August 2, 2010

Night Run - Last Chance Canyon - July 31

We had a small group of three trucks. Dave wanted to test out the newly acquired H2T, Anthony with his son Chris with the H2 and myself in the H3. We gathered in front of Anthony's shop in Santa Ana and hit the road at roughly 4:45. Apparently Dave and Anthony haven't learned much an put me the lead. I started off on the wrong freeway . . . oops.

After a couple U-turns and getting split up a bit in typical LA traffic, we got to California City about 7:15 only find that the restaurant we targeted was closed due to violating their alcohol license. Chris found another Mexican restaurant so we at least had a good meal before hitting the road.

We finally got to the Lance Chance Canyon trailhead at 9:!5. Jinx #3 hit when Dave was having some glitches with his offroad lights.

We had a lot of fun negotiating the rock gardens on the way up. We had a few areas of difficulty. We had to breakout the Hi-Lift on one obstacle to get Anthony moving.

Dave was a great spotter getting all of us through the tough spots.

It was great the Chris came along. He also made a good spotter.

We got to the steep hill, the last difficult obstacle on the run. Dave decided to take the rocky part. It took him a few tries but he found the right track and made it to the top. Me . . . well, I didn't quite do so well. I was having issues climbing up a shelf. Dave got me to back up and try a different approach. When I let out the clutch and gave it some power, the front of the truck jumped to the right. I tried starting off one more time and got the same result. This is when Dave noticed the grease on my tire. I babied it back down the hill enough to take the easy road up but the damage was done. Time was 2:00 AM.

We tried straightening the rod with Dave's winch but the attempt failed. Cell phone signal was nowhere to be found. We decided to leave my truck behind and head down hill to where we could call for help. Fortunately, we did not have to make our way back through the tough terrain and was an easy drive out a different canyon. Anthony was able to get hold of Mikkel who met us at a truckstop in Hesperia. Since I was feeling okay, Dave had me drive his truck down with Anthony following us. We got the part from Mikkel, got a quick snack and went back up. The sun was up before our return. Once there, it only took about a half hour total to get my truck back on the road.

Once we got back to pavement, I still had to air back up. While Chris was taking care of that for me, I readjusted the tie-rod and we headed on down the road.

I finally got home just before 12:00PM. What a weekend to remember!

You can view all the pics here: LINKY

I took some cockpit video footage which will get posted later.

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