Ah, the smell of a 4.5 in the morning. A combination of your own adrenaline plus the oil and paint, draped over rocks, left by those who came before you. The beauty of the sunrise- reflected back in all the broken tail lights, like dew-sparkled bread crumbs, marking your canyon trail. These are the things that most others do not afford themselves to celebrate. These are the ingredients that turn our hearts strong and make us men.
...Anyway. So we set out in the morning (if you missed that), and headed out towards a well known AZ favorite trail area. There's gobs of trails out here, and we pointed our 7-slots in the direction of the Ajax and Woodpecker trails. We decided to hit the Ajax trails first and see how much time that left us later in the day. The trail is an old wash that used to serve as a means to reach the Ajax mine. While there is now a real dirt road to gain access, the wash trail is the one you're after. While there's actually a Upper and Lower Ajax trail, they are basically one in the same, one just picks up where the other left off. The different denotations are because the Upper becomes the much harder trail, leaving more stock and larger vehicles with no other options but to stop and watch. While the Ajax trail is not at all long, it does prove to be very time consuming, especially if you have to get the Hi-Lift out, and you probably will if you happen to be winch-impaired.
There are plenty of hard parts on Upper Ajax, and many harder parts if you should feel frisky. I had to keep reminding Chris and J that they had all day to break something, not to spend it all in one place as the saying goes.
If they had had any doubts of the performance of their rocker panels guards, those (and most of their paint) were all put aside by the end of the day. If anything else, their guards proved the value of having some sort of protrusion on the side to keep hungry rocks further off their Jeeps. Chris has the bar step on his Poison Spyder's and Jared's BTF's jut out towards the bottom. This ensured that J only lost a door hinge, and not the whole side of his Jeep (Think about how much further that hinge actually sticks out past the body!). It also proved useful that neither of them went the powder-coat route, so they can just touch them up with some rattle cans.
So I won't lie to you, the Jack was used, and we got plenty of chances to work out our Rocamus Stacktoids. But then this trail is supposed to be for double locked vehicles; so with that perspective in mind, they did do really well. Besides, some of the Jack uses were because they wanted to try a couple of impassable spots for funsies.
They managed to do the whole run, even Hornet Pass, and then played around with some poses on the old Ajax Mining structure. We then headed back down the road to the beginning of Upper Woodpecker and whipped out our lunches.