Interlake Dec. 27
We started the day out at interlake arriving to the parking road full of rigs and trailers pulling rigs. I say road because there is no real parking area at Interlake. Just a gravel road you drive down for about a mile then park on the side of the road once you see the parking sign. I'd say in all 40-50 rigs, mostly jeeps, showed up for this ride. Just driving down the road got every vehicle that came covered in mud, and the rest of the day was no different. Once we all, in our group got ready we headed to trail 6 which meanders it's way through a prairie type landscape. As soon as we dropped in it was a long downhill followed by a long uphill. All rigs except one were forced off the trail to make it up the other side since there was no winch point. We then headed into the woods. There alot of trails inundated with short steep uphills and down hills. The first woods trails instantly stopped the whole group for lots of spotting and tow strapping to keep the jeps from flopping due to the extreme off camber situation sliding potential, and deep rut which could have easily flopped you on your side. Many rigs required a strap or two tied around the top of the rollbar and a bunch of guys pulling to jeep the jeeps from flopping. Around the next bend it was the same extreme offcamber with sliding involved. The trails are tight and twisty in the woods, while the the prairie is wide open and meanders along. We got through several trails and got a tip to try trail 16 which was a drop down into a little rock garden then up 3 difficult rock obstacles. Turned out to be the best trail of the day. Everyone was able to make it up with lots of spotting. We were forced off trail 16 when it was found out chris87xj had broke and there was another group stuck on the next little section. We got chris back to the road and parted ways to hit a few more trails. We hit a few fun trails and then ran into another group winching out so we headed out to hit a different one. the last hill out of the trail almost ended with a flop by Connor. He was forced to get a running start at the hill which ended up throwing him sideways at a very steep angle narrowly avoiding a flop. After a quick winch over the hill. we were ready to call it a day.
Dec. 28 Redbird:
After arriving an hour late due to my forgetfullness about the time change, and waiting for a few more rigs to get ready we headed out. We had a total of 9 jeeps in our group. We started on trail 1 which is flat and had a few mud holes. I took the shorter of the 2 holes which turned out to be the deeper one but was able to push through after a few attempts. Next jeep tried and was forced to winch. another tried to go between and needed an extraction. Then, we found out the other way was much easier, go figure. After trail 1 we headed down trail 0 which is just a road that leads to some other trails. Then we hit trail 25 which meanders through the woods with the option of going up and down the valleys in between. I fealt everyone had enough time to get their feet wet, so down the gnarly hill it was! mainly slide down then work your way far enough backwards up the hill you just came down to get enough room to run it up the other side. Pretty much everyone made it after several attempts. We then drove trail 14 which had much pucker factor with all the mud. Lots of off camber, big super steep climbs and descents, and jeep swallowing mud(for me anyway LOL). After a quick pit stop we attacked trail 3 which was more of the same.
Summary: Interlake is in the developement stage and needs some time. The trails are not all marked , but the place is big and has lots of potential. Redbird has been very well taken care of and is well marked although we did make one wrong turn. The hills here are one after the other steep and super scary when muddy. This place must be heaven when dry, since there were several steep hills we were just itching to run, but impossible due to the conditons. I will be back.
Awesome run on Saturday Mike. That was the most difficult stuff I've ever done. Thanks for everyone's help on that last hill.....that about turned real bad. And wow, was I impressed with my jeep.....shows what open diffs with 31's can do. Everyone did awesome and I would love to go back one day....perhaps a dryer day.
So here’s the run down on my adventure to Interlake on Dec 27th, 2008.
The rest of the group was just coming off of their first trail run and came to greet us sporting a heavy layer of mud. We quickly offloaded and headed for some fun ourselves starting out with trail 3 and then into trail 5. Heavy recent rains had really slicked up the trails and bumped things up by a few degrees of difficulty. Found one spot where a strong off-camber situation with a slick base compounded by trees crowing the trail to within inches of a drop-off called for straps secured to roll cages and lots of people on the other end to prevent slide offs and/or rolling. With a fantastic team effort we all made it through this challenge unscathed as a group of ATV’s stopped to watch. There were many more steep climbs on slick base with a few winchings as well. My favorite assist was in using a snatch block to winch a fellow trail group member sideways off of a tree he’d slid into as a result of the heavy mud. This was a successful extraction with no damage resultant. Good tires played a big roll in the day and Mike proved to be a fearless trail leader.
We exited trail 5 to a main dirt road and came across another group of jeepers stopped for lunch, so pulled in to say hello. This group turned out to be the Bluegrass4x4 club who we’d talked to on the forum earlier and hoped to meet up with. After spending some time talking to them and gaining some local trail insight we headed out on trail 9 which proved to be a great one that towards the end paralleled the rock garden and had some boulder climbing itself. The boulder climbs were more challenging than normal as well due to the wet muddy conditions but we all made it through under our own power. We met another club of heavily built rigs playing in the rock garden and putting on an impressive demonstration. I didn’t get their club name but must say they put on quite a show including a couple of breakdowns which they took in stride as they pulled out their toolboxes to enact repairs. Some heavy flexing through the boulders resulted in some strange noises coming from under my hood and a lack of alternator functionality so I broke off from the group to see about repairs of my own while the rest went for yet another trail. After loading up I made my way to Lynnville to check on local availability of parts. We pulled off in a convenient lot on the corner of the main intersection in town (4-way stop) and started pulling the alt. Not far into this effort my phone rang and it was Jason with the Bluegrass4x4 club who saw us stopped as they were passing by on their way to enjoy the famous prime rib dinner at the Hornet’s Nest in Batesville. They pulled their entire caravan off the road and waited while we quickly packed up tools and joined the group, making a spot in the center of their convoy and traveling slowly so we could limp along and keep up despite the trailer complications.
The Hornet’s Nest lived up to their reputation for good food and hospitality while taking our muddy boots in stride. Having skipped a meal or two along the way we were quite ready to take on the prime rib dinner which under normal conditions I likely wouldn’t have been able to finish. After a fine dinner, a pot of coffee, and good directions from Jason to the local 24-hr parts store in Evansville, we found enough energy to resume our repair effort and drove to the AutoZone to resume work on the alternator swap which was complicated by it being underneath the AC compressor. No sooner than we got there the wind picked up strongly, heavy rain began, and the weather alert sirens went off. We waited for the worst to subside and the moved down the street a little to find some shelter under the canopy of a closed gas station where we resumed work. After pulling the AC pump and alternator we noticed the nearby motor mount rubber bushing was missing its top half and then checked the other to find it in the same condition. It was then apparent why the alternator had smashed into the uni-frame rail and that this wasn’t something we were going to be able to resolve in the dark on a trailer in a gas station parking lot. Having worked the night before I was now going on 48 hours without sleep on top of a very exciting day and had to make a sad call to bag the effort and take some time to recoup. We then motored down the road a short ways to the local Drury Inn we’d already passed a few times and looped the lot looking for rigs from the rest of the JGW group. It didn’t take long to realize this wasn’t the same Drury they were staying at but by now it was after midnight so we parked it and grabbed some much needed shuteye. I slept in late and woke up to some quick discussion with the Sunday half of the JGW group that was on location bright-eyed and bushy tailed wondering where we were. With a bit of disappointment at not being able to make the Redbird rendezvous, we consoled ourselves with hot showers and an excellent breakfast buffet before starting the long road trip home. Weather for the trip home was sunny and excellent while we took it easy and had a leisurely ride. When we got back to Indy we stopped at the local pressure wash and tagged teamed the nozzle for better than an hour to remove most of the reminders of the weekend fun and then got the xj offloaded and in the garage just as the sun was setting. All is well that ends well. My thanks to everyone who participated in these adventures.
I found Interlake to be a great off-road facility and enjoyed the rambling spaciousness with varying terrain. It seemed less crowded than what we’re used to though that could have been due to the season. The trails were great and we found useable bypasses at some of the tougher obstacles. It’s a pretty good haul from central Indiana but all the southern hospitality we encountered made it worthwhile and a recommended trip.
"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."
Here's some pics captured on this Interlake run. I'm leaving out names so as not to make any mix-ups. Hopefully these will give a little idea of the scenic terrain even for dead of winter. I can tell it'll be gorgeous come spring.
"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."
Here are some videos from Redbird, not all of them loaded properly, but I still have quite a few. Thanks Rod for being my camera man for most of the day!
The story of the day was find the 2 track ruts (or let them find you) and slide down. This was the hairy part, luckily the ruts would keep you pretty well lined up and keep you away from trees, well, for the most part. Next it was tons of skinny to get back up the hill, this mud turned mud terrains into street radials and all terrains into racing slicks. Not everyone got away unscathed but no one was completely broken down.....I can't wait to go back when its dry
This was Mike (mascun) doing the first hairy drop in. This is the perfect example of how slippery it was out there. The second guy to go lost his driver side fog light cus he hit that rut so hard
This is Adam (jackbauersmom) going down the left side, seemed to be able to keep it under control better
This was Jeb, I have no idea how he got wedged in between these 2 trees, this was pretty much the story of his day. Remember what I said about turning ATs into racing slicks, well this is what it leads to. I believe he broke a tail light and smashed up his fender. Rough day for this guy, but he did a great job with what he had, it was fun wheeling with ya Jeb!
Moab Trails I've done: Onion Creek, Long Canyon, Dome Plateau, Top of The World (2), Fins-N-Things (2), Poison Spider,
Golden Spike, Gold Bar Rim, Hell's Revenge (2), Baby Lion Back, Cliff Hanger, Moab Rim, Kane Creek Canyon, Strike Ravine
Very cool vids....looks like those of us that couldn't make it missed a great time.
sorry Jeffro, not trying to rub it in any more. I am going to get back down there as soon as it drys up. Most of the trails that we were doing were 'purple' rated which is the 'more difficult' rating. So I am thinking the 'difficult' ones will be doable once it is dry