...was great! Special thanks to Dan for setting up the pizza, for tailgunning, and for keeping me on the strait and narrow when I was about to go astray!
Thanks to Randy for tailgunning, to Ricardo, Randy, Carlton, Mike, Ken, and Dean for helping with troubleshooting various problems, and to everyone else for helping to make it a great and fun afternoon!
We started off in the King Soopers parking lot with CB antenna SWR checks. Turns out there were 3 or so who had pretty high SWR readings, so those should be addressed at some point. I guess it's time to go do some reading up in the Ham and CB corner.
We had Brian from Louisiana, who was on his way to a camping trip, see us and ask if he could join us for the run. Great to have you Brian! We were expecting Chris Sandstorm to show up, but he never did, so we missed him and had to figure out a gunning plan.
After a driver's meeting, we took off to the trailhead. As we were airing down, we had to jumpstart a rig that had stalled in the middle of the road and wouldn't restart (battery/electrical issue). Not a good start for the FJ40s.
As we continued up the trail, within 5 minutes I got word that the mustard FJ40 had stalled and wouldn't restart. We waited for a couple minutes and heard that Randy, Ricardo, Dean, Sascha, and Mike and Ken Davidson had escorted him back to the trailhead to try and diagnose the issue. The rest of us continued on, with Dan taking over the tailgunning position.
There were no further surprises and we were all enjoying the beautiful blue sky, bright sun, wildflowers, and fresh mountain air until we passed some cows grazing near the trail and stopped at the meadow below the hill climb. The mustard FJ40 had gotten going again but had decided to turn around, so the rear group was playing catch-up to the main group. Ricardo radioed up that he had a noise in his front end that he wanted to have someone take a look at; seems he may have a birf/axle/diff problem so he had to run the trail in 2wd and he'll have to dig into that issue later. After waiting for a few minutes we learned that Sascha had somehow gotten hung up between a rock and a hard place. No fear! Dean to the rescue and with quick use of a strap had everyone in the rear group making forward progress in no time.
They soon caught up to the main group and we began working our way up the hill climb. The first few made it without incident, but then the unlocked 3rd gen 4runner was struggling a little bit with the whoop-dee-doos. This was a pretty exciting part of the day for me, as Carlton and I discussed the best method to get him through the section and some of the trail leader training tactics were put to good use. Grins ear to ear quickly followed successful navigation of that section, and we continued upward. There was one more spot a little higher that also provided a little trouble, but with a little more communication and practice with the hand signals the 4runner walked through. The only other real problem on the hillclimb was Brian's H55 FJ62 couldn't get into low range, so pulling the hill in 1st gear high proved to be a little difficult, but he managed. Air Randy lived up to his name and got some serious air with the Blue Mule, and then we regrouped and pushed on towards pizza.
The drive back out was uneventful, but we were all getting hungry and I had a clean 100 series giving me looks of intimidation from the rear view mirror so it went a little faster than the trip in
I did have a little vibration that I was pickup up when going uphill and flexing. I unlocked my hubs and shifted into 2lo and the sound went away, so I'm thinking it has something to do with my front driveshaft rubbing my skid plate or something.
Back at the trailhead, tires were aired up and resorting was done. Ken Davidson found a slashed sidewall, so a tire swapout was performed. Hopefully he can find a 33x9.50 BFG A/T somewhere to replace the trashed tire.
After a few minutes we all continued down to J. J. Madwell's for pizza and refreshments, which was a perfect ending to the day with the sun setting and us sitting out on the patio having a good time.
Thanks everybody for the fun day! It was a pleasure hanging out with all of you!
Here were the participants:
Trail Leader Matt:
Brian, Kim and their son:
Jeff and his family:
Brian from Louisiana:
Tom (a coworker of mine):
Dan (who took over as gunner for a while):
James and his family:
Sean and John:
Rachel and Tim(?) (sorry if I got your guys' names wrong, let me know):
Sascha and Theo:
Parting shot with Dean:
My gunner for the day, Randy:
Nick (AHorseThief) had starting/electrical issues and decided to leave his rig at the trailhead, so I didn't get a picture of it. Brian in the BEAUTIFUL mustard '76 FJ40 had a vapor lock issue of some sort and decided to turn around at the trailhead and call it a day until he could figure out what was going on, so I also didn't get a picture of his rig.