Well my gf and I decided to partake in our first big 4x4 adventure starting off near Raton New Mexico. I had found historictrinidad.com had listed about 4 trails that are not listed on traildamage or any other site that they said was (Ruggid
) So I started off camping at lake Maloya which fyi is now closed down to camping apparently. We got there around 2300 at night so as you can imagine we paid the dues got the window sticker and then I found a site unknown to me at the time the lake was not open to camping. We woke up around 0630 and I met with the friendly Forest Ranger. He was really nice about our camp but requested us to expidite packing it in. So we hurried and then started our journey. This is a original county road (CR85.5) that is sandwiched between two seperate private lands. This was everything but ruggid IMO but it was VERY scenic and we got to see a good number of Elk Bulls. Counted two of them to be in the 10 point range. We parked and listened for about 15 minutes and then got to listen to them bugal (spelling).. then continued on with the trail (FYI the trail or road is roughly 18 miles). Once out of the trail we drove into Trinidad Co and I found a service station that was nice enough to allow me to air up. At this point we had planned to trek all the trails listed around the greater Trinidad area however after stopping at sonic I came to the conclusion that we "I" needed more that what the trails in that area had to offer. I turned to my Girlfriend and asked her how she felt about Alamosa.. She said its a little longer of a drive than she had planned but she obliged me. Knowing about two Different trails in that area I opted to take the Blana Peak Trail and test out my xj on Jaws...
So we reach the staging area and there is a group of Cj's airing down and packing up getting ready for the trail. I proceed to air down and follow shortly behind them up the trail. Let me start off by saying that I have wheeled briefly on what I have available so when I hit the trail when it turns to nothing but stones. I got super excited and gitty like a little school girl
My gf was very much on edge but was a trooper. She continued to ask me how much more extreme the trail was going to get and I kept telling her that its not bad and only a few miles. Just before I reached Jaws one we met a group of guys that were on a utv that couldnt make it up the accent to Jaws. When talking to them they asked if it was my first time. After my answer they main fellow said " You do know people have died on Jaws 2" When he dropped that my GF started to get very anxous which forgive me for saying was awesome
When we reached Jaws one I went the farthest right that I could manage .. Of course my open diffs didnt enjoy that so I went up the middle. That obstical was very tipsy but my 35/14.5/15 meats and my LCOG lift was very stable. For the record I have been thinking alot about going larger on my lift (6.5".. current is 3.5 to 4 inches) and after forwarding most of the trail I am fairly convenced that even with the lift I have now I can clear ALOT! I hit Jaws 2 and I give my GF the chance to jump out and stand at the top of the obstical and take pics. The left is scetchy seeing that its nothing but lots of loose rocks but I decided to give it a shot. I jump around a bit and get to hanging off of the ledge there so I back off and over to get a new line. At This point I go for the far right line which proves to be decent for my open diffs.. I climb about 3/4 of the ways over but get slightly Highcentered. I back it up just a bit and then have the brilliant idea to get a small running start at the spot that hung me up.. Basically this is where things got interesting. I hit the hump and proceed to wheelstand.. I am thinking that I am about to go head over *** but tap the brakes and push the nose down. when I landed the jeep then started to slid back off of Jaws2 and I layed on the brakes to stop.. next thing I know my pedal goes limp and to the floor and I start sliding backwards again. I quickly slammed it into park and yanked the handbrake. When I got out of the jeep I asked my gf if I was leaking brake fluid... her response
.. I think something is wrong with your front tire. I squat down to see that I had sheered my balljoints off of the right side knuckle. "yeah! my tire was setting infront of the jeep." My exact words.. well.. were ****ed.
I found a good group of fellows on the trail. Two in fully build Zuk's and then two decent cj's. These guys were great and managed to help me out and make me drivable off of the trail. I did destroy my axle of course. After our mid mountain wrenching I limped into alamosa and bought some moog balljoints etc etc etc... Took me 6 hours the next day tio get everything buttoned up but she got me back home without any other problems. Thanks Jason and David! You guys saved my bacon for sure. And my gf was excited we didnt have to walk home lol. I will post up pics soon but thats my first real excursion. I will return to blanca and hopefully knock it out without any problems.