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What a crazy day! My apologies for showing up very late and not getting onto the trail immediately. Our attendees for the day were myself (with wife and kids), Victor, Mike, Eddie and Charlie.

I'll spare you all the morning details and just state that it's a whole different world getting your wife, 3 year old and 4 month old out the door in a timely fashion. We ended up on the road 30 minutes late and then had to make an emergency potty break for my toddler. So, we drove into the staging area around 10:45 with Charlie and Eddie waiting patiently. Thanks, guys. Everyone had a good attitude about it.

We started on the trail after 11 and decided to tackle "Lookout". I put Charlie in front because he had more information on the area at his fingertips and could get us around easier. He did a great job on his first time being trail leader. Thank you, Charlie! We found the trail head for Lookout and charged up with reckless abandon. I had seen several videos of the area which included this trail and had some idea of what we were getting ourselves into: lots of climbing! The first obstacle proved to be quite the challenge as it was steep with some loose sections. We learned that you need to take tire pressure down lower than you're used to. Most got up without incident save Victor. He had a smaller radiator hose dislodge and dump a bunch of coolant. I forget who gave Victor the hose clamp but it was a relatively easy fix.

We were on our way to the next obstacle which appeared to be a little easier but that quickly changed: more steep uphill but with rock climbing as well. Charlie headed up and couldn't get past this one climb. So, I offered to come up behind him and give a little budge. He got a tad bit further but we had to eventually back down. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that a couple of us were experiencing A/C failure during climbs. I later found out it had to do with engine temps and not the degree of incline. I was told that my A/C cuts out when the engine gets above 225 degrees. So, that was going on during all of this which gets my girls in a tiff. Good times! lol Charlie pulls to the side and I make it all the way up and stage to give anyone a tug if they need it. Well, Eddie finds a good line and everyone else follows in suit which was awesome! Eddie and Victor adjust the radiator hose a bit and we settle into our lunch spot at the summit. What a crazy first couple of miles!

There's a great spot under a tree to set up for lunch. We rested a bit, talked with some T4R guys who stopped by and then continued on to the reservoir. We relaxed a bit on a service road and then Charlie found the last section of Rowher Trail that takes you down to the highway. So we took that to get some more action and had talked about turning around to take the same trail back to the staging area. Well, it got really steep again and as soon as we all gathered at the turnout we decided this would be a good time to call it a day.

In the end, I would've liked to have had the opportunity to explore the area a bit more but the late start hindered the chance to do so. My apologies again. This is a place I will definitely be visiting in the near future. This great group of guys is the epitome of what we try to teach in TTORA. Everyone had a great attitude, just wanted to explore a new area and came together to help a fellow wheeler with a breakdown. We all got to test our rig's capabilities and bring our experience to the next level. Thank you for making this a great day!

See you out on the trails!

- sparky
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