Hit it or quit it...

An early wake up call was in order to catch some summer wheeling out at the Table. Geoff rounded up 2 other Higher Ground brothers in arms and a token Toy to take positions on the rocky creek bed of Judgment Day.

JD's a little more spread out than most of the Table Mesa obstaclefests. There's mainly the two you'll have to contend with- The benefit being that there are multiple lines available on them both.

Everyone made good time making there way upstream. We were in awe that the trail was still dry given that Phoenix had been getting hammered almost all night. We had all expected some exhaust bubbles like our last Lower Terminator run.

At the first real hazard, Geoff played through the middle of course, keeping it high the whole way up. With that easy walk displayed, Cecil tried but after some humps, moved it over a hair right and got it done. Each person after gave it their own touch to get topside. They all made it look easy even after looking dwarfed, standing in the waterfall's hole, looking up at their proposed lines.

More playing ensued and Cecil taught us how to turn your Jeep into a merry-go-round by putting a rock under your belly pan. Not long later, Alan hopped on the radio and informed us that he was down. Apparently his Jeep tried to reject his steering box by sheering all three Grade 8 bolts off, shooting them to the side.

The tools came out and as Geoff painstakingly pliered out the broken bolt ends out of the box holes everyone else went to scrounging ideas to get Alan moving again. Cecil actually had spare bolts for a box but they didn't fit A's set up so one found fittable bolt, a socket extension, a ratchet strap and a wrapped winch cable were all configured up to try to hold the box back to the frame. There was still plenty of rough trail to go so that rig-up didn't hold long. They went to plan B where Alan received one donor bolt each from Cecil and Geoff's rigs.

 

At the end of the trail where the last real obstacle lies, Geoff yanked his bolt back so he could try the harder middle line. He had had to pass up this obstacle last time out because of a beehive that had developed in the rock at the base of the walls. When he heard it was still there and expressed his dismay, we set about manning up another trail fix to enable his progression. We ended up filling a garbage bag full of sand and then three brave souls did a hover and deploy mission to America those God blessed bees back into the hell from whence they came.

The mission was successful to a point. We didn't think about all the bees that would be returning, kinda pissed to find out they hadn't been informed of the demolition. Before the cloud got too big, Geoff made his approach on the wall, angling his Jeep in a way that would help with his ascent but pretty much burning his bridge to back down should he need. Everything worked fine as he crawled it slow and easy until his front end lightened up and reached fruitlessly into the air for help. He realized another inch would collapse his asstand over backwards into the hole below so 5 guys were employed on a tow strap to keep his front from going any higher. They had to keep the pressure on for about 15 minutes until Kyle could get his Toyota up and around on the left which still had its own tipover challenge.

Finally around, Kyle hooked Geoff up to his rig and Cecil added a just in case cable from his Jeep on the right now that the guys were able to let go of the strap. That fixed it all up and Geoff was able to level his Jeep out a bit and continue on. Everyone drove out to the pavement so Alan could start home and the others could go run Anaconda with all their bolts back in. Alan's steering box was rerigged up with some extra straps this time for the less bumpy drive home attempt. He made it even though left turns were rough to say the least and the other continued on without incident.

 


 

 

Drivers: James Cecil Geoff Larson Alan Johnson Toyota Ryan

Photography: Michael D'Avy

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