We headed off from our meeting place in Castle Rock and got down to Penrose at around 11AM, so we made pretty good time. Although there were quite a few trailers and vehicles at the trailhead, we really didn't have to wait on any other groups throughout the day. Everybody was pretty excited to get right down to crawling so we didn't waste any time at the trailhead. We aired down and ran Liberty in the usual "exit first" fashion. Monica came along for the ride and had some photographer duties.
Mark was the lead on this and didn't do too bad for his first time on the trail. He was a bit nervous dropping in the entrance though, remembering Eric B. back in 2006 and his crazy rear wheel stand. Mark got down it without issues, however. Bob was up next, and being a Liberty veteran he walked down it with ease. Robert was third and he also got down like it was nothing.
We continued on to the other obstacles. Mark gained some confidence as he negotiated the chunky stuff, mostly due to Monica riding along and giving a little coaching when needed. When we got to the Waterfall, we noticed that someone at some point had knocked the tree that sits directly in front. Although this made the obstacle a bit easier, we were kind of sad to see it fallen and dead. All of us chose the middle line to the left and got down it without any problems.
We continued on to The V which proved to be a little difficult for Mark. He had to take a couple of different lines due to his front diff being hung up on a fairly large boulder. After backing up and trying again a few times he got around it. Bob decided to head through with a little more precision and showed everyone the proper way to finesse through. Robert had new 40-inch tires on his home-grown Jeep and he walked through it without so much as a skidplate scrape.
After reaching and getting through The Wall obstacle, Robert killed the engine immediately after discovering some smoke under the hood. He checked it out and found that his battery ground cable had been fried from a short. Upon further discovery, he found that his starter had completely come free from the bellhousing somehow and was the cause of the short. Mark and Bob looked for some spare bolts to reattach the starter but couldn't find anything that would fit. Mark finally donated one of his starter bolts off his Jeep to get Robert moving again. Robert also had to remove the melted grounding cable and substitute his winch ground so the engine would run again. He would have to sacrifice the use of his winch, but he was okay with that.
We had a group behind us patiently waiting and helping out, but we knew that we had to get moving again. We got to the end and realized that we really didn't have any major issues throughout the entire trail. By the time we got to the end of Liberty, we met with several Jeeps parked where all of the trails meet. Some were working on fixing the carnage that Liberty gave them.
We discussed how we would exit the Penrose trail system. We wanted to do something different, so we would exit out of Patriot or Independence. Independence is easier, so we decided to exit out that trail. We had to shuffle vehicles around a little bit, but we managed to get through all of the other Jeeps and over to the bottom of Bunker Hill on Independence Trail.
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.