Rausch Creek/AOAA 9/18,19

Author Topic: Rausch Creek/AOAA 9/18,19  (Read 4004 times)

Offline Muddyfish

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Rausch Creek/AOAA 9/18,19
« on: September 23, 2021, 11:34:36 AM »
 The double header weekend started out with Mark and I meeting up at the Speedway just North of the PA border to fuel up and avoid the extra PA gas taxes as long as we could.  After topping off and a quick radio check we were on our way, rigs in tow.  A quick stop a short time later at the large parking lot Wendy's had our stomachs topped off as well and it was a straight south shot to Rausch Creek from there, where others would plan on arriving throughout the evening.  A beautiful drive south through the PA mountains got us to the park just after dark to do a quick camp setup.  Mark and I grabbed a chair and beer and nestled in around the fire with Mike, Kristen, Pete and Ethan, not 30' away, sporting their full size rigs and recent Built Not Bought "Camper/trailer" setup.  A short time later Joe and Megan and Chris and Jodi pulled in and settled up to the fire as well.  A calm and comfortable night found many of us reveling on into the night only to realize it was past 12AM and we had BS'ed the night away.
  A very foggy start to the morning (as in I couldn't see Pete's rig 30' away) left us wondering if the sun would show up at some point in the day.  There was an RC Rock Crawl competition Saturday and many trailers arriving early in the monring and the sound of a loudspeaker at around 8AM.  Lots of different rigs were there, 3 different Bronco's, multiple XJ's (so Josh didn't feel left out) and a fair amount of full size rigs, and of course the countless jeeps of various vintages.  We got checked in and fed all in good order and Josh and Lee and Dennis all pulled in and got ready.  After Jeff and Tammy setup camp, we were off to the trails.
  Being new to these parks, I don't really know what trails we were on or when but suffice it to say about 15 minutes in to the first morning, I got my Jimmy so hung up 2 odd rocks that we had to pull cable (quite literally all 4 wheels, lockers on, where spinning in thin air, and no amount of stacked rocks seemed to help at all).  Turns out that both diffs were cradled on/in rocks just perfectly.  A simple tree based winch recovery and we were back on our way.  As it would turn out, that was the first and only time the group needed to pull cable all weekend.  The next stop, just up the trail, brought us to a fairly steep rock ramp type obstacle that was a bit of a challenge but Mark, Joe and Josh eventually all made it up.    We ended up at a fun play area where there were lots of people and a small assortment of mini rock climbs of all levels.  One of which had a narrow pinch point at the top (the name completely escapes me right now) where Joe was able to eventually squeeze through with the Suzuki.  Josh was able to make his way up to the pinch point but then got wedged between his Exo-cage and rear tire to the point Mark had to jack the frame up enough to free it up.  But a second attempt got him through unscathed.  Mark made the trip to the almost top, only to be denied by the ledge geometry and shorter wheel base combination.  And so the day progressed with several blue trails and then a bit of a split up on Cemetery with Mark, Josh and Joe all diving in and the rest of us passing it up and meeting at the exit.  As luck would have it, one of Josh's new "super good deal" Stickies ended up loosing air mid way through the trail.  Dennis, with tank in hand, bombed his one man tracker to the rescue.  After airing the tire back up, we started our 2 day mystery leak adventure/puzzle.  Suffice it to say we never really found the leak but did find a flat a time or two - go figure. 
After a lunch break back at camp and several iterations of soaping up and gazing at a seemingly perfectly good tire, we decided to head back out, this time across the pavement to the other side of the park.  There were several trails ran, lots of washouts and some nice views from on top of the hills where we had a bit of a confusing split up.  10 minutes and a couple hundred steps later we were back in our rigs and eventually made our way back to camp. 
Saturday night would find us prepping dinner and discussing plans for tomorrow.  After pulling my rig on to the trailer in preparation for the morning departure to AOAA, I noticed a small puddle and drip line of fluid.  After an investigation lead to a very slightly cracked (from age) power steering pressure line, the challenge was on to somehow patch the tiny pin hole leaks well enough to drive Sunday.  Flashlights in hand and with Joe's help, a pressure line patch and hose clamp seemed to work well and could possibly get me through Sunday with out trying to find a new line at a parts store. 
  Chris and Jodi shared a great batch of Chili and some Apple Pie A la mode that was fantastic!  While chatting around the pie table, there were several drops felt, from an otherwise clear sky, to which we immediately whipped out the smartphone radar apps to see what we were up against.  To our surprise the one storm cell in all of PA was about to hit us and it was mostly red on the radar.  We all scrambled to make whatever rain adjustments we needed to, grabbing whatever we could to hide it in a trailer or truck.   Being camperless, I was able to weather the storm with Chris and Jodi and everyone else was going to head there as well, but when the heavens suddenly opened up, people just bunkered down where they were.  The storm seemed like it was going to cruise over us but ended up stalling on top of us for a bit and did not let up in intensity for about 20-30 minutes.  After the storm we reconvened at the campfire and hit the sack around 11PM or so.
  Sunday morning was clear and cool and after we were all fed, packed up and strapped down, we headed out to AOAA.  After everyone was checked in and ready we took to the trails.  A quick stop at the goat man then to a different trail stop for some really neat Whaleback views we started into some more difficult woods trails.  Our temporary pressure steering line patch was holding up well until about 11:30 or noon when we were deep into a very tight (for a full size rig) woods trail with lots of rocks.  After the scent of PS fluid alerted me to the problem, mid way through the trail, I attempted a quick top off in hopes it was a very slow leak.  About 100 yards and multiple 3 or 5 point turns later (to weasel a large rig through tight trees) I was low on fluid and the ominous whining from the steering pump let me know it was time to rethink the plan. 
  A reseat of the same patch didn't seem to work, not matter how or where it was placed.  The last ditch effort was to wrap some tire plugs around the small section that had the leaks and repatch it then hose clamp it.  This turned out to be futile as the leak progressed no matter what.  It was decided to take a quick lunch break back at the trucks where I trailered my rig and jumped in with Mark for a fun afternoon.  The sun was out in full force but the breeze was steady and the temp was only about 70-75.  We ended up taking a quick stop at the sasquatch and then headed toward Barny Ruble.  Everyone was able to make their way through, what I felt, was a very cool rock flow.  We then traveled on to several other trails where we got split up again and Josh had another flat - still giving us no clue or even hint at where the leak was occurring.  Mark was able to back up the trail to him and use his bottle to top him off enough to make it to the trail end where we met up with Jeff/Tammy and Chris/Jodi and utilized Jeff's double ARB compressor to jack the tire up to about 30 PSi to make sure he could get back to the truck - still no clue where the leak was happening.
By this time it was 4PM and we were all done for the weekend.  Rigs strapped down, goat and sasquatch stickers had, goodbyes said, we parted ways.  Chris and Jodi, Mark, Jeff and Tammy and I all headed north in a caravan where eventually Jeff and Tammy split off.  In Trout Run, the caravan took and exit to eat while I continued North (having to work at 6AM Monday and a sandwich in my hand). 

Great first trip for a newbie to the club! Great folks, great food, great wheelin!

Offline Wingman

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Re: Rausch Creek/AOAA 9/18,19
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2021, 12:23:16 PM »
Great report, Travis!  8)

Offline 18436572

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Re: Rausch Creek/AOAA 9/18,19
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2021, 09:33:43 AM »
Awesome write up!
Joe Bailey

80s Turbo diesel Samurai, Toyota drive line, 37” red labels

92 k1500, 383 stroker, 5 spd manual.


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