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  1. 11 points
    The 13th Annual ORP event at Dogtown Lake (near Williams, AZ) was a huge success! We filled the group site there nearly to capacity, and it was a little 'cozy' but everybody seemed to be pretty comfortable. The two major complications were the abundance of mosquitoes, and the amazing downpour Saturday afternoon. Other than that everybody seemed to have a great time! I was so immersed in the experience that I forgot to take pictures, so I borrowed the ones below from Ann Marie aka @Riddler. Please post your pics in this thread to share with the group!! We want to thank all twenty-nine of you who came out to the event - you're why this group is so awesome! Special thanks to Ann Marie aka @Riddlerfor organizing the salsa contest! Special thanks also to Michelle aka @Yodamom for help with the 50/50 Raffle and T-shirt sales. There is no way I could do everything, so I really appreciate it! Salsa & Dip Contest 2022 We had a fine selection of salsas and dips to sample at the contest this year. They were all so delicious it was seriously difficult to decide which one was best. I had to go back and fill my plate 3 times! Congrats to both winners of the Salsa/Dip Contest who each won a new design OPR T-shirt. The Dip Contest winner this year was Andrea aka @andimac, winning with an amazing smoked cheese dip. The Salsa Contest winner this year was Doyle aka @Riddler with a tomato based salsa. Although he says he changes it up every year, he now reigns as king of the salsas for several years running!! Here he is sporting last year's contest prize: OOFD - ORP Overland Field Day Saturday morning @4x4tographer lead a trail ride enjoyed by many of the campers! They got back at about noon and everybody at lunch in their individual camps. And then, about the time we were going to start the inaugural OOFD games, we had an utter downpour! By the time it passed enough for folks to move around without getting wet it was too late for the games. 50/50 Raffle This year's 50/50 Raffle netted $142.00 to the club, and $142.00 to winners @Bradywgn71! Congrats guys! And thanks everyone who participated! ORP Trail Leader Appreciation Awards At the awards/announcements ceremony we gave away several of these badges as a way for us founders to say 'Thank You' to these members who generously and regularly lead trails and contribute to the function of the club. We are super appreciative of all your contributions here @4x4tographer, @gearhead, @shellback91, @WILL E, @SonoranWanderer, @Ladybug!! If you weren't able to attend the gala, your badge will be in the mail to you soon! (FYI no I didn't grow my nails out green, that's the person who made the badges manicure! ) Go ahead and post your pics!!
  2. 11 points
    Figured I'd put together a little post to help track our latest acquisition, Gandalf! For those that know us, we've been trying out different campers/trailers for a few years now, learning as much as we can by renting. We ended up landing on purchasing a motorhome due to the Jeep's pretty limited towing capacity + our family's size (with 2 growing kids). We made sure to find a rig that is fully capable of towing the Jeep with all of her added bulk. Here are some specs on Gandalf: 2005 Winnebago Sightseer 30B Ford F53 chassis (18,000lbs) 6.8L SOHC Triton V10 4R100 4-speed overdrive transmission 310 hp @ 4,250 RPM 425 ft/lbs @ 3,250 RPM GVWR: 18,000lbs GCVW: 26,000lbs Length: 30'11" We named him Gandalf after everyone's favorite wizard, Gandalf, from Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Look at the size of that driveshaft! I believe Gandalf is sporting a Dana D80 rear end. Here's the Jeep, trying on our storage slot for size. Our neighboring coaches dwarf Gandalf at 45ft.... massive. Here's Gandalf on his first voyage this past weekend to the Grand Canyon National Park. We found a nice park at "Trailer Village RV Park" (where I was expecting to see Joe Dirt), but it was actually pretty nice, only 5 minutes from the south rim! We had several maintenance items that needed to be taken care of to make the RV safe to drive on the road. I'll try to cover these in some future posts. For now, we're very happy with our purchase, we got a heck of a deal and it was very well-maintained by the previous owner. Here's to future adventures, exploring our gorgeous nation with @Yodamom and the kids!
  3. 11 points
  4. 10 points
    Descriptions do NOT do justice to this trail. Photos can't really portray it accurately either. You see, Cherry Creek Trail is more than just visual splendor, it's an unbelievable immersion into everything that makes Arizona remarkable. When you're not diving thousands of feet deep into a number of red rock canyons, you're greeted with the the scent of autumn in the mid-west, and the rushing sound of water - literally everywhere. I've NEVER seen this much water in Arizona. Ever. There are several unexpected surprises as well, such as cabin hide-aways, flat grassy plains, and something new around every turn on which to feast your eyes. Unfortunately, this trail's days are numbered. Between impending closure under the Tonto NF Travel Management Plan and the irreversible doom of soil erosion - this trail will unfortunately fade away unless something is done about it. We noted a number of areas where the trail soil is loose and granulated, wearing away with each passing rain and some areas literally sliding down the mountainside in many places. My recommendation: Run it and experience it while you can. Like... now. Either by government action or the next Monsoon, this trail might be inaccessible the next time you think of it. The Group's Take: This is a wonderful trail that is a solid moderate. It's literally a once-in-a-lifetime trail due to many threats to its continued existance. Jeeps and 4Runners (and smaller rigs) should be good on this trail. No full-size rigs due to many width concerns. Gladiators and Tacomas may drag their tails in a few areas. There are a few "obstacles" that may continue to degrade over time due to soil erosion - however our group had zero issues. If you run this, don't go alone. Consider making it an overnighter and camp around mid-way through the trail. You can read the original trip planning thread here. Please note this was an Offroad Passport Club members-only event. Account required to see the content. View membership options → Attendees: @4x4tographer @theksmith @Ken Ford @kaspily @Bradywgn71 Here's one of about 8 creek crossings we made with plenty of flowing water. Note the very healthy deciduous trees everywhere. Here's a wonderfully well-preserved cabin. The inside was pretty well provisioned with emergency supplies like water, propane canisters, lanterns, canned foods. There was a nice plaque on the wall that described the history (dating back to 1890) and stories about the grounds - a portion of which was farmed by the inhabitants of this little hideaway. Here is a prime example of the erosion occurring in many areas along Cherry Creek Trail. The erosion can't be easily repaired as you'd need to shore up the soil below (which in many places had 50-60ft drops). You also can't exactly "move the trail" away from the drop-off as there is a mountain in the way. The trail can be run with any "Jeep width" vehicles, but full-size rigs will not fit in quite a few spots. Off-camber was the name of the game in many places. This area is another good example of soil erosion. Every turn presents you with a new jaw-dropping vista and backdrop for some awesome photos. This area was the most "sketchy" due to a washout of the trail. However we found that with the right line you could make it across with minimal drama. As all of our rigs had good departure angles, it wasn't much of an issue. However our Gladiator and Tacoma-driving friends might drag a tail. A good look at the departure angle on this section. Again.... unbelievable views pretty much everywhere. This trail was Chris-Approved On the way out, we popped by a short 2.5 mile side trail to check out some 800 year old Solado cliff-dwellings that were incredible. From the parking area its "only 200 yards", which in ORP-speak means it a lot more. In reality, it's about a 2000 ft hike that is largely easy. To get to the dwellings, someone had built a stone cairne to mark where you should scramble up the rocks about 50-60 ft. I won't post directions to the ruins here in order to help preserve them. If you'd like directions on how to get to them, please PM me. Photo by @kaspily The rock face: Mysteriously, Ken's camera stopped working the moment he stepped inside! Many of the original timbers are still holding up some of the structure. It looked like it was multi-story at one point in time. \ Note the great condition of the stucco/mud on the interior walls. My own house doesn't even look that good and it's only 15 years old! Here's the view from the cliff-dwellings. I'd say that's a million dollar view. Can you imagine what it looked like 800 years ago? The drive past Lake Roosevelt home was amazing as well. Depending on elevation, in the distance we could see rain storms and snow storms occurring all around us. We even had a shot at a pot of gold. Roosevelt Bridge:
  5. 10 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.
  6. 10 points
    I made it. Three nights four days. Thanks to Jim, jgaz, for the valuable information
  7. 9 points
    beautiful scenery already just coming into the Courtright reservoir area. weird building at Courtright. looking down stream while crossing the dam. the official start of the Dusy-Ershim! no time to warm up, just head for the sky straight away. top of the slab, looking back at the reservoir. plenty of dust on the trail, but i couldn't even imagine how difficult it would be when wet. most of the trail weaves through very dense forest. passing by "the bearded man". Wayne getting into the challenging stuff on Thompson Hill. Thompson Hill is an exceedingly steep, seemingly never ending pile of rocks and dirt. everything from bowling-ball to 40" tire sized boulders shift constantly in the baby-powder soil as you scramble towards the top. climbing the hill is much like a toddler trying to find the edge of the McDonald's play area ball-pit. Wayne and i both had to winch and stack to make it to the top. anti-stacking purists can relax, the entire obstacle changes from one rig's attempt to the next, there's no evidence left of our having re-arranged the rocks in any useful order! the Dusy is often compared to the Rubicon, however beyond the fact that they share somewhat similar views of the Sierras, i found them to be completely different animals. the 'Con is like a constant extreme rock crawl, where this was more like a really long extreme trail with plenty of difficult rock crawls mixed in. the Dusy is also much more remote, both the trailhead and finish are 2 hours from the nearest one-horse town and there's absolutely nothing but forest, mountains and small lakes on the trail. the Rubicon has 3 entrances and cell phone signal at least some of the time, and people run it nearly daily. if you break down on the Dusy, it could be several days before someone came by. Mac led the first day, i led the second, and Wayne wrapped it up for us on the third day. some areas had more sandy soil, but much of the roads were black powdery dirt (between the boulders!). the trail crosses several small meadows as well. Mac definitely had the right rig for the trail - a 2 door and 37's. he'd also already run the Dusy many times. Wayne also had the short-wheelbase thing going for him in his TJ, but had to work harder in many places to avoid diffing-out with only 35's. i don't think there's more than 100ft of straight trail on the Dusy. it's constant turns and lots of those are tight ones between treese and/or boulders. my 4 door was mostly at a disadvantage with all the tight spots, though the 37's helped keep the belly off most of the obstacles. even when not climbing, dodging, or articulating, there are still plenty of just plain bumpy sections that keep you jostling around in your seat. there's also quite a supply of "inconveniently placed" boulders. the forest would thin out briefly at the tops of some climbs. which rewarded us with great views of the surrounding peaks. we ran across 3 downed trees in the trail. i was able to move one that had broken up into pieces, and fortunately the other 2 were by-passable. a chainsaw would not be a bad idea on this run - there are many places with such thick forest that there'd be no way to get around a large downed log. more boulder fields! Wayne getting out to check the way on Divorce Rock. it's not a major obstacle, but does provide a little pucker! more tight forest squeezes! getting close to the end there are several stellar viewpoints. the descent during the last hour or so of the trail is really challenging. IMO, it's worse than going up Thompson Hill, mainly because there's a real possibility of can-opener-ing a door on some of the tight turns between large rocks. nearly done! that's it, we made it! here's the sign looking back at the north end of the trail we made really good time since there were only 3 of us, averaging 5 to 6 hours of intense wheeling each day for 3 days. we were treated to spectacular 360 degree views at the last night's camp. personally, i liked the Dusy better than the Rubicon. they are equally challenging trails, but in very different ways. the Dusy being much less traveled was appealing to me, and the overall vibe is just more chill even though you're still wheeling your ass off for 3 to 4 days on either trail! it was great to also not see a single scrap of trash, and very few bypasses or widened trail areas. the Dusy is a pristine, difficult, man and machine testing overland experience.
  8. 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
  9. 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.
  10. 9 points
    83,600 miles. We took Gandalf in for his annual emissions check. It was a miserable 3 hour wait, but the ol'boy passed with flying colors! The Ford 6.8L V10 riding strong! In other news, we took the RV up to stay at a KOA during the 2022 Overland Expo in Flagstaff. Awesome trip! As we were prepping the rig for travel, it was pretty hot down here in the valley. Since we don't have a 30amp connection at the house, we ran the generator to be able to run our A/C unit to cool down the RV. After about 3 hours, we shut down the genny and went to pull the RV into our home's electric via the 15amp connection overnight. Once we unplugged the 30amp plug from the socket we noticed a little problem. The socket and the plug had melted (I think, neutral terminal). After consulting with @Stacey and Scott and @Bradywgn71 (MASSIVE THANKS YOU GUYS) , it seemed like the blades were pretty dirty, leading to a bad connection between the socket and the plug. This led to some arcing of the current, which led to heat, which lead to some melty-melty action. The inside of the junction box that houses the 30amp socket that is fed by the generator. Note the melted wire nut and heat damage to the neutral wire (white/tan). The backside of the socket. More scored wiring. We overnighted some replacement materials via Amazon and did a quick replacement the morning before we were supposed to leave. We replaced plug, cabling, and the socket. Ripped all the old crap out, stripped and cleaned up the wiring. Wiring done. @Stacey and Scott recommended I schmear some dielectric grease up into the wire nuts to prevent water and corrosion from setting it. @Bradywgn71 recommended replacing the entire junction box with a bus bar since they are more secure and more resistant to vibration than wire nuts. Both are on my honey-do list. After the install, we ran the generator for about 5-6 hours as we finished stocking the kitchen and made the drive up to Flagstaff. Wiring and the socket/plug never overheated and it all seems A-OK.
  11. 9 points
    As if you needed another reason to visit Crown King! If you've been up to CK in the last year or so, you may have noticed some development happening in the heart of town, just across from the General Store. This will be the site of the new-old Crown King Depot. When I say "new-old", it's because that particular site was the original site of the original train depot that was built around 1904. Some details related to the Crown King Inn & Depot Open weekends only Friday, Saturday, Sunday 11am - "closing" (whenever that is ) Local Beers & Wines Offering beers that are brewed locally exclusively for the Depot (Kiss My Kaboose, Crazy Train Ale, Cowcatcher Porter, for example) They will also offer wines (presumably some AZ varieties) Restaurant with a simple menu "Grill Your Own" Burgers Charcuterie boards Snacks Flatbread pizza Lodging At least 4 "tiny homes" that you can rent that will be built from shipping containers If you're interested in more information an news as it develops: The CK Inn & Depot website: https://crownkingdepot.wixsite.com/mysite Their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/crownkingdepot Some History The depot was the result of Murphy's Impossible Railroad, started in 1901, connecting a range of destinations, such as Big Bug Creek, Humboldt, and Poland via the Bradshaw Mountain Railway, operated by Santa Fe. There was an additional spur that became the famous "front way to Crown King" that connected Mayer and Crown King and was completed in 1904. The current "front way" in on Crown King Road via the i17 was laid right down on top of the foundations of the old railroad, including all of the tight switchbacks climbing the Bradshaws. For more information on the original railroad, click here for a fascinating telling of the history. Here's a great map I found of the original Bradshaw Mountain Railway. If you look closely, you can see the switchbacks on the final climb into Crown King: Here's another angle on the original Depot. Note the snow on the tracks and the roof. Here's a shot of one of the big iron beasts that used to make the climb into CK from Mayer: The New Crown King Depot The new depot appears to be a modern spin on an old classic, with the depot being rebuilt entirely out of (currently very trendy) shipping containers. Here's a rendering of the concept/plans: The very first of the retrofitted shipping containers being installed just a few days ago in March of 2022! I'm looking forward to my next trip up to CK once the construction is finished to check out the latest reason to make the climb to CK! Hope you all found this as interesting as I did.
  12. 9 points
    These 2 guys are having way too much fun. Riding a home built rail cart to Goat Canyon Trestle in Carrizo Gorge, Anza Borrego park in Cali. George should ditch the bicycle for this!
  13. 8 points
    Brady doesn't get his license for a couple more months, but he already has a Jeep! we looked seemingly FOREVER to find an affordable older JK without too many miles and in decent shape - apparently they're made from solid unobtanium! anything that was a good deal was gone the same day it was posted, otherwise we'd find ones that had clearly been in major wrecks or customized really poorly with tons of junk that was falling apart. we finally found this "Jeep Green Metallic" 2009 Wrangler X with only 41k miles! we were the first ones to go see it the same day it was listed, and were ready to make a deal. B has named her Fiona, from the movie Shrek! i don't think it's been cleaned inside since 2009, and needs a fair amount of TLC - but all small projects we can work on together. she drives really nice (once i took the tires down from the 47 psi they were at!) and seems to be in good mechanical condition overall. there's a Teraflex 2.5" coil spacer lift installed, along with their 9550 shocks. the lift clears the oversize tires fine for street use. she also has front disconnects, but the tires are a bit too big for the lift and would probably rip off the fenders if you did disconnect. the 35" A/T's from Hercules (a discount brand made by Cooper) have nearly full tread and perfectly even wear so far. they're on 15" steel simulated beadlock rims which just barely clear the front calipers. the long term plan is to either go down a tire size, or install a bit more lift. she came with a bikini top only, and most of the straps were broken off. however, we were very fortunate to find a full OEM soft top on Craigslist yesterday! the purchased top includes all the hardware, which is awesome because we aren't sure which brackets and such Fiona even still has. Gadget is not impressed with having to sit outside a couple days until we get the top installed! more updates soon as we dig in to all the little projects and maintenance together!
  14. 8 points
    My wife and I were in Santa Rosa/Healdsburg/Russian River Valley wine country out in CA over the holiday weekend and I came a cross a classic Jeep. We stopped by the Hook & Ladder Winery and they had a Jeep FC-170 that was converted to a fire truck. This thing was pretty dang cool. I could not get inside to take pictures of the interior but from what I saw it was pretty neat. I found an article on Motor Trend that gives a brief history on these models. Apparently they were built by the Willys Overland corporation back in the day. This particular model of FC(Forward Control) Jeep was built using a 103.5-inch-wheelbase chassis that was similar to 104-inch Willys Wagon chassis. This rig is a true 4x4 Jeep which I found pretty damn cool. It's engine provided a whopping 105 horsepower! I did not manage to get the year of this beast, I was too far into the wine to think to ask.
  15. 8 points
    Just finished another 4 days hiking the Grand Canyon corridor trails for my volunteer gig. Monsoon action every afternoon. Only hiked in the rain one day. Humid, hot, no cloud cover until about noon. This makes it worth while. Mr. Ram was a couple switchbacks below 1.5 mile rest house. He would peer over the edge of the boulder at me and then disappear. Like a Disney animatronic . This shot was taken with a bit of zoom. I was so close to him here I had to step back to edge of the trail to get this shot. No zoom. This is looking back down on him from a couple switchbacks up trail. Many animals in this area due to (another) pipeline break that left the water turned off at the 1.5 and 3 mile rest houses. The break was leaking enough to water the animals. Im no photographer but with subjects like this it’s hard to take a bad picture.
  16. 8 points
    Got the replacement engine installed this weekend. Had my share of fun with it, I don't think this Jeep likes me. I had the engine down and in the engine bay fairly easily, and even got a few bell housing bolts started. But........... I couldn't get the left side of the engine to full seat against the bell housing. It took a bit to figure out what was wrong. There are pilot bushings on the lower sides of the block. What I didn't know was when I pulled the engine, the left side stayed in the transmission, instead of coming out with the engine. Area circled in red. The replacement engine already had 2 installed. I had to pull the engine completely back out, remove the offending bushing and then reinstall the engine. Considering I'm doing this by myself, the install was fairly easy. Replacement engine in the bay. Hard part is done. Now to finish the reassembly.
  17. 8 points
    After our Trans-Africa and South America trip, I had taken a more relaxed view of the topic of "safety on the road", at least for our overlanding trips within Europe. Of course, we prepared for eventualities, thought through possible incidents and our possible reactions to them. I would never have thought that even after more than 400 nights of lonely wild camping, the pump could go so badly again - even on a seemingly tranquil trip in Europe or Spain. We were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, on a deserted beach in Spain. Article: In the wrong place at the wrong time - pure adrenaline - https://vanlife.4x4tripping.com/2022/05/in-wrong-place-at-wrong-time-vanlife-wildcamp-overlanding Not only was my ticker going - I was scared. Afraid that this was not going to end well. And with our reaction - we probably didn't improve safety for other travellers wild camping on the beach. The article is also available in german language Surfy
  18. 8 points
    Awesome time up at the Overland Expo. Been trying to get up there for it every year since we moved to AZ and never got a shot until this year. We took the RV and found a spot at the local KOA, which was surprisingly nicer than we thought it'd be. You're packed in like sardines, but the park was very nice and clean, with plenty of things to keep the kids entertained (huge bouncy area, large playground, and a forested "discovery area". Our site was right at the northernmost edge of the park, right at the base of Mount Elden. The event itself was, in a word, awesome. Sooooooooooooo many things to look at. Rigs of all shapes and sizes, gear of all flavors. It was pretty impressive. We also ran into @lofreqjeff and Mrs. lofreqjeff, which was an awesome surprise! I was really happy with the way they organized the layout of the event, with "similar styles" of overloading grouped up for easy perusal by interest. For example, there was a dedicated motorcycle area, a van life area, some "alternative" vehicles (like Subarus), "Toyotaland", and then the more typical Jeep vs Bronco stuff. There was also the biggest marketplace of offroad parts that probably exists on the planet! Mecca for those in this hobby, for sure. LOVED this decked-out Delica. Took me back to our time living in Japan where these things were all over the place on the road. Got to see the EGOE NEST in person for the first time. It's an impressive and well-built system. Pretty much "Ikea for Overlanding", they sell a wide range of parts you can use to customize your own trunk box / sleeping platform however you want. Fits a huge range of vehicles. Trailsoffroad.com was there as well, repping the brand. I had the opportunity to stop and talk with Wade for about 10-15 minutes. Wade has written a huge number of the trail reviews here in Arizona. They had a nice booth and tech demo area, and this nice JL with an Ursa Minor camper conversion. All the major brands were out. Eibach, Toyo, Rigid, KC, 4WP, Bilstein, Factor 55, ICON, Magnaflow and more. This Gladiator had a very clever "dog bed drop seat". It allows you to have a full-width dog bed in the rear that easily flips up revealing more storage underneath. A cool Subaru with rock sliders. Here's their IG page. Loved the black-out camouflage wrap on this Chevy THIS was by far one of the coolest things I've seen, Similar to the Ursa Minor conversion for the Jeep JL and JK - American Safari has an XL version. Basically they provide you with an all new top with tent, but they also extend your bed by 15" to give you expanded interior room. It was unbelievably cool, even though it kills your departure angles. But it's still better than a Gladiator's tail end. It was a cool $20,000 for the conversion though - so you've have to be pretty serious about keeping your JK/JL. Frankly, I'd rather buy a Gladiator and get a camper bed cap cover by Alu-cab. Note the clever use of space for drawers in the bumper on both sides. ALL of the YouTubers were there. X Overland, TrailRecon.... all of them. Overland X by far had the most impressive presence. They had their entire motor pool of vehicles there, including their all new Tundra. Sweet Lexus in the KC booth. This is Brad from Trailrecon's new Bronco. He was floating around with a big crowd. Awesome JL at the AEV booth. Pretty sweet van conversion. Nice lounge area on top of this way too expensive rig. Rivian had a few rigs there you could test drive on an obstacle course. Loved these clever camp set ups from Snowflake, based out of Japan. The versatility was amazing. Super modular and very well thought out. Check out this quick video to see it in action: We even caught a Sasquatch hanging around the OME booth! TRED CRED had a nice booth with beautiful patches and decals for a huge number of major trails in a ton a states and countries. Nice Merc conversion. And another Loved this wrap on this Lexus. UP TOP had a really nice rack system on display I've never seen before. Some tail light conversions that I've been eye-balling. Was nice to seem them in person. After a hard day of walking around in the sun, @Yodamom broke out the Flamingo cozies and some refreshments! All in all - it was an awesome experience. I'll definitely try to go again in the future.
  19. 8 points
    Hi everyone! With GMRS gaining traction out there in the offroad/overland arena, I figured it might be helpful to have an “all-in-one” post with information on how to get into GMRS. The basic approach to the post is for a newcomer to GMRS, or someone (like me) that gets a little overwhelmed with all of the options available. So, if you’re like me and want to just “get to the point” with GMRS, I’m hoping you can walk away from this post knowing how to: Get legal Get talking What is GMRS? There are a lot of different radio “services” out there, including Citizen’s Band (CB), Ham (amature radio), Family Radio Service (FRS), and others. It can get a little confusing keeping it all straight. Bottom line: GMRS is a “relatively new” range of frequencies set aside by the FCC for the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Compared to some other services, GMRS is appealing because: It has competitive range/power Good quality transmissions Easy to install and use radios/antennas Easy to use (choose 1 of 22 different channels, similar to CB) No exam or technical requirement, just a paid license Repeaters. Similar to Ham, certain models of GMRS radios have access to special repeater channels that can allow you to transmit over pretty incredible distances. Some local repeaters here in AZ are pushing transmissions over 150 miles, depending on geography and conditions! Cool story bro. So what do I need to get started? This is a pretty easy section. You will need: A GMRS radio A GMRS license with a callsign That’s literally it. GMRS Radio Types There are a TON of different models/styles of GMRS radios. These include models that are highly portable walkie-talkies to hard mounted mobile units that you’d install in your vehicle. Here are a few links to help you with your personal research: Midland Rugged Radios Buy Two Way Radios Marine Approved BTech has a cheap handheld that is repeater capable **UPDATE** Check out this excellent post from @SonoranWanderer on building a GMRS radio kit on a Budget! There are a lot of options out there that fit a range of needs and budgets. My recommendation is to find a radio that provides you with access to the high-power channels. This will get you more range. That said, more power, more money. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with grabbing a cheap handheld unit to get you by on some trail rides. If you’re interested in what I personally bought, check out this thread and this post. So I Need a License? Sounds Intense. Yes. You need a license to LEGALLY TRANSMIT on GMRS frequencies. You can listen all day without one. But if you want to talk, you need the license. Here’s the great thing about the license: Its good for 10 years. Yes, 10 years. NO TESTS. It covers your entire family (immediate family) You get a sweet callsign (WRKC290 is mine, makes you feel official) Its affordable. But what about the evil government tax license fee? Today, a 10 year license is $70. That’s $7 per year. But wait, there’s more. The FCC recently announced that they are reducing the fee to $35. That’s $3.50 per year. At these prices, there’s literally no good reason to avoid getting one if you plan to transmit. Get one. Get legal. How Do I Get a License and Callsign? It’s relatively easy. Check out this article on the AZ GMRS Repeater Club website. It walks you through the entire process, step by step. To get started, visit the FCC website, click “register” and get going! My license was approved the next business day. My license and callsign arrived by email (PDF) the following day. My callsign was updated in their database that very evening. So, I Got My License. What’s Next? Install that radio and get transmitting! Read your manual, get to know your radio’s features, grab a buddy and test it. Some additional resources you’ll find interesting: Check out this great GMRS on a Budget thread! Repeaters – Repeaters will grab your transmission and rebroadcast it at higher power from (generally) a much taller/larger antenna than you’re working with. This can extend your range significantly when you need. MyGMRS.com is a fantastic resource for repeater information. Create a free account, punch in your callsign, and you’ll get access to a nationwide map of repeaters – complete with input/output access tones. It's important to note that MyGMRS hits the FCC license database before they'll let you create an account. If you don't have a license, you're not unlocking any of the repeater tones (more on this later). Get licensed. Get Legal. It’s important to note that this isn’t every repeater out there, some owners don’t have their stations listed here and operate their own club websites. AZ GMRS Repeater Club is another great group with really good information. They host a tower on the White Tank Mountains. You can catch this repeater on Channel 15 (462.5500). They also have a Tuesday night “Radio Net”, which is like a radio-based club meeting, which is fun to listen in to. They also report on the traffic and weather every workday during both the morning and evening commutes. It’s a LOT of fun to listen in on. Tucson GMRS Association – another repeater club. These guys have a few towers, including one on Mt. Lemmon. I’m able to pick up their transmissions from my house in Peoria. Etiquette – Like any form of communication, there are niceties and rules to be observed. Here’s a helpful blog article on some basic rules that apply to pretty much every form of radio communication. Tones and Codes – GMRS allows for privacy tones/codes to allow you to filter out any cross-talk that is occurring on your favorite channel. This allows you to talk to your buddies and not have to listen to some other operators complaining about their spouses. How's this work? In simplest terms, a privacy tone/code simply allows a transmission to breath through your squelch so you can hear the transmission. If you have the tone/code active on the receiving end, you won't hear any chatter on that channel until your radio picks up the appropriate tone/code. Then it lets that piece of traffic through. Pretty simple. Radio to radio (or ship to ship communication): Essentially, if you're using a tone, when you transmit your radio will simultaneously transmit a preset tone. If your friend's radio is preset to listen for that same tone, your message will be heard by them. Think of it like a backchannel chat occurring away from a much larger group chat. However, it's important to note that these "privacy tones" are not necessarily keeping your conversation private. People that are monitoring the same channel can hear you. The tones are more for you to be able to filter out the garbage that might be occurring on a highly active channel. Radio to repeater communication: The use of a tone triggers the repeater to pick up your transmission and retransmit it. Pretty simple. Note: Some repeaters use a dual-tone system, with a difference tone for the input, and another for the output. Some radios (like my Midland 275) can't do dual tone. I can use an input tone to get the repeater to repeat my transmission, but I won't natively be able to hear a response from anyone that responds to me. This doesn't mean I can't hear them though - the workaround is to hit your Monitor Button, which allows all of the grimy static to come in as it removes your squelch so you can hear all transmissions on that frequency, regardless of privacy tones. It's also important to state than many repeater operators rotate their access tones. They do this to keep morons off the airwaves, or help prevent abuse by folks breaking the rules for the repeater. It is also worth noting that almost every locally-based (AZ) repeater uses a tone or code to allow you to transmit on the repeater. These tones/codes come in 2 flavors, including CTCSS and DCS. Here are some detailed articles on the subject, if you’re interested. Continuous Tone-Coded Squelch System Digital Code Squelch (DCS) CTCSS and DCS Tones -- What's the difference? The Travel Tone - It’s also worth noting that there is a “national travel tone”. This is on CTCSS 141.3 Hz. The idea here is that “most” repeaters will accept the travel tone and allow you to broadcast for travel or assistance related transmissions. This is pretty nice, since you don’t need to know a ton of specific tones for specific repeaters for specific needs. This is reminiscent of Channel 14 on CB, which was a largely accepted “travel channel”. Note that not ALL repeaters are set up this way. Most repeaters are privately owned, and their owners are able to configure them however they wish. If you have access to a repeater via a travel tone, DON’T abuse that privilege. Frequency Chart – Here’s a handy freq chart that @theksmith found. I like this as it shows you the cross-over frequencies where you're able to talk to FRS radio users. Jeep Jamboree - JJUSA had an excellent article about why they're moving from CB to GMRS - it's very well written for the layman to understand the advantages. I believe it is also a tipping point towards GMRS when a larger organization like JJ makes such a dramatic shift to a new method of comms. But What About My Baofeng Radio? Nothing that follows in this post constitutes legal advice. So you have a cheap Baofeng radio, like a UV-5R. It's a Ham radio, but can also program in GMRS and transmit. It's easy to see the appeal, you can pick up a Baofeng for like $25. Well, while you CAN, doesn't mean you should. You are able to use the radio to LISTEN to any channel you'd like. However you shouldn't transmit, even if you have a GMRS license. This is due to the radios not being certified by the FCC to broadcast on GMRS frequencies. That said, there's something to be said about grabbing the cheapest radio you can find to be able to listen in (which is legally fine). You also have it on hand in the event you need to transmit in an emergency. Confused? Yeah me too. Here's a great video on why you CAN transmit on GMRS with a Baofeng-type Ham radio, but probably should not due to the legal ramifications. Here's another video on the topic worth watching: If you're interested in programming your Baofeng to pick up transmissions on GMRS bands, here's a great how-to video:
  20. 8 points
    Long Saturday, did not get the gears fully swapped. Ran into a shim issue on the front. But should have one that will get me the backlash I want by Friday. Did get the fenders and level kit installed and mounted the rims and tires. This week will be the bed rack swap.
  21. 8 points
    Home safe and sound after a fun day! Thanks everybody who came out to celebrate the holidays after the holidays! We had an absolute blast, it was so great to see everybody. I'm with Ryan, I think I ate more cookies than I ever have. Those were some awesome cookies! Thank you everybody who baked!
  22. 8 points
    I would like the ORP community to help me acquire one of these. See trip report from this weekends trip led by Ryan for justification. https://images.app.goo.gl/5WgYNku5iqeNATvi6
  23. 8 points
    A neighbor posted this to facebook - taken last night. What a view!! That's the Cerbat Mountains in silouette, and lights from Kingman.
  24. 8 points
    The counter tops are in! Well, mostly. One of the bathroom cabinets arrived damaged, so that top has to wait, but the rest are done. I love them !
  25. 8 points
    Check out the short dash cam video in the link below. https://www.thedrive.com/news/41371/watch-a-jeep-grand-cherokee-get-kod-by-lightning-in-terrifying-video I don’t think I’d want to try and tackle that electrical repair. You can see the brake lights fade out as it coasts to a stop.
  26. 8 points
    i bought a set of Dirt Bagz for my JK Unlimited to cleanup several different sized bags i previously had shoved under the back seat. these are available for 2 and 4 door JK's as well as JL Wranglers. they come in a pair. a nice touch is that they are left/right specific so the zippers face the same way on each side. i measure each one to be about 19" x 8" x 4" plus another inch every direction if you really stuff them full. you can easily get quite a bit of junk in. the lids also have a thin pocket accessible via internal zipper. the main zippers are large and don't get tangled in the heavy duty fabric. they appear to be mostly made from PVC coated nylon or similar. the sides are further reinforced with 3" webbing sewn in. the webbing also contributes to the overall stiffness, so they keep their shape even when empty. i cut up the box they came in to make an additional stiffener for the bottoms. my favorite feature is they fit on the floor in front of the rear seats when you want to fold those down! so now when i fold down the passenger side to deploy my sleep platform, there's just one bag to move, and a dedicated place to put it. the placement still works even if the front seat is all the way back. shipping was fast, only took 2 days to arrive here in AZ. they're a little pricey considering you can just grab any old tool bag for much less... however, they seem to be high quality and are purpose-built/sized to the exact space available making for a really clean & convenient storage solution.
  27. 8 points
    what a crazy day! the only "on the trail" photo i got was this scenic shot of Woody coming up out of the creek: carnage report... @gearhead suffered a punctured sidewall, but fortunately told us he has Discount Tire replacement certs. @CAVU2 destroyed a rear tail-light when his rig tried to reverse-cowgirl a tree that was in his blind-spot while backing up. @SonoranWanderer did great at maneuvering the extra length of his new Gladiator Mojave - only a few new scrapes on the factory skids, control-arm mounts, etc. Gadget so far looks to have escaped with only a few minor new scrapes on the underbelly too. some other folks had a worse time... air & RAZR rescue... on what i think is currently the sketchiest part of the trail (an off-camber, steep, loose down-hill), a guy had rolled his RAZR and suffered a compound fracture. i didn't see him up-close, but a couple folks said was acting a fair bit delirious and had lost some blood. others had righted his RAZR before when we got there, but the brakes weren't working and it was blocking the trail as no-one wanted to try and maneuver it out of the sketchy area without the ability to stop! we had just passed the others from his group in their 2 side-by-sides before here, supposedly heading to Oracle to get parts/supplies. they'd left their buddy with a couple dirt-bike riders that just happened upon the scene. supposedly his "friends" had been complete assholes, smacking his arm and joking around - not to mention leaving him with strangers to wait for the air evac. there was some discussion about the fact the injured guy should probably look for some new trail partners. we also wondered if all of them had been drinking based on their eagerness to leave the scene. after the evac, the dirt-bikers and our group worked together to get the RAZR fixed and off the trail. i just recently started carrying spare fluids again and was able to give them brake fluid to refill the RAZR, plus a pair of needle-nose vice grips to pinch-off the busted brake-line. then one of the dirt-bike guys rode the razer up past the sketchy area and we moved it up to the top of the hill just off the trail. Kevin donated a can of Fix-A-Flat to one of the dirt-bikes with a low rear tire, but it was still losing air from the valve-stem. Woody gave him a new valve core but it was still leaking after i aired him up. Woody had a metal cap with an o-ring seal, and we figured that would hold the low PSI they run long enough to get to pavement. this whole side-adventure killed a couple hours at least, but we made great time on the trail otherwise. more nice folks... later, a older couple came up behind us in their TJ while we were navigating a tight rocky area. the guy "hadn't been on this trail in 10 years", and his lady friend, Pam, seemed a little nervous about this technical section they were about to do. it turned out he was a great driver and didn't need any spotting at all. they followed behind us till we went over to the optional "Step" obstacle. Pam shot a couple videos and was nice enough to take down our info and send them to us: we got off the trail well before dark, but all still had to drive back to Phoenix. it was a long, but memorable day and everyone from our group had a great time. here's a big "thank you" to @gearhead for organizing and leading this run!
  28. 8 points
    George @Number7 had a little adventure over last weekend, rescuing his friend's Rhino SxS. Below is his friend's write up about their experience. When he mentions in the story that they had to go over a spot that he had marked on his map as 'impassable' he's talking about Rocker Panel Pass (which G says is rougher than ever right now). If you were with ORP on a trail ride in 2010 and we found a tortoise out past Rocker Panel Pass, that's about where the Rhino was. Rhino Side by Side Adventure On Monday 2/8/21 we did a fairly strenuous hike on a high ridge above Horseshoe Canyon so we planned an easy ride on our Rhino side by side for Tuesday. The plan was to visit the area of the 2019 Verde forest fire shown on the map below. We had been on the trails in this area on a small 2WD quad ATV in 2001 2001 2021 The Rhino we now have is 4WD and well equipped with large oversized tires, skid plates, etc. We started out from the Bush trail head and went north on forest trails 1848,403,1852 and 1096. The trip took about four hours and was unusually tough with many rocks, boulders, washouts, steep up and downs, etc., so we decided to take a different route back. Plan was to take 160 east to 1855 south, then 1851,403 and 1847. Many times we have found that trails numbered with 3 digits are more traveled and in much better shape than 4 digit trails, hence we choose 160 going east. Surprise, the 160 trail was TERRIBLE. The further we went the worse it got. The downhills were so steep and rutted that we were at the point of no return back up those hills. We have driven our Rhinos 15,000 miles on all types forest trails in the last 16 years with no accidents, this time we flipped ours on its side. We were stuck on this very steep hill, miles from any help and no cell phone service. For about 10 years we have carried at Spot device which can send a SOS message to search and rescue folks and provide them our exact location. We had never had occasion to use it before but needless to say we did now. The device indicates when a SOS is sent but there is no feedback showing the message was received. We waited on site for 1 hour and then started hiking on down the trail realizing we would probably not reach help by nightfall. A short while later a low flying helicopter went past us and hovered directly over the Rhino. A short while later they spotted us and landed a short distance ahead of us and got us onboard. LIFT OFF…..OUR RHINO CIRCLED IN RED The Maricopa Sheriffs copter took us directly to the Bush trail head where our car and trailer were parked. . There two officers awaited us along with our daughter who had been notified of the SOS by them. They checked our health and asked for identification so they could complete a report AND SEND US A BILL FOR THE HELICOPTER SERVICE! I once heard someone was charged $1700 for the service. We got our drivers licenses from the car and I inquired as to the possible cost, the officer replied he was JOKING, hallelujah and many thanks to the Sheriff’s search and rescue team. The officers said that we were on our own as far as retrieving our Rhino and they would not be helping in that endeavor. Retrieving the Rhino turned into exciting 1.5 day adventure which will be documented in the near future. RETRIEVING OUR RHINO 1/10/21 The rescue helicopter took us to our car at the Bush trailhead. While driving home I called our friend George Zalman who operates the OFFROAD PASSPORT jeep club. We live close to each other and only about 10 miles from the trailhead. He was home and told us to swing by which we did. We showed him where our Rhino was on a topo map and he was very familiar with the area. He said he could retrieve the Rhino with his jeep and would pick me up at our house in a few minutes. The shortest way to the Rhino from Highway 87 was the dreaded 160 trail. The Jeep folks are aware of how bad that trail is and about 2 miles in we came to a section I had marked on my topo map 20 years ago as an IMPASSE (see red X on attached map). George has modified his jeep to handle about any terrain and I cannot describe how tough this section of 160 is, I’m still in disbelief that we got through it (sorry no photos). We got to the Rhino and got it upright by winching to a large hillside boulder (again no photos). Next problem was it would not start. All the gas had run out on the ground but an onboard spare gallon tank was full and we used it but still no luck starting. We tried dripping gas directly into the intake, bypassed brake starting switches, and everything else we could think of to get it started but with no success. It was getting dark and the decision was made to tow it out. Without describing all the details I will just say that doing this in the dark was a nightmare. Because of sharp switchbacks it was not possible to hook the Rhino directly to the jeep but instead we had to drag it using the winch cable and I was onboard steering it in the dark with no lights or power steering because the battery was rundown. It was critical to drag the Rhino brakes on the steep down hills to avoid smashing into the jeep. After about an hour of this my 87 year old arms gave out (they had been steering the Rhino for over 5 hours earlier that day). George said we only had two more hours to go but I wimped out. We left the Rhino and it took us an hour just to jeep out. I got home about 10:30 that night. ANOTHER DAY ANOTHER TRY 1/10/21 George was available Tuesday afternoon and I recruited our grandson Kramer to be the Rhino pilot. He and George went in the Jeep to get the Rhino while Del and I towed our trailer to the Sugar Loaf trailhead and several miles on the 402 trail so as to shorten the Rhino towing distance. To our surprise the tow crew appeared with the Rhino in less than 2 hours. In the daylight they had unhooked the winch on some steep hills and let Kramer freewheel down. In summary, it was an interesting 2 day adventure with lots of lucky happenings after the not so lucky wheels up flip. The most important lessons learned are: 1. Do not proceed beyond the point of no return 2. Do not proceed where passage is doubtful Many thanks to George and Kramer and the Guardian Angel that kept us injury free.
  29. 8 points
  30. 8 points
    The fam and I took a little spur of the moment trip up to Sedona yesterday to get out of town for a bit. We ended up running through Broken Arrow, as @Yodamom hadn't see it yet, and I think it's frankly one of the biggest bang for your buck trails in the area. I love living in the north valley as that puts places like Sedona just 1.5 hours of our driveway and makes for an easy getaway whenever we want a dramatic change of scenery. A few photos just as we entered the trail and aired down. Submarine rock is my absolute favorite part of this trail. I could spend most of my day hanging out there. When there are no vehicles around and the tourists quiet down, its amazing how quiet this large of an open space really is. Chicken Point always has some pretty dramatic scenery. A little flexing just before Devil's Staircase Here's the staircase itself. The girls hanging out with the Jeep at Chicken Point. Brynna really wanted a photo with one of the Pink Jeeps since "her room is pink and he pants are pink and pink is her favorite color". She's also let me know that she wants her own pink Jeep when she's old enough to drive.
  31. 8 points
    So @4x4tographer (husband) convinced me to finally create an account so I stop bugging him about what is happening. Really looking forward to hanging out with you all next weekend.
  32. 8 points
    last Friday evening i drove up to Kingman, AZ for a night run that was posted on a Facebook group. the run ended up being just myself and 2 Kingman locals, Ric Swats and @stockjeep (Wayne). we did Bull Run which starts out as a fairly easy climb up to an old quartz quarry. after you weave your way back down the other side of the little mountain, you enter a rock-crawly tight wash that Ric swore was a trail! however, after a wrong turn, Wayne took over lead and i asked him if they created the trail by just following a drunk Javalina through the desert one day. a mile or less from the exit (back on easy trail), i stayed behind to camp while the crazy Kingman boys finished the run and headed home. i woke up just before 6 to a nice sunrise over Kingman! after gassing up and getting McDonalds in town, i head south to run the Hualapai Mountain trail - a graded road that runs the ridges along the major hills of the Hualapais. stopped along the road to eat my breakfast: the pavement ended up at the top and after passing a collection of little homes, i aired down and enjoyed the view. it's a long trail that passes a few tree-lined camp spots early on but then becomes mostly shrub brush. i did find one nice little shady valley down a short spur trail, so that's where i had lunch. a young couple came in on an old beater CJ and their faces dropped when they saw me parked next to an existing fire ring. they perked up when i told them i wasn't camping there, just having lunch! at some point you finally stop running ridges and shelf roads, then start to descend fairly rapidly. near the bottom (on the south end), i stopped to look around the Boriana mine ruins a bit. there's a huge tailings pile there, but it's heavily eroded and looks like it might have been twice as big at one time. a little further down the road i took another short spur to the Copper World mine. the main adit was "kind of" gated, but also flooded. lots of junk there! back down on the desert floor, i decided to try a random set of trails to make my way over to Wikieup. i started in Bar I-L Wash, which was full of Joshua Trees and things blooming. obviously i'm not a rancher, so are all baby horseys this skinny, or was this little dude malnourished? have you ever pulled up on a place and immediately thought, "oh yeah, that's haunted"? i saved exploring that one for next time another short spur led me to some old surface mining prospects, and more baby critters. didn't stay for pictures long there - dad came running around the corner looking all sorts of bothered! as i started to climb back up in elevation, the trail definitely appeared less used. soon i realized my planned route was going to take me much higher that i had realized. i had a nice view of that wash i came in on though: then i didn't take any pictures for a while... my path gradually turned into a total ATV-width shelf road with constant inconveniently placed boulders. i managed to nervously squeeze Gadget through, but came very close to breaking a rear window and had to absolutely drag my rims across the sides of some of the big rocks. now i normally like a good afternoon nap, but being off-camber on the side of a mountain will keep you wide awake. my little route ended up climbing all the way back up to over 6,000ft again... i really gotta pay more attention to those topo lines when route planning! coming back down, things widened up and i calmed down, so i tried to get a photo of a not-as-bad example of the sort of obstacles one could enjoy on this trail. of course pictures never do justice to that real-life leaning feeling! oh, and there had been numbered trail markers every so often along the entire route... with no indication that this was for narrow rigs only, i took them to be personal taunts - like they were saying: "this is a perfectly good real trail, stop being a wuss"! after the off-camber and narrowness and boulder scraping, i realized the past few miles had taken a long time and that i still had a looong ways to go before pavement! Gadget looks like she's sighing from the same realization here... next up the path became easy, but with insanely tight brush. i know i've led a few of you down some crazy "trails" while exploring, but this was the worst paint scraping i've ever been through. ...but before that, this darn cow absolutely refused to get out of the way for several minutes. the sun was getting low and so i hauled butt once back on normal dirt trails, stopping only briefly to look at the ruins of an old mining town named Cedar. finally an actual road! the fire in the sky was almost completely gone as Wikieup came into focus. i aired up just after sunset. i'd been going hard since right after 6am, but still needed to drive another couple hours on the 93 to make it home. i was slightly loopy by the time i pulled Gadget into the garage, but it was a very memorable day and i wouldn't trade adventures like that for anything!
  33. 7 points
    @Mac Ruiz, @stockjeep and myself are back from the Dusy-Ershim... what a trail! i have to sort through a bunch of photos, but here's a couple to get us started... sign at the North end (finish-line for us) of the trail: Wayne climbing a portion of the infamous Thomson Hill:
  34. 7 points
  35. 7 points
    I enjoy driving and I enjoy driving off road. I have no interest in rock climbing, I'll ride, but not drive. I live in Sun Lakes and work out of my home. I had my first jeep experience when I was 22 and I'm really excited for this trip. My current Jeep, my first Jeep is a 2006 Wrangler first owned by a Marine who must have really loved his Jeep. I purchased it in 2015. It needs tires so I've been using it like a golf cart and just driving around Sun Lakes. Now that I have someplace to go, JEEP XO will have a new set of tires before the end of the month. Thank you for the warm welcome and the help signing up.
  36. 7 points
    Trailhawks Revenge - 04 Wj Overland build Prelude ; First, let me start by saying this probably won't be as creative as ksmith, though I think many of us all have been inspired by his wj build and I hope to incorporate some of the things he has done. Second, I do have a baby on the way and that will obviously take priority. Third, let's talk about how I got here today. In January, I took a new job with an agreement to buy a new vehicle. I found a 21 wk2 trailhawk 'in transit' with all the exact options I was building online. Mid February, I took delivery. My first new vehicle, a 21 trailhawk, 5.7, tech package, hid lighting, everything except for the headrest monitors. After only 3 months and 7300 miles, during a lightly wet evening in Tennessee, a mustang (go figure) lost control on the road where I park and slammed into the jeep pushing it through our fence. 2 months later, it is finally deemed totaled by my insurance. It was originally claimed by the at fault drivers insurance but she didn't carry enough coverage to cover initial estimates. There is more to this story I'll save for later. After being in a rental shortly and eventually sharing my gf car for our day to day, I started looking for something cheap, something I'd be comfortable in... Ah ha! A wj, I've owned one of those before! So I started looking. Long story short, I actually found a wj here that wasn't ideal for me, but for my father, a 00 limited with a 4.0. So I bought it, fixed a few things and drove it up from Tennessee to Illinois. Before heading to Illinois, I looked on fb marketplace to see what kind of wjs were there, I really didn't want to be car-less again heading back to Tennessee. I found a few jeeps, cleaner than expected, ultimately focusing on a 04 overland. While it was a pretty Clean interior and exterior, it has been through some salt and its forming its surface rust on the seams of the subframe, it was written off by insurance once(hydroloked motor if you believe the previous owner, but the motor has been replaced). I didn't have a great time dealing with the owner, he was a 'it's my price because I know what I got type'... I offered carfax market value, and we were only off $500 bucks, so I sucked it up and brought him the money in all 10s just so I could at least make him suffer counting it. As mentioned, it's an 04 overland, 132k, 4.7ho, factory rb1, two tone grey leather, overall very clean. Someone loved it, then it fell on some rough times. Obviously the motor had been replaced, the rear hatch and the hood have definitely been repainted.. But unless I told you, most wouldn't know any better. So now it's mine, and shall be dubbed 'The Trailhawks Revenge'. Long term goals is long armed, 33s-35s, on jk axles. Baby on the way so don't expect any of this to happen overnight. Frankly I plan on stacking parts to give myself a weekend-week project.
  37. 7 points
    Needs a build thread.
  38. 7 points
    wanted to bring this thread back to life as i was recently discussing the 12v ovens and engine manifold cookers with @4x4tographer in regards to good recipes for them... any type of casserole works well, or saucy pastas with meat. Sarah of the @Bradywgn71 clan often brings an egg/sausage/cheese breakfast casserole to heat in their oven. typically the saucier/wetter meals heat more evenly, however @defectivemonk has been known to successfully cook frozen corn dogs in a 12v RoadPro! below is an example of a more complete meal idea. that's pulled pork and scalloped potatoes in the tin, then i made a foil packet of asparagus with butter to sit on top. if i remember correctly, i had to move the foil packet underneath the tin for maybe 10 minutes at the end (to get the veggies to the softness a southerner like me prefers!). pro-tip: i now buy the loaf pans that come with cardboard/foil lids. it's worth the extra few bucks for convenience and less spillage than just wrapping them in foil yourself. here's a couple links for those. D&W Fine Pack A86 2 lb. Aluminum Foil Loaf Pan Tins w/Foil Board Lids Loaf Pans with Lids, 650 ml capacity, by Spare Essentials i still typically bag each tin within a 1 gallon Ziploc bag to keep the 12v fridge from acquiring a ton of different smells.
  39. 7 points
  40. 7 points
    We decided to try the EcoFlow Delta Mini to power our two electric fridges and misc. electrical needs. We bought a 160W folding solar panel to go with it. EcoFlow Delta Mini Link Solar panel folding link One reason we went with this brand is the fast recharge, better price, and we liked that we could use this and charge it off the Jeep while driving. We are considering adding a solar panel to the top of both jeeps as well. It has lots of plug options for solar, AC, 12v, and many output options. It charges from empty to full in under 2 hours. Also, off 300 watts solar 3 to 6 hours. We first tested it running one of our refrigerators for 48 hours in approx 72 degree ambient temps. With no solar for this test. It kept our cooler at 35ish degrees for 48 hours and drained the battery to 15 percent. Up next is to see how long solar takes to charge her back up. Hoping this helps keep our fridges running at least overnight during actual trail runs. Last few runs our cooler would shutoff even on eco mode with our XJ. I'll update with how this works after the next overnight trip in a few weeks. We still need to figure out a place to mount it in the WJ.
  41. 7 points
    I was so pleasantly surprised when I received an email from the State Land Department that my State Trust Land permit was due to expire, and its time to renew! This is a new thing for the State Department! And much welcome, IMHO! I always made it a new year task for me to get my permit every year, but this new reminder was a welcome email. There are pockets of State Trust Land all over the state of Arizona. A family permit is only $20 per year, and well worth the peace of mind in knowing that you are legit in being on that land. Apply here: https://asld.secure.force.com/recreationalpermit/ It's the right thing to do. Help protect and respect our land. smiles, ladybug
  42. 7 points
    Day three we went to Double Sammi, where I failed to take any photos, but on our final day (day 4), we ran Milts Mile, where I was able to get a couple shots... The "moon buggy" was owned by one of the spotters for the trails. He did not have as much excitement as the "full-bodied" rigs did... LOL These next three are of the final obstacle on Milts Mile, named "The Chute"...
  43. 7 points
  44. 7 points
    The 'small dump' from my camera...I wish I had been able to catch everyone's rig in action. So many moments during the gift exchange were missed because I set my camera down. Ugh! Such an enjoyable event!!
  45. 7 points
    Thanks @Sonoranrunner more info and pics soon! Great meeting the group and hope the return home was all safe!
  46. 7 points
    Had a chance to get away with just my wife to the woods the past few days! We found a really great site just off of Schnebly Road that was extremely quiet. Not a soul around! We had a good time hiking, took a brief trail ride out to the Schnebly Hill Vista, did some day drinking, and did some reading. Michelle got to flex her painter's muscles and I did a little photography off in the nearby woods. All in all, a pretty nice few days out of pocket. Here are a few iPhone snaps: We also had the chance to test out a few upgrades, as exciting as they were A new skylight over the shower, recently replaced. Our previous dome was OEM and lasted 16 years before needing replacement. We had a bit of roof leakage on the factory skylight where there were some cracks in the fixture. It rained a bit while we were out and we didn't notice any leakage, so thats a win! Secondly, we put our new bank of 6 Interstate 6 volt batteries to the test. Our previous battery bank was 11 years old and finally kicked the bucket during the 2021 Dirt Formal Gala. The Interstates worked flawlessly, with a TON of power. They're wired up in series-parallel and were capable of running our furnace all night (gas/forced air set to a comfortable 70 degrees) with our usual usage of the cabin lighting, water pumps, etc. In the morning, they powered our 2,000 watt inverter to push out some delicious coffee from our coffeemaker and ran our toaster, lights, radio, etc. When checking the power reserves, we'd only gone through about 1/3 of their capacity in spite of our pretty liberal usage of the power.
  47. 7 points
    Following up on my post from a few months ago, I replaced both front seat belts in the Wag with new ones from Juliano's. The retractor reel was acting up and we decided to play it safe and go with new. Installed easily and ready to go.
  48. 7 points
    Clifford is all moved in already! Just make yourself at home buddy, see you in a couple weeks! I am in love with my new house!
  49. 7 points
    She never talks to me about stuff. We need counseling
  50. 7 points
    Video Links, including DPS rescue. https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/J9_hAbA7QvSCwi_NlDH-1A.Pr-dqEiQ5YtZoLxzNIlII_ Pictures. https://www.amazon.com/photos/shared/_-7QmnhtSM6LZQuUKrr8rA.znM_5sLpFT-oJZgAoy30LU
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