July 7, 2009
It’s summer in AZ, so some outdoor activities have to be packed away until the temps play nice again. There are ways around it though, such as heading north or just sneaking out at night. We hadn’t done Lower Sycamore Creek in a while so figured what the sun doesn’t know won’t hurt it and scheduled it for the PM.
We listed it as a moderate run to try to get a few of web wheelers gripping their wheels instead of just their keyboards. That part worked and a few new people came out- the moderate part not so much.
While the trail had grown a little, it’s still not technical as long as you can keep your feet on the rocks and not have to fight clearance as much.
We lost a CJ at the start due to carb troubles on the rock garden. No worries, there were extra seats so we left it to come back to later. Next we had to ditch a clearance fighting TJ that was still on the low side of its awkward growth spurt. No worries, there were still an extra couple seats.
During all of the back end negotiations, the big boys tried some side obstacles. Real up and overs with the rocks throwing the tilt in for good measure. It was on one of these dark piles that Bob’s front driveshaft twizzlered a tear. No worries, there were… oh wait, what’s that, there are no more free seats? Before we followed the bread droppings of lame Jeeps back to the trail start, Geoff wanted to give the gauntlet a shot. He made it up on top but in order to keep the Jeep topside, he had to make a trade and feed the rock a little rear quarter glass. He was okay with that because he had an exit strategy to think about. It was more than a little drop to get him back down to the creek but he made it with a few more negotiations which was good because his Jeep seats 4. Looking at the numbers, we decided to turn around there and collect the fallen.
On the way back Bob 2 wheeled it when he could but needed a short tug on a wet rock area. Paul tried to outsmart the greasy rock (at one point by trying to fly over them) but ended up loosing his XJ’s tie-rod on the dismount. It had to be left so a new one could be brought out for the fix.
Everyone else made it back to pavement around midnight. Even though the hold-backs were many, most enjoyed the run anyway. Some figured out their Jeeps were pretty capable and others started making lists to get theirs ready for the next run. The temps were great down in the creek and the night sky was beautiful without the city glow jealously trying to compete.