The day started off warm and sunny, and it looked like we would have a great day for wheeling on Chinaman Gulch. We all meet in Johnson Village to gas up before driving the trail. There was a big group of 4x4s getting gas, too, but we got done before they did and we started Chinaman Gulch before them. We aired down and unloaded in the parking lot at the start of Chinaman Gulch. From the parking lot, we could see a very big herd of deer by the trail.
Soon after the start of the trail, the Rock Garden was the first obstacle of the day. The Rock Garden was harder then it was a few years ago, it was slow going even though none of us ended up having any trouble.
Soon, we were at the Rock Pile. None of us went and played on the Rock Pile this time. We all had been on the Rock Pile before and with a big group of 4x4 not too far behind us, we just went on to the next obstacle, the Whale's Tail.
Matt was the first in line to go up Whale's Tail. He went up the center and the Jeep did a big wheel stand. Matt stepped on the brakes and the right brake line blew a hole in the line and he lost his brakes. After finding the leak, he used a pair of vise grips to stop the Jeep from losing more brake fluid. After that, Matt took it easy on the rest of Chinaman Gulch. Since he had brought the Jeep with the truck and trailer, he had no major issues getting home.
Walt was next and tried to go up the center of Whale's Tail and gave up after a few times. Walt went over to the far right to get up the obstacle. Gary and Roger just went to the far right to up Whale's Tail. The center of Whale's Tail was dug up deep and right side was dug up at the bottom too, so it was fun to go up the right side, too.
The wash after the Whale's Tail was fun. All of the rocks seemed bigger since the last time we saw them, so they must be getting dug out or the dirt is eroding around them. We all chose a fun line through the rocks and everyone really enjoyed themselves. Near the end of the wash we stopped for lunch.
The next obstacle was the Stairs. Matt and Roger took the bypass around the obstacle. Gary went up the Stairs first. He did not have any issues at the start of the obstacle, but at the last part of the Stairs he high-centered his Jeep and was spinning around in a circle. After a few tries he made his way off the rock that was keeping him stuck.
Walt was the next one to go up the Stairs. At one point he had two wheels off the ground. The rest of the obstacle did not give him any issues. At the end of the Stairs we all noted the he had a flat. He probably ran the side of his tire into a rock because the valve stem was broken on that tire. We got to work changing his tire and found out that his wheel lock key was broken. So we had to us a hammer and chisel to remove his wheel locks. After an hour, we were back on the trail with Walt's spare tire mounted successfully on his Jeep.
When we got to the Chutes, we found out that it was filled in and the obstacle was now just a dirt hill. We did not have any issues with it at all.
The end of the trail down the hill was fun. It was washed out in places and very tippy at times. We all had fun with it, and none of us had any issues with that fun section of the trail.
Soon we were back at the parking lot. It was a very nice day and we all had a great time. We would all make it back home in time for dinner.
Reports from Other Days: 22
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