This run was a special limited invite HCR / HG Joint out of the valley and into the hills. We had 10 vehicles out on the trails on a beautiful weather sponsored Saturday and Sunday with some good company camping in between.
Friday night some of us snuck into camp doing our best not to awake the High Country elders as they had tried to beat the sun down earlier. The rest of the contestants filed in Saturday morning after the coffee exchange slowed down and we lined up the Jeeps for the dusty road in.
No one had a full idea what we were in for because of the storm, just four days before, that tore through the state boosting premiums and derailing trains. When dried off, these can be the best times to go since the trail can get herself all refreshed, rearranged, and ready for the next takers. It also helps break up any stacked ramps that may have heedlessly been placed before.
This was definitely a slow trail. Add enough vehicles and even without major breakage you could have a full day. We had a few problems but nothing catastrophic that held us back. A Yota made it out after some pabooms rendered him 3WD, S-Rick's front locker gave up the ghost, and Bob had some electrical problems with his locker and fan.
This trip's obstacles read like Axle Alley with some major waterfalls and lulls in between. The lulls were more bouldery though, requiring attention be paid at all times unless you were rolling on clearance boosting 40's that just didn't give a &%$#. Unlike AA, a lot of the waterfalls added undercut to your approach options, possibly requiring you to take a line that forced some off camber into the mix. There was a lot of fan favorite 3 wheel action as a result and some rock grabbing lean-to squeezes to calculate as well. Most got out with their hides too scathed.
The last major obstacle became the place to watch. Without bypass and the waterfall almost completely undercut and muddy beneath, it was a time eater. We had done well with the day so each tried a little playing on it to see if it were possible. Sy's Toylet and AZScoob somehow found enough purchase to work themselves up but long, short, and tall all afterwards, failed- even if by only an inch. The bottom pad had become sloppy with churned up mud and tires spun with the lightest creep. It was still fun to see everyone trying and involved in the next in line's attempts. Eventually everyone was tugged up but not until they had lightened their load, leaving some rubber weight behind (the next group ought to be able to just bounce up that obstacle next time).
The way out of the canyon gave some sketchy hill climb fun. Nothing like seeing some one bump their front tires air bound as they roll up a 45. Better were the ones who crawled it without letting their tires spin too much until they absolutely had to power through it. Everyone that started finished and we rolled back out of the short trees back into the scrub and our campsite below.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that a small group of us HG'ers headed down to the river towards dusk to clean up and try some fishing. While Alan may have just lost his bait, the author may have lost his clothes, resulting in further hikinks to be filed in the "you had to be there category," or just subscribed to the private forums.