Rausch Creek 11/3 - AOAA 11/4

Author Topic: Rausch Creek 11/3 - AOAA 11/4  (Read 766 times)

Offline 96jgcl

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Rausch Creek 11/3 - AOAA 11/4
« on: November 06, 2018, 10:19:43 AM »
First time doing this, so ill give it a shot.

Fyi, Ive never been to Rausch, let alone rock crawling, so here we go!

We loaded up and left mid-day friday, with little to no rain. A rather uneventful drive down was met with heavy pouring rain about an hour away from the comfort inn, causing us to have to slow down a bit. We got to the hotel around 630, grabbed some food and settled in for the night as the rain continued.

Saturday morning, we woke up around 7, grabbed some breakfast and headed out to partly cloudy skies, a stiff breeze, and low 40° temps.

We pulled into the parking lot and met up with Mark, Mike, and Dennis we hung out and chatted for a bit, than decided to hit the comp course while we waited for Josh to show up.

Now Ive only done simple trail riding, so it was good that Mark and Mike were there to guide me through my lines. The comp course was a good starter to get the feel for what was to come. After about a half hour of the comp course, Josh showed up, and we went to hit the trail, unfortunately, Mike got off camber and caused the sump in his fuel cell to pull air, losing his pump prime. Some fuel and a quick trail repair, and we were on our way.

Heres the list of trails we hit throughout the day, a combination of first time excitement, and adrenaline, and honestly, I couldnt tell you what trail we were on at any given time. I do remember Cemetary, Tombstone, and Boot Hill.

Comp course
Yellow Jacket
Boot Hill
Tomb Stone

After a long day of trail riding, on one of our last trails, Mikes sump problem reared its ugly head again. Some ingenious thinking using a coolant overflow hose to siphon and some water bottles, we eventually got him running again, he booked back to the parking lot. We hit up our last 2 trails as the sun began to set.

Making our way back to camp, we quickly realize that Dennis was still out there, a busted bead left him on the trail fixing it, and as the sun went down, he had no lights, and no way to make it. He called Mark, who shot out and guided him back. 

We helped Dennis load up. Hung out around the campfire a bit, and headed back to the hotel, for some much needed food, shower, and bed.

My impressions,
This place is awesome. Ive never wheeled terrain like this. Trail riding was fun, but getting boring. I built my rig with the intention of no weak points, so when your locked front and rear on 1 tons, full hydro, with 40s, walking through everything sometimes gets a little boring. When your grille is pointing up to the top of the hill, and you gotta pick a different route, all while relying on your spotters, the feeling is absolutely exhilarating. Not having a cage or rocker protection, I was always apprehensive to rock crawling, but good spotters and seasoned wheelers guiding me along put that to rest.

Both sides of my exhaust, both rockers, my fan shroud, my transfercase crossmember

Mike's sump, low range on Mike's np205

As always, good freinds and good wheeling, cant wait to go back again!
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 06:11:53 PM by 96jgcl »

Offline MrMindless

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Re: Rausch Creek 11/3
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 11:03:53 AM »
I never would have guessed that this was your first time ever rock crawling. (That's a top compliment)

Kudos for pushing the limits, but not exceeding! That truck does excellent work.
Michael Maskalans
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Offline Callelle

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Re: Rausch Creek 11/3
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 11:09:35 AM »
Sunday morning came, Lee (my friend riding shotgun) and I packed up and had some breakfast, running into Mike and Connor on our way out. We said our good byes and headed back up to Rausch to meet Mark, hook up my trailer, and make our way to AOAA.

As a side note, there's nothing better than driving through the mountains of PA during peak leaf change.

 We arrived at AOAA shortly after 9 and were on the trail by 9:30, being only my 2nd time there, I was anxious to hit the trails and focus on things we hadn't done on the trip in August. I don't remember all of the names/numbers of the trails we were on, so forgive me if I don't have the labels right. We made our way in the main access trails, and hit a few blues and blacks making our way over towards lower and upper Anthracite. A short break to stretch our legs and assess the muddy conditions of of Pit and we descended in. It was a bit greasy in the beginning but otherwise fairly easy. Mark hit one of the black lines around Der Stutka, needing to get some heat in his tires to clamber out. In an attempt to preserve my axles that I have no faith in, especially with the added weight of my recent exo cage, I've had a rule that if Mark needs both lockers engaged to do something, I probably shouldn't attempt it. With that rule thrown out the window, I gave it a shot and just couldn't get an ounce of traction and bailed out, needing a 3.7 million point turn after wedging myself in between a tree and a boulder. After meeting back up with mark around the corner, I popped the hood, wrapped up some diarrhea pockets in foil and threw them on the engine to heat up while we soldiered on.  We continued on along whiskey ridge, coming to this creek trail that was beyond amazing. Big rocks, trees, constantly wet tires proved challenging in places, but the scenery and babble of the creek made it more than worth it, I can't wait to do it again. We hit some greens, working over towards BA, and took a break for lunch and headed towards BA extension. I let my friend have a shot at driving, however due to the way the passenger seat isn't exactly set up for my body type, I completely ripped open my shorts along my backside from back pocket to the bottom of the leg. After BA extension, marked pulled over to diagnose a failing cooling fan, which turned out to be either a fuse, a relay, or a combination of the two. We headed over to Twister, a blue trail that wasn't a blue anymore after being washed out from that summer's rains. Mark ended up getting in a bad spot and came pretty close to rolling backwards down the hill. Several attempts were made but he ended up winching himself up (possibly giving mark a show he didn't want to see thanks to my ripped trousers while helping him with pulling cable). I was already half way up and, again, throwing my rule of if Mark needs both lockers I shouldn't try it, out the window, I gave it a shot. Smaller tires, less willing on the throttle, and already knowing I wouldn't make it, I also winched myself up. A short break and we decided to hit one more trail before calling it, so we headed over to Bee Line and got right into it. Mark and I both had a couple spots of trouble, taking multiple attempts at different lines. I got myself into a bind pulling cable, and after getting out of that was immediately stuck again. Stacked rocks and finally getting frustrated enough to send the old 4.0 tractor engine into the 3k+ RPM range and I got out of it. Realizing that we were only a third of the way through the trail and with the sun quickly setting and a drive ahead of both of us, we decided to make a u turn and just head back to the parking lot. After an uneventful trip back, we loaded up, had a quick chit chat and parted ways for the trip home.

Another great trip with good friends, entirely worth it.
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Offline Wingman

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Re: Rausch Creek 11/3 - AOAA 11/4
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 07:12:37 PM »
AOAA trails covered:

Upper Anthracite
The Pit
Whiskey Ridge
Lower Anthracite
BA ext
Risk it
Bee Line