Pitman arm vs rock
I just did a run with the Eastern Washington folk. It was located at the Clover Springs Rd area just off 410. This was my second ever group run (the other was 2 weeks ago with the people at naxja down in Tillamook State Forest). I don't think we did any of the "most difficult" trails, but I know we at least did some of the "more difficult" (the trails have little signs saying how difficult the trail is) trails. I think we must have done some of the "most difficult" though because there were spots where there were trees so close together, you could JUST squeeze between them and there were also a couple of difficult stream crossings, and at the beginning a HELLACIOUS downhill run with loose stones and dirt. Anyway, we had gone through almost all of the run. We were only about 5 miles from finishing. We had reached a fairly open area with snow and mud. The people in front of me started flying. I was trying to keep up and make sure that I followed in the tracks. Apparently I didn't do too good of a job following the tracks because as I was going quickly, I cam to a very sudden stop. I had hit a rock and was hung up on it! The people behind me said that my back wheels were actually off the ground. I managed to free myself. Shortly thereafter I noticed that I kept sliding off the trail to the left. I thought it was my newbie driving skills. I finally stopped and told the people behind me what was going on. I tried turning the wheel all the way to the right and it only went straight so I could only turn left!!! One of the guys climbed underneath and looked and exclaimed, "The pitman arm is bent!" No one had ever seen that happen before since the pitman arm is pure steel. Anyway, he did some tinkering around and I was then able to turn about 1/5 of the way left or right. I limped back to camp (had to be winched between two trees at one point) with a couple of others. Luckily there were a couple of guys with a flatbed trailer who happened to be going my way and they towed my baby home. Anyway, here is a pic showing where the arm bent. Thankfully the part is only $60!!!