As the day grew closer, more people dropped out. That meant two Jeeps at the meeting place in the morning, with Monica riding shotgun. Normally, it seems like we have a big group on Red Elephant Hill. With such a small group, it wouldn't take us very long at all to get to the top. We aired down at the Starbucks and went down the street to the trailhead.
It's a fun trail right from the start. The rocks are loose, and the trail is pretty steep for quite a while. We stopped next to a big hole and then looked across the way to find big views and a chair perched right at the edge. We took turns sitting on it. That has to be the best seat available.
The rocks all seem to be strategically placed in order to flex your suspension as you slide around. Matt even got a little close to the edge at one point. But Mike and Matt made it look easy.
With only two of us, we were at the Big Rocks in record time. The bypass was still there, and not as loose as it was when we were there in 2012. The rocks seemed about the same, and we got out to plan our attack.
Mike got in it first, and soon found himself struggling with it just like we had in the past. The obstacle is very steep, and the rocks are very big. But the toughest part is how the rock under your right, front tire is a bit slanted and covered with dirt. You can't stop yourself from sliding to the right and off your line. He gave it a few tries and a few different lines before taking the bypass. Even the bypass was slippery on the steep hill.
Matt tried it next, trying to remember what Bob did years ago when he made it through the rocks. Bob went at it with a lot of momentum, and that seemed to be the trick. With some speed, your Jeep wouldn't have time to slide, and the forward movement would let you get your back tires up onto the rocks so you could get through it. Matt tried a few more lines but couldn't get the momentum going. If you screwed up, this obstacle could be pretty dangerous if you were going for speed. He went around, too.
After the Big Rocks, the trail turns sharply left and you are on nearly flat ground compared to the steep hill climb since the trailhead. It's a nice drive through the trees, and there are a few bumpy sections here and there. We had a good time in the Poser Rocks, and they seemed to be a bit more dug out than before. That just made them more fun.
We were looking for the Red Elephant Tree, and found a tree that had been cut and branded. We didn't know what everything in the tree meant, and we were bummed for a minute as we thought it was the tree we were looking for. Then we spotted the elephant and all was right with the world.
We wanted to do Mill Creek in the clockwise direction, so we passed the end to go farther in to find that trailhead. Sean was meeting us up at Bill Moore Lake so we didn't stop for long before heading into that trail.
Reports from Other Days: 6
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Red Elephant Hill. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.