We couldn't have asked for a better time on Spring Creek. The weather was perfect, the trail conditions were challenging without being too tough, and with only six vehicles we got through it much faster than we usually do. Even the trail damage for the group was incredibly minor. It was a perfect day.
Eric was stuck in traffic back in Denver so we decided to start the trail without him. It wouldn't be tough for him to catch up with us on the first obstacle, if it was anything like it was in previous years. We were going up to the obstacle when we ran into a couple vehicles on their way down. They said that someone had flopped in the obstacle but they were almost back together. We decided to go up and check it out.
There were a few other rigs there at the bottom, and the rig that had rolled had been righted and was up at the top. The rig at the bottom had destroyed its power steering box on the obstacle, so they said we should just go around. It looked like the first obstacle was causing its usual carnage!
Robert went up first and found there is a new rock at the base of the tree that caused so much trouble last year. Now you can't slide down into the tree, but the new rock made our old line a lot more difficult. The rock that had slid down was the rock that we used to catch our passenger-side fenders on.
It only took Robert a minute or two to find our new line up the first obstacle. He basically went straight up it, barely missing the new fallen rock. He drove right up without an issue.
Jed was behind him, but he didn't have a winch so he worked his way to the side so Ed could go next instead. Ed walked right up and to the top, turning around to winch Jed if he needed it.
Jed has new 33" tires but he has open differentials so we thought he might have issues in the loose dirt on the steep rock face. We didn't need to worry about it, though, because he walked right up without too much extra effort. He had to curve his way around the new rock, but his path through it didnt' take him too much work. Nice job!
Micheal was next in his Cherokee, and he didn't even need to slow down. He was up and over it right away, making it look easy.
Bob followed him up, almost crawling his way up the loose hill. Like always, Bob went right up it and made the obstacle look like an easy dirt road.
We were getting ready to head up the hill when Eric showed up, so we got back out to help and watch. He had missed seeing us all go up the hill, so it was new to him. He tried to go over the new rock but it was so steep and big that it wasn't working out. He worked at it for a bit, but then his rear shock mount came off of his axle. It wasn't a great weld anyway, so he wasn't too surprised.
He tied the shock out of the way, then tried the hill some more. Without a rear shock on the passenger side, he was getting too tippy. He decided to play it safe and winched over the worst part of the hill instead.
There was no mud or snow as we worked our way up, enjoying the sunshine and views. The second obstacle wasn't an issue for anyone, and everyone enjoyed their own line through it.
We were at the third obstacle quickly enough, and it had also changed a bit. Our fun line from last year over the big rock had changed, with a lot of the dirt dug out at the bottom. It was quite a bit harder. Also, a lot of the rocks that made up the left side of the hill were now all over the bottom. Otherwise, the obstacle was unchanged.
Robert got on it first, determined to make it up and over the biggest rock with his passenger-side tires. He tried a few different approaches, but it was just too tough. He powered through the obstacle right next to the big rock instead, and didn't have any issues.
Micheal tried the new line on the left, changed without all of the boulders. He made this one look easy, too, just driving right up it.
Jed came next, following Micheal's line. He didn't even need to slow down as he drove right through the obstacle.
Bob gave the big rock a try, and it really looked like he had the right approach. Still, it was just too dug up at the bottom and he had to go around.
Ed took the line found by Micheal and Jed and also didn't have any issues.
Eric wanted to get over the big rock and he tried it a few times. He wanted to get to the Rock Garden, though, so after a couple unsuccessful attempts he went around it and we were on our way.
We didn't need to hurry, though. There were a few vehicles ahead of us in line when we got to the Rock Garden so we all walked up to watch. Everyone was behaving themselves and it was a good time hanging out and chatting with everyone up there, discussing lines through the obstacles. We had actually met a couple of them in the Rock Garden last year!
The Rock Garden looked the same except for one big rock that had fallen out of the left side of the largest part of the rocky section, making it a lot more difficult to get up and over. Robert gave it a good try, though, but he wasn't able to make it over the biggest rocks. There was a lot of mud and water, and even some snow, and that coupled with the big rocks made it just too difficult. He took a slightly easier line through it and didn't have any troubles all the way through the Rock Garden.
Micheal came up next and got some great suspension flex in some places. He didn't have to work too hard, playing in the slick rocks on his way to the top.
Jed followed him up and through the rocks to cheers from the crowd. It looked like he had lockers most of the time because of how easy he made it look. When he got to the toughest part his rear tires slid around and he ended up popping himself right into some deep snow and over a rock that made it impossible for him to back up. Everyone started cheering again when he managed to work his way out of it, sliding sideways in the snow and back to more solid ground.
Bob was next, flexing all through it. He looked like he'd done the Rock Garden a million times as he worked his way through it without any issues at all. He even had a good time playing in the snow.
Ed picked his line and came right through it, even picking a line that was a bit more difficult than the one everyone else chose. When he got over that line, he hung his rear differential up on a rock and couldn't go forward. He was also in snow so he couldn't back up. Everyone jumped on his Jeep to give him some more weight, and he managed to work his way off of the rock.
Eric brought up the rear of the group and was subjected to a few minutes of peer pressure. He was finally talked into trying the line that Robert worked on earlier. It definitely wasn't an easy line, climbing over the big rocks on the left side of the obstacle about halfway up.
He didn't have to work too hard to get up the big rocks even though they were wet and very large. The trouble came at the top of the rocks when he straddled the huge log at the top. He was also in snow, so he was having a hard time getting away from the log and on his way. He worked on it for a bit and got over it and played on his way through the snow at the end. We knew he could make it!
Robert took the optional section of rock at the top of the rock garden on the right and didn't have any troubles. Micheal was on his way over to that spot when his rear ARB locker blew. It was spitting gear oil out of his vent tube but luckily everyone saw it right away and immediately started cleaning it up. Micheal wouldn't have lockers for the rest of the day, so he went around the optional obstacle.
Jed and Ed took the optional obstacle, having no issues at all. We stood in the bypass and didn't let Bob go around it, so he went through the rocks too. He immediately straddled the biggest rock and knocked his front license plate right off. After that, the obstacle was easy for him.
Eric found a creative line through it and got extremely tippy, lifting a tire in the air. He made it through it, though, and had fun doing it.
There was a fun section of snow after the rocks ended, but otherwise the trail was just fun on the way out. We decided to take Saxon Mountain on the way out, so we turned right at the top and headed down. It was a great trail, like always!
Reports from Other Days: 13
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