Day FiveThis was the longest day of on-road driving, with 430 miles to travel from Las Cruces to our next stop in Farmington. But before we could hit the road, we needed to replace a total of seven BFGoodrich Mud-Terrains and one Super Swamper Radial. The search for replacement tires started at a Discount Tire in Las Cruces and ended at a Discount Tire in Albuquerque. Before we could get there, though, John's Plexiglas windshield blew out of the frame on Interstate 25. A duct-tape job with help from Tom got it back into place, and we were all rolling again.
The Discount Tire store in Albuquerque had everything we needed, including one of Cole's elusive 36x12.50-16 Swampers. While we waited for all the tires to be mounted, Steve made wheel repairs, John replaced a muffler that had blown itself apart on the highway, and Greg rebuilt his Bronco's steering column.
The trailer weenies had increased by one with Trenton now towing the bomber. Jon had to get back to his shop in California so we bid him farewell. Jody had had about enough of the abusive trails and overheating CJ-7 on the long on-road sections so he cut out. Drew took a different path in search of an alignment rack for his ill-handling IFS Toy.
The rest of us hung a left out of Albuquerque and faced the last four hours of driving to Farmington with the sun setting. Night came quickly and so did the rain. The temperatures dropped too, but not too low for the no-top crowd so we pushed on. We finally made it to the hotel in Farmington, and we dragged ourselves into our warm waiting beds for a few hours of sleep to prep for the next day.
Day SixAlarm clocks were becoming extremely annoying by this point. Awake but far from energized, we met at the local breakfast hangout (Sonya's, if you're in the area) to get a little direction from our trail leader Harold Off.
Harold led us on the Waterfalls trail, and many of us learned that we had to hit some of the obstacles with just a bit of momentum. The Farmington Bump, it's called. This made for some scary situations.
Call us wimps, but we heeded Harold's wise suggestion and bypassed the first 100 yards of the trail, which are the toughest. Anyone who didn't have enough by the end of the day could come back here to play.
Right after Trenton repaired a wobbled-out axle U-joint, he climbed up an uncomfortable sidehill. A winch cable was pulled and Trenton changed his shorts.
When we reached the end of the trail almost everyone was up to heading back to the first obstacles. If you can imagine a steep waterfall carved into sandstone with a few rocks and trees thrown in for good measure then you'll have a good idea of what this trail looks like. There are only two obstacles here; the first is a six-foot vertical cliff. That alone wouldn't be too bad, but you have to drive onto a ledge just big enough for a Bronco and then make a hard left turn up this cliff. And there's plenty of loose dirt to throw around and slide on. The second waterfall climbs about 50 feet and changes directions three times. Cool.