We had 14 people on this run and the run last year was just too big so we learned our lesson. We split this run in half instead, running an hour apart. We ended up meeting in the middle at Wheeler Lake for some lunch and visiting.
Run 1 Report: Gary, Kendall, Mark, Mike V., Mike C. and Monica
We aired down with a view of the reservoir and it promised to be a gorgeous day. It stayed sunny for most of the day, with the rain and hail starting on the way down the trail (just like last year). It started off with a bang at the first obstacle.
Monica went first and managed to pull off a nice wheelstand. After sliding from the mud at the bottom, she backed up and got her line back, making it up and over. Mike C. went next, also catching some great air with his front tire. Mike V. took the line to the right, with his daughter in the back enjoying herself.
Kendall tried a few times but between the mud and the short wheelbase of his Samurai he wasn't able to make it over the bigger rocks, so he took the line on the left. Mark went at it with his long wheelbase and almost made it, but in the end he couldn't get through it either. Gary came through last and made it look easy.
When we got to the second obstacle Monica decided to tackle the left side instead of The V. It only took a few stabs at it to make it through.
Mike C. went next and slid over to his left when he got his front tires to the top. That put him a bad position because if he backed up at all he got a pretty big wheelstand, and he couldn't go forward. While he was negotiating it he ended up messing up his front differential gears so much he couldn't keep working on the obstacle. He was stuck.
Mike V. and Kendall came up the middle of the obstacle to let Mark through so he could come up and pull Mike C. out of his position. Mark ended up being the only one to go up The V. He hooked his winch up to Mike C. and pulled him up, but Mike's front diff was pretty trashed. He ended up leaving his Jeep there and riding the rest of the way with Mike V.
Gary tried it next and ended up stuck in the same place Mike C. had just left. Rather than messing anything up he had Mark give him a tug too.
We worked our way up the trail and everyone had a good time on Bowling Ball Hill except for Kendall and his lack of fuel injection. He made it, though, and we all ended up at the Lake for lunch.
There were a couple groups behind us and we had been talking to the second TrailDamage group on the CB, so we decided it would be best to wait for them to get there. We saw a lot of cool vehicles and finally the other group showed up.
Some of us went down to work on Mike C.'s Jeep while others hung out for a bit and then made their way down the trail. It started raining, then hailing, and it made going down the second obstacle very slick and fun to slide down.
Mike C. got his Jeep hobbling down the trail without a front drive shaft, but the front wheels would lock up whenever a new gear tooth would break. He ended up putting the Jeep on Mark's trailer and getting trailered home.
A few of us went to Breckenridge Brewery after the run to relax. It was a great day!
Run 2 Report: Aaron, Bob, Eric B., Evan, Ladd, Robert, Ryan and Sean
The ride to Fairplay from Conifer was only highlighted by the lack of power in Sean's 4-cylinder and the Sunday drivers. We had a quick stop in Fairplay and were aired down and on our way to a fun day by 11:30. When we got to the trail we were behind a large group.
We didn't have to wait long at the first obstacle, and it worked out that we got to watch a few vehicles go through first. Ladd was first, and while not picking a great line made it up fine. Sean followed in his Stock Wrangler and again went right up the more difficult side. Robert came third and had some great air, but was a bit fast for us to capture a good picture. Evan had no problem cruising up like a pro.
Ryan had some difficulties getting the right line but eventually made it look easy. Bob and Aaron had no problems each picking a slightly different line. Eric brought up the tail and had no problems.
We were at the second obstacle by 12:30. Again we were able to benefit from the few at the end of the group in front of us. Ladd was first and decide to go up the right side over The V. Sean was second, and after he got the line he showed that a stock TJ can really go places.
Everyone else decided to go up the left side, either the more difficult center or far left. Aaron got himself a bit tippy with the most difficult line, and took a spotter strap to pull the front end down.
Ryan's little one took a spill while walking over the rocks and added some excitement to the trip, but other than that and some good flexing we were on our way by 1:10. We had one half hour set back when Aaron had a flat tire.
We managed to make it to the Lake by 2:40 where we were able to visit with friends from the early group. After an hour at the lake we headed back down. We picked up the stray leader of the first group and headed out to catch the repair team working on a Jeep that had issues on the first run. We saw some rain and hail on the way down, but it was uneventful. When we got to the obstacle everyone from the first group was working on Mike C's Jeep. Shortly after, we were all on our way down to air up. By 6PM we were all on our way -- half the group headed to Fairplay and home, while a few of us hopped over Hoosier Pass to have a burger and beer in Breckenridge. It was so green -- this trail is a big favorite with lots of rocks, water and some good obstacles.
Reports from Other Days: 5
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Wheeler Lake. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.