This was our first Colorado trail of the season that wasn't covered in snow, and we had a blast. It seems like we always spend a lot of time on the Penrose system of trails when we're there, but this time we managed to be off the trail and aired up before daylight had completely left. It's a new record for us!
We met in Castle Rock, along with another group of TrailDamage.com members who were running different trails that day. We drove with them all the way to Penrose where they left for their own adventures. Then the three of us headed off for Liberty.
Monica decided not to even run the rocks on the entrance, going down the easy section of dirt instead. Don tried a tippy line near the top, but eventually backed out and tried a new line running along the side of the obstacle. It was tippy too, but it worked out perfectly.
A couple of buggies came up behind us, and we got out of their way so they could get ahead of us. They had lots of mechanical issues, and they would end up blocking our way for a little while near the end. As soon as they went by us, Mark went for close to the same line that Don took down the entrance and he also went down it with some tippiness but no issues.
Then it was off to play on all of the rocks. Maybe it's simply the fact that it's the beginning of the trail, but it sure is a fun section. It's rocks after more rocks, and we all had a blast.
As soon as we got to the Waterfall we saw the buggies ahead of us so we stopped for lunch. It was a perfect lunch at the top of the obstacle. It was warm but not too hot, with no wind or bugs. We ate our sandwiches and talked about the upcoming wheeling season.
Monica decided to go down the bypass instead of down the Waterfall, and Don decided to do the same thing. Both Monica and Don had been down it before.
At the last minute, Mark decided to go down the Waterfall. He dropped down it in the right location, but he still hit his sliders in a few places on the way down. He hit his rear bumper, but he didn't damage any of his Jeep's body. He finished with a grin on his face.
Each person went down the section of obstacles with the other people watching and following on foot. We each went down or around the Waterfall, then down the V, then down the Wall and the rest of the bigger rocks just after those obstacles. It was fun having an audience the whole way.
Monica went down the V without any issues, and then dropped down the Wall. When she got to the bottom of the obstacle she was headed right for the slab of rock sticking out of the ground. Rather than try to work her way around it, she just drove over it. It gave her a nice wheelstand.
Don flexed his way through the V without any problems, and then dropped down the Wall. At the bottom, he was running his fender right into the slab of rock so he had to negotiate his way around it a bit. He ran up on it, and got some fantastic flex.
Mark came down the V and also didn't have any issues. He popped down the Wall and found himself about where Monica had been, and he also got a great wheelstand.
We had a blast in the big rocks after the Wall, and then we kept on heading down the trail.
We briefly talked about going around the Cube, but of course everyone got on it when we got there. Monica and Don ran their driver's side tires over it, but Mark decided to be different and run his passenger side tires over it instead. Both ways made for some great pictures.
We were happily moving along and then Mark came over the CB saying he was probably stuck. Don and Monica walked back to find him parked over a large, rectangular rock. It fit perfectly under his Jeep between all four tires, and he was really stuck.
We worked on stacking rocks because there was no way he could be pulled off of it without damage. We finally got a large enough pile stacked under one tire to get him to climb over the top of it with a rear tire. Luckily, he didn't damage anything.
We were about to start the final stretch of rocks when we saw the buggies again, ahead of us. They had been leaking a bit here and there all the way down the trail and something finally exploded.
A couple of other Jeeps came up behind us and we explained what was going on. They showed us a mangled track bar from an XJ that was stuck very near the start of the trail. They were working their way to Patriot to find some friends there who had a welder, so they could fix it.
After they left their Jeeps and walked past us, Mark realized that his YJ's track bar would probably work in the XJ. We walked past the buggies and went to find the people with the broken track bar.
The line of rigs waiting for Patriot was very, very long. That trail was packed. We talked with the people with the track bar issues and they said they'd like to try Mark's fix. The buggies were then repaired and past us, off to climb Patriot.
We got back in our Jeeps and worked our way to the end. There was no water anywhere to be found, which was a change from what we usually had. We all went through it to the end like we'd done it a million times, without a single issue.
We turned around and headed up in the opposite order. Mark was trying to get up the first set of rocks and managed to really high-center himself again. He broke out his winch and dragged himself to the top, and then he was off.
The two Jeeps that were now ahead of us also started up. We planned to follow them back to the XJ.
According to custom, Mark proceeded to get a flat tire near the end of those final rocks. He drove to a flat spot and changed it quickly.
We were cruising along just fine until we came to the steep spot of rock next to the big tree. Monica ripped her soft top there in 2006, and it's always been a difficult though unnamed obstacle. It proved to be just as difficult for the Jeeps ahead of us as well as for us. We had to work on it for awhile, but no one in our group ripped their soft top.
We all went up the Wall and the V without any problems, and we all went around the Waterfall. There is a ledge that is unnamed, and Don had some problems there. He went over a large rock at the bottom of the ledge, then backed up to reposition. The rock then lodged itself under his bumper and he was stuck. He got out his winch and hooked to a big rock and pulled himself out. In the process, he managed to really mess up one of his rims.
We also had issues in a section of a hill where some other rocks had moved. It took us quite a bit of time, but the other Jeeps were right in front of us anyway, working on the XJ. We finally all made it through, and then we broke for dinner.
After dinner, we walked up to the other Jeeps. Mark's track bar ended up being too short, so that didn't work. They were going to have to go into Penrose to find a welder. They dragged the XJ out of the way enough for all of us to get by.
We worked our way around the XJ, and then when Don was right next to it he got out of his Jeep to check on something that seemed wrong. The bolt on his track bar broke, right next to the XJ with the broken track bar. What are the odds?
Monica has the same track bar, and she carried extra bolts for it. They switched out the bolts and Don was fixed pretty quickly.
Right when we got started again, we heard Mike S. on the CB. The other group had just arrived at the Liberty trailhead but couldn't reach us on the CB so they were heading back out. We didn't hear them before because we were out of our Jeeps, but we caught them before they left.
We were about 10 minutes before we were going to finish the trail, so Mike S. walked down to meet us. We finished the trail, and it was great to see the other group. It sounds like they had a great day, too.
The sun wasn't even down yet while we started airing up. It's a first for us on that trail. It was nice to drive home knowing that no one had anything expensive to fix when they got home, for a change.
This was a perfect day, and a great start to the season!
Reports from Other Days: 4
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Liberty Trail. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.