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Rausch Creek 5/23,24

Author Topic: Rausch Creek 5/23,24  (Read 193 times)

Offline Wingman

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Rausch Creek 5/23,24
« on: May 25, 2020, 07:21:20 PM »
It was a dark and stormy night? Well, not terribly stormy and nights are normally dark, sooo...

Our "season opener" started damp, foggy, and rainy. Most started their trip to the park early in the afternoon Friday with sunny skies and mild temps. By the time we arrived at the park, it was on/off rain, fog, and all around damp. Greetings were exchanged, awnings and EZ-Ups were deployed, and the rest of the evening was spent getting reacquainted, enjoying whatever vittles and beverages there were available.

Saturday morning dawned grey but surprisingly not foggy. Not in any particular hurry, each progressed through the morning routine prepping for the trails to come. Finally around 10:30a, we set off to the comp course to remind ourselves how to drive on rocks and rills. Not 5 minutes in and under Caleb's careful spotting, Shane was precariously tipsy and in need of the assurance of winching safety. With expert line pulls from Harry/Hannah and Corey/Kelly, Shane reluctantly released his choke-hold from Caleb's throat and enjoyed the comfort of no camber positioning.

A brief meeting of the small-minded developed a plan of trail direction and we were off through "the Gauntlet" and down trail "K" where each tried some version of the three small ledges with various degrees of failure and/or success. On to trail "1c" and then to trail "5" where there were multiple hill-climb opportunities for everyone. Only Harry and the Big Dumb Cherokee doing BDC things made the single hill. No-joy on it for Reid or I.

On to the "Trail 5 Hillclimb" area then. Why climb the left side with four wheels on the rock face when you can do it with only three? Because red-labels do red-label things? More ups and downs in the play area and then on to "Yellow Jacket Ridge" where everyone navigated through at least once. Harry and Reid succeeded on a line to the right that took them up to the top of the highest rock and around the tree. That was the first time I'd seen that line be tackled. Impressive.

After we returned to camp for some lunch, we headed to the West property and ran "Cemetery", trail "22", and then the "Quarry". Hannah worked at "Shoot the Moon" for quite a while and with the proper 'bump', made it over the crest. Caleb, driving Shane's TJ, made several attempts with no good results. Josh, driving Reid's TJ, made it look easy. Corey then nosed up and was making a few spirited attempts when a bad bounce made his JK swing to the right and into Josh who was standing atop a seemingly unachievable rock. The front right tire rolled over Josh's right leg as he pushed away. First aid was promptly administered and Josh limped back to his TJ. To add insult to injury, literally, it started to rain. We returned to camp in that rain where further evaluation and treatment of the injury could be better done. After consulting with a few knowledgable people, Josh elected to stay the night and head home in the morning. There was no apparent break but he was going to have one heck of a bruise. He was managing the pain well and was in good spirits. We all were hoping for a good imprint of the Nitto Ridge Grappler tread to reveal. A campfire was ignited and dinner was shared, the birthday song was sung, warm brownies and cold ice cream were gladly consumed. Some terrible musical selections from the campers next to us were mocked and eventually, eventually, all submitted to sleep. By the way, Corey did make it over "Shoot the Moon".

Sunday morning blossomed beautifully and we were looking forward to a better weather day. It was another lazy start and, after bidding right-turns-only-Josh farewell, we checked in at the office. We headed to the Northeast property and "Devil's Den". With multiple lines to choose from, there was something for everyone. Cory decided to let Bob drive and that resulted in a broken rear Cherokee window. Thanks Dad?! Kelly was piloting Corey's JK and having fun with a couple of different ledges. Caleb and Shane stole the BDC and bombed around trying silly lines. Hannah encouraged me to try a seemingly undoable ledge (for the Willys anyway) and with her guidance, it walked right up. After a couple of hours, we navigated to the "BFG Hill" trail and turned into "Lower Talisman". Shane and Caleb decided to attempt a loose hillclimb and nearly made it but a tree ceased forward progress requiring a winch pull to make the crest. Harry/Hannah, Reid, and I all tried a few different lines many resulting in very precarious angles. Eventually, we made the top with little drama. All regrouped on "BFG Hill" and finished that trail too. It was time for Shane to head home so we sent him on his way and high-fived. Or was it the other way around?

Before leaving the NE property, we drove a few blue trails like "31", "32", "34", and of course "40". After getting separated somewhere along the line, we did manage to gather again on "40" and returned to camp. Upon shutting the Willys down, the aroma of coolant filled the air. The darn fan relay melted (again). after a cool down period, refill of antifreeze, and a new relay, we were off to check out a new trail called "Hot Rod Ridge". While not a particularly long loop, it has multiple lines to try and ascend the rock ridge. I worked at what I thought was a more difficult one, requiring multiple spirited bumps before the right bounce was accomplished. The BDC tried the same line and had to use the same method for success. Joe attempted it and was denied. Reid pulled up and never spun or slipped a tire. Go figure...

Our return to camp included the "Pole Line", trail "K", and leading to the "Gauntlet" again. A bit of play on the comp course and then we called it a successful run. Campfire stories, more mockery of our neighbors' choices in music and accelerant, and more shared food closed the day.

Monday morning was relaxed while everyone packed and munched and chatted. No issues on the return trip home.

The FLX season opener at Rausch Creek was a limping success with minor mechanical issues, minor vehicle damage, and (hopefully) minor injuries! I love these people!

 

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