Met up with the two other jeepers from Phoenix in Yucca Valley to head up to Big Bear. One is a fellow Jeeper we did the Rubicon and Moab last year with and a friend of his. He gets a free cabin up there as a work perk. That made the nights very plush and cheep too. The weather was great. Highs were from 65-70 and the lows from 35-40.
First day we ran Joan Bull. Since this was to be the hardest listed in the Well's book of southern Cal runs in Big bear. Figured it would be a good starting point. For most part the trail was mostly mountain scenery until you get the up hill part of the boulder field. A mix of large bounders and medium with a fine dust making it somewhat slippery.
mountain scenery mostly easy parts:
The start of the up hill hard section runs a few hundred yards, i would rate this about 3.5-3+. Unless you did something very stupid, no body damage, little risk of flops. Just as you go up it gets steeper the rocks bigger with deeply dug out areas. The trail sees alot of use.
the rocks get larger
Then we went to Gold Mountain Trail. We had heard it had an extra credit trail that was hard. But on the first sharp ledge the silver Jk ripped the frame side lower control arm bracket off. The silver Jeep tended to use the right foot alot when the first try did not work using finess. landing way hard on a sharp ledge was a day ending event. Looking at the damage and having to back track/limp to town. We used his winch to hold it from the front and a 3" rachet strap to the frame rear. holding the wheel.axle from going for or aft. Made it back to town and found a guy with a welder to fix it. 50$!! is all the guy charged too.
Day2 off in the am to Holcomb Creek another trail that for the most parts is very easy. The start at the camp ground is the first boulder field they call the " gate keeper". few meduim boulders to keep the mall crawlers out at the front looked placed to me as they were the largest of the field a few miles out another field of samll and medium boulders but wet and slimy made it kinda fun.
a black JkU loaded up with smitty stuff pulled in behind the silver Jeep running tail in our group. watched us then back out.
over all this trail was just to easy for its lenght.
Next trail was Dishpan Springs Trail. This trail was the suprise of the trip and got rather fun fast. with winching and near rolls that could end up going down a long long ways. We ran it down hill but then had to run the hard spots over to get the uphill feal. It is steep and was busy too. always guys that have a beer in one hand a smoke in the other chearing people to doom. you know the types. We came down the trail and all stopped at the first real obsticals a 200 yard steep rocky luge people in quads that could not get up, motor bikes zipping by.( i know why i left cali many years ago). we waited and got out for our turn. watched then we went down. The red Yj leading went up first to give the hard way a charge. He did one heck of a job cleared the top with cheers. from below and then about tipped over side ways as once over the top you end up in a off camber V nothch that is DEEP. I seen his rear tire go high and i though it was over. But he kept his cool and tried to re-angle his jeep to creep around this hell of a spot. No go he is real deep *****, can not back out. it would unload and do rear over toppel down this 100 yard luge of rocks. Can't go forward as everytime it would just slide closer to that V notch and end up in the same way as backing down. So I go up and do the left side its easier a bit. no one else went up any side that i seen that day even the way I went. I get to see now how bad the red Yj is. looks freaking bad. the pics do not do this justice. I get in front and back my jeep into rocks and set up the my two straps. If I pull him he will fall in the notch. so he winches down from my straps. Fealing that jeep pull on me gave me a very sick feeling as he would stop it woud jek my jeep and lift up my front wheels. God it was scary. So he winches down this cliff. I wish there was another jeep to tie me to in hind site.
Bob in his red Yj clearing the top the hardway. at one point he is on just the rear wheels
it is so much steeper han this pic even come close to looking.
here is a pic of that right rear unloading and about tipping over the left front
at this point i go left to get up there and start the recovery.
So we all get down this part safe and sound. next many miles rather easy. I'm think whats for dinner the wife has had enough. Ok so tha last bit has another steep section. Bob gets out to look cant see from the seats. We all get out to look do not want another FUBAR moment in time. We are a bit cranky and now we are arguing about the better line what is easier etc. Left looks tippy dusty. center is freaking steep with cheeter stones for the up hill start and they are all pushed back enough to get your front wheels pinned and do the front over flop. It looks like a controlled crash to me. Bobs want to go center at least it aint of camber. I want to go right its easest excepting some big rock like fridge size. we all are bantering about why each has the better line. I say well look each pic what way they want to go, I am going right, come he!! or high water. The wife agrees. Bob says center the Silver says hes left. Bobs first and goes my way? gets hung up on the large boulders and its looking like another winch party. With more right foots gets through. with alot of bamnging and cusing at me
. My turn, go right through it was tough I get a great two wheel cross flex going with like 4 feet of air tipping back and forth, wife is hungry and say just f****** move. I was seeing how long i could hold the teeter toter. Silver goes the left way. it was the easier way he made it look easy.
After that day we were all rather burnt. so we hung out in town had a Denny's big breakfast. talked old man stories of the last days fun. Left for home early by a day.
That was one fun trip.
To see all the pics Big Bear