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Showing content with the highest reputation since 08/12/2022 in Posts

  1. 9 points
    Another year, another awesome trip to check out Casner Mountain Trail! We've been pretty blessed to have been up the mountain 3 times now, once on a friend's trip, and twice leading it ourselves. The trail is essentially a power line trail and is commonly used as a fire break (even as recently as 2021 with the Rafael Fire). The route runs over Casner Mountain itself and along some ridgebacks that split Sycamore Canyon (to the west) from the Red Rock Secret Mountain Wilderness (to the east) in to two very distant geographies. To help preserve the trail's condition, the USFS only allots 22 permits per year, limited to 10 vehicles/25 people per permit - so a pretty exclusive experience in Arizona, much less the greater region. It's a bit of a competitive process - but we prevailed! In the image below, you can see my gorgeous wife (@Yodamom) posing with Casner Mountain, itself. Note the obvious power lines, and to the left of Michelle, you can see her pointing to the switchbacks that take you up the face of the mountain. This set of serious switchbacks helps you gain just over 2,000 ft of elevation in just under 2 miles. Vehicles equipped with low range can make easy work of it, however we had a Bronco Sport with us that seemed to do well in first gear without too much trouble (not equipped with low range). All in all - the trail was in really good shape, having recently been graded for the Rafael Fire. The ultra low traffic helps as well, I'm sure. The rough monsoon we've been fortunate to have in 2021 and 2022 seemed to left Casner pretty unscathed as of our visit. Below is some of our vehicle line up - overall pretty diverse. A JL, JK, 3 TJs, a baby Bronco, a full-size Bronco, and a Range Rover made this one of the most "representative" trips I've personally been on with ORP (except for Gala, of course!) @English Al's JK, @Eugene's TJ, and @Sputternutz's sweet green Bronco pictured: Here's @snoopy61's "baby" Bronco Sport: Got to get a shot of my own rig in, of course! I might be a little biased... just a little. Here's a nice shot of a monsoon storm DUMPING all over Sycamore Point in the Kaibab National Forest. You can see Bill Williams Mountain in the background, just left of the rain. Our initial day started off gorgeous - maybe a tad warm at about 85 degrees. Massive puffy white clouds on the horizon, and our fair share of thunderheads. As we climbed the mountain and got deeper into the Coconino NF, we started to hear the distant rumble of thunder getting a lot closer. Here's a nice shot of @Mike and Kristen Inkrott's well equipped Range Rover LR4. Gorgeous rig. I believe that is @rodrakejr's midnight blue TJ, followed by @Ladybug & @ob1jeeper in Gracie. Another line-up, with @snoopy61 in the lead: Another shot of @Ladybug / @ob1jeeper, @rodrakejr, and @Mike and Kristen Inkrott We had several excellent views into Sycamore Canyon from a range of vantage points, thanks in part to the fire that cleared away a lot of brush and trees. Nice light in this photo due to a break in the clouds casting light on the western walls of Sycamore. Bill Williams Mt. makes another appearance on the right. Once we broke for lunch, one of the storms was almost immediately upon us. Loads of lightning and some pretty vocal thunder. Then came the rain - which was constant for almost the entire duration of our time on the trails. It was a bit of a bummer, since we were sort of stuck in our vehicles - anyone who knows me know I like to socialize! Another poser shot! Here's another pretty dynamic look into Sycamore. Note the fire damage in the foreground - remnants of the Rafael burn scar. Bill Williams (again) on the right on the horizon. Quite a bit of rain in the air caused some nice "atmosphere" for this one: Cows. In a field. Well - not really a field. This used to be a lake! Fry Lake, by name, long since drained and turned into a beautiful pasture with a ton of happy cows. Another view from Fry Lake - wild flowers in full bloom - and some bovine buffet action happening in the background. If you guys have any photos or videos to share - please do! We'd all love to see you point of view and hear about your experiences on the trail. It makes for great memories as well, looking back on past trips.
  2. 9 points
    I didn't want to get this buried in the trip reports, so am starting a new post in the same area, which gives you easy access to go see the actual trip report and the mess that we got into after we left the trail ride. BTW - We had an awesome time on the trail....Thanks Ryan for putting this trip together! It was fun to ride this trail in the rain and clouds and lightening! BTWx2 - I am good at preaching how one should not be on the trails alone....always have another vehicle with you...well maybe in rainy weather, it would be good to have one with you on pavement as well...LOL. Thanks JohnPa for caravaning with Michelle on the way back to highway! So OB1 and I owe a HUGE THANKS to the crew who rescued us! After the trail ride, we left the group and headed north on Eagle Eye Road, and didn't recognize the width of the Tiger Wash crossing, and we have a jeep, and I have OB1, so off we go to cross the wash. (and yes, we are old, and yes, we know better) Only to get BURIED in the silt of the wash, with water flowing all around, and no way to extract ourselves. Three very kind men from Aguila showed up on the north side, waded into the wash (against my better judgement, but it allowed us to see that the wash was able to be waded, despite sinking into silt as you waded it), and they tried to push us out. (They wisely left their vehicle on the north bank, just tried physical pushing force) Meanwhile we had been trying to get phone signal, finally dialed 911, and lost that call many times, and finally got the word that they didn't really have anyone to help us. (We were borderline Maricopa and LaPaz County, so kept getting shifted from one to another) We tried to call Ryan and Woody, but no phone signal. Finally I try a text to Woody. We run out our winch cable to the guys on the north shore, and just then the wonderful ORP crew shows up on the south bank. We all agree we should pull from the south bank, the direction we had come from, so in goes our winch cable, and out comes Woody's. With Ryan as an anchor, and straps added to the cable line, they winch us up out of the silt. And then, thanks to Scott, for sending over a battery jumper to the guys on the north shore, whose battery had died in the process. MANY Many Thanks to Ryan, Woody, Scott and Stacey, JB and Kelly, and Alex, who hung with us all the way to I-10 as we crossed a few more washes. With a special thanks to Ryan and Woody, who waded the waters with us, and used their winches and straps to help free us from the wash. Just to finish up....Ryan, we should have asked those semi's where they came from! They obviously did not come down Eagle Eye Road! I think they came across 60, and found that Vicksburg Road (the connection to I-10) was closed, so came in from Salome? Anyways, google said our fastest way home was via Vicksburg Road, so off we go to the west...only to find that road was closed just north of the gas station. We did not try it! - just turned right around.....So we ended up all the way over to 60, by Brenda, to get home finally at 2 am. And for those of you who know OB1 - who was up early this morning, Gracie's underside has been power hosed, and yet more rocks and sand dislodged from skid plates and everywhere else. The tow strap has been hosed of its sand and the winch cable rewound tightly. The carpet under the drivers side has been dried, and the axles and such have been confirmed to be free of water. Joints and such have been lubed, and altho there is still a thin layer of mud on Gracie, she is much happier now.... As am I! For the few who have known me for a long time, my initial nickname on AZVJC was Grateful.....(Renamed later by Grunt and Bear to become Ladybug)....And I shall always be Grateful for the friends we have made, and for the help we received last night. THANKS so much! Love you all! smiles, ladybug
  3. 9 points
    Awesome write up and videos @SonoranWanderer. Appreciate you running point on the recovery and running back to grab our straggler! Certainly a memorable night! Monsoon, lightning, haboob, flash flooding, road closures, cool weather - and of course @Ladybug's famous cookies! Here are some photos I grabbed throughout the run. Thanks to everyone that came out! Some cell phone photos: The meet-up with the storms looming in the background. Our situation while we were near the summit of Harquahala. We opted NOT to be the tallest things around and decided not to go all the way to the top. We enjoyed a lovely rain and lightning storm, some dinner, and of course - cookies for desert! The flood where we had to do a little recovery work. Note the drop off to the right and the rapids. Water was approx knee-deep in the center. Some photos via my camera: Clouds enveloping the summit Mike's YJ, storms and rain in the background. More scenery Some handsome devil out there socializing in some ORP swag! Another cloud-crowned view of Harquahala. Looking back at the line up Looking down at the crew from the switchbacks - Woody out giving a quick spot to Alex. Another line up shot.
  4. 7 points
    I had a very similar experience. I didn't see the flood heading to the I 10. The very first one and it was going fast. I hit the brakes ended up in the middle went through the water by the time I stopped I was 10 feet off the pavement. I went through the water, it turned me slightly I went over the burm on the left hand side. Not exactly sure how I did it but no damage to the jeep at all. My mom and I and the dog were all fine inside. I was able to get back on the road really easily. Mike stopped to make sure I was ok. Then he went on the radio to let everyone know to be careful. Took the rest of the way looking carefully at each one. Mike found a family broke down on the side of the road trying to get back to the I 10. I ended up giving them a ride home. They told me on the way they called 911 and was told by the sheriff that called him back that there was no way to get to him. The sheriff wished him the best of luck. The floods affected the locals there badly. There were 4 others stranded the sheriff let him know about that he had also called and wished good luck to. I only seen the family I helped but seems crazy to me to call 911 and be called back by the sheriff and told good luck. This is why it's great to be in a great group of people that help each other out when we run into these problems. Crazy all the eventful things happened after we were done with the trail. I still think that trail was the easiest part of the whole thing. Looking forward to the next trip.
  5. 7 points
    .And for those of you who know OB1 - who was up early this morning, Gracie's underside has been power hosed, and yet more rocks and sand dislodged from skid plates and everywhere else. The tow strap has been hosed of its sand and the winch cable rewound tightly. The carpet under the drivers side has been dried, and the axles and such have been confirmed to be free of water. Joints and such have been lubed, and altho there is still a thin layer of mud on Gracie, she is much happier now You should have used your Moses powers and parted the waters.
  6. 6 points
    Mas progresso. G welded the bracketry and began painting the housing. He also refurbished the leaf springs by lubricating the bushings and replacing some of the nylon sliders between the leafs that were broken. We called Quick Performance this morning to check the status of the new rotors, and they should be here Wednesday. So we should be able to complete the heat cycles by this weekend no problem.
  7. 6 points
  8. 6 points
  9. 6 points
    A couple more pictures that wouldn't fit above.
  10. 6 points
    Don’t let the length of the video throw you. It goes fast because you can skip 6+ minutes of adds.
  11. 5 points
    60th bday today, time to embrace a new mantra...
  12. 5 points
    This is priceless. One time we were trying to outrun a fire in Clifford, and when we got to Ranger road block, he radioed ahead to see if we had the all clear to proceed. He said: "there's a red (very long pause) Jeep coming your way". It took him a long pause to figure out it's a Jeep, I guess.
  13. 5 points
    Awesome day and thanks for the baby Bronco shout out!! Crawled underneath today and very few marks to make me cry!! She has been to,the car wash once and a couple more times will fix tigger up!…..looking forward to next time!! Loved meeting everyone…..so nice and only a few new tools needed for the next run!! Great pics!!
  14. 5 points
    What a fun night! The run itself was mostly uneventful, which is a good thing considering the storms in the nearby area. One Jeep arrived late due to weather delays en route but fortunately we were still in radio range, so I pulled out of the caravan and headed back down to the staging area and picked him up and we caught back up to the group just above the first zig-zags. We ultimately made it to the lower parking area, tried to wait out the lighting storm for a while, and decided to head back down without summiting out of an abundance of caution. Despite the heavy rains we could see in the distance and the moderate rain that washed over us at the parking area, the trail remained clean and easy for us to navigate up and down. The staging area was even fairly dry as we aired up around 8:45pm. Then the fun began. While Harquahala itself was spared a direct hit by the storm, nearby areas not so much. Road Crews and law enforcement were in the process of closing Eagle Eye Rd to I10 as the first few jeeps left after airing up. The first few heading towards I10 got through the before (or just as) the closings and before the water got too deep at a few of the southern washes. As the last of us headed out about 9:20, a brief moment of cell service allowed text messages from @Ladybug who with @ob1jeeper had headed north to Aguila to get through telling us they needed help at the first of the two Tiger Wash crossings. Our four vehicles @4x4tographer, @K2man56, @alexshel44, and myself along with @Stacey and Scott who had left just prior and were waiting at a deep wash towards I10, turned north and went to help. We were onsite about 9:35. A local trio on the other side of the wash had been trying to help but were unsuccessful with their truck on pulling the jeep out. Below the about 2-2.5ft fast flowing water was a lot of sand and mud washed over the road by the flash flood. From unflooded pavement to @ob1jeeper's jeep was about 120 or so ft. We setup a two Jeep anchored configuration at the water's edge, pulled the maximum extent of my winch line, added a 30 ft kinetic rope and a tow strap (20ft?) to complete the hookup. Once we got the jeep past the deep sand and mud it was able to drive the rest of the way under its own power. Total time onsite for the rescue crew was about 35 minutes according to my GPS time stamps. While the trio of men were unable to free the Jeep themselves, they were still beyond helpful in rigging line to winch the Jeep out. By 10 after 10pm we were heading south towards I10. While the main work was done the night was not yet over. We had a couple of minor washes to carefully navigate and then we came upon a line of tractor-trailers parked in the road before a flooded section. The flooded area was stagnant, and by the time we got out, walked past all the rigs, someone else in the area had walked the flood and determined was 2ft deep at most with no signs of mud build up. Once @4x4tographer drove across, those big rigs were not going to be sit there and be shown out. They jumped in with us and crossed. By 11pm we had made it to I10. I have a time lapse video of the recovery setup, but apparently my GoPro battery died right was we started to tighten up the rigging. Here is a time lapse of the mountain climb. Note, I had to turn back to go get our late arrival and then we had to play catch-up. And here are a selection of pictures I took:
  15. 5 points
    Out first trip with ORP, and it was even better than anticipated. Many thanks to @4x4tographer for the epic run up Casner Mountain! You were the group planner, leader, tour guide and commentator all at the same time. What a fantastic trip with great sights and new friends. Shout out to @Ladybug and @ob1jeeper for tail gunning, handing out some great tips on trail and radio etiquette, and especially for handing out cookies!
  16. 5 points
    Kelly and I are home safe. We had great fun and majestic views and enjoyed meeting some new friends. Thanks for leading another great trip, @4x4tographer! Mike
  17. 5 points
    The thing to is on the trail we had a light sprinkle. The wind wasn't bad. Few thunder and lightning strikes. You can see on woody's video it wasn't bad at all. We could have went all the way up but with lightning storms everyone wanted to be cautious. The tallest thing in a lightning storm usually gets hit. It was a lot of fun. Kept us in the vehicles more than we would have been otherwise at the diner break I think but the trail was fine. I didn't even expect the floods. I guess a lot of the other hills got a lot more rain then we did because all the water we seen on the way out was a lot more than what came down on us. All the flooded roads that you see in pictures on the way out were dry on the way in. Still all in all was a good fun trip to me. I'm looking forward to the next one.
  18. 5 points
    Hey OP JeepPeeps! Ryan, thanks for leading another great run! This was a new trail for us and as usual, the trail was really fun to run and the location was beautiful...we may not have gotten the Perseids...but there was still excitement aplenty...you sure know how to show a group a good time It's awesome to see so many new folks coming out with OP... to all of you, welcome to the family and we hope to see you all again on the next lap. Here is a link to the pics we got... https://photos.app.goo.gl/xFsYtBxVUXQ1yBce7 Also, here are a couple videos from our dash cam...we had headed south from the meet up site and just a couple miles down the road we came to the first flash flood "puddle", the flow felt pretty strong as we crossed so we stopped to wait on the other side in case anyone had a problem getting across. Then the bat signal went up from @Ladybug back to the north so we turned around and headed back north to help...you all know the story thanks to @SonoranWanderer's great write-up...a perfect example of not only jeep peeps taking care of each other, but how wonderful the people in Arizona are. I never got their names, but they were there for @Ladybug from the begining and even after the calvary had arrived...they stayed and helped till everyone was safely on the road again. Once everyone was rolling again we headed back south. We did pretty well, slowing down on the dips in case of deep water or silt/mud traps, but you can see what happens when a flash flood "puddle" sneaks up on you...when we hit it at pretty much full click Scott's eyes shot to the rear view in time to see @4x4tographer's headlights dive down as he hit his brakes just before hitting the water himself...at least the front of our rig got rinsed off... All in all, plenty of excitement...even without the Perseids... Till next time... Stacey and Scott
  19. 5 points
    I will add a simple Thank you to the whole crew who showed up to assist in our "wash-stuck". Also, want to give a shout out to the rest of the intrepid nights Jeepers, who we enjoyed the evening with, and a welcome to a new member of ORP, Michele, whom I had the pleasure of riding with and getting to know a little on the way back down the hill.
  20. 5 points
    This Timelapse is absolutely amazing, Woody. Love seeing the weather and lightning moving through.
  21. 5 points
    Always awesome pictures from @4x4tographer. He runs the shows and still gets in the shots!
  22. 4 points
    got everything put together with the custom bracket. the only place i had to modify the parts thus far was trimming the lower outside corner of the ACM panel. the Jeep's tub curved more than i realized there. i think that's not too shabby for having measured everything with a tape measure and just visualizing how the 2D pieces would fit together in my head. now i just need to take it back out and paint the raw aluminum. i'll also start mounting all the fuses, renogy controller, disconnect, etc. to the ACM panel as soon as i have more free time.
  23. 4 points
  24. 4 points
    A little color for those who may be less (or not) experienced in recovery. My Jeep was on wet pavement and @ob1jeeper was in shallow "quicksand" (the amount of water present and flowing caused almost any amount of weight including a human walking to sink in the build-up of sand on the road). I "calculated" that despite likely weighing about half again @ob1jeeper, that I might pull myself toward him instead of the other way around, hence the two Jeep anchored configuration. My estimation put the two of us (mine and @4x4tographer) at approximately three times @ob1jeeper's weight and with eight tires of tractive grip on the pavement. And sure enough as the line tightened up, the nose of my jeep was pulled ~8 inches driver (left) on that wet, sandy pavement before we started moving @ob1jeeper towards us. I well suspect that @Ladybug and @ob1jeeper knew this in advance since @Ladybug's original text for help asked for "multiple vehicles".
  25. 4 points
    Curly - Oh we parted waters for sure!!! Indeed I felt protected, as the waters parted around Gracie! Gracie's rear was sunk down in that mire of silt and sand and kept us from moving - which was a real blessing, as the wash's dropoff was only 10 feet from my door! Doesn't mean I wasn't still scared, but once I saw those 3 amigos from Aguila walk across the wash, then I was exiting the vehicle! LOL!
  26. 4 points
    thank you @4x4tographer for leading this AND Friday's night run - definitely a busy weekend for you!
  27. 4 points
  28. 3 points
    I feel your pain there dude, some days I feel 10 years older than I am. 17 years of driving truck beat me up pretty good. Bite the bullet and carry on is my approach on some days. Other days it's "To hell with this nonsense!". Happy belated b-day!
  29. 3 points
    It ain't the years, it's the mileage
  30. 3 points
    The rotors arrived on time yesterday. G installed them, and the brakes, and put the wheels back on. We rolled Clifford out of the garage and cleaned up the mess. We are going to focus on getting our trail gear and camping stuff organized and packed until the spacers get here.
  31. 3 points
    I met Vince (nice/friendly guy) and I'm assuming he worked on my rig both times it was there. Joe mentioned to me he came back from Colorado a week early so I'm assuming that's why he's back out there? Anyway, If Joe trusts a person to run his shop while he's gone, that's good enough for me.
  32. 3 points
    Joe is back out in Colorado. I talked with him mid-week last week so must have left a few days ago. I did not know he would not be doing the work until I dropped it off, not that it affects anything because the work needed done. Vince seems like a good dude. Friendly, thorough and seems to know what he is doing. If Joe hired him I think he's gotta be a good mechanic.
  33. 3 points
    Took my rig into Joe's shop for some maintenance. Betty Lou has about 96k miles on her so it was time for the plugs and the PCV valve to be replaced. Joe has a guy named Vince working for him now and he's the one that did the work.(Joe's out of town) While they had it he did an inspection and found the front and rear diff fluid needed replaced along with the transfer case fluid. I figured he had it so may as well just have him do it. He asked about coolant swap and since I had it done a short time ago I passed. Everything else looks good. When I picked it up he said he forgot that I said no to the coolant flush, started that job then remembered I passed and just finished it. He did not charge me for that, which I appreciated.
  34. 3 points
    UPDATE: All hope is NOT LOST! Christian is mailing a set of spacers today. Our initial fear was that the bearings and races would have to be cut off and re-pressed on after the spacer installation. BUT, in this case we can cut out part of the spacer making it into a U shape, and slide it in behind the retainer, and tighten it up. Whew! It sucks that our mail goes to Las Vegas on it's way here, which adds a day. We think the spacers might get here Saturday. We have a lot to do to get ready to go, so we're going to side-line the axle install for now. Putting Clifford on wheels. Need to empty everything out, organize. Need to get out and organize camping gear.
  35. 3 points
    Great write up Ryan. Thanks for sharing, and for leading this run. Casner is indeed a rare experience that is well worth the time and efforts... ;)
  36. 3 points
    Love the photos @4x4tographer! What a nice group of new faces and familiar friends.
  37. 3 points
    I know right? My usual MO is to get halfway to where I'm going and have to go buy them.
  38. 3 points
    Just gonna leave this here.
  39. 3 points
  40. 3 points
  41. 3 points
    We are home too! Another late night for us Ryan - but not as late as Harquahala! After the car wash in Flagstaff, we reversed direction, sat thru the LONG wait on 89A at the top of Oak Creek Canyon, and had dinner with a friend in Cottonwood! Over Jerome, roundabout Prescott, and home around 9:30....THANKS For such a great day! Now us old people are sleeping well...its been a busy weekend! Love to all! Great to meet some new friends! smiles, ladybug
  42. 3 points
    If you look at the passenger side of the Yellow Jeep in the group picture (you see woody's jeep, then the yellow jeep then the line of the rest of us. All that brown is from the dust storm. On other pictures you see the rest of the jeep is still Yellow.) you'll see my whole passenger side is brown not yellow. I hit a dust storm coming in where I couldn't see 5 feet in front of me. I was following an 18 wheeler, we were going slow and then he pulled off. About 10 minutes after he pulled off I got out of that. It was the worst dust storm I've been in. I've been in a few going to tucson where you can see like 2 car lengths in front of you. This was worse. If the semi got more than 5 feet in front of me his tail lights disappeared. Once I got out of it, things were clear it's like normal but you turn around and you see the brown cloud. In that was crazy but out of it is normal. I looked at other vehicles but I only seen that brown dirt on my vehicle. I'm guessing no one else hit the dust storm or they would have had a brown passenger side like I did. No damage to anything there just made the jeep dirty. That's normal. The 18 wheeler also didn't seem to have any issues just couldn't see as well and pulled off. This was on the way in and why I was late. I planned on being there about 30 mins early to meet everyone but between the rain storm and the dust storm I ended up being late but by 5 mins or so. Was able to reach everyone on my radio. I just expected directions to them.. but Woody actually just turned around and came back after me. It really was an adventure and more than I expected from an easy trail. But again the trail was the easiest of everything. It was the getting to and getting out that I didn't expect. As always the weather added to this adventure.
  43. 3 points
  44. 2 points
  45. 2 points
  46. 2 points
    @Ladybug wow, thanks for writing your story - what an exciting one!! I'm so grateful you were able to get through to Woody. Solid work everyone who participated! Dang, that's some crazy weather ya'll are having!!
  47. 2 points
    Thanks for the detailed account of the night's activities @SonoranWanderer! Whew, glad you were there to the rescue! That timelapse reminds me of a recurring dream that I have where I can fly. Great pictures too, @4x4tographer, what an excellent adventure!
  48. 2 points
    No, he's loosening it.
  49. 2 points
  50. 2 points
    No, we totally lucked out. The driveshaft fits perfectly.
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