Father's Day Spring Creek 2007
Awesome run this year! We had a perfect sized group of 7 well set up rigs with experienced pilots. No breakage, minimal stucks and everyone had a great time time.
Dave and Michelle Nay were in their 80 with their 4 kids, Ken Romer brought a friend in his LX450, His daughter Rachel drove her 3rd Gen Runner with her B/F, Ken's younger daughter Sarah and her friend were in Sarah's LX450. CJ and his friend were in his very well built truck, and Bruce Lawson expertly drove his trusty FJ60. I was the only FJ40 representative in the group.
The weather was hot and sunny for the first part of the trail; we all bypassed the first lower obstacle and made our way to the first obstacle, the ledge. I drove up it and parked, then Bruce drove up, followed by Ken. On the radio it sounded like Sarah was having some issues, so I shut off the engine to go check it out.
She had gotten to where she couldn't back up safely to try a different line, so Ken turned around to hook up his winch. That didn't get her up, so we jacked her up enough to put some rocks under her tire, and with Ken's winch she was on her way.
The next obstacle, the dirt hill was uneventful. Everyone made it up and we kept going. Then we got to the rock hill and it was totally changed from previous years. The aspen was gone and a lot of rocks were rearranged. It took me a couple of tries to get up it, all the old lines were gone. Then Bruce came up, and the first line didn't work. He tried it again and got hung up on about the same spot. Now noticing the aspen gone, I suggested a different line, which worked like a charm, and was used by Sarah and Rachel. CJ, with his built truck basically played a bit, getting hung up a couple times before driving up, as did Dave. Dave wanted to try an impossible line, which proved, well, impossible. It didn't help that his rear locker wouldn't engage, nor that the center diff wasn't locked. Do'h! Soon we were back on our way and on to the rock garden, practically record time, arriving at 12:15.
I drove up the bypass, but noticed that the main garden looked a lot easier than years past. Bruce got stuck in the section of the bypass where it's skinny between the rock on the left and the tree on the right. Then he stalled and vapor locked and we had to wait a few minutes to get him started again. In the mean time, Ken drove part way up the bypass then switched into the main garden, and put on an excellent show in his well-built 450. He did get hung up a bit at one point, moving a good-sized boulder several inches and losing a bit of ARB bull bar marker lens in the process, but excellent driving and immutable Lexus finally conquered the rock garden.
At this point, Bruce had restarted and made it the rest of the way up. Sarah was next; she had a great time squeezing between the tree and the rock and made it through, followed by Rachel. CJ went staright up the rock garden, making it look relatively easy. Dave Nay decided to try (another) impossible line, which was...a non starter. My heart went in my throat as I saw Bruce jump up on his up-side slider as he was about to go over, but catastrophy was averted and he didn't roll and Bruce didn't konk his head. [whew!] Next up was Dave's getting high centered on two different places to where there was more weight on steel than rubber. More jacking and rock stacking and he was out and up the hill.
As we finished lunch and were preparing to depart, a TJ driver asked us if we could help, he apparently broke his rear diff. The end result was to get him turned around to where he could get back down in front wheel drive.
We got up to the meadow, and enjoyed the views, the 68 degree temperatures and the wonderful Father's Day. CJ bugged out first, followed by Ken and his daughters. Bruce and Dave and I stayed for a while and chatted with some hikers and other wheelers. On the way down, we encountered a very high centered Chevy ex cab pickup, which we unstuck with jacking and rock stacking. The drive home from G-Town wasn't too bad, but did require some bypassing on the frontage roads due to traffic. Photos to follow!