in da Shmootz
Weekend of Damage and Recovery
Once down here on the floor of this valley, we're
crawling along a creek, which on this particular weekend
was quite high. High enough that it didn't appear we
would be crossing up ahead. The area here in this
valley is scenic and on a typical day, a lot of fun to
Something we discovered by accident a
few years ago was a short, narrow trench of a mud hole.
During that discovery, the ground just sort of opened up
under a Land Cruiser and it took some locked power to
extract itself. We speculated that the creek
had permeated the embankment and the ground in this spot
considerably so it's basically a swamp hole now. A few others had tried to get through
on occasion. More effort is required with each
attempt as the ground below is chewed into a wall of an
entrance and exit. Some attempts succeeded, others had been stuck,
one guy blew an engine in this hole a couple of years ago trying to use the
peddle to the medal method. Today, Lewis in his
Chevy 350 V8'ed, Interco Bogger equipped Jeep YJ gave it a
shot. The hole claimed another victim. This
time, a snapped from axle u-joint.
It was right about here that the u-joint gave up the
ghost. The power of the Chevy 350 V8 pushing the
Interco Bogger was just too much for the stock front axle
Lewis tried to extract himself as a loud clicking
sound coming from the front axle made everyone cringe.
Not quite sure what it was at the time, we decided it was
best to get it out of 4 wheel drive and either pull him
out with a tow strap or string the winch up to a tree and
let it pull itself out.
We hooked up John's 92 Toyota Pickup to the rear of
the YJ and commenced to just sit and spin the Truck's
Super Swampers and the Jeeps rear Boggers. A few
good yanks to try and snatch-pull it up and out of the mud
hole resulted in promptly removing half the bumper from
the Jeep. With half a bumper, Stephen brought the
Toyota Four Runner in to try and got nowhere. Time
to winch it forward.
With Lewis's Mile Marker Winch, we proceeded to winch
it forward through the mud hole, then up and out. We
now had a few options as far as what direction to go to
get back to camp. Really, there is only two ways out
of this valley. One way was to cross the creek and
get back out to the road, which is then just a short drive
back to camp on paved roads. The other way out was
was to head back the way we came, up that long, steep,
muddy, rocky hill.