After a sandwich back at the camper, Ken wanted to run something else, and try something harder. I suggested he take a look at the “15 road” I ran earlier that morning in with the Michigan boys, figuring once we got past the first obstacle the rest of the run didn’t seem that bad. We walked over, he decided to give it a go and went back to get the truck. Tarbe and Buck were also interested, but wanted to see Ken do it first.
With a few attempts, a few well-placed rocks, every button pushed, knob twisted, and a healthy dose of skinny pedal Ken was up & over the first obstacle. But much to our dismay, the battle had just begun. The loose rock provided no traction, and the AT tires filled up quick and ended up doing a lot more digging than biting. After about 20 attempts and roughly 20’ of progress, we decide the best course of action was to get out the winch (there are plenty of trees, btw). The hill climb is about 300’s long, and we made the next 280’ under winch assist, right up until the final rock of the run (literally) at which point the M12K was nearing the end of its third full pull and had enough. With the only other option running back down to camp to bring in another vehicle from the top, Ken decided to just go for it and got past the final rock.
The rock was about 2’ high and occupied the left half of the trail, forcing the truck into, you guessed it, a tree on the right edge of the road. In hindsight, we could have stacked rocks opposite the rock that would have allowed the truck to remain more level and away from the tree, but no one had that thought at the time and Ken was in full “just get me the hell out of here” mode so up the rock and into the tree he went. He caught a nice scrape on the RR quarter panel, small dent on the back door, and also lost the front section of the fender flare. Other damage from the run (not the final rock though) was the exhaust pipe was completely crunched near the cats where it crosses under the frame, and almost completely closed in the back where it had been pinched under the rear bumper. Though the exhaust damage was mostly done in the creek bed the night before, we just added to it on this run tonight.
The last picture shows the tree that took out the right side. This was attempt 1, we ended up stacking rocks on the outside of the big rock to get the front diff to not hit (it's spinning free in the pic)