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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/04/2022 in Posts

  1. 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.
  2. 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!!
  3. 11 points
  4. 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.
  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. 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)!
  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. 8 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.
  13. 8 points
    Well well well - another EPIC trip on the books with a great group of folks this side of the Mississippi. In fact, I'd have to say they're "totally tubular!" This trip took us down the storied and historic, famous, stupendous Bradshaw Trail in southern California in the Colorado/Sonoran Desert. Along the way we visited Roosevelt Mine, the Chocolate Mountains, the Chuckwalla Mountains, Chuckwalla Well and Stage Coach Stop, the Eagle Mountain Railroad Trestle, some abandoned yachts in the middle of the desert, areas throughout the legendary General Patton's Desert Training Center, and the gorgeous sandstone of Red Canyon. If you're a Club Member, you can read up on the full trip planning thread over here. We rode about 80% of the Bradshaw Trail's length as it exists today - meeting up in Blythe, a short ride on tarmac across the CA border to Ehrenberg and then traveling a whopping 85 miles on dirt to end our trip at Chiriaco Summit, CA. A nice bootyshot at the air down point just outside of Ehrenberg, California. Note the terrible, god-awful, no good weather. Of note was the sheer amount of trash in the desert as we aired up. We found all sorts of crazy stuff - but primarily old tin cans from the last 160 years of travel along the road. We even found some old GLASS Gatorade bottles, which I didn't even know was a thing. Allow me to digress - Gatorade originally started out in plastic, but switched to glass to appeal to the snobby crowd from 1984 to 1998. I did learn that you can sell those on Ebay for around $11-$24 per bottle for a good specimen..... so you know - there's opportunity there for someone with some time that happens to be in the area. Back on track - we figured that folks traveling East out of California and into Arizona for the gold fields in La Paz were dumping their undesirables shortly before boarding William Bradshaw's lucrative ferry service that would take them across the Colorado River. Interestingly - this was really the ONLY trash we encountered out there. By and large, the entire area we explored was surprisingly pristine with few signs of the typical garbage you might encounter out there (like entire boats). I don't know if this is thanks to efforts by clubs and individuals or the State of California - but it was something that was glaringly obvious to me. Another shot of the lineup We made camp just outside of the Roosevelt and Rainbow Mines only about 40minutes into the trail on a nice spur to the north. We have views for literal MILES to the East, West, and South. The ground was rocky, but largely flat. Suprisingly no wind, but temperatures did dip down to about 39 that night. The stars at night over the red light district. That's not the sun - we had a nearly fully moon that really lit up the landscape for us. Sunrise the next day The next morning we awoke and took a short 30sec drive over to see the remains of the Roosevelt and Rainbow Mines. Not much left in terms of junk - the area was surprisingly well cleaned. However there were heavy-duty gates over all of the shafts and adits in the side of the mountain. The shafts were fairly large - a possible glimpse into the size of this gold mining operation. Back on the trail. Dust was the name of the game on this trip. Pausing for a quick photo of the Mule Mountains rec area. This area reportedly turns into a small city of RVs in season. I can see the appeal. Quick photo of myself and @theksmith courtesy of @johnpa INn the foreground of this image you'll notice some parallel lines. They were all over the entire area and long a good chunk of the trail. These are the tracks left from General Patton's maneuvers at the Desert Training Center which operated a series of training camps for the Army during WWII. They were using the area to train for tank warfare in north Africa and beyond. The tracks were primarily made by M3 Lee and M5 Stuart light tanks. Ironically - when the Desert Training Center was in operation - the 773rd Tank Destroyer Battalion described the Desert Training Center in their official journal as “18,000 square miles of nothing, in a desert designed for hell”. Of course - times are different today and we have a totally different perspective on the beauty and rich history of the area! Back on the trail A goofy thing you'll find out in the middle of the trail.... boats! There are several known, abandoned boats all throughout the area. Curious! We stopped for lunch at Chuckwalla Well, an old stage coach stop along the Bradshaw Trail. Back on the trail again - headed towards our Night #2 camping spot in Red Canyon! The entrance to Red Canyon - a glorious sedimentary formation that is showing signs of rapid erosion. Setting up camp - tons of space for everyone! The next morning we made our way down to check out the Eagle Mountain Railroad trail trestle. We had an incoming winter storm in the background coming up and over the Santa Rosa mountains. We doubled-back on the Bradshaw Trail and headed back toward Red Canyon where we then took the Red Canyon Jeep Trail, a rollercoaster of a ride that rode the ridged above the canyons and surrounding mountains. Our ultimate destination was north to Chiriaco Summit, CA. Looking East over Red Canyon, the Santa Rosa's obscured by the coming storm. A good look down into the canyon and wash from the trail above. Gadget Film Noir Gadget The beginning of "Bootyshaker Road" - a hyper-washboarded section of the trail caused by our SxS friends. Note the gentle slope of the perpendicular hillside to the right - a hint as to how high the peaks around here once were and the flow of the rain over millions of years. We ultimately ended up in Chiraco Summit, home to fuel, some food, but most importantly - the General George S. Patton Memorial Museum, which documents a vast reaching history of the entire area and Patton's legacy.
  14. 8 points
    Sunday, we headed out and took a little used track from the East side of the Mtns to the West side. Gearhead (Mike) left us before taking the pass and exited at Wellton. We stopped to check out the Fortuna mine (no pics) and then headed out for home. We stopped to check out Yodaville from afar. (A bombing target made of shipping containers) Yodaville.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 8 points
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 7 points
    Photos... Day 1 - Friday Bates Well From Friday night camp Day 2 - Saturday Leaving Papago Well Dave O'Neil's Grave 1871 Nameer Grave Circle of 8 Grave site Tijanas Altas (High Tanks) Day 2 camp at Tijnas Altas Day 3 - North Tijanas Altas Pass Yodaville Fortuna Mine
  23. 7 points
    Adding my notes on our trip... What a great trip and time with an awesome crew, @shellback91, @gearhead, @Ken Ford, and @Curly! Thanks to all of you for going. 125 miles of dirt: Day 1: Ajo to Papago Well with a stop at Bates Well. Day 2: Papago Well to Tinajas Altas with stops at Dave O'Neil's grave, the 1871 grave, Tule Well, and Circle of 8 grave. Day 3: Tinajas Altas to Fortuna Hills with stops at Yodaville (as close as you can get) and the Fortuna Mine site. It was a really great test of @Ken Ford's new to him stock gen 3 Taco on street tires taking the Tinajas mid pass (A15 to A13 markers) instead of the traditional south Tinajas Altas Pass route. You can see our track and all of the points of interest here. It is also a good collection of information to plan your own trip. Note: I built it, it's how I openly plan this particular trip, so I might be biased. Some things with El Camino del Diablo have changed: Larger volume of traffic. There were so many people on the trail compared to the last time I ran it. Less Border Patrol presence overall No visit from Border Patrol Friday night as expected No indication that roads are being actively dredged for showing footprints Unmarked helicopter flybys both Saturday and Sunday morning Likely Border Patrol contracted helicopters Lots more side trail closures around Tinajas Altas (east side of the mountains) This made a few older camp sites inaccessible Old construction depot east of the TAs is gone except for the dirt lot and a few large piles of rocks. Tule Well's large camping area for group camping has been smooth graded, somewhat leveled, and enlarged. Another item of note: a couple of guys ran a 2500 RAM with a Black Series camper in tow through the Fortuna Mine route. Color me impressed with the trailer. Thank you @Curly for tail gunning! I should note I am grateful to @shellback91 and @Ken Ford for helping me find my phone after it fell into a garbage bag when I wasn't looking. I hear @Ken Ford is cursed to make things get lost whenever he is around. I am also very thankful to and for Courtney of Arizona Offroad working with me to ensure both groups got the best experience of a busy trail and campgrounds. (If she has an account on the forum I am happy to edit this and tag her.) I'll add photos later when I figure out why the forum is limiting my attachment upload size to less than one photo.
  24. 7 points
  25. 7 points
    I was wanting to camp at Tinijas Altas again some time by myself....... but knowing the top is referred to as "Mesa De Muerte"..... not sure now It was a beautiful campsite none the less with wide view across the desert. Added some pictures of our campsite on the 2nd day.
  26. 7 points
  27. 7 points
    i thought you were talking about @johnpa for second there!
  28. 7 points
    The next day we stop at Cathedral State Park for a 2 mile hike. And then stop at Pioche - where the first 72 people to die here were from "Lead in the Head". This was the most violent town in the west. Consolidated Shaft #1. And the start of the tram line that goes down to a large mill on the other side of town.. And Steve posing at Boot Hill Cemetery...In front of Murderer's Row.... Murderers Row...nothing fancy here. A few of the headstones identified the names and who shot/stabbed them. After Pioche, we headed to Ely, where we are now for a few days. All is going well except for today and tomorrow with lots of rain....Plan B. or C or D....we'll figure it out.... smiles and love to all, Moses
  29. 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:
  30. 7 points
    Made it home, now it's time to clean up. Had a good time this weekend minus the rain. It was good to see old friends and meet some new ones. I will apologize if I didn't say goodbye to folks in their RV's, I don't know the etiquette so I wasn't going to be rude and start beating on doors. Thanks to everyone who put this together and thanks to @Yodamom for some killer moonshine! It was very good.
  31. 7 points
  32. 7 points
    thanks to @jgaz for the suggestion to use a pressure test kit... i borrowed a loaner tool from Autozone and found that *both* the old radiator caps i had used were not sealing correctly. the brand new one i got this week from the dealer tests OK and the entire cooling system is also holding pressure correctly. lessons learned: 1) always replace the cap when you replace the radiator. i'd heard this advice before, but just forgot to get one when i bought the radiator and then i was in a hurry to finish the job so i didn't run back to the parts store. 2) if you're going to carry a spare part, be sure it's good!
  33. 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.
  34. 7 points
    Another beautiful day on the books with the ORP family! In what was originally planned as an overnight trip from Sedona to Flagstaff and around the San Fran Peaks, we turned this into a day trip for fear of a nasty monsoon forecast. As luck would have it - not a drop of rain the entire time we were out there! All sun, all the time. We met up with the crew at the Red Rock Cafe, just south of Sedona in the village of Oak Creek. Awesome food, great music, good vibes. Check them out if you're ever in the area! They sell a 3 lb cinnamon roll that will feed a family of 23. So who was there? A mix of familiar faces and some new members - which was great! @Curly in his TJ - "Barbie" @shellback91 in his JK, "Betty Lou" @Bradywgn71 in their souped up monster of a WJ, "Hope" @Scott Miller + Kim in their clean new JLUR @Mike and Kristen Inkrott in their Range Rover LR4 @alexshel44 rocking the Jeep KL Trailhawk Our route was about 70 miles as planned, but due to some hiccoughs on the way and some rockier than anticipated trails, we cut it short a little bit. All-in-all - it was an awesome trip with awesome people! We kicked off with what I really consider to be one of the Crown Jewels of the area: the iconic Schnebly Hill. @Curly in Barbie - the rest of the line-up in tow: Always gonna grab photos of The Balrog @shellback91 looking shiny in Betty Lou: Stylin' & Profiling! Barbie looks great in the rocks! Alex's sweet KL Trailhawk: One of the many gorgeous vistas on Schnebly Hill. The town of Sedona in the background - the Sedona Airport can also bee seen on a hill in the background. It's impossible to take a bad photo of @Mike and Kristen Inkrott's LR4. Hope, looking right at home! Alex is all smiles after reaching the top of Schnebly Hill and earning that Badge of Honor! After Schnebly Hill, we made an attempt on FR153A, but it proved to be a strong moderate, beating up some of our stock rigs. We made the decision to turn back around to the main road. FR153A has some A-MA-ZING campsites that overlook Sedona. There aren't many that do, these are it. You need to be in stock Wrangler at a minimum to get there without too much trouble - or choose some careful lines. The camp spots are very small, large enough for 2 vehicles each - there are about 3-4 total spots that we noted. After joining back up to the main road (FR153) made our way under the i17 and rode through the Coconino NF on our way up to Flagstaff, using as much dirt as possible. The general idea was to connect up with Horse Park Road (FR700). To get there, we had to take the path less traveled, first using FR226 to FR228A to FR220, then on to FR700. FR228A was a bit of a surprise - plenty of bouncy rocks, but doable in a stock high-clearance vehicle. The trail was beautiful and not well travelled - plenty of shade from the pines! The rocks are sharp - we ended up needing to change a flat - seemed like a pinched sidewall. It was great to see everyone jump in to help out and we were on the road again in about 15-20 minutes (once we all scratched our heads on how to free the scissor jack from it's prison! ) Here's @Mike and Kristen Inkrott just after conquering FSR228A - big smile on Kristen's face! Alex - emerging from the trees! We took a break for lunch after 228A for about 45min and had some good conversation. Was great getting to know our new ORP fam a little better! After lunch - it was off to the races with FR700 - a nicely maintained dirt road where we were able to lay down some miles pretty quickly. @Curly clued us into a hidden gem that lies along this road - an old stone train trestle, over 100 years old. Click here for a look on the map. Tim noted that the stones were all laid down by hand, with supporting beams fashioned from logs. Tim provided a great photo of the same trestle from the 70's that his father took (link). I went back to check the maps this morning to see if I could associate the bridge with any details. This is an overlay of the 1930 USGS topographical maps for the area. You can see the train route on the map - which is the same railroad bed that FR700 was built upon. There doesn't seem to be a connection, or the map alignment is off slightly (they were hand-drawn, afterall). Maybe it was a spur track, or it simply wasn't captured on this map at all! I went back to the 1900 USGS maps and there were no tracks in the area (per the map). Super interesting area - really appreciate you sharing it with us Tim! Here's an interesting photo of the trestle with a healthy Ponderosa Pine growing right out of the center! I believe I heard someone say they thought it was about 50 years old at this point. We continued on laying down the miles and stopped for the day at about 4pm with this beautiful view of the San Franciscos over what I'm calling a "mini-cinders". There are some small campsites nearby with this view - I'll definitely be coming back here. I'd love to see sunrise and sunset from this vantage point. So there you have it! A long, but awesome day. At the end of it, we put about 62 miles on the rigs in 8 hours, climbed from 4,500 ft to 7,800 ft, went from red rocks to cool pines - all in the sunshine. Hope you guys enjoyed the trip! If you took any photos and would like to share - please do - and I hope to see you on the next ride!
  35. 7 points
    I had a very similar experience. I didn't see the flood heading to the I 10. The very first one and it was going fast. I hit the brakes ended up in the middle went through the water by the time I stopped I was 10 feet off the pavement. I went through the water, it turned me slightly I went over the burm on the left hand side. Not exactly sure how I did it but no damage to the jeep at all. My mom and I and the dog were all fine inside. I was able to get back on the road really easily. Mike stopped to make sure I was ok. Then he went on the radio to let everyone know to be careful. Took the rest of the way looking carefully at each one. Mike found a family broke down on the side of the road trying to get back to the I 10. I ended up giving them a ride home. They told me on the way they called 911 and was told by the sheriff that called him back that there was no way to get to him. The sheriff wished him the best of luck. The floods affected the locals there badly. There were 4 others stranded the sheriff let him know about that he had also called and wished good luck to. I only seen the family I helped but seems crazy to me to call 911 and be called back by the sheriff and told good luck. This is why it's great to be in a great group of people that help each other out when we run into these problems. Crazy all the eventful things happened after we were done with the trail. I still think that trail was the easiest part of the whole thing. Looking forward to the next trip.
  36. 7 points
    .And for those of you who know OB1 - who was up early this morning, Gracie's underside has been power hosed, and yet more rocks and sand dislodged from skid plates and everywhere else. The tow strap has been hosed of its sand and the winch cable rewound tightly. The carpet under the drivers side has been dried, and the axles and such have been confirmed to be free of water. Joints and such have been lubed, and altho there is still a thin layer of mud on Gracie, she is much happier now You should have used your Moses powers and parted the waters.
  37. 7 points
    Today is my last volunteer shift this week up here at the Grand Canyon. It’s been a hot, crazy week. Along with helping folks, scenery like this makes it all worthwhile. We are truly blessed to live in a state with such beauty. .
  38. 7 points
    Put the Wagoneer on the back burner for now. (It is running) Barbie started making a suspension noise and locking the passenger rear wheel on slow stops. Found the rear upper control arm bushings were bad. I had replaced them not that long ago with new arms with bushings already installed from Quadratec. Bushings didn't last 10k miles. So I went to Napa and bought bushings from them. Spent today driving out the old bushings and installing the new ones. I'll install the arms tomorrow. "Old" bushing 3 of the older bushings U joint tool from Harbor freight made it easy. Done
  39. 7 points
    I’m going to post a series of photos of a big horn ram that I encountered on the South Kaibab trail in the Grand Canyon last month. I was headed up, almost finished with a shift, a few switchbacks from the top in a section we refer to as “the chimney“ when heard a few rocks rolling down. I looked up a small side cut in the canyon wall and a big horn Ram stepped out on to the trail about 25 feet in front of me! I started to back down the trail and the Ram thankfully headed up the next switchback. This was taken when I got my phone out of my pocket and backed a safe distance away. Note the two hikers headed downhill. Ram is headed up the hikers are headed down and I’m trying to warn the hikers without spooking the ram. This photo is a bit deceptive. It doesn’t really show that the canyon wall sticks out a bit and the hikers can’t yet see the ram Now they see each other! The Ram politely gives up the trail to the hikers and steps off. He's now headed for a shady overhang that’s not so crowded.
  40. 7 points
    Smurfy stepping up his tire game. New KO2's with the lettering out! #oldschool
  41. 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.
  42. 7 points
    we ran across a deal for a rando chinese brand engine/tranny skid for $95 on Amazon last week. it looks just like the $200 Smittybilt one, and is surprisingly fairly beefy - should be fine for moderate trails. B installed it this afternoon and i only heard a couple curse words coming from the garage!
  43. 7 points
    Had a great time seeing everyone yesterday! It was cool seeing total strangers checking out everyones rigs. I've never seen so many freshly washed and buffed ORP rigs in one place! We even attracted over a few new comers and ran into some other members that just happened to be out for the day.
  44. 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.
  45. 7 points
    Fiona got a hard-top! Brady has wanted one since we got her, but even used they typically goes for around $1,500 - on the rare occasion you can find one locally. well thanks to @Number7's knack for spotting Craigslist deals, we picked one up with slight damage for an absolute steal, even including the $150 in gas to retrieve it from Kingman. FYI, an entire soft-top does just barely fit inside a 2-door if you take out the rear and passenger seats! the previous owner damaged a rear corner while taking it off. besides that and a few minor scrapes and scratches, it was in good shape. we'll try to do a proper fiberglass repair at some point, but i threw on a piece of duct-tape for now to get it through the car-wash without further damage. it could really use some tint... but an engine/trans skid and a couple new tires are the more immediate needs. also, me driving it to Kingman and back really upped the priority of adding cruise control! BTW, we now have a factory soft top for sale if anyone needs one!
  46. 7 points
    I'm a little behind on going through photos - here are some from our recent trip through Tribly & Ruby Wash out northeast of Wickenburg through the Wickenburg Mountains and Buckhorn Mountains. Route Recording & GPX. Absolutely gorgeous day with a mix of sun, wind, with some clouds moving in as the day went on. By and large, the trail was pretty easy, with Ruby Wash pegged as a solid moderate. I'd recommend a flexy lift and rock sliders as the minimum required equipment. We began our day by running Castle Hot Springs Road to the north, then connecting to Tribly Wash where it intersects with the road. This takes you back through some pretty cool mining areas and some damp canyons with an abundance of springs. We eventually made a steep climb out of Tribly to run up to the top of the Wickenburg Mountains, then back down Ruby Wash for some more technical wheeling. The majority of Ruby Wash is nestled at between the base of the Wickenburg Mountains and the Buckhorn Mountains. We ended the day by taking Buckhorn Springs road, breaking for lunch at the springs, then connecting to Castle Hot Springs Road again on our way out to Lake Pleasant. Sunrise: The views went on for MILES as we rode along the spine of several of the mountains in the Wickenburg Mountains. Here's a view looking north towards the Bradshaws with some abandoned mining equipment. Here's a view looking south from our highest point in the mountains. I believe that jagged mountain in the first photo are the White Picacho and Red Picacho Peaks (left/right respectively). Eventually we wound our way down some pretty steep declines and into Ruby Wash, which was quite a bit of fun. It meanders along through a canyon with plenty of boulders and tight spots to navigate through. The 'big obstacle" on the Ruby Wash trail is "the ledge". We were running the trail in reverse (as described on various trail info websites) and found the decent pretty easy for our particular group. We also stopped off to hike out to a neat little slot canyon where we found an unfortunate cow that had been picked clean.
  47. 7 points
  48. 7 points
    I decided that nothing short of a rebuild was going to get my Wagoneer moving fast enough to get out of its own way. I found a deal on a used 4.2 in Yuma, so I went "Home" for the weekend to get it. Bonus: Got to visit with my Nieces and their families. Here is a shot of the engine getting unloaded. My engine hoist is at max lift, I will need another foot or 2 to clear the Wagoneer's engine bay. I'm going to check the engine over before installing, although it is supposed to be a good runner. New oil seals, freeze plugs and a timing chain if needed.
  49. 7 points
    The gang and I completed our KOFA run yesterday afternoon. It was good to see some familiar faces and meet some new ORP members for the first time. We covered approximately 138 miles in three awesome days in the KOFA Wilderness area. I may make this an annual run to explore some more. I did not take many pictures myself this time and am looking forward to seeing everyone's pics. A big thanks to our two tail gunners this weekend. Attendees were: @mbuckner @Curly & Devon(Tail-gunner Day 2) @gearhead @MzPriss & Bill @Bradywgn71 @Ken Ford @We Just Go @Stacey and Scott (Tail-gunner Day 1) @Rawhyd @Mick Bowers My overall impression with the area is that it is awesome, quiet and not crowded. There is a ton of space out there with plenty of well marked camping areas. We did not see a lot of other traffic overall over the three days. The trails are well identified and easy to follow, you know where you are supposed to be and where you are not allowed. The only exception was a section of the Hoodoo wash. I got a little discombobulated which is easy to do. I was on the left side when I should have been on the right side to make a left. Make sense? We figured it out and got back on track quickly. We made our way using the trails listed in the original post. All trails had excellent scenery and differing views of the area, I felt all them were beautiful. On Friday we met up then picked up a few attendee's that camped out Thursday night on the way to the Big Eye Mine. The trail in is in good shape with a mix of rocky ground, some mild off camber spots and the usual easy to moderate variety type of terrain. Once at the mine we parked then some visited the cabin area, some went on to the mine itself. It was a relatively easy hike up. After exploring we had lunch before moving on. We then backtracked to the KOFA Bypass Rd where we headed north through a few sections of "moon dust" which got everywhere and on everything. This trail is called either McPherson Pass or Castle Dome Mountains depending on which resource you are looking at. It is a well marked easy trail. We found camp around 4:30 along this trail for a relaxing evening under the stars. Day one was a good day with no issues, good company and good trails. Saturday we woke up to a beautiful crisp morning and broke camp with a goal of making it to the Hovatter Homestead by days end. Stacey informed me that Scott was not feeling right as a result of lingering issues from his accident and they would not be able to continue. I am not a fan of leaving people behind but after talking with them I felt confident they would be okay to get out, which they did. Tim took over tail-gunner duties from here, thanks Tim! We ran McPherson Pass to RD 76 north to King Valley Road. This path was easy to moderate in some spots, nothing too challenging. We then made our way to Polaris/North Star Mine, this area is pretty darn cool. The trail to Polaris Rd. is easy, Polaris Rd. itself is a short moderate one. We visited the old cabin then hiked the old road to the mining area. There were a couple of mines/shafts with core samples and other debris on the trail to the big mine. The mine at the top goes a way in and there is old mining gear and equipment scattered about the entire area. After exploring we made our way out the KOFA cemetery. After visiting there we had lunch before moving on. The rest of the day's trails were easy to moderate with no significant challenges at all. Mild off camber spots, rocky terrain, ruts and some steep climbs sums and epic scenery sum it up nicely. Only the Hoodoo Wash section formerly mentioned got me a little off track, nothing significant. We arrived at the Hovatter Homestead around 4:30 for another relaxing evening under the stars. We had the entire place to ourselves. Day two was a good day with no issues, good company and good trails. Sunday morning was another cool crisp morning and we broke camp leisurely. I visited the family graves, payed my respects the to Hovatter's and thanked Mr. Hovatter for his hospitality. (I am weird like that) After everyone was packed up and ready to roll we started moving, kinda. Over the radio we hear Buckner say "I'll be ready when I find my key". We all stopped and helped him look for his key. We looked for a while but never found it anywhere. I am leaning towards a pack rat or some other critter picking it up and hoarding it. After trying a few things to try and tow him out we decided that the best plan was to call his wife and ask her to meet us at the Pilot where we were ending our day with his other key. Mike jumped in @Rawhyd's rig and rode out with us after securing his rig. The ride out was easy with a couple of moderate spots. Great expansive views of the valley's were the highlights of the ride. Once at the Pilot with his spare key in hand Mike rode back with @Rawhyd & @Ken Ford to get his rig then make there way back out. Big shout out to those guys for volunteering to do that! Thanks again to everyone who came out on our adventure, I really enjoyed it.
  50. 7 points
    This was such a gorgeous area. Words escape me. I didn’t grab a lot of photos but day two’s sunrise was amazing.
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