We had a good day at the Gulches. We had 13 rigs I believe: Rich S, Rob, Richard Q, Daniel, Josh, Rut, Jeremy, Lisa, Rummage, JR, Moretz, Eric and Jacob (hopefully I didn't leave anyone out...). The Gulches was quite crowded and the weather was really warm with a heat index of 101 if i remember correctly. We had a lot of fun, despite the heat. We first went to the pipe garden where everyone had their turn to give it a try if they wanted. Several people tried various lines. We got some good photos during this obstacle, particularly Josh and Lisa, who grabbed some serious air with their front tire. After this, we went to TnT rock garden and again allowed all to give it a shot if they wanted. This claimed a broken rear shock on Josh's pathfinder. We stopped for lunch at the hill climbs (trails 3,4 and 5) and watched a few buggys on the hill climbs for entertainment while we ate. After eating, we rode trails 14, 15, 16, and 21 for some moderate trail riding. Next was trails 26 and 17 and each could choose the easier or harder of the two. Trail 17 ends at Palmetto Crossing and various people had some fun on the rock obstacles here. Jeremy's jeep had a slight overheating issue, but all was well once it was allowed to cool. The weather threatened a storm, but it never rained. A few members of the group had to leave at this time, but next we went to the area of Shipwreck. Various people went up the off camber hill climb. It was difficult in places. JR gave us quite a dust show trying the line to the right several times. The rock ledge at the trail beginning was difficult and claimed a bent wheel lip on Josh's pathfinder which caused the tire to go flat. After straightening it with a hammer, it again held air. After all had made it up the hill climb, I turned around and went into the trail Shipwreck to have a little fun before we left. It has a entrance blocked by large rocks and dug-out holes and ends with a sharp rock face that's probably 25' long and 12' tall. We headed back to the parking lot around 5:00PM to get loaded up and to air up. The majority of the group rolled out just before 6PM. About 15 minutes down the road, Josh's pathfinder was spotted parked in a parking lot. A few of us turned around to check. Josh was just returning from the parts store with a new shock. After a quick look at the vehicle, it was determined that the shock wasn't the issue killing the patherfinders driveability. His front suspension was badly out of geometry as the front subframe on the passenger side was broke completely in three places...The pathfinder had to be left for a tow and Josh travelled to Charlotte with Rummage.
June 2014
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