolled down the mountain which my wife wouldn't have liked much, but we managed to get a strap on the truck and pull it back down to earth. Several places where the trail switches back where difficult to negotiate being that my turn radius isn't that great and the trail was washed out enough to where I just said a prayer and gunned it. The point just after the luge I almost rolled again cause my back end started to come around on me and I got sucked into the little gully that rain has created on the downward slope (I'm sure you know where I'm talkin bout).

After catching my breath from that little death slope we proceeded up the final ascent which I call Point of no return cause I sure as hell wasn't going back the way I came. The first part was basically a mad dash up through the first turn to the left and then mid way thru encountered big rocks off camber dips and protrusions all the while climbing at a 35 degree angle with a nice steep cliff like drop to your left. There was a V shaped step like obstacle after that and OC's jeep had a very hard time getting up it. Took like 3 try's for him to finally get there and it wasn't pretty. So I was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it at all. So when I got there I basically floored it and got my front tires up but then lost traction. I let it roll back and my rear wheel ran into a big rock which gave me a nice bounce so I used it to give me the momentum I needed to make a out-of-control scramble up the obstacle.

While my heart was still pounding in my ears we eased around a right hand turn and up the hill to discover yet another step from hell. We were very near the top of trail at this point. I won't bore you with the details but I think it was here that I developed a leak in my rear end diff cause once again I hit everything (2 or 3 times) while trying get up. Going down was uneventful except that one point where you have to go thru a narrow drop off and my truck slid into the wall which caused some minor paint damage. Going down that section I kept stalling my truck cause I was somewhat disoriented from the heat and stress from the whole ordeal. I was trying to just ride down in first gear but my truck was trying to slid sideways so I'd hit the brakes, stale the engine and then with the engine off the brakes weren't nearly as effective nor was the stearing etc....Needless to say there was a lot of swearing goin on.

OC did high center one more time and I had to tow him backwards to get him goin again, but after that it was pedal to the metal most of the way home. Over all a great trip and I'm glad I didn't take my wife cause we'd be signing divorce papers by now I'm thinking. As it is she want's me to get rid of the truck just hearing about the trip lol. If someone asked me if lockers are necessary on this trip, I would say, "depends on how much damage your willing to sustain on your truck." I mean come on man, that trail is crazy! I'm sure there's far more dangerous and difficult stuff out there, but I haven't seen it. As far as comparisons with the coke ovens run...there isn't any. Martinez is by far more difficult, even the bypasses are difficult. Of course that's just my opinion. Enjoy the pics

Rob

Kaistie
09-05-2007, 07:57 AM
Martinez can be very interesting if you are running it for the first time. We had a very challenging run right after some really big storms last year. All those places that were difficult were 10x harder since the trail was literally gone! I think it took us over 8hrs to get through there. So, either you are going to get the wheeling bug, or you are going to say "This is crap" and buy a Civic. Nice pics.

TBob
09-05-2007, 08:28 AM
well I think you were somewhat warned-
http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum/showpost.php?p=979890&postcount=13
http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum/showpost.php?p=979913&postcount=14

but based on your post -
http://www.tacomaterritory.com/forum/showpost.php?p=979176&postcount=1
you never stated your skill level or asked how bad the trail would be for a inexperienced wheeler.

Sounds like you had a good time - glad to see you made it out ok. Hope you didn't stack the shit out of the trail.

azrain
09-05-2007, 08:39 AM
Looking at recent pictures of the rock garden, it looks tougher than the few times I've run Martinez (a couple of years ago.)

Nice writing style!

BOVADS
09-05-2007, 11:03 AM
i see write ups like this and it really makes me want to do this run!!

4xClover
09-05-2007, 11:07 AM
i see write ups like this and it really makes me want to do this run!!

If you haven't run Martinez Canyon it's definitely a must! It is by far one of the most scenic trails in FJ as well as a number of challenging obstacles for both slightly modified and "beat my bitch" rigs! :D

Westy
09-05-2007, 11:46 AM
Good report. Good to also hear you guys made it out in one piece. I think I provided a good enough warning message in your original post inquiring about the trail...

This time of year Martinez Canyon is unpredictable and difficult, especially for rigs w/o lockers. Infact it can be dangerous.

Good photos.

toy guy
09-05-2007, 03:49 PM
i hope you didnt get a scratch on youre paint man that would suck :jack: :jack:

ninja
09-05-2007, 03:59 PM
God I love that place and its been way to long, its time to plan another trip i think.
Did you guys do any caving? I m dyin to explore that top mine

Mark in Az
09-05-2007, 04:37 PM
...its been way to long, its time to plan another trip i think.

:D Two weeks ago ?

ninja
09-05-2007, 04:54 PM
too long since ive been to the top,:D

Freak4pedals
09-05-2007, 08:10 PM
thanks for the comments....glad you enjoyed the pics. :)

Freak4pedals
09-05-2007, 08:11 PM
We did go about 100 feet back into the mine but without a flashlight we figured it would be better to turn back rather than find ourselves at the bottom of a 200 foot shaft with broken necks and no cigarettes.

hotwheels
09-05-2007, 08:42 PM
i see write ups like this and it really makes me want to do this run!!

you did this run retard! you road with me the saturday it rained.

MerMan
09-05-2007, 10:05 PM
you did this run retard! you road with me the saturday it rained.

:rofl:

fourbychef
09-05-2007, 11:21 PM
i see write ups like this and it really makes me want to do this run!!

I see write ups like this and I think people are bananas.
Good photo of the weekend warriors on the Quads.
Bet not one of them had helmets on.
Please, Rob, you are very lucky you made it out of that trail without distroying your truck, and most of all I am thankful you are out safe from harm.
I have seen very experienced wheelers almost fall to their deaths on that trail.
It only takes ONE look to the right when you should of looked left.
Please Rob for your safety and the safety of those that choose to wheel with you. Be careful, and tread lightly even when you say you had the peddle to the metal out of the Canyon.
You have discovered a great place of knowledge with this club, and when someone offers you advice on a trail or suggest you take a trail like that with someone with more experience please take it.
Lets keep this sport fun AND safe for all.
K-ton

BOVADS
09-06-2007, 01:10 AM
yeah i thought so, didnt seem like it was as hard as freak made it sound, plus we turned around to early

Freak4pedals
09-06-2007, 08:57 AM
I see write ups like this and I think people are bananas.
Good photo of the weekend warriors on the Quads.
Bet not one of them had helmets on.
Please, Rob, you are very lucky you made it out of that trail without distroying your truck, and most of all I am thankful you are out safe from harm.
I have seen very experienced wheelers almost fall to their deaths on that trail.
It only takes ONE look to the right when you should of looked left.
Please Rob for your safety and the safety of those that choose to wheel with you. Be careful, and tread lightly even when you say you had the peddle to the metal out of the Canyon.
You have discovered a great place of knowledge with this club, and when someone offers you advice on a trail or suggest you take a trail like that with someone with more experience please take it.
Lets keep this sport fun AND safe for all.
K-ton

Thank you for your concern, much appreciated. I was with a very experience wheeler and while there where some close calls, over all I felt no danger in what we where doing. I'll be going back up there when I get some lockers and my new gears put in. It was very challenging and fun. By the way I didn't stack the trail...it's already stacked as far as I can tell. My skid plate got a work out thou and I pushed a lot of boulders around. Maybe my handle should be "Dozer."

Freak4pedals
09-06-2007, 09:00 AM
yeah i thought so, didnt seem like it was as hard as freak made it sound, plus we turned around to early

From my limited perspective it seemed very difficult. However your experience level probably puts you in a whole different bracket of wheelin. :) :o :D ;) :rolleyes:

TBob
09-06-2007, 09:27 AM
By the way I didn't stack the trail...it's already stacked as far as I can tell.

:kewl:


My skid plate got a work out thou and I pushed a lot of boulders around. Maybe my handle should be "Dozer."

May not wnat that one people may get you confused with this guy -
He goes by Dozer and he and his rig have been in at least one mag.
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l251/aztbob/moab06/Picture019.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l251/aztbob/moab06/Picture020.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l251/aztbob/moab06/Picture021.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l251/aztbob/moab06/Picture022.jpg

Crash
09-06-2007, 09:37 AM
:kewl:



May not wnat that one people may get you confused with this guy -
He goes by Dozer and he and his rig have been in at least one mag.
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l251/aztbob/moab06/Picture019.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l251/aztbob/moab06/Picture020.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l251/aztbob/moab06/Picture021.jpg
http://i98.photobucket.com/albums/l251/aztbob/moab06/Picture022.jpg

Not sure if you read on Pirate, but Dozer past away recently. :(
http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=608338&highlight=dozer

Freak4pedals
09-06-2007, 09:41 AM
Damn, that truck is just sick! Of course I was kidding about the dozer handle, I'm leaning more towards Turtle...lol

BOVADS
09-06-2007, 09:52 AM
I think all the 4 door runners are considered turtles, .... exept carlos cause he has a tuuuuurrrrbbbboooo

TBob
09-06-2007, 02:42 PM
LOL!! yea sickly wrong....allot of bling but alot done wrong.

Damn, that truck is just sick! Of course I was kidding about the dozer handle, I'm leaning more towards Turtle...lol

CowboyKuck
09-07-2007, 05:42 AM
i remember that rig it was up in moab last year that seem to have every one ooooooooing and ahhhhhhhing but never left the the trailer it sat on the entire time RadRyan and i camped there.

RadRyan(Fabwerx)
09-07-2007, 05:46 AM
I remember that. didnt want to get it muddy.

TBob
09-07-2007, 08:08 AM
yep that's the one

i remember that rig it was up in moab last year that seem to have every one ooooooooing and ahhhhhhhing but never left the the trailer it sat on the entire time RadRyan and i camped there.

padesertboy
09-07-2007, 08:55 AM
I remember that. didnt want to get it muddy.

what a shame.....very nice rig!

Mark in Az
09-07-2007, 11:13 AM
I remember that. didnt want to get it muddy.

It definately needs some fenders :bitchslap :buttkick: