A few of us, from various clubs, decided to head out to the Badlands, in Attica Indiana today (Saturday May 1, 2010), for a little wheeling.
I was up at 4am and on the road at 5am. I drive 3 1/2 hours to wheel...which I'm beginning to think is nuts.
The weather was supposed to be rain in the morning and sun and 79 afternoon. I didn't have any rain on the way down, but it was cloudy and cool the entire trip.
First to arrive was TeeJMCD (Great Laked Jeep Thing) then me, Jeffro95 (Jeeps Gone Wild and Indy ORV). TeeJMCD arrived at opening, and I was just a few minutes behind. Once we were aired down, flags on, and all that, we waited around for the others to arrive.
A short time later I recieved a phone call from 442Wrangler, who stated he and his brother 01redtj were still up by Chicago, and would be another 1.5 hours or so.
TeeJMCD and I decided to head to the quarry and see if anyone else was around. We were expecting Shaggy (Indy ORV), but we didn't see his tow rig or jeep anywhere.
There was nobody in the quarry, in fact our tire tracks were the first tracks of the day to go there. Oh, it wasn't raining there, but it had. It was overcast, but conditions were actually near perfect....to me anyway.
TeeJMCD and I decided to hit a trail around the quarry while we waited for the others to show up.
TeeJMCD on "Kevin's Trail"
The mud on the trails was perfect...if that makes sense to you, if it doesn't you should go wheel more often.
Soon after hitting Kevin's Trail my phone rang....it was Shaggy, he'd just arrived. We returned to the lot and hooked up with Shaggy.
Once Shaggy was done bragging about his trip to Moab we headed to the Orange Trail. I asked Shaggy to lead, as he knows the entire Orange Trail, and I don't. TeeJMCD would have just got us lost...you know it's true.
Any of you that have been to the Badlands know that the begining of Orange was moved a while back, and as you make your way to the old begining of Orange you have to climb a big up hill, which can sometimes be a challenge. Well, not anymore...they poured concrete on it...don't ask why, because I don't know. The old entrance to Orange, where you drop down into the revine has concrete now as well. I was a bit upset about these changes.
Shaggy led us all the way through Orange...well TeeJMCD and I cut it just a tad short...we avoided the last bit of rock gardens, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
TeeJMCD getting real close to a tree....ok, maybe he touched it.
TeeJMCD getting stuck. Shaggy tugged him out.
Shaggy leading the way through Orange.
The second half of Orange is way more fun than the first half.
Shaggy hitting one of the rock garden sections on Orange.
TeeJMCD and I didn't have the clearance Shaggy had, so the rock garden we did, fought us both. The first, and last, time I followed Shaggy on the entire Orange Trail I bent my front drive shaft in the rock gardens....so I was a bit nervous this time. I slipped off a rock once and got hung up, but was able to get back under way, without bending anything.
Taking pictures, while driving on Orange isn't the easiest thing in the world.
After completing Orange we decided to do Green....or The Roller Coaster, as I call it. Shaggy led the way once again.
Another close call with a tree.
The tree got a little closer to me.....in fact it ripped my soft top, not real bad, but I'll have to break out the needle and thread, or it's going to get real wet in the back.
At the end of Green is a rock garden....great another rock garden. I need armor....if you haven't figured that out yet. I keep thinking "please oil pan don't hit a rock...."
TeeJMCD in the rock garden exiting Green.
After Green we went to the end of the creek, throught the dunes, and headed back towards the quarry.
At times the creek was pretty deep.
Once we got to the tubes I took the lead. Instead of just following the creek we went along the quarry rim....I have no idea what trail it is, I saw blue and green arrows, but they really didn't mean anything to me.
TeeJMCD climbing a nice little hill, just along the quarry rim.
I led us all the way back down Kevin's Trail and to the quarry.
One of the many puddles on Kevin's Trail. First TeeJMCD.
Once back at the quarry we decided to take the creek to the tubes. Along the way we visited "The Rock".
Shaggy playing on "The Rock"
Shaggy ended up losing his rear driver side shock trying to get up the ledge. We had to force his spring back in too.
We ended up back at the quarry, where I found my missing phone...it fell on the floor...and noticed 442Wrangler had called, saying he was there. I called him back and he, and 01redtj met us in the quarry.
Rain started to fall, so Shaggy headed back to his tow rig for his doors.
TeeJMCD and I decided to take 442Wrangler and 01redtj down the creek. 01redtj was stock, but I wheel with a stocker all the time, so I figured as long as he had someone in front of him and behind him we'd get him through.
When we got to the tubes I took us back to the quarry, via the rim trail. Things went pretty good. TeeJMCD had gotten his air filter wet earlier, which caused a stall, then he did it again while taking these guys down the creek. 01redtj only had to be tugged once, by me.
01redtj, just about to get the tug.
People who have never wheeled in or with a stock jeep would be surprised to see what they can do. It requires bit more skinny peddal than a modified jeep, but it'll still usually get you there.
442Wrangler on the rim trail.
TeeJMCD on the rim trail.
We again ended up at the quarry. We played around a bit, climbing some walls and such. Shaggy met back up with us, then 442Wrangler and 01redtj had to head back up to the lot. Right after they left, it started raining.
I decided I was ready to go home, I was tired, had seen most of the park...covering about 15 miles, and didn't feel like pressing my luck anymore. It is a long ride home after all.
We passed 442Wrangler and 01redtj on the way to the lot...I motioned for them to follow us, but I never did see them again.
As TeeJMCD and I were airing up....with the now only air hose, there used to be three...Shaggy came rolling in, slowly. Turns out he broke his rear drive shaft. No real issue for Shaggy, since he trailered his jeep.
TeeJMCD and I stopped so he could fuel up.
Then we headed north to Kentland. Once in Kentland we parted ways.
On the way home I heard my phone, checked it and found a message from 442Wrangler asking for a sparkplug wrench, then he said something about water....so I'll be waiting to hear what that was about.
It was a good day. I don't care for the "improvements" the Badlands has made, so I'm not real sure when I'll go back.
I didn't take as many pics as I usually do, and most of what I did take were taken while I was driving, through my windshield...you gotta do what you gotta do. Once I get the photos loaded to my webpage I'll post a link. There will be a few fuzzy ones....but hey I wasn't even looking through the view finder for most of the shots.
Until next time...