We met at the Safeway and we were pleasantly surprised to see Ladd, who had driven from Lyons that morning just to run 21 Road. When Robert showed up, he had his brother Pat in the passenger seat, which was also a nice surprise. It was already sunny and warm as we headed out for the trail.
We saw a dirt bike and an ATV early in the trail, but then we wouldn't see anyone else all day. The weather was perfect -- not as hot as last year but still toasty and sunny. The trail has lots of shady spots, though.
We went in and out of the wash as we started, and then finally dropped in for good. Monster came right away, and Monica decided that the big rock was still way too big. She went over the rocks on her way around it without any trouble, remembering the line from the year before. She was through it and safe, and then hit her soft top on the Monster rock on her way by it, ripping it yet again.
Don did the same line around Monster, making it look very easy. He made it through without any issues.
It was Ladd's first time on the trail, and he followed the line over the rocks perfectly. He didn't have any problems.
Robert remembered the line, too, and also didn't have a single issue. It looked like we were off to a good start!
The year before, we didn't know what the trail had in store for us so we played too much on the early rocks. That meant we didn't have time to play on the fun stuff at the end. This year, we didn't spend too much time on the littler rocks at the start. We did play a little bit here and there, though.
There was a section of twisty rocks that Monica headed through, and suddenly her muffler came off. There weren't any marks from hitting it, but it definitely came off at the front end. It didn't look like it was really welded on, just put on with a clamp. Don and Robert put it back on and we were off again.
Everyone played in the twisty rocks, and Robert nearly went over. It definitely woke Pat up!
We got to the next big obstacle and once again decided that the lines to the right were just too big. There was a puddle and rock ledge on the left side the year before, but it looked like that big rock had moved (probably with all of the rain we'd been having). That made that line very easy. We all went through the rocks on the way there, though, and it was a good time.
We were really ahead of schedule and found ourselves at the Squeeze before lunch. We checked out the big rock at the start and decided to weave around it again rather than going over it. It looked very slippery.
Monica took the line that Robert had found the year before. She got flexy in the middle and her muffler fell off again. It was the perfect place to crawl under her Jeep, though, and Don quickly had the muffler off and in the back of his Jeep for safe keeping. Monica would just be loud for the rest of the trail.
The rocks were sandy, making the obstacle a little difficult but not impossible. She made it through the beginning without hitting her rear corner panel or any other body part this time. However, the final rock -- why it's called the "Squeeze" -- caught her driver-side rear corner panel just a little bit, leaving some paint on that rock.
Don took nearly the same line, finding the sandy rocks difficult to climb. Robert pushed his Jeep over a little and Don got a wheelstand in the obstacle, but he didn't go over. He did drag his rear fender flare across the rock quite a bit, though, and hit his corner panel a little. He also hit his other fender flare on the tight rock on the way out, getting some of Monica's red paint on his Jeep.
Robert didn't go through as fast as he did the year before, but he still did the obstacle with his usual speed. He hit both rear corner panels on the way through.
Ladd may have been the only smart one in the group, choosing to go around the Squeeze.
We came out into the sun and found the place that gave us so much trouble before. Monica tried the rocks for just a little while, then gave up and went around. Robert tried them too, but it wasn't meant to be. Everyone went around those rocks.
Monica also tried the rocks that she was successful on the year before, with mud at the bottom. She paid last year with another dent on her corner panel. This year she couldn't get over it, and had to go around. No one else tried.
We went by Toyota Rock and didn't get out to walk around this time. When we came around to the shade again we found a new sign naming the area "Jeep Lane". Unfortunately, it was painted in huge letters on a rock. It was a little sad to see the graffiti but at least it had a name, now.
Monica went through first, slipping at the last minute and getting a little stuck on the rocks before the slab. She had to work her way through it a bit.
Don came through next and managed to drag a huge rock underneath his Jeep. He worked his way off of it, and then had issues on the rocks themselves. He found the line, though, and made it up.
Ladd found the line very well, making it up pretty easily. Robert also didn't have any issues.
We got out and walked to the alcove to check out the camp area. Robert drove up and parked his Jeep in the shade, picking up Pat.
We went around the next corner to find more sunshine and another obstacle. We all tried to stay up on the slab but all fell off, making it more difficult but not impossible. It was a fun one. Unfortunately, Ladd backed up into a rock and got a scrape on his rear corner panel. Is it possible to do 21 Road without rear corner panel damage?
We tried a fun line through the next set of rocks, twisting over them. Ladd tried his own line, making things a little less precarious.
Monica had tried and failed to climb an undercut section of rock the year before, so she went around it without trying again. Don decided to try it this year, and found that he made it up it pretty easily. Once his rear tire came up, he was there.
Robert tried it too, and he also made it up. Cool! Ladd went around it.
We found yet another name for a section of the trail, "Carnage Corner," as we approached one of our favorite sections. It was a shame that the rock had to be spray painted to name it, but it was good to have a name for it. It's such a good section of trail and there's no way around it.
Monica got through the first part fairly easily, but had to back up a couple of times to get away with no damage to her front fender from the final rock. Don came through it easily, too, and didn't come anywhere near the dangerous rock.
Robert got in the first part and tried many lines, but simply got denied. He couldn't get through the section even though he breezed right through it the year before. He finally had to get his winch out to pull himself through it. The rest of it was easy for him, and he missed the damaging rock.
Ladd didn't have any issues getting through the first part, and he made it look easy as he came down the last part, completely missing the bad rock.
It was pretty hot in the sun at Carnage Corner, so it was nice to see some shade just around the corner. We found ourselves at Insanity already. We looked at it, laughed, and decided once again to go around it. It was still a tippy trip to get around it, but everyone made it just fine.
We were done with the trail, and dreaded the long trip out. We didn't need to worry, though. This time we had the GPS track and we found our way out very easily. Though it was dusty, we didn't have any problems finding the road. Robert had to stop to check out a noise he heard and found his header cracked, though. It's hard to say when that happened.
We made it out in time to get some fantastic food at Fiesta Guadalajara. We love this trail!
Reports from Other Days: 2
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