After running Sevenmile Rim, we were anxious to sink our teeth into something a little more challenging. We went in Gemini Bridges Road off Highway 191. We met a group of nicely built buggies as they were on the way out, but they would be the only traffic we'd encounter except for a family group on ATVs just before Widowmaker.
Route finding was relatively easy, except there seems to be a new trail that bears left awhile after you make the right turn at 7.3 miles (before you get to the dry wash). We didn't recall this trail being there before, and it appears to be new although very well-traveled. If you accidentally end up on this spur, it will soon become obvious as you will emerge into a flat, open area of low scrub.
When we got to Rock Chucker, Mike was anxious to see how his new suspension and tires would handle the obstacle. Imagine his surprise when he couldn't even get onto the first step, in spite of having been able to do it relatively easily in 2005 with smaller tires and no lift. The rock seemed to be quite a bit more undercut than it was before. Still nursing a potentially week U-joint and not being able to make it up with finesse, Mike opted not to try it again but with power and momentum. Oh well, it'll still be there for another day!
Mirror Gulch proved to be a good obstacle for the rental Jeep that Brad was driving, but again he proved just what a skilled driver could do with a 4-cylinder Jeep with open differentials and well-worn, 30-inch street tires. Brad made it up after a couple of failed approaches by picking the perfect line and combining it with just the right amount of momentum.
When we got to the turnoff for Widowmaker, we all decided we had to at least go look at it. Roger and Mike both put their Jeeps up it as far as they could go, but it was obvious that it wasn't going to happen. No one made it up Widowmaker. Mike got some good air under the front, passenger-side tire and then decided that was enough. The drive back down past the tippy spot was interesting as none of us like that tippy stuff.
It was getting late, so we opted to take the shortcut out to Gemini Bridges Road from there, as the rest of the trail gets monotonous with no real challenges.
Reports from Other Days: 3
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Metal Masher. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.