August 30, 2000
Trip report: FR42
August 19, by Scott Nixon
People in attendance:
Trip leader Matt Grotts, Suzuki
Gordon Grotts, Suzuki
Charlie Babcock, K5
Roy and Cody, Jeep
Phil and Judy Boyd, TJ
Wayne Letourneau and kids, YJ
Scott Nixon, Ram
Ron, Brenda, and Jordan Couch, Ram
A lot of other people, sorry you got left out,
I didn't get a copy of the sign in sheet!
Pulling into the meeting spot, I was amazed to see a large group of vehicles already waiting. At first I thought we would be sharing the trail with another club. As I got closer, I could see that most of them were sporting Lo-Rangers decals, the rest turned out to be guests.
After standing around talking about trucks for a while, we headed to Rattlesnake Cove and the start of FR42. Everyone aired down and we started descending the rutted, off camber wash. Part of the way down I spotted a nice shiny eight lug Chevy rim off the side of the trail. Doing my part to keep the trail clean (and to keep tires on my Crew Cab), I stopped to pick it up. Much to my delight, two more were hiding farther back in the brush.
A couple of miles later we reached the river. Well, I should say we reached where the river usually is. As it was, it was bone dry. Those who came in search of mud had to console themselves with climbing the soft, silty banks. Gordon and Matt took turns launching their nimble Zuki's over the riverbank, catching some impressive air. Not to be outdone, Ron launched his Dodge. A few got tired of playing, and climbed out of their vehicles to watch the others. Charlie made a valiant attempt to climb a steep section of loose bank, only to be rewarded with the loud ping of a U-joint giving way, clearly audible over the roar of his wound up small block.
While the damage was repaired corporate style (Charlie and Roy did all the work, a large group stood around and supervised), a handful of vehicles headed down the river bottom to see how far they could go. They drove quite a distance, at one point driving right next to a cement structure holding a flag for keeping boats in the channel. Despite a stuck retaining ring and an unstable Hi-Lift that gave way, dropping the K5 on the ground; the mangled axle was removed and Charlie headed on in three-wheel drive.
The group re-formed and we started down the trail again. Everyone made good progress and we soon found ourselves at the big play hill. Everyone drove down it, a few chose to climb back up it. Those who tried made it up with no problems. The bypass for this hill used to be pretty bad, but enough people have slid down into the wash at the bottom that it is the new bypass. Roy took the opportunity to max out his inclinometer.
As it was nearing lunchtime, the group decided to head for "Boulder Beach" for lunch. Gordon asked Charlie and I if our trucks could make it there. We both mistook the wash he was thinking of for one that we had done last time. The one we had taken last trip was a wide, high-speed romp down to the river. The one Matt lead us down was a narrow rock crawl. A little ways in I parked the Dodge and jumped in with Charlie. Working our way slowly down the wash we came to a larger boulder that refused to let the Blazer past. Despite trying numerous lines and placing a rock under the tire, Charlie wisely decided to accept the small dents he had incurred and retreat to higher ground. The rest of the group headed to the river.
After lunch, the group reformed on top of the next big climb. Working our way down the trail we dropped into Indian Springs wash. The group decided to head for the river and then call it a day. Shortly after putting it into 4hi and flooring it, I hear a growling noise similar to what happens when you throw an auto in park while it's still moving. I took it easy after that. Popping the front diff cover at home a few days later I found out my six month old True-Trac had come apart, taking out the ring and pinion.
Everyone else made it to the river fine. A few brave souls took a dip in the green, murky water left behind when the river dried up. The rest of us, fearing a nasty case of giardia, stayed on shore and threw rocks at a bait bucket on the far shore. After an hour or so we loaded up and headed for pavement.
Great weather, great turnout, and a great trail. Way to go Matt!
This is it. The big one. Bigger than any letter writing campaign, bigger than any vigilante shovel brigade, bigger than any lobbying effort by the Blue Ribbon Commission. Lose this one, and we may as well sell our rigs now and buy battery powered Hondas.
The signs have been up for weeks now, and like most people you've probably already tuned them out. So what, just another election. Same old same old. Except this time, if the Eco-nazis get their way, they'll have one of their own in the White House. Think Bill Clinton did a lot to restrict our usage of what used to be our land? Just imagine what Al Gore will do. Bill is, was, and always will be a politician. The environmental policies and national monuments he enacted were simply ways of getting rabid approval from groups of supporters more than willing to overlook his numerous failings in return for furthering their selfish agenda. Al Gore actually believes their nonsense, and will take up where Bill left off with a vengeance.
Make no mistake; it's not my place to tell you how to vote. Look into the issues (all the issues, not just this one) and make up your own mind. But please, do your part and VOTE. Are you registered? If not, get on www.sosaz.com and download the form. No computer? Stop by any McDonalds or Bank of America branch and pick one up. Can't find a McDonalds? Just call 1-877-THE-VOTE and ask for one to be mailed to you. You've got till October ninth.
Calendar of Events
September 14: Jamboree trip leaders meeting. Call for details.
September 16-17: Jamboree pre-runs. See above.
September 17-23: Week long trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Trip leader is John Tash. See elsewhere in this issue for further details.
September 27: Monthly club meeting. 7pm at Peter Piper Pizza, NorthEast corner of Alma School and Elliot.
September 30: Crown King. Trip leader is Mike Tutor. Meet at the Coco's at I17 and Bell at 9am. Mike will be camping out in Crown King, but you can head home early if you want to make a day trip out of it.
October 14: Table Mesa/Agua Fria cleanup.
Sponsored by the Phoenix Four Wheelers. Meet at the "parking lot" on the west side of I17 at the Table Mesa Rd exit at 9am. Trash bags and dumpsters provided.
October 18-22: Jamboree!!!
October 25: Monthly club meeting. 7pm at Peter Piper Pizza, NorthEast corner of Alma School and Elliot.
November: Glamis and Moab have been offered, any other suggestions?
December: Possible Christmas tree hunt and/or snow run?
December: Club Christmas Party.
September Trail Directions
By John Tash
[In case you missed last month's newsletter, John is leading a weeklong trip to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Bring 40 gallons of fuel, 20 gallons of water, plenty of food and your camera. This will be some of the most remote, rugged, and beautiful territory you will ever see.]
Rather than try and convoy up, we'll be meeting at the trailhead:
1) Phoenix to Las Vegas via I17, I40, US93, I215 to I15.
2) In Las Vegas, turn right (NE) from I215 onto I15. Proceed to last gas (see below) and Riverside, Nevada exit #112. Turn Right. Reset Odometer.
3) Proceed south on SR 170 over Virgin River bridge to fork. Turn RIGHT. (2.8 miles)
4) Proceed south on paved road (Gold Butte Back Country Byway) to fork. Right is road #114. Stay LEFT. (14.9 miles)
5) Proceed to fork. Left fork is Pakoon Springs Rd. Stay RIGHT. (6.7 miles)
6) Proceed to fork. Right fork goes to Overton arm of Lake Mead. Stay LEFT on Grand Gulch Rd. (10 miles)
7) Proceed S.E. to side road from left (Pakoon Springs Rd.) Stay RIGHT (10 miles)
8) Proceed South to side road from left (Tasi Bar Rd.). Stay RIGHT (6.7 miles)
9) Proceed South to Grand Wash Bay and CAMPSITE. (1.8 miles)
Last gas is Exit 91 off of I15 at the Chevron. Last Diesel is Exit 93 off of I15 at the Chevron.
Total distance from Phoenix, 488 miles. For further information: Contact me at (480) 802-9089. [Probably best to RSVP so he knows who to wait for and can correct any mistakes I made transcribing his directions.]
Jamboree Tech Inspection
The Lo-Rangers have volunteered to perform tech inspection at the Jamboree. Ron and Brenda Couch are heading up the scheduling committee, give them a call at (480) 726-8509 if you'd like to volunteer your time. We need plenty of people to ensure the process goes quickly and diligently.
$5,000 reward offered in probe of North Rim arson fire.
Trumbull - U.S. officials are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person who burned down a historic church and schoolhouse July 31.
The Mount Trumball School was built in 1922 and in use until 1966. The restored school had been a major tourist draw for this small town on the Arizona Strip.
The Tuweep Church was built in the '30s on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
"Our telephone has rung off the wall by people wishing to express their sadness and support efforts to bring the culprit to justice," said Bette Arial, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Land Management.
Lo-Rangers in the news
On a happier note, our own Steve Bolander was featured in a recent Arizona Republic article. It talked about his sideline teaching classes on how to four wheel responsibly and safely.
Way to go Steve!
Got a question about the club? Wondering where or when the next club meeting or run is? Planning a wildcat or pre-run and looking for company? Call Marty! He welcomes calls at home during the day while he plays Mr. Mom. Give him a ring at (480) 926-3977.
4 BFG 295-75-R16 AT's (33.5"x11.5") on 16"x8" chrome steel wheels, 8 lug, 40% tread left, 1 285-75-R16 AT on same rim as spare, $400, Call the Babcocks at (480) 812-9101.
Now that Dave Hickman has his new toy, he's selling his old one. It's a Campbell Creation Rock Buggy, just out of the body shop with a new coat of paint. Too many features to list. Over $40k invested, a steal at $29,900. Trades considered. If you're interested give him a call at 480-883-1224.
Joke of the Month
[Editors note: Yep, this is a long one, but well worth the space. Rod is a frequent poster to a Dodge Ram e-mail list I belong too. He lives and works on a cattle ranch way up in Canada. Oh yeah, RCMP is Royal Canadian Mounted Police, aka Mounties. Enjoy!]
Trucks - The Cowboy Way
By Rod Snaith
Trucks. We here at The Cowboy Way love our trucks. Over the years we've owned dozens of trucks. Big ones, small ones; we've driven, loved, and eventually wrecked them all. We've put hundreds of thousands of miles on our trucks, and learned a few do's, don'ts, cans, and cant's over the years.
We've decided to put these lessons down on paper so that you, our faithless reader, can learn from our mistakes and possibly save yourselves from the humiliation of doing something really dumb in front of your peers.
1. What makes a truck a "Truck". In this day, everything seems to be a truck. We've heard people call Cherokees, Durangos, and little wee Blazer IIs, trucks. We here at The Cowboy Way, while we like these vehicles just fine, do not consider them trucks. A good rule of thumb: If your cargo capacity is exceeded by a box of animal crackers, two jugs of milk, and a popsicle, you just ain't got yerself a truck. If you can stuff two ornery old cows, a box of animal crackers and a popsicle into the back, then you got yerself a "Truck". Rangers, S10s, Nissans, and other mini-trucks need not apply. These are simply cars that someone forgot to strap the trunk lid on at the factory. Dakotas can be considered trucks, but their owners can be over-zealous at times. If you should run into one of these proud truck owners, kindly remind them that their truck can still be loaded into the back of your 350/3500.
Note: If any Cherokee/Durango owner tries to stuff two ornery cows into the back of their SUV to prove that its a truck, we here at the Cowboy Way would like to see pictures. We will not be held responsible for any damage or carpet cleaning bills. DO NOT attempt this if you have leather interior. Cows don't like leather.
2. A big part of being a cowboy involves chasing cows. Your truck CAN be an effective cow-chasing device. However, the good Lord above saw fit to equip critters with amazing braking power, but no brake lights. Remember the 3-second rule, as your truck CAN NOT stop as fast as an ornery critter.
Additional lesson: Modern day truck bumpers and fenders CAN withstand some punishment. Modern day truck bumpers CAN NOT withstand the impact of a 2000-lb angry bull. 2000-lb angry bulls CAN withstand the impact of a modern day truck bumper. Air bags DO hurt.
3. Sometimes a cowboy doesn't want to chase cows, we simply want to look at them. If you choose to leave your truck and proceed on foot, your truck WILL look like a giant chew toy to whatever critter happens to be near it. Setting the truck alarm CAN be effective in keeping critters from chewing on it. Setting the truck alarm CAN be an effective device for causing stampedes. Little old cowboys CAN NOT run as fast as scared cows. If you choose to stay with the truck while you are checking cows, your truck DOES have enough clearance to drive over calves who are under a month old. It is
VERY DIFFICULT to explain to the auction market inspector why some of your calves have reverse Mohawks. DO NOT tell them that your drive shaft cuts hair better than Wally the Barber. Tell them your wife/girlfriend/sister/daughter/niece (choose one, if in Alabama/Carolinas choose two) is in hair dressing school, and she practiced on the poor little guys one afternoon. Or tell them that your black baldies truly are bald, the result of a freak eagle/cow bonding.
4. The Brothers Dodge, Mr. Ford, and Mr. Chevrolet built trucks to haul stuff in the ample bed space. "Stuff" includes critters of all shapes and sizes, boards, bales, fence posts, tools, and other drunken cowboys. "Stuff" does not include your girlfriend when the front of your truck is filled with other nifty "stuff" that you bought at an auction sale. If the truck is your girlfriend's, "stuff" also does not include manure. Stuff can also include the "furniture" from your apartment when the landlord decides that the pee-ing conte$t from the balcony was not as humorous as you and your buddies thought it was. Your truck CAN haul amazingly large loads if everything is piled right on the box, however, you SHOULD take the time to tie the load down properly. Chairs DO bounce very high when dropped from the back of a moving truck, high enough to clear bridge guard rails. Chairs DO NOT float.
An additional note on pee-ing conte$ts and trucks. A pee-ing conte$t from the bed of a moving truck can be great fun, however RCMP officers DO NOT find the humor in having to use their windshield wipers on a nice summer evening with nary a cloud in sight. They also DO NOT like to be reminded of the 3-second rule. It CAN be difficult to get your truck from the impound yard with 4 dollars in your wallet.
5. A few notes on towing. Your 1966 D100 came from the Brothers Dodge with an honest to god, nuclear-devastation proof bumper. You can pull tractors and houses with that bumper. Your 1994 1500 came from the factory with an honest to god, 10 mph wind devastation proof bumper. You can pull toy tractors and Barbie houses with that bumper. Those little holes in the bumper? You thought they were for a trailer ball, didn't you? That 2000 lb ticked off critter that just destroyed your front bumper will turn your rear bumper into a pretzel if you even think about hooking up a trailer, and loading him in it.
Additional note: When the bumper says 500 lbs. hitch weight, 5000 lbs towing capacity they ain't talkin' real pounds. They're talking some scientific theoretical, "if a helium balloon was on Venus what would it weigh?" pounds.
6. As you've probably figured out, your truck, properly equipped, can be used to tow all sorts of nifty stuff. Boats, campers, your mother-in-law are all things that can be towed. Note: When hauling your mother-in-law, follow our advice and use a custom hitch. If you think an ornery bull can make a mess out of your bumper, just wait...
Additional Note: Your neighbors WILL tease you when they see you trying to pull a tractor out of mud hole, only to get your truck stuck as well. Your neighbors WILL be downright cruel when they see your second truck stuck trying to pull out the first one. DO NOT try a third truck. Go to town and have a beer.
7. As tough as your trucks are, they do break down from time to time. There are a few things to remember when fixing your truck. Fix broken items in a timely manner. Block heaters CAN NOT be fixed in -40F weather. When hooking up the brake linkage to the pedals, electrical tape CAN be used to temporarily hold the linkage to the pedal when you can't find the snap ring. You WILL get the shakes when you discover that same electrical tape holding the linkage to the pedal two years later, especially after you remember the 135-mph trip from the ski hill.
8. When working underneath your truck, always remember to block it up properly. Trucks DO have a lot of clearance between the frame and the ground. Trucks temporarily DO NOT have a lot of space between the frame and the ground after it falls off the blocks. License plate holders on the front bumpers CAN remove a lot of skin from your knee.
Note: While dropping a truck on your head DOES hurt, dropping individual truck parts on your head, such as starters and transmissions, hurts too. Play it safe, wear a hard hat. Or find a "friend" to hold those heavy parts in place while you bolt them on.
So there you have it. We here at the Cowboy Way hope that this guide will give you the tools you will need for many years of happy truck ownership, or at least save you from having to explain why the scar on your chest looks suspiciously like a brake line fitting.