PRIVATE RIDE AT BIG CREEK
We had a good run at Big Creek yesterday.  We had 14 vehicles on the ride and were led by Scott Fields as well as another employee of the UORTC named Mike. Those in attendance were the Conkins, Brandon and Ashley Moretz, the Queens, Jeremy Proffitt, Matt Green, JR, Josh Listhaus, Tom Knopp, Wes Rollins, Rich Skaretka, Daniel Huneycutt, visitors Gregg Dress and his friend Darren, and Eric Velazquez.  We met in the field across from the Eldorado Outpost and then caravanned over to the trailhead with Scott and Mike.  We aired down our tires and then Scott held a driver’s meeting and we were off for the trails. Big Creek is an interesting place.  I admit that at the beginning I didn’t feel like it held much promise but as the day went on, I think the place got the better of me.  Scott has an unique approach in that they walked the trails with us as we made our way through the woods.  It made it easy for them to be able to spot people, but it made for very slow progress on the trail.  I think next time we go if we have a big group we will consider splitting into two groups to get more trail time. As advertised, the trails there are very tight and narrow.  We rode for a bit and then I tried a different line on a rock ledge and got hung up on my skid plate, but a quick tug of the winch and we were back on our way.  We caught up with the group and found that Rich Skaretka’s Cherokee had a leak from the power steering hose.  A quick trail repair and then we pulled off for lunch. After lunch we got to a nice rock garden with several different lines available to try.  It was quickly apparent how a little bit of moisture in the soil, as opposed to the dry dusty clay of Uwharrie across the street, made everything slick.  We rode on to a smaller hill climb that proved to be difficult.  I got sideways trying to go up and had my winch session number 2… Back on the trails we made our way to another hill climb..i think this one is Winch Hill???  I can’t remember the names of the trails we were on…I knew we were in trouble when we pulled up and Moretz was pulling cable in the buggy..i think that’s the first time I have seen that…He did make up for it later, though.. The only person to make it up this hill was David Conkin.  He was putting on a show with his new BFG Krawlers.  Those tires will really hook up and it was obvious how well they made his jeep work.  JR also put on a show when he tried to open up his tailgate by slamming it into a tree.  BTW…this was my winch session number 3… At this point it was getting later.  We got to a point where those that needed to break off and leave took that opportunity.  The rest of us ran down a short trail where there was a very steep hill climb and a small rock garden.  When we got to the hill climb, Moretz lined his buggy up and shot up the hill.  He was only the 2nd person to ever make it up the hill, according to Scott.  Of course I had to try it then, but I was denied.  The good news is I didn’t have to winch..I could back out..lol. Then we got to the little rock garden, which at first glance did not seem imposing at all.  It proved to be pretty difficult with several of us stacking rocks and pulling cable to get through.  Of course, this proved to be my 4th winch pull of the day when my front axle decided it didn’t like the driveshaft and spit out the u-joint at the axle yoke.  I pulled cable to get out of the rocks and luckily we were done for the day. I know I had fun, and I hope that everyone else did.  I thought we had a good day.  Josh L was there in his newly lifted Pathfinder and did quite well.  Everyone worked together and pitched in whenever it was needed, and we all made it out safely.  As far as carnage…Daniel Huneycutt has some new trail stripes, Jeremy Proffitt tore off a fender and had what sounded like a fan shroud issue on his jeep. JR added to his scrap metal pile when he slammed his tailgate into the tree and Matt Green had a flat on his trailer on the way home.  I ended up with some worn out winch cable and a busted front u-joint.
May 2014
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