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Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/20/2009 in Posts

  1. 12 points
    Hello everyone! Fresh back from another adventure through the north end of the state. It's always incredible to drive through Arizona and see how truly diverse the landscape, geography, people, and the weather can be here. It's amazing. Folks on this trip included: @Bradywgn71 @theksmith @Dennis Szymanski @Ken Ford @Mick Bowers @AZRNintheJeep242 @OffroadFun @Curly For this adventure we laid down the miles and met up in Seligman at the famous Roadkill Cafe, right on old Route 66. It's a sleepy little down, but one full of history and interesting things to look at. We enjoyed a hearty breakfast at the Roadkill Cafe and then jumped on a beautiful section of Old Route 66 on our way into Peach Springs. The road was nice and smooth, the white plains of grass ebbed up and down with the mesas and plateaus in the distance. We descended into Peach Springs, a very small town on the Hualapai reservation, and quickly found the Hualapai Lodge. Across the street next to a market was the one-room office that Hualapai Game & Fish uses for their permit operations. We queued up in line, paid out $16.27 per person, and then received our "Permit to Trespass" down to the Colorado River via Diamond Creek Road. As we aired down, someone noted that the BNSF railway had trains thundering through on almost 15 minute intervals. After we were aired down, we hit the trail, which was literally across the street. After passing through the pretty depressing suburbs of the reservation, the views quickly opened up into pristine and towering canyon walls. The road was graded in some spots and bumpy in others. We only saw 3 other vehicles our entire time on the road - with an additional stop by a Hualapai Ranger who meticulously checked every permit in the group with a discerning eye. You can see my permit jammed up on the center of the windshield. Running deeper and deeper into the canyon, the walls grew taller and taller. Eventually they topped out at almost 3,000 feet above road level. Not as deep as the well-known south rim of the Grand Canyon, but 3K feet of vertical rock ain't nothin' to sniff at. For reference, I shoot with a 35mm camera - this gives you the approximate field of view of the average human eyeball. Hopefully that puts some of these images in perspective. We drove through the thickest ocotillo forest I've personally seen here in the southwest. They were everywhere, green, and thick with life. We made multiple creek crossing over Diamond Creek, which was bubbling and flowing with crystal clear water every few thousand feet. After about an hour, we made it to the mighty Colorado. The water was MOVIN'. Like really moving. You could see powerful ripples in the river as it moved over the rocky bottom, scraping the sides of the canyon and picking up silt and mud. Checking the topographical maps, the peaks around us topped about 4,600ft above sea level - the river is at 1,300ft. Fun Fact: The elevation of the Colorado River at Bright Angel in the GCNP near the South Rim visitor center is 2,540ft above sea level, so there is more than a 1,000 foot drop over in water surface level about 125 miles. This helps explain the extreme momentum of the river. By the time the river hits Lake Havasu you're just 440 ft above sea level. The surrounding canyon walls on the South Rim are 7,000ft and over 8,000 at the North Rim. Here's the crew checking out the river. We broke to lunch at some nice pavilions with concrete tables with the roar of the river in the distance. After lunch, we made our way out the canyon. We made it back to Peach Springs, aired up, and headed up the 66, connecting to I40 into Williams. After a brief fuel stop, we made our way to camp for drinks and some fireside socializing (always my favorite part of every trip!) The next morning - we packed up and started our whirlwind tour of the wonders Kaibab NF has to offer - starting with the grand daddy of them all - Sycamore Canyon - Arizona's little known 2nd largest canyon. We had several first-timers with us who had never seen or heard of the canyon. Here's a nice shot of Dennis and Jeanine ogling the canyon and the snow-capped peaks of the San Francisco Mountains :) Here's the view they were taking in: A few years ago the Raphael Fire swept through the canyon. Note the burned trees along the canyon wall in the foreground: After "oohing and aaahing" the canyon, we headed north to connect with Sarah, Chris, Devon, & Tim. Sarah brought doughnuts! YUM! Our next destination was nicely labeled: If you know - you know: Our plans to check out the Hardy Hill Trestle didn't pan out as there was a large tree blocking the trail, so we took an alternative route down a pipeline trail, which was surprisingly pretty. We made our way to Johnson Crater, an approx 1km wide hole in the ground. The story on it is its either a sinkhole or somehow related to past volcanic activity. We then made another fuel stop in Williams and made our way to camp. The site we stayed at on Friday night was so nice, we decided to do it all over again! Here's Jack's neat "spaceship tent". Ken - setting up the Leslie's Pool Guy truck camper shell: Dennis and Jeanine's nice custom overland trailer and RTT setup: Darryl's rig, blending in to it's surroundings: Here's Kristoffer - enjoying breakfast in the sunrise the next morning: Marty's Betty Lou: Mick's sweet trail limo: Sunday morning we took Jerome-Perkinsville Road into Jerome, stopping a few times to take in the views. Government Canyon was pretty neat, hidden beneath a pretty inconspicuous bridge. Of course, it wouldn't be ORP without some shenanigans! This photo makes me think ORP is about the drop the sickest alt-rock album of 2023: "Boats & Hoes" Jumping back on the trail, things were pretty dusty (for most of the trip!). The switchbacks always make for fun photos: We stopped at the Perkinsville Bridge for a quick photo and to check out the Verde River. The views all along J-P road are always stellar: All in all - it was a great trip with a great group of people. I love the ORP fam! Thank you all for coming out and making it such a great and memorable trip!
  2. 12 points
    For the last several years George and I have found ourselves yearning to spend more time at the beach. After moving to Kingman, the wish turned more into our constant focus, to the point that we're planning to move to Mexico within the next year or so, to invent a beach-bum lifestyle for ourselves. Obviously, numerous logistic issues arise in terms of our ORP responsibilities when considering an international move, and under these circumstances George and I can't devote the kind of time and energy that we feel ORP deserves. While it was a very difficult and emotionally bittersweet decision, we've sold our interest in Offroad Passport to Kristoffer, and we're confident that he will carry on the vision of ORP we all three always shared. Offroad Passport is the most worthwhile thing that either George or I have ever done. It's gone from the idea of 3 wheeling buddies into a thriving community of helpful and considerate adventure-minded folks. Considering the places that we traveled to, the things that we saw, the experiences we experienced, the people we met, and the friends we made; this turned out way beyond any of our wildest imaginations back in the day. And thankfully us 3 original wheeling buddies remain friends today, even as we go through life changes. We're super enthusiastic for the future of the club and will still be members, attending adventures and events as time/travel allows.
  3. 11 points
    She is named after my 2nd cousin - Grace Mildred. I had only met Grace 2x in my life, probably 20 years ago, and she seemed pretty nice. In 2018 her home in Paradise, CA burnt down, and she was in a hotel in Chico CA with her dog, widowed, age 90, with no children, no belongings except her and her dog and her car. So I flew in and drove her to her brother's in NY. We got along famously on that one week trip in December across the snow filled US 80, and every time that I visited my mom and dad in nw PA, I went to see her. We talked often on the phone. She passed in October 2022 and I still miss the dear friend. This one was from her, for her. Meet Millie.
  4. 11 points
    Introducing Bumble, our new Jeep. Bumble is a 2023 Sport S with a V6/Automatic. After many years of driving Barbie, we decided an upgrade was due, so we made the change. We already have the Mopar 2 inch lift installed and will be buying tires soon. We named it Bumble after the snow man from the Rudolph cartoon. We are already having fun with the name. A Rubicon style name graphic is on order for the hood and the graphics shown below will go on the windows. No big plans for modifications. We will add or change what is needed to continue doing the trails we have done in Barbie. I am impressed with how high the jeep sits with the Mopar lift. It is supposed to be 2.5, it feels like more.
  5. 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!!
  6. 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!
  7. 11 points
  8. 11 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:
  9. 10 points
    Here's some from my haul! A mix of Fuji and iPhone for your viewing pleasure. 😊 Massive thanks to @theksmith for putting together a truly epic and enjoyable adventure for everyone! You can click on any of these images to open a high resolution copy. You can also access these photos, a few videos, and more on my Google album. Feel free to download whatever you want! The drive up in Flagstaff Stopped for a quick look in the rain in Monument Valley. It was DUMPING when I was climbing the Moki Dugway Some of the booties I got to chase on the trip, like @squinko's! An allergy blizzard! The "Giant Washout" Climbing back out of the wash with @Bradywgn71 @J2DXPLR's exceptionally equipped rig Awesome signage day 2 Extremely interesting geology at our lunch spot on Day 2. @Ladybug we we're thinking these impressions or "shadows" might be plant life or coral. Dinner! @Rawhyd showing off that AAL Navigating the labyrinth Our fearless leader @theksmith exploring an abandoned half-track truck. @gearhead's bulletproof YJ @kaspily showing some leg Mt. Navajo dominated the horizon for much of the trip "The Brothas" checking things out from on high @J2DXPLR taking a light stroll Grey Mesa and the Sheep Path. You can see the steps and wagon path cut into the righthand rock face I think I found the hole in the rock! 😁😳 We didn't make it to this point, but I hiked up to the top of Grey Mesa to check out what might be ahead. The 10%: If you know, you know. Camp Climbing Grey Mesa Our 10% turned to 10,000% rain. The sketchy part: Headed back to camp: The ladies of ORP: Last night at camp: The 10% strikes back: @gearhead makes questionable parking choices: How'd he even get up there? A parting glance.
  10. 10 points
    just got back from Alaska, and a highlight of the trip was the all-day backcountry tour we did where we drove a couple of Argo 8x8 Conquest 950 Outfitter series rigs with aftermarket tracks. the adventure was through Destination Alaska Charters, a family business in Homer. the owner Scott was our main guide, along with one of his employees, Timmy. we got to do all the driving though. this part of Alaska in the summer is primarily really wet mud. often where there's grass or brush, there's still insanely deep mud waiting just an inch below the surface - found as soon as you step or drive there. 20230612_124032.mp4 even 6x6 side-by-side rigs get stuck easily here. but this is where the fully sealed, smooth bottom, high-floatation Argo's excel. they aren't very fast (maybe 11mph max), but they churn through muck and can float in rivers. they even have built-in bilge pumps! with the optional tracks installed, the 8x8s are *nearly* unstoppable. we did manage to need the winches a couple times though! 20230612_115158.mp4 the Argos have a hybrid skid-steer type system that is a bit sensitive and takes some getting used to. there's a normal looking handlebar, but turning it actually engages brakes on either side so you get sort of a tank steering effect. we didn't manage to find any wildlife besides ptarmigans, but we did see fairly recent tracks from a moose with 2 calves and some huge prints from a bear that seem to be tracking them. this tour was expensive, but IMO totally worth it to experience driving a unique type of rig in one of the most scenic areas of the country. and for those that know me, i'm sure you're wondering... no i didn't wear my trail flops as they provide these suave waders instead!
  11. 10 points
    We joined a small group of capable offroad vehicles for an “easy forest service” road picnic. This was a chance to test out our 4x4 that had been making a weird rattle noise for sometime. We started in Williamson Valley and the plan was to have a nice lunch and exit through Skull Valley area near Iron Springs Road. It was a beautiful sunny day and the first portion of the trail was easy sandy roads with some minor running streams. We had to turn around once as one of the trucks wouldn’t have made a stream crossing. Not a big deal it happens. We then took a long route up to a ridgeline with nice views of the mountains towards Baghdad, AZ. In the middle of nowhere we came across a rancher with a flatbed Unimog. He stated it had been stuck in deep mud for several days and he just got it out. He warned us to be careful the trail had some deep mud but with our built rigs we should be ok. We thanked him and moved along. **This was one of those here is your sign moments** We found the spot he had been stuck in but it was only a short section and we made it through with horsepower and careful placement. A little further on we found our first quicksand/mud area. The lead vehicle (suburban) sunk in front of us. With a heavy Factor 55 kinetic rope we were easily able to pull him back. During this time one of the group members, in a very nicely modified Gladiator, attempted to come around that area but found even deeper mud. Sunk his whole rear end and not going to move. He had to use his winch line to pull himself up and out of that. 20230325_132312.mp4 We continued and the trail became the normal rocky Arizona forest road with not much difficultly. Along the way we stopped for a BBQ lunch and enjoyed finally getting out after a long winter. After lunch, we joined a larger main easy road and made our way to Skull Valley. Lots of running water but no mud and no issues. We were a few miles from town and hit a locked gate. Such a bummer. We were told it was a 50/50 chance on the gate being open. Not our lucky day. The trail leader knew this area well and we had two other options. A direct route back to Williamson Valley on a newer small forest service road or a power line trail to the south. Our group chose the shorter route since storms were in the area and it was later than expected. We had some kids who needed to get home and animals at home that needed fed. We made our way to the north and the trail was fine. A few small stream crossings but nothing much. As we were about halfway to being done with this spur trail the Suburban in front of us just sunk in seconds. The trail was dry and it was a big surprise. Turns out there was a crust of dry dirt over “mud soup”. It was clear none of us could go forward with the trail melting in front of us. Chris was behind the Suburban and we attached our winch line and attempted to drag him backwards. Unfortunately, our big Grand Cherokee (on one-tons) then also broke through the crust and sunk on the right side all the way to the frame. The entire 37” tires gone on the right side and no hope of moving. The whole front right bumper at ground level. This was the most stuck we have ever been in years of wheeling. We had to shuffle the group a bit and got the big Gladiator behind us. He attempted to winch us, but our Jeep refused to move. The mud was too deep. Tires turning freely and no hoping of escaping the mud soup/quicksand crap! Chris tried to then pull himself forward using the Suburban as an anchor, but it just wouldn’t move. Our jeep was sunk. The Gladiator then got turned around and got out his kinetic rope. We are so thankful he had this!! We pulled a stupid and all our recovery gear, except for 1 soft shackle, was sitting in our other jeep at home! Now that is super helpful and not our usual!! The Gladiator had to take several attempts at pulling us out but eventually got the big WJ pulled backwards to a small patch of more solid ground. See Video. By this time it was dark out and getting cold fast. Snow was even starting to spit at us! Not ideal for sure. Now the issue of getting the first vehicle pulled out started. For several hours the group tried multiple plans that failed. Finally, Chris was attached to the Gladiator with a tow rope. Then the Gladiator was attached to the Suburban with that kinetic rope. They took several shots at it and finally after a long time and much shoveling of mud the vehicle finally was forcefully yanked out of its happy mudhole. They had to drag him around 30 feet backwards. This was around 7pm. I’m sorry I don’t have video at this time or photos of this one as I was helping spot and communicate to Chris. I should add we were all soaked with mud and one of he guys even lost his boots to the mud and was barefoot in this cold. Additionally there were some minor injuries to hands and feet from helping out during the recovery. The bushes were not kind in this area and the shoveling was rough without gloves for some of the people. Link to us getting dragged out of the first sinkhole spot: https://photos.app.goo.gl/XuDbYQ9NUMnwmJru6 One other “fun” factor was there was almost no cell signal in this area. The one group member was able to get a text out to a panicked mom (was a friend of one of the other kids who was with us that day) and get someone to take care of her horses. After that the cell signal died and no one could get messages out. Totally alone and miles from a “town”. The group then backtracked and hoped to smoothly get back to the main road so we could try going home on the powerline trail. We were in the lead and navigating in the dark. I’m thankful I was recording the gpx track. As we were approaching a stream area, we knew we needed to stay hard left as and then make a turn up the bank to the right out of the stream. This was all solid when we went in but leaving the earth opened up swallowing the front right of our jeep into quicksand. We sunk over the front right bumper and leaned hard into the bank on the passenger side. There was no going forward or back, and we were again stuck. This time though we had stream water coming in and filling the passenger side. I couldn’t get out of the vehicle to pull the winch line so our team leader had to come through the water and mud to pull our line to a tree. Thankfully in this area there was a large tree. Our jeep also decided in this moment to break the window regulator, so the driver’s back window was down. Karma considered running away during this moment! Our winch pulled us out thankfully and we got up to the dry bank in maybe 15 minutes. This was certainly a surprise and I’m thankful for our good Warn 10k winch. It would have been helpful earlier to have our full recovery gear, but we thought we were going to make it back out to the main road where we started this spur trail. However, the truck behind us was mostly stock and we warned her to try to avoid the hole we just ended up in. She unfortunately also found the sink hole that had expanded since we got out of it. She sunk even deeper than we did and we later learned she had some electrical damage. Chris flipped around and tried from multiple angles to pull her out using the winch. We were limited on dry ground and didn’t want to sink in the steam as then the whole group would be blocked by us. NO such luck. She was stuck too deep and the bank in front of her right front tire was too steep. Chris then turned around and we tried to use the kinetic rope to pull her forward. Tried again several times and several angles. Even tried backing up the steep bank on the other side of the stream but we started to sink, and we all agreed this wasn’t working. This is after she pulled back. She was sunk in about 4ft deep on her right front when up at the bank wall. We moved our Jeep out of the way while the rest of the group scouted the area around us to see how we were going to get her out and the rest of the group around this deep sinkhole. The Gladiator then pulled her backwards and the group had to bushwhack up and around the trail. The issue now is a very steep bank (8 ft vertical) that dropped the truck on her nose, and she couldn’t make it to the other side of the stream. One of the guys attempted to shovel out her front to find her tow point but couldn’t find it. They had to pull her backwards and hang by the rope and then one of the guys attached the tow strap. That was scary! Chris then dragged her out and up to a safe area. I hate having to go off trail and do this, but we’d otherwise be spending the night, abandoning vehicles, and walking out. With the cold this got scary fast. Lot of prayers said. My poor dog was shaking from fear and all the rough rope pulls. Most of us were shivering badly in this area for hours. The group was amazing despite this. Everyone worked well together, communicated respectfully, and even tried to bring humor to a very very tough evening. While the rest of the group was making it through “the bypass around” and dropping into the creek, we noticed the truck’s tire was flat. This is when we discovered she didn’t have a spare. A few of the guys attempted to see if it could be plugged but it turned out to be her inner TPMS valve was leaking. They fixed that but later found that the bead had come off and wouldn’t reseal due to all the mud and sand. We continued to lead the way out and in the dark it was a challenge. We kept needing to stop to fill the truck tire with air but eventually she decided to leave her vehicle at the main road once we got back there. So now it is around 1am and we have to try the Powerline trail. Our nerves were fried but the group was successful and it turned out that the powerline trail was in much better shape and limited mud and no sink holes. We made it to a main gravel road and out to Williamson Valley by around 230am. Home by 3am. In reflecting on the situation a lot went right but we certainly could do better in the future. Hopefully no mud sinkhole futures for us again and we won’t be wheeling in areas that get this much water or snow. There have been record amounts of rain and snow in central Arizona so please be careful. I swear I have mud PTSD now. We were on trail almost 16 hours not counting the time for lunch. What a long day! We did make some new friends and have a crazy story to tell!! The woman was brought back to her truck the next morning with a spare tire. We spent the next day cleaning the jeep and are still trying to dry out the r side. I am shocked but no major damage. Lost a spot mirror, a few new scratches, need to fix the window regulator, regrease everything, and check the diff fluid. Lesson Learned/Tips -Actually, pack your recovery gear in the vehicle you are in. We are now building a full second recovery kit so we have a dedicated set. We are adding a factor 55 winch line repair tool https://factor55.com/product/fast-fid-new/ We are adding heavy 1” kinetic rope likely the Yankum Ropes https://yankum.com/collections/kinetic-recovery-ropes/products/rattler-kinetic-recovery-rope?variant=39734984999118 made for 1 ton vehicles (we weigh around 6500lbs), and adding a winch retention pulley https://factor55.com/product/rope-retention-pulley/ and some extra soft shackles. A warn 10K winch not enough with a straight pull for this mud. Had we had the donut tool we could have doubled the winch line for more strength. In the first sinkhole there were no trees so that was not helpful either. - I'm thankful we all knew how to use the winch, what tools would work best, and working together we were able to make it home that night. Some of the guys race in King of the Hammers and have a ton of trail recovery experience. I am so thankful we were with awesome people who were committed to not leaving anyone behind and doing it as safely as possible. -Kinetic ropes are amazing in these conditions. It really is the only thing that saved all of us all evening. I highlight recommend you get a good quality one. -Understand that with the months of rain and snow Prescott National Forrest in this area is soaked and even if the trail looks dry underneath it likely is not. This area and further north are going to need a long time to dry. Seen two other friends get seriously stuck in the Camp Woods area recently. -Make sure to have a full set of spare clothes and warm weather gear. We personally had winter jackets but could have used a change of pants and socks. Others in the group needed heavy jackets for this freezing nighttime temps. Don’t forget your dogs too and bring jackets if they need them. -Add extra hand warmers for other members of the group. Add emergency blankets and other items to stay warm. We had about 4 handwarmers but not enough to pass out to everyone. We personally could have slept the night (even with the open window) and would have made it. -Have extra high-quality flashlights with enough battery life to get you through the night. We personally had 3 flashlights to be able to help with the recovery but discovered 2 of them were crappy. I have ordered better ones. The waterproof flashlight came out handy when our jeep took on water and of course the flashlight fell into the water!! -Have your active Garmin In -Reach or Spot. Are we were in had zero cell signal. We hadn’t been trail riding much and had deactivated it to save money. But looking back this should have been on and could have gotten us help sooner. We just said oh it’s an easy picnic forest service road shouldn’t be any issue. Have cellphone numbers to text through Garmin or Spot when you need help. -Pack an extra meal and more water than you think you need. Other members needed food and water and we were limited in what we could share. Needless to say we were super hungry from eating lunch at 1pm and getting home at 3am! Pack extra meal and water for your dogs too! I had plenty of snacks for them so they were fine thankfully. -Harness your dogs and have a net or attach them to the jeep somehow. Karma went flying at one point and hit the dash super hard during a pull. I couldn’t have her and Cooper out of the Jeep and help. Plus it was in theory safer inside than in the mud and cold. Dogs are ok but it could have been worse for sure. -Make sure to tell someone what area and preferably what specific trails you plan to run and when you plan to get back. I tried sending a text at 3pm to a friend saying where we were but it never transmitted until 1am. Lessons we got right -Knowing how to navigate your way out if the trail leader can’t or if someone’s device fails. -Knowing where your first aid is and how to use it -Know how to use your recovery gear and be prepared to use it for others benefit. -Know hand signals for winching and winching safety. Be able to communicate effectively under stress was key for us. -Know how to trail repair a tire. Have someone with on board air to continually refill a tire that can’t be repaired -Have a SPARE tire. - Bring extra gloves -Bring full size shovel. We only had one for the whole group which slowed down the digging out of the vehicle. -Have a bottle jack available. High lift was available but didn’t work for the vehicle we needed to use it on. -Had extra blankets in case we had to sleep in the Jeep that night -Have hiking boots for when you need to walk to town - Communication with GMRS and had an extra radio to share. Despite being a new group we ran with everyone was patient, respectful, and worked very well as a team. They even kept a sense of humor even thought the situation is dire! -Ask for help. We had some newer people on the trail but they did a great job of staying calm and asking for help when they needed it. Everyone was excellent at making sure they were as comfortable as they could be and being supportive. So that is the story of our long Saturday night on an “easy forest service road”. I am so thankful we made it home and will be making changes to what we bring on “just a day trip.” I may have more videos of us being recovered but trying to obtain those.
  12. 10 points
    Got the rocksliders installed today. I went with the LOD signature series sliders. Heavy as hell, but a pretty easy install. I had to grind one bolt hole a bit larger. We are ready to go offroading!!
  13. 10 points
    "The only way you can predict the future is to build it." ~ Alan Kay Everyone please join me in wishing George and Diane well on their next adventure! I'm going to miss having you two as partners immensely, but am happy to know you'll be fulfilling a new dream. We've worked together so well over these past 13+ years to foster a great community. Thank you so much for all the love and hard work you've put into Offroad Passport. I will continue to look after the website and club with the same dedication you've always shown. I want to assure all our members, who are the life-blood of Offroad Passport, that nothing else is changing. The site will still look the same for the foreseeable future. We'll still have the Gala, the Holiday Party, and all the other exciting adventures that we're known for.
  14. 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.
  15. 10 points
    I made it. Three nights four days. Thanks to Jim, jgaz, for the valuable information
  16. 9 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.
  17. 9 points
  18. 9 points
  19. 9 points
    well the "lost" motor mounts decided to show up late last night! i was able to get the engine in and put everything mostly back together today. probably need a couple more hours in the morning to wrap up and then hopefully it runs!
  20. 9 points
    Gadget started to have short spikes of running a little hot (230*) randomly even though it's been cool weather. i also noticed the coolant overflow tank getting filled almost every time i drove (then getting sucked back to nearly empty when the rig cooled as it should). i bled the system multiple times and replaced the radiator cap, but then i also noticed the exhaust smelling sweet on initial startup. so last week i used a block check type fluid test and confirmed my suspicion, Gadget has a combustion leak. she continues to seemingly run fine (other than getting warm) and does not throw any codes. however, i spoke with Joe at On Point Performance and Offroad and he informed me that continuing do drive with coolant entering the exhaust could ruin the catalytic converters. those are over $1k each, so she's been parked since confirming the leak. Joe also said in his experience with the 3.6L it was about equal chance of being a cracked head vs just a head gasket. the only way to know for sure was to take it apart and send the head out to be checked. based on several factors, i decided to put in a whole reman engine instead of digging into the top end... Gadget has 164k miles on her and I've had horrible luck with this engine since day 1. besides the typical oil cooler replacements, she's already had 1 complete new head, another camshaft, and had rocker arms & lifters replaced at least 4 times (i've lost count)! and i have what appears to be a large rear main seal leak currently. there's also not that much more labor to replace the entire thing versus a head. i'd hate to spend the effort on a head replacement only to have the other side leak soon after or need to replace the oil pump, etc. the 3.6L engines are at least plentiful. so despite the overall complexity of the DOHC layout and VVT system, a remanufactured long block can be had for $3,500. or, a completely new long block from Mopar is just under $7k. for that price difference i've decided to roll the dice on the reman and just hope to get 100k miles before i have to tear into it again. i also still have a dream of swapping in a 5.7L and 8 speed trans at some point. so if the remain can get me by for another few years, maybe i could acquire parts for that swap in the meantime - a man can dream right? FYI, a full gasket set for these engines is over $300! while i'm in there, i'll also replace a few sensors and the only remaining original coolant hoses (to the heater core and oil cooler). so that will bring the project total with tax & shipping closer to $4,400. ouch! thankfully i can do all the labor myself which saves several thousand dollars. the reman engine should be here Thursday or Friday, so I'll start working on pulling the old one mid-week.
  21. 9 points
  22. 9 points
    another successful Offroad Passport holiday party in the books - what a great way to kick off the new year! i hope everyone had as much fun as we did. it's always nice to meet new members and catch up with folks we haven't seen for a while. a big THANK YOU to everyone for bringing all the sides and random stuff we needed, making it a fun low-stress event, and for not leaving a scrap of trash behind - you all rock! also, special thanks to: @4x4tographer for cooking, leading the easy ride group, getting things setup, and generally being so awesomely helpful! @aimee for cooking, helping setup/teardown, organize the chaos, and all her support! @Yodamom for helping setup, teardown and generally organize/direct the shenanigans! Anne Marie for running the cookie contest! Brady for driving separate with all the junk we needed to bring! @johnpa for tailgunning and Lori for helping us learn to count! @Jbjr for stepping up with the propane last minute! @lofreqjeff for handling the job no-one really wants but is so important - trash duty! CONGRATULATIONS to @Curly's wife Devon for her yummy winning oatmeal cookies - enjoy your new ORP shirt! and a special mention for our runner-up Brynna who was only one vote shy of a tie for winner! hope to see you all on the trail again soon!
  23. 9 points
    Started today by washing Barbie for the last time. Sold her this afternoon. My first Jeep, first 4x4. 18 years of ownership. More than anything else, this Jeep changed our lives. We have met so many fine people and had so many memorable trips. She is headed for Apache Junction with a young man and his dreams of building his first jeep. I hope he enjoys her as much as we have.
  24. 9 points
    @SonoranWanderer @Michael Trapschuh @Gonzo-Ralph and myself made the trek from Carefee to Dugas via the Verde Rim. We were rewarded with magnificent views of stunning scenery accentuated by color from the wildflower bloom. The run went off without a hitch. The only hiccup was that access to the Verde River was blocked for whatever reason. I guess the government is afraid we would have drowned ourselves in the swollen river. Thanks again to everyone who made it out today! Here are some of my attempts at photos (I hate taking pictures by the way) lol!
  25. 9 points
    Spent the last three days hiking the corridor trails at the Grand Canyon for my volunteer “job”. I know most of Arizona the canyon has had a wetter than normal winter. Here are a couple of pictures of the icicles on the upper part of the Bright Angel trail Also, if the park service recommends shoe traction devices please, please believe them. Some of the slip and falls I witnessed were very, scary.
  26. 9 points
    It's official now. Bumble has his Hood Sticker and some window stickers too. 😎
  27. 9 points
    Starting to do some mods to get Bumble Trail ready. Installed larger, wider off road tires today. Went from 31 to 33 inch. They sales guy at Discount tire talked me into wider rims and I am glad he did. These are about 1.5 inches wider and have a more positive offset, helping to visually fill wheel wells. Plus, I am VERY happy with how the new rims look. When we brought it home: New Tires and rims Installed Seat covers on the front seats. We always cover the seats in any vehicle we buy. This protects them from my butt sliding across the cushion on the way in and out. Removed the rear seats so we can maximize the room for camping gear. Lots of room back here! Next up, Rock sliders. We are leaning towards the LoD brand.
  28. 9 points
    pano from the second night's camp on Table Mountain saddle. in the far distance, you can see both Mt Lemmon (left edge) and Mt Graham (near the right edge)!
  29. 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.
  30. 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
  31. 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.
  32. 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.
  33. 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.
  34. 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!
  35. 8 points
    We are just back from being tour guides to friends from Michigan... Globlin State Park, Hanksville, UT Capitol Reef NP - Torrey, UT Bryce Canyon NP Zion NP Shafer Trail - Moab 7 Mile Rim - Moab Castle Valley - Moab
  36. 8 points
    Hello everyone! Excited to announce the Offroad Passport Club's 2024 Event Lineup! There are 12 official events on the 2024 itinerary! Many are multi-day overland style adventures, along with day/night runs, the Holiday Party and the 15th Annual Dirt Formal Gala (which is returning to the Cinders for 2024!) Trail ratings range from easy to extreme, and are located primarily in Arizona, though we'll also visit California, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah! Some trips are live NOW - others will be posted and opened for sign-ups as the year goes on. Be sure to check out the Adventures section of the site from time to time to keep on top of the latest! Massive thanks to all of the club members who stepped up and volunteered to plan and lead these trips. These folks were willing to commit to leading their adventures well in advance so that other ORP members can plan ahead. We also try to have a full year's worth of events on the calendar so prospective new members can see what a vibrant and active club this is! Most of these trips are open to members of the Offroad Passport Club only, so if you haven't upgraded yet - don't miss out! The Holiday Party and the Dirt Formal Gala are open to any basic members.
  37. 8 points
    WOW! What a trip! 😎 It was so great to see everyone, old friends and new friends alike! Our family had a heckuva good time on this one, exploring an area we've never been, and seeing a celestial event like no other. Massive thanks to everyone that made the big drive to hang out with us: @theksmith @johnpa @J2DXPLR @Visket @Alexis For this trip, we congregated near Mexican Hat, Utah, which was just a few miles from the centerline for the path the moon's umbra would take as it transited from the PNW down into Central America - pass right right through the Four Corners region. Just 6 hours away and with plenty of trail options to explore, it was a natural choice! We selected John's Canyon for the trip - it was rated as a moderate trail and would serve as a good "gatekeeper" to filter out the Prius drivers and get away from the big crowds that would descend on the region. In the below map, I marked where we stopped to view the eclipse - note the blue centerline for the umbra - we were approx 3-4 miles from "center". John's Canyon Trail was rated as moderate - but we found it to be very easy. It was a smooth dirt road for the most part, with a few minor dips. Any stock, 2WD high clearance SUV would have no issues on the trail all the way up to the John's Canyon Waterfall, where you'll need some flex and good clearance. From that point on, the trail is more "traditional 4x4" territory. We meet up "early" in the morning at 7am MDT, just 30 minutes before sunrise at a 7-11 in Mexican Hat. The trailhead was a quick jaunt up the road about 4 miles. As we passed through the area you could see the local authorities prepping for a crowd. The EMTs and LEOs had set up a base camp on the corner and there were port-a-potties around. Further up the road we ran into small crowds of RVs, van lifers, and campers. As we stopped to air down, the sun rose. Our sleepyhead friends know how to boogie! They caught us up just as we were stopping to air down. The sun had just broke over the canyon walls behind them, illuminating their dust wake. Airing down and enjoying the rising sun! In terms of weather.... what weather? This is a look west from the trailhead at Cedar Point. The famous Muley Point is hidden behind this formation. @Alexis taking in the views: Along the way we saw a great many things! The trail was fun, winding through the canyon, hugging the walls. There were interesting boulders and petroglyphs along the way... and of course plentiful views of the Goosenecks below through which the San Juan River has slowly carved out the canyons over the millennia. Look closely - this view of these petroglyphs is from the road - they're easily the largest I've ever seen. This rock face was perfectly flat and approximately 30-40 ft across. We stopped here for the eclipse, just inside of the "new" Bears Ears NM. Here's a view looking north. What a great place to witness the eclipse! A photo of the spot on iPhone: We watched the eclipse just over this ridge: Speaking of eclipses: Full annularity at approx 10:29 am MDT Now - we all know the moon isn't perfectly round (neither is the Earth for that matter). It's a spheroid and has mountains and craters. If you look closely at the below photo, you can see those mountains and high-points at the southern pole of the moon interacting with the edge of the solar disc: During a TOTAL Solar Eclipse, this would result in something called Baily's Beads, which you can see with the naked eye during a Total Eclipse (not safe during an Annular Eclipse). Another shot of the mountains at the edge of the solar disc: Moving out of annularity: One last shot:\\ During the eclipse, we noticed the air temperatures began to fall as the moon's shadow passed over us. We also noticed a red shift in the light around us. You can see this if you look closely at this Timelapse: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4dNYMX2cP8yB7F7R7 After the festivities and some lunch - we spent about 3 hours sitting and marveling - we headed down the trail a bit to John's Waterfall. After the waterfall, some of the group split off to head deeper into the canyon to camp. The rest of us made our way back out the way we came. All in all - a wonderful trip. I really enjoyed hanging out with you all and sharing in this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle!
  38. 8 points
    Out with the old and in with the new. I traded in the 2020 Gladiator Mojave for a 2023 RAM 2500 Rebel HD. I wanted 5th wheel towing capability but I did not entirely want to give up offroad chops. The Power Wagon is light in payload and towing, but this new Rebel HD at 2750 payload and 16800 towing (as configured) splits the difference between a Power Wagon and pure street towing pickup. This a new trim level for the 2023 model year. You can get them with either a 6.7L Cummings or a 6,4 Liter HEMI, but beware due to the softer than street suspension of the Rebel, the diesel engine cuts nearly a thousand pound off of the payload and 2K pounds off of towing. Also, diesel models cannot be had with the factory winch option as the intercooler goes where the winch would. Because towing and factory winch, I ordered the HEMI option. Strangely enough, Stellantis anticipated high diesel demand and produced the first batch as entirely diesel. I had to custom order to get a HEMI. Modifications will be light. While I want to create a new "overland" build, distinct from my JLUR which is meant as my technical route vehicle, I want to maintain towing capacity. So for now, no lift is planned and since the factory tires are already 34", I'll leave the wheels and tires alone for now. The most I'd probably go with in the future is 35s. I'm not one good with naming, so I'll probably stick with calling it the "Rebel". Despite no lift nor aftermarket tires, the highest point on the Rebel, the top of the GPS, SiriusSM, and cellular antenna, is higher than the highest point on my JLUR lifter 3.5 inches and sitting on 37s. It's sitting at maybe a hair under 6' 10". But given the wheelbase, I'm not sure it would clear well in parking garages, like the Phoenix Airport calling for <= 6'10". TBD. It was custom ordered with the 6.4L Hemi, RAMBox, winch, sunroof, every towing option including rear air suspension, dual alternators, and the 12" console. At 5'6", sitting in this thing makes me feel kinda tiny to be honest. It does fit in my garage, but just barely. There is no getting past the front or rear of it with the garage door closed. Some options are mutually exclusive and unfortunately not all marketed options were available (eg: trailer reverse steering, digital rear view mirror) but I ordered just about every option you could get in April 2023 for a HEMI Rebel intended to tow and still go back country. 2023 RAM 2500 Rebel HD Olive Green Pearl–Coat Exterior Paint (two-tone over Diamond Black) 6.4L V8 Heavy–Duty HEMI MDS Engine with 8–Speed Auto ZF 8HP75 Transmission Power 410 hp (306 Kw) @ 5,600 RPM Torque 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•M) at 4,000 RPM Dual alternators (380 amp total) BW 44-46 electronic shift transfer case w/ 2.64 low range Limited–Slip diff with electronic locking rear and conventional diff front axles 4.10 Axle Ratio Automatic–Leveling Rear Air–Suspension RamBox Cargo Management System w/ Bed Utility Group Power Sunroof Factory installed Warn Zeon 12 Winch Towing Technology Group Center Stop Lamp with Cargo–View Camera, Surround–View Camera System, Blind–Spot with Tag Trailer & Cross–Path Detection, Trailer Reverse Guidance Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring System Safety Group Lane Keep assist, fwd collision warning, adaptive steering Level 2 Equipment Group Leather everywhere, front cooled and heated seat, rear heated seats, and heated steering wheel 12" Display w/ 17 speaker Harmon Kardon Audio Bi–Function LED Projector Headlamps Adaptive forward lighting (follows steering up to 15 degrees) Auto dimming rear and telescoping side-view mirrors Adaptive Cruise Control Like the Power Wagon, the Rebel HD has 11.1 inches of clearance and a water fording depth of 30 inches and a 429 RTI (ramp travel index). Misc Stuff: 8HP75–LCV Transmission Gear Ratios 1st 4.71 2nd 3.14 3rd 2.10 4th 1.67 5th 1.29 6th 1.00 7th 0.84 8th 0.67 Reverse 3.30 Battery: Group 65, maintenance-free, 730 CCA
  39. 8 points
  40. 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
  41. 8 points
    40 years in Yuma. We used DV as a vacation spot in July. 😎
  42. 8 points
    So we were literally standing at Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London on the 4th and one of the Yeomen wished us a “Happy Treason Day” 😆
  43. 8 points
    A short minute long video of a storm as it was rolling into Bulldog Canyon Saturday. It was awesome and the video doesn't do it justice. This is the kind of cool stuff you will see the more frequent you get out wheeling. This was at the play hill on the 3554 trail.
  44. 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.
  45. 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.
  46. 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.
  47. 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 💗!
  48. 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.
  49. 8 points
  50. 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. 🎃💚🤓
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