This was Patrick's first trip with Traildamage and his first trip with his 1987 Samurai that he built with his dad (Perry, another group member). Patrick is the youngest driver in the group right now, but he's been riding with his folks in the purple Explorer for awhile.
The day started out raining when we loaded the Sami up onto the car dolly. We decided to tow it up there. We had tried to do Johnny Park Road the weekend before but we ended up with mechanical troubles.
By the time we got to the trailhead the rain had stopped and there was a little sunshine trying to show through the clouds. We got unloaded and headed up the hill to the first obstacle. This was Patrick's first time driving the Samurai with the lower 4.62 gears and it was a lot better than it was before. He was able to go slower and not have to use so much gas pedal, so he felt more in control.
Perry got out to take pictures of Patrick doing the first hill, where he did really well. There were some parts of the trail with rocks and ruts, and there were parts that were just flat and easy. This is a good trail to learn new driving skills, so there were a couple times we turned around to go back down the hill just to come back up again for the practice.
We heard a grinding noise in the front end that would come and go so we decided not to go all the way over to Highway 7 but to turn around at Johnny Park and head back to the car and trailer.
On the way back on one of the downhill parts, Perry showed Patrick the line to take down the steep part. As he was heading down, the front wheel dropped into a hole and made the rear wheel come up in the air and it felt like the Sami was going to roll onto its side. Patrick felt better when it stopped rocking with the one wheel in the air.
Patrick had a great time his first time out as a new TrailDamage member.
Reports from Other Days: 5
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Johnny Park Road. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.