Day 6: Thursday, July 8
Up A Creek
After a long road day and great night of camping, the group was fired up for what was sure to be a memorable day of wheeling. Though most of the crew was familiar with Rausch Creek Off-Road Park, few had ever dug their cleats into the dry and rock-covered soil. With so many off-road areas closing down in the Northeast, Rausch Creek has become a wheeling haven for off-road enthusiast from across the country. With countless obstacles, action-packed trails, and scenic overlooks, there is literally something for every wheeling level and vehicle type. Open to the public year-round, Rausch Creek's 3,000 acres of wheeling paradise is one of the most organized and topnotch wheeling destinations you'll ever visit.
Part of what makes Rausch Creek so popular is its diversified terrain. Mixed within the pa
Starting off the day with a brief trip through the wooded acreage, it didn't take long for the first hillclimb of the day to prove treacherous for a few. From a quick flop by Tim Hardy's Samurai to a complete front-axlehousing explosion under Tom Boyd's Bronco, before breakfast had even settled, we had witnessed some of the most intense carnage of the trip! With some of our group forced to limp back to camp for repairs, we continued on to the next black-diamond challenge.
This monster wall of rock was known as the Level 5 hillclimb and offered wheelers three very different, and extremely challenging, lines. Though there were a few tense moments here and there and one near roll, the Goodyear MT/Rs worked great to find traction where there didn't appear to be any.
With some of the larger rock obstacles conquered by the group, the Rausch Creek crew took us to some of their more technical and rock-filled areas. These boulder creek beds were a fun way to mix in some technical rockcrawling with the loose-dirt hillclimbs. To clean off some of the dust, we crawled down to one of the more mud-soaked areas of the park. While most of the crew chose to take the high line through the mud, some were brave enough to head for the deep stuff.
Though some of the group suffered a wet sensor here and there, no one had it worse than Shay Stepp and his Bronco II. A quick dip in the deep-water mud pit gifted the SoCal wheeler with a hydro-locked engine. Though understandably disappointed, Shay wasn't done with the trip just yet. But more on that later.
Tom Boyd's Bronco's Dana 44 front axle has had a tough but good run. Taking out the ring-a
While we were all having fun wheeling the park, the Hobart M-37 and old cronies were back at camp mending Tom Boyd's Bronco's front axle. In what could go down as the quickest complete frontend fix and rebuild on record, they were able to fix Tom's Bronco and catch up with the rest of the group just in time to finish the last trail of the day.
With the exception of our local trail leader's buggy taking a flop, the last trail section proved to be a trouble-free and fun way to end the day. With ominous skies approaching, we all hightailed it back to camp and into the pavilion for another round of Paulie's Cookin', courtesy of Daystar. Cool air began rolling in and a nice breeze kicked up, signs for a summertime shower. Not long after most of the campers had retired for the night, big drops came thundering down.
Carnage Report, Day 6
•Broken rear locker and axleshaft: Hi-Lift TJ
•Broken front axle, ring-and-pinion, and hub: Tom's Bronco
•Broken front axleshaft: Daystar TJ buggy
•Broken front ring-and-pinion: Matt's K-10
•Hydrolocked engine: Shay's Bronco II
•Broken control arm mount: Lance's S-10 Blazer
•Bent driveshaft and wheel: Andrew's Ranger
•Cut sidewall: BDS TJ
A dip in the mud for Shay's Bronco II resulted in a hydrolocked engine. After Warn's Fred
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