Index of Pictures / ..

  Courtright Reservoir on Friday (9/5/03) morning prior to breaking camp at Voyager Rock.  This was the starting day of the Gettin Off 4x4 club's 3rd trip over the Dusy, we had a total of 8 rigs, including 3 Jeeps and 5 Toyotas (4 pickups and 1 4Runner). Minutes out of camp is Chicken Rock.  We had split into two groups, the first 4 rigs started up the rock, while 2 rigs stayed in camp to wait up for 2 other rigs that were running a bit late. After a short, steep climb, you are on top of the granite dome.  As I came up, 3 deer were strolling by the top.  They seemed to pay me very little attention. Art followed me up, followed by Patrick in the white '85 Xtra Cab. Testing out the new Orbit Eye springs on the way down the back side of Chicken Rock.  

  One of the many domes we passed along the climb up Dusy Creek. Rounding the infamous tree squeeze from the Rick Russel video, the lower tree seems to have been cut down. Art starting up lower Thompson Hill. And a bit farther up, the rocks get bigger. And bigger!  

  Seems like I got the wheels perfectly centered in the wheel well opening, always a worry when installing new springs and hangers.  The new springs performed great on the trail, I have a lot more flex then before, and some major tire rubbage on the frame, time to get the new, wider axle installed.  I left the upper shackle bolted to the frame for the whole trip. The higher up Thompson Hill you get, the bigger the rocks. Patrick following Art up the hill. Lots of tight turns around trees beside the trail. Patrick in the same spot.  

  Did I mention lots of tight turns around trees beside the trail?  And it always seems that directly across the trail from the tree is a big rock, so its always a guess as to how to avoid hitting the tree, stay too close to the tree and you hit it, get too far away and the rock will tilt you into the tree. Here's Don coming up the lower dirt section of Thompson Hill. Art, Patrick and Don near the top of the hill. Great view back towards Courtright from the top of Thompson Hill. Closeup view of the lake and small dome.  

  So, after an uneventful 2nd day (no pictures) we had trouble about a mile out of Ershim Lake.  Andrew's CJ-7 had an engine fire, was towed 4 miles to Lakecamp Lake on Sunday.  I wheeled out to Kaiser Pass, then down to Madera to get parts then back in to meet the group on Monday morning to find that the Jeep had one broken leaf spring (I welded it up with some low-hydrogen 7014 rod and my Premier Power Welder, adding a block on top to span the weld).  Sure illustrates the advantage of a military wrap leaf spring design.  This Jeep had no mil-wrap (where the 2nd leaf is wrapped up and around the main leaf spring eye on the end attached to the frame) and with the main leaf broken the vehicle was effectively imobilized. And with the driver's side spring broken, the axle wanted to twist backwards, causing the passenger side spring haner to tear off the frame.  I re-welded it to the frame, adding some scraps of steel I carry in my parts box to reinforce the damaged areas (both repairs held up perfect for the remaining 4.5 mile tow to Kaiser Pass). Here is Terry up front pulling the CJ up towards the 10,000' ridge before the end of the trail, I was in back to push if needed.  Luckily, Terry and I had similar low gearing, so I could match his speed.  Along the way, the steering box tore away from the frame, so I wrapped the winch cable around the box and then up to a tow hook and used the winch to pull the box back up to the frame to allow Andrew some steering control.  It took us nearly 7 hours to tow the Jeep 4.5 miles, averaging about 0.6 MPH!  

created with igal2 2.1