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Discussion Starter #1
I had a trip leader from the Mesa Arizona 4WD Club contact me in February asking me to go along in my rig and show them the Dusy Ershim trail. They would pay fuel, and provide food. None of them had been before, and they wanted someone to show them the way. I explained that since getting back from Iraq I have difficulty focusing, especially under stress. And that taking my rig with an unfamiliar group would be too much, but I would ride if a seat was available. This was when I thought my truck would be ready in time, he said he would be honored to have me ride with him. They had five Dusy planning meetings, and I helped with several banks of questions. I was picked up Sunday the 13th, and we went to breakfast with John Skadden and his daughter Susan. John is the last living member that built the trail, both John and the visitors had big smiles after the breakfast.

This is just before we started into the trail (with 16 rigs) on the 14th, from Voyager Rock Campground. Smokey from the Rough Fire.


It started raining as we were leaving, and this is what it looked like on top of Chicken Rock.


This is in that right turn you guys know, I remember a video from last year.




The guys were in good spirits, and having a good time.


We passed the last campsite before Thompson Hill at 2:30 (the one with the log table and bench) and I thought that was early enough to continue on. The leader kept stopping at little obstacles and spotting every rig through, costing us time. We got to the bottom of Thompson about five, the rig I was in kept having air come out of the drivers side rear tire when up against a rock. We put on the spare, while doing this the group started passing us. Next thing I know it's dark and foggy (poor visibility), I walked up the hill and got in what was now the lead rig, to show the way into camp. We had all Jeeps, except for one Land Rover, and a Toyota pickup. We started hearing the Rover had a bent rear control arm, causing the axle to be forward on one side, and back on the other. Also heard the CJ5 had a broken front axle, those two and two helper rigs stayed the night on the hill. The rest of the group camped at the big area closer to the hill.

It rained pretty good that night, and the next morning Thompson Hill was muddy and had standing water. I was up and down the hill carrying messages probably ten times before it was over. Seven of the rigs, including all four of the women decided to continue to Ershim Lake because of the rain (it was still raining).

They removed the control arm, put it in a space between two boulders, and winched it pretty straight. Then stuck it into an angle iron and welded it, using three batteries. Put it back on, and put on a complete spare rear driveshaft (the u joint had torn right out of the ears). After a while the CJ5 and Rover were ready to move, then we hear the rover has a broken rear driveshaft again, and is being winched up. I go down and look, and there are two Jeeps behind them. After a while I'm back on top and the two Jeeps come up saying the Rover has a broken Burfield and a dead battery, and they were using a power pack to start it. That wasn't the first time that happened, too much winching was killing the battery. They replace the Burfield and decide to leave the Rover, but not any people. They rode with others and continued with the group. Extreme Off Road And Repair in Covis was called and given the heads up to come retrieve the Rover, the owner had a satellite phone.



This is the table at East Lake, someone felled a tree just beyond it.




Rover owner talking to Extreme Off Road at Ershim Lake, the storm cleared out all the smoke.


Dumping in gas at Ershim Lake.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just before Lakecamp a JK broke the front track bar loose, took a couple hours to repair it.

Getting ready to go at Lakecamp Lake. The nights/mornings were cold, but the days were really nice the last three days of the trip.






Just after gatekeeper another JK had the same breakage as the other one.






A little ways down from Kaiser Pass the CJ5 ran out of gas. He got help from a JK, no one else ran out.
 

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Going John Galt
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Jeeps....
sigh...

:p

did you at least have a good time?
 

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Going John Galt
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31,839 Posts

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Going John Galt
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