Up for the adventure of exploring the western reserve on this Black Friday run were:
- Kirk Adams – Toyota FJ Cruiser
- Jan Merka – Nissan Frontier
- James Bullock – Land Rover LR3
- Joe – Land Cruiser 100
I think it went pretty well over all. 4 of us wandered around the nearer part of the Western side of the park a bit. We mostly stayed on the green trails, where “green” is “off road park green”, not “CORE green”. Joe with his totally stock Land Cruiser 100 series only had to be spotted once on a particularly interesting bit that had been torn up leaving some pretty sizeable rock steps. I think Joe did hit his side steps a few times, but it they didn’t look wrecked.
The AOAA maps, even with maprika leave a bit to be desired, and I find some of their signs to be a bit confusing at times, so I made a couple of wrong turns here and there.
Near the end of the day, there were a couple of blue trails that paralleled the main green trail, so me, Jan and James went that way and Joe took the parallel route. The first blue was actually not bad and Joe could have handled it, it was blue because of a tight descending turn onto a shelf road a bit of a climb out. If we’d gone the other way the climb out would have been interesting.
If we’d gone the other way the climb out would have been interesting.
The second blue trail was a fun rock crawl with some really narrow spots. Near what I thought was the end, I came up to a really short rocky climb that I thought I could make it up if I hit it just right. But I apparently missed a little and got stuck. I wound up winching up because I didn’t want to bang my door on a rock that I slid up to, and I was worried that if I backed down it would get into the side of the truck. Jan later said that the map version he had actually showed that segment of the trail as “black”. I’m not even sure if it was on the map I was using.
Earlier in the day as we were about to stop for lunch a guy on an ATV asked if we had air, he had a tire going flat. He followed us (about 100yrds or so, not far) and when we stopped at the “whale back” rock for lunch I tried to inflate his tire. We figured out that it was actually leaking around the bead, so the compressors weren’t going to help. But I was able to use my CO2 tank to seat the bead on his tire, and it seemed to be holding air. I knew that a CO2 tank could do it, but I’d never actually done that trick.
Trail report courtesy of Kirk Adams. Pictures courtesy of Joe Padula.