Part 2: MogFest 2014


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The Trip

Day 2 was an organized trail run into the mountains to the north of Calico.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

This fellow got a shelter dog that had suffered the loss of a leg in an agricultural mower.  This collie was a working dog and the accident ended his work career.  The new owners arranged to get him a prosthetic leg.

The start of this trail run was also Mule Canyon.  Mule provides the best access to the back country trails and a number of alternate side routes can taken from the main canyon.

Our path would take us through the mud hills and some narrow notches.

A very nice 712 Pinz camper conversion.

We waited to get the balance of the group assembled.  When we had all-hands accounted for, we headed through the mud hills.

We assembled the group again on a ridge above the mud hills.

I was riding with Dave in his 404 ambulance box and we were near the rear of the group.

There were only a few rigs behind us on the trail.

From the crest of the ridge we could see the parking lot at Calico and had a clear view of the intense warping of the strata.

In the distance to the south we could see the Yermo valley.

From the crest of the ridge, we continued up the steep grades further into the hills above Calico.

A steep section of the dirt trail was causing some of the Pinzgauers to spin their wheels creating great clouds of dust.

I am guessing that the drivers of the Pinz did not use their differential locks.

The trail had vestiges of an old asphalt road from the mining days.  A segment is visible just behind the lead vehicle in the photo above.

The small amount of asphalt left did nothing to make the steep portions of the trail easier.  In fact, it prevented erosion and left high spots creating obstacles on the steep portions of the trail.

This hole provided challenges for several vehicles.

At the base of a steep slab, this Land Rover met its match.  The combination of loose dirt and no "lockers" (locking differential) caused sufficient wheel slip to prevent forward motion.

One of the jeeps winched the Rover up the slab past the loose dirt.

This portion of the trail is quite steep.

Even at the top, the Rover was still suffering traction issues due to the loose dirt.

It took quite a while to winch the Rover so the other trucks were already waiting at the rally point.

Once we were all accounted for, we continued on deeper into the hills.

The group stopped at a large mine site high on the ridge for lunch.  When lunch was complete we headed back off the ridge into the canyons below.  Debris and overburden from the mining operations are visible on the steep hillsides.  An open tunnel is visible to the left of the trail by the dark Jeep.

This trail was quite steep and very exposed on the side of the hill.  If you were unlucky enough to be the passenger on this segment of the trail, it was quite tense.

The return path had a nice view of the Yermo valley and the solar plant at the base of the far hills.

We hit a tight narrow switchback that caused the group to bunch up.

The final section of the switchback was both steep and rough.

The trail was narrow enough to cause the drivers to instinctively hug the cliff wall.

Our chosen path went through a squeeze that also had some ledges.

The ledge combined with the Haflinger's stiff frame and lack of articulation in the suspension caused it to get several feet of air under the front axle.

Jeeps are quite narrow but they pretty much filled up the entire notch.

The uneven surface caused all the vehicles to get a good suspension workout.

This Pinz got air on the front tires.  The determined expression on the driver's face tells the story.

John's VW "Thing" damaged its transmission early in the trail and was dead-weight towed the entire distance by Joe O's custom rock crawler.  John advised that the repair was simple and inexpensive, but he did not have the part with him, so he did the conservative thing which was to take the "Strap of Shame".

Due to the different travel speeds, the group got separated (again) and we ended up back at camp at various times.  But, we all made it and no equipment was abandoned in the hills.

Great thanks to Alan and Joe for organizing this year's event and leading the trail runs.

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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2014, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.