2-3-11 Alanzona

Well, all in all it was a great day... shorter than I would have liked, but any day wheelin' is a good day.

I learned or had reiterated for me 7 things on Sunday:

1. I have great friends.
2. From here on out, Annihilator will be known as "Upper Predator" to trick my jeep.
3. Death Wobble still sucks.
4. Black TJ's from this club have bad karma on Die Hard (see Bob for reference)
5. Mike will take his shirt off with little or no prompting.
6. Despite popular belief, show tunes do NOT make any situation an "instant party".
7. ARB air lockers work better when actually turned on.

The day did start out ominous. After Mike (Skatchkins) arrived at my house, we piled in the TJ and headed over to my other friend Mike's house (I have a "2 Mike Friend" limit, so I decided to take them both with me at the same time to make things confusing on the trail). The TJ (which has yet to earn a true name) was running rough, but we made it to Mike #2's house. After picking up Mike #2, the TJ died. Mike #2 said it was out of gas. I argued this as I had just filled it up earlier in the week and the only place I had driven was down to AO. Mike #2 walked back to his house, got some gas, put a couple gallons in my TJ, and it fired right up. We proceeded to the QT to meet up with Geoff and Shanda, where Mike #2 proceeded to fill up my TJ the rest of the way, giving me "I told you so" looks and attitude. Someone siphoned off my gas. Only explanation.

After connecting with Geoff and Shanda, we all headed up to Table Mesa to meet up with Mark (Mark-Buggy), BellyDoc, and Pyro4X4. The plan was to run Die Hard, Predator, Annihilator, then maybe loop back through 'Conda depending upon time. The drive up was great, kept it around 55 - 60, no Death Wobble, life is good. Of course, with no windshield, it was really cold on the face, but we're big tough men and I had not one, but TWO Mikes with me, so everything worked out just fine.

We tooled on a little further, a couple of waterfalls and rock gardens. On one of the waterfalls, bad Black TJ karma struck again... this time snapping the flange off my inner shaft up front. It wasn't bound up, there wasn't any significant stress on it, just backing up to take another line and BAM!

After a quick PowWow, we pulled the shaft and decided I was going to turn around and limp back out in 3WD. Geoff, BellyDoc, and Pyro4X4 are awesome friends and took that sucker apart like they had done it before.

Anyway, Mike #1 was having a good time hiking around and Mike #2 was too, but we had to head home. Here is where my good friend Geoff fell on his sword and offered to follow me back out and make sure I got home. It was a good thing, too. In 3Wd, I couldn't make it up the hill out of the canyon. I kept spinning and digging in. Geoff went up first, then came back and strapped me out. About half way up the hill, Mike #2 pointed out the lockers weren't on and my 1 front tire with an axle shaft wasn't actually pulling. After a pretty good laugh, I turned on the lockers and it's AMAZING how much better a job it does when there are at least 3 wheels pulling up the hill. I know Geoff appreciated it. Once we got off the trail and headed home, guess what? DEATH WOBBLE from hell. Instead of 55 - 60 MPH, we had about 25 MPH as top speed. It's amazing what not having the hydro assist ram and only having one (althrough disengaed) front axle connected will do to the drivability of a rig on 40's with bead locks. LOL We limped down the freeway with Geoff and Shanda riding tail gunner to keep the big rigs from squashing me.

In honor of T.C. and Jellybeans, I wore my helmet to be safe.




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