May!!-Are you ready for summer yet? Is it hard to get your rig fixed because everyone is "3 weeks out"? Welcome to the meltdown in the Rockies! Communication is the key to knowing if certain trails are "snow free" or not. Use MHJC's message board, or try the many local forums, word of mouth is gold. Let's ALL get some inter-patrol trips together, get those invites out to another patrol or the MHJC, and let's go Jeepin! Kick back in your favorite lounge chair, put your feet up, and grab a cool one…cause this report is a doozy!!
If it's Springtime, that must mean one thing----its time for another MHJC Mall Show! Put on by the Mile-Hi Jeep Club for as long as I can remember, this year was another great success! The Mall Show has always been at the Westminster Mall in Westminster, Colorado. The Mall allows us come in a show our rigs for the weekend and chat with the public. It's a time to interact with the public, while displaying our rigs and a positive image about 4Wheeling.
Over the weekend of April 6th-8th, different MHJC members with 26 different Jeeps, Toyotas, a Dodge, and yes--even a Scout attended! The show typically runs a few weeks into spring, as the many winter projects come out of hibernation for display. Some people had many a paycheck put onto their rigs, while some spent just 20 minutes to wash and Armor All the tires. No rig had to be "show quality", but most cleaned up real nice. Due to construction on the Mall last year MHJC was not able to hold the event.
This year, we had 5 Hobos attend the Mall Show. They were: Ken "The Toolman" Kordes (61 Ford), Steve "Moose" Gilbert (TJ), Chris "Colonel" Potter (CJ7), Chris "Curly" Vieth (YJ), and myself (Bill "Hobo Willy" Hallinan-CJ7). You know it's one thing to walk thru the Mall and shop, but it's pretty cool to drive your jeep! I've been on Battlement and tried to avoid kissing an Aspen with my fender before, but I've never had to avoid running over a planter box in the Mall. I swear I could just put one tire on it for an added look, but that was only a vision in my head.
The HoboJeepers at the Westminster Mall Show 2001
As well as the HoboJeepers, I saw MHJC members (I hope I don't miss someone) from Patrol 7 (Rainbow Chasers), Patrol 8 (Eightballers), Patrol 10 ("Hang-Ten" 4Wheelers), Patrol 11 (Cliffhangers), Patrol 12 (Fugowies), and Patrol 14. At 8:15pm on Friday April 6th, we all met in the northeast part of the Mall and got directions from Dennis and Marci Ervin on where to go in and where to setup when the Mall closed. Members of MHJC came by thru the weekend to answer questions and yes to shop! Then, on Sunday night April 8th (about 6:30pm), we all came back (some were there all day), and took down the chains/stands and drove on out of the Mall (avoiding little kids along the way).
Nobody had any problems with vandalism or theft, and everyone had a great weekend talking to the public about responsible 4Wheeling. A special HoboJeeper's "thanks" to Dennis and Marci Ervin for organizing the event, and the many other volunteers at the booth, to helping set up and take down.
This trip report of Sean's EJS 2001 Adventure the week of April 8th, is brought to you by Sean Tallant: "MOAB, ......That word sends tingles up my spine. I'm getting goose bumps just thinking about it again. Well after many months of waiting I finally set out from Pueblo Sunday morning, April 8th at 5am, and believe me it's a cold mutha this time of year with just a bikini top. I knew this trip was going to be good when I topped Monarch pass and it was snowing and my face was frozen. The people driving by I'm sure were thinking I was an idiot, but then again who cares, I'm going to Moab!!!!!
I stopped in Gunnison to thaw out the frozen body parts and there I met a guy on his way out too. We talked for a while about how the 4x community is really growing and that not enough of these folks are active off trail, and hoped that gatherings like Easter Jeep Safari and All 4 Fun enlighten some. Anyway, I was off again with my perma-grin. I was stopping off in Grand Junction to meet up with some friends and was disappointed to find out that two guys were out do to breakdowns from the weekend before (what the heck were they thinking!). And the other one was going to need a lift, due to bad ball joints. So it was just myself and my good friend Andy on our way to Moab!!!!!
We rolled into Moab about 4pm and had sore necks before we got across town to the hotel. After checking in we decided that the only logical thing to do would be to look at every vehicle in Moab. As we headed down Main Street I quickly realized my Jeep that I've put tons of money and time into wasn't even getting so much as a glance. I was so disappointed, but that lasted about 2 seconds, because I'm in Moab!!! I will say this even though I felt like a fat guy at a male model contest I don't understand the whole 40" tire on trail vehicle/ daily driver. But that's just me. I also think this past time of ours is evolving into a "who can spend the most money thing".
The next morning, we got up and decided that since our friends couldn't make it, that we would see if we could hooked up with some folks for a trail ride. We ended up at the dump bump and started talking with an old guy in a Toyota truck (that kept glancing over at the side of my jeep that read in big red letters "Toyota Recovery vehicle"). After talking with him for a few, I figured I would try the DB.
On my first attempt, I neared the top but didn't have the momentum, the second attempt I hit the wrong line and when I hit the bottom I forgot "DON'T LOCK UP YOUR BRAKES" or you will go over backwards. After my Kodak wheel stand, I decided that I better rest my shaking knees before my next attempt. Meanwhile the Toyota guy drove right on up and at the top jumped out and yelled, " Come recover me". So I guessed that we weren't going to get invited on the trail run with this group. We hung out there for a little bit and I finished off a roll of film (That's another story).
Then a group of four came along to do Hell's Revenge so we tagged along. Hell's Revenge is a pretty cool trail, it's not difficult but it is a little freaky in a few spots. There were no troubles on the trail until we got back and realized that we forgot the camera on top of the first big rock climb. We decided that we would run back over real quick and get back to watch all the afternoon fun at Potato Salad. As soon as we topped the big rock I perched atop a nice ledge to get a few pictures, as soon as I started to pull off I heard a loud crack, "uh-ohh what was that I said". "I hope that was your back" Andy said, with a very nervous look on his face. I continued too back off the ledge when I noticed that my steering felt different. As I started forward I then realized my steering was way wrong. I jumped out and found that I had broken the heim joint on my track bar.
This is when you realize that even though we were on the first part of the trail and had no intentions of running the trail alone, it was still a bad idea to even come this far alone. Never Travel Alone!!! After finding that I didn't have a spare hiem joint that size, I removed the track bar I decided that we would limp out without it (easier said than done). As luck would have it a group came along and agreed to follow me out.
When we got to town we went to the local parts stores to get parts, "A 1/2 inch hiem joint are you kidding, we can get it shipped in for you." The guy says, " how much, are you f$%#@%g kidding me" I said." So on we went in search of the elusive 1/2 hiem joint in MOAB. The next morning we started the search again, and with no luck, decided on how to rig it to get home. We were at a hardware store when we ran into a guy that so happened to have a used one back at his hotel. Awesome-we are back in business!!!
After fixing the problem we decided too late to try to find some trail mates. We headed back up to the Dump Bump to get some video. We weren't there very long when these guys pulled up in some very nice CJ7s. The first guy pulls up to DB and nearly walks right up, on his way back down he like me forgets, "DON'T LOCK UP THE BRAKES" he did a slow almost like it took forever flip backwards. As he hit the nose a spark from the rear taillight ignited a fire. He frantically tried to get himself free. As he dropped out there were at least two guys right there with fire extinguishers. Always Carry A Fire Extinguisher. After getting the fire out and getting him flipped over the damage was minimal. Another thing to remember, everyone watching hopes you roll or break something. Wheel smart and don't be stupid, peer pressure breaks more parts than anything. That evening we met a group of guys that were heading out to run Helldorado that next morning, we were in for that!
The next morning we headed out, I love that early morning drive to the trailhead. Once on the trail, everything was going fine when we got to the first tight squeeze when my jeep flexed, Crack, "uh-ohh not again" Andy said. We were done once again. So now on the slow trip back I'm thinking there's no way we get lucky and find this hiem joint again.
When we got back we looked for a welder that could rig the track bar to get me home. A guy told us about a guy that was retired but might let us use his stuff. When we located this older gentleman he told us he was retired and wasn't interested in welding. He then asked about the broken part and I showed him the small piece that was remaining, he asked what it was for and what it looked like and then said that he thought he could build a hiem joint from scratch. I thought this wasn't going to work. After about 20 minutes of welding cutting and forming this guy built me the stoutest looking 1/2inch hiem joint you've ever seen. It was perfect! And it fit! We are on the road again!! We stayed and chatted with guy for about 3 hours and he showed things he'd done and built and when I left I felt like I hadn't done anything with my life, I better get started.
Our time was running out so we decided to just hang out and make sure we could drive home. I got some cool video over the next few days. As we were leaving the city limits I was thinking about the next trip over Memorial Weekend with Patrol 1 Hobos.
Thanks to Chris "Curly" Vieth for this Carnage Canyon report: "On Saturday April 14, myself Chris Vieth of Patrol 1, Joel Vandenberg of Patrol 8, and Gary Carmichael ran a trip up Carnage Canyon. Not knowing what the conditions would be like after a snowstorm earlier in the week, it was a pleasant surprise to see that the trail was just wet. After we were out of the canyon we chose to go up fireman's hill, which proved to be more challenging than Carnage Canyon. Then it's on down the Castle Gulch and on home. Good weather and fun trails made for a nice day of jeepin'."
This next trip report of our Slaughterhouse Gulch trip April 21st, is brought to you by Chris "Colonel" Potter, who was the day's trip leader enjoy: "On Saturday April 21, 2001, we all met at the "Bulging Bulls" Restaurant in Conifer for a 9:00 am departure. Heading west on Hwy 285 for the trailhead with 4 Jeeps were: Steve Gilbert and his friend Andy in "Da Moose" (97'TJ), Bill Hallinan and his side-kick Molly in a 82' CJ7, Bobbette "Smiley" Mathews with her family, Thomas, Catherine, and Michael in her "Smiley" 00'TJ, and leading this trip was myself Chris "Colonel" Potter with my sons Michael & Scott in my 86' CJ7.
"Colonel" Potter's 86CJ7
The weather was going to be dry, but it became obvious that a change was coming from the north. The morning drive up was nice and sunny. Once we lost our sunshine though, the temps dropped a few degrees, the front came by, and the coats came back on. We aired down and disco-ed for some soon-to-be trail articulation.
We started up the well-marked trail thanks to the Colorado 4x4 Club Go-4-er's of Aurora, who have adopted this trail. We ran up the easy portion of the trail, and reached the bottom of Slaughterhouse Hill. The trail snakes up a steep incline to a series of moguls near the top. Each took their turn up the climb and thru the deep ruts with no problem and disconnects providing the tires constant traction. We moved on to the saddle and back down another decline into a nice valley lined with aspens.
I had expected to find some wet mud bogs along the way down to the large meadow, and the larger bog just above that. To our surprise though, there was not much in the form of mud or water anywhere, even though we found some icy areas that remained. We stopped at the turn to head uphill and had lunch. The Go-4-er's were also having lunch.
Everyone loaded up after lunch, and headed uphill past the 1st steep set of moguls. Then right over to the large big mud bog hole that was dry as a bone so it was just a simple drive in and out of it. The real fun was just ahead, as we proceeded up the hill where the moguls seemed to be a little bigger than last fall's trip. This is a great area for some "flex-checking" as Bill had plenty air between his left front tire and the ground coming out of one of the mogul runs. This area was well worth a lot of pictures, and "Kodak" moments.
Further down the trail as we were looping back to the beginning of Slaughterhouse, we found some more bumps and cuts that allowed for more pics of Jeeps getting airborne and articulated. Bill was looking for some more air, as he waved to the camera. Steve had an interesting look on his face as the Moose was leaning to the left, but he steered his TJ out of the potential rollover. Bobbette got some nice wheel drop with discos, and negotiated the rocks in style. This trail does deserve some respect due to some of the off-camber areas along the trail.
You can still have fun in the "Flex-Checking" moguls, but slow and easy is the name of the game if you want to avoid breaking anything. A fun trail, with good friends beats a "honey do" any day!!
Comments from the Hobo Café on our website about the trip to Slaughterhouse:
*Bill Hallinan-"Molly and I had a great time on Slaughterhouse Sat! I'm anxious to get my pics back tonight and I will work on the trip report and put it up by Tuesday. Those who didn't go missed a fun trip with a great trip leader...the "Colonel"!! My jeep still sits fairly level after all that articulation we did all day. Molly slept all the way home, and I took a nap when I got there too!"
*Bobbette Mathews-"Thanks for a good trip Chris. I had a good time, hope everyone else did."
*Steve Gilbert-"That was a great trail for a half day trip...Chris did a great job leading and taking pictures too. Bill got a little carried away and let molly drive...I guess that was Molly driving---cause Bill would never get any air if he were behind the wheel!! Great trip Chris, nice air Bill, it was great jeepin' with you again Bobbette..."
*Chris Potter-"Yeah! The boys and I enjoyed the trip as well. It was nice to be home by 3:00 and get things cleaned up and put away, sit back and have a cool one before I started the "honey-do's"...."
The unfortunate part of the day though, was being intercepted by a man (on a motorcycle), who had aid a girl had just hit a tree with her motorcycle, she was badly hurt. The Go-4-er's who had gone in the opposite direction of us were taking care of her. Unfortunately, our cell phone didn't reach 911 as we were in the valley to call for help. Soon, a helicopter was flown in to get her to an ambulance in Conifer. We were not sure of her injuries, but we hope all is well for her and her family. Lucky enough, there were some other 4-wheelers that came upon the accident, and took care of her until volunteer firefighters from Park County arrived. Please stay safe...."
The HoboJeepers are planning trips to Left Hand Cleanup (May 6th), Miner's Gulch (May 12th), and Memorial Moab 2001. PS: Don't forget your MOM on Mother's Day!! Mom's are the best!!
See ya on the trail, "Jeep, Jeep"
Bill Hallinan HoboJeepers
Happy Mother's Day
May 13th, 2001!!
From Eugene the Jeep and the HoboJeepers...