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Wheeling 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 cruise through.

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 and snap.

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.




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