Monday, June 11, 2018


FUN ON THE TRAIL!

The Jeep trail we took this weekend was part of a series of trails above the gambling cities of Blackhawk and Central City. It was hot in the city and this was a great way to escape it.
I have 2 hobbies now-a-days; they are the DJI Mavic Air and the Mighty YJ. The Mighty YJ is an overbuilt 1993 Jeep Wrangler. The other is a drone.
I really appreciate the other people on the trail that showed patience as we set up the drone to film the Jeep.
The fun part of the ride?
There was a group of 3 or 4 cars taking their cars on the trail. None of the cars were built up in any way, but there was a white Jeep SUV with a driver that wanted to drive the obstacles.
We showed patience with them as they negotiated their way over a minor obstacle below us. We talked with one man from the group, discussing how trails are run and how to get more information. We helped with that. Then it was mentioned that a real obstacle was just above us.  Once they cleared all of the vehicles from down below; the guy with us asked if we would be willing to assist with the ‘real’ obstacle. We agreed.
We turned our Jeep around and followed their group. Unknown to us there actually was a ‘go-round’ for the obstacle we were approaching. Two of the 3 cars went that way. That left us with the white Jeep.
The obstacle had some large rocks, some deep groves, and some pumpkin catching pointy rocks. I walked up to watch. The man we were talking to was on the obstacle and explained how he was planning to ‘spot’ his friend through. I listened, made some suggestions, and then headed back down.
“Could the bearded gentleman come back up here?” was the call I heard, so I headed back up. The white Jeep was entered into the fray already. He was about halfway in and was feeling the pressure of negotiating it. His front driver side tire was on a high shelf rock at about 18” high. He told me he didn’t think he could go much further. I looked at his situation and smiled. I think the smile disarmed him a bit.
 I told him to move forward, to expect a bump. The bump was his back tire touching the rock. He couldn’t see it and was worried. I told him to back up, hit it harder, and turn sharply to the passenger side.
Almost all of the people who spot that I know, refer to ‘turn left’ becomes ‘driver side,’ ‘turn right’ becomes ‘passenger side.’ Many drivers can find panic in an obstacle negotiation. In a panic, they may forget left & right; but it is hard to forget where the driver or the passenger side is. It is more instinctive and easier to follow.
He bumped the rock with his back tire. It stopped. He tried to power it up but had little grip. He looked at me and there was puzzlement on his face. I told him to back it up again a bit further, and guided him back to a ‘power point.’ A power point is a place where your tire (your rig) can start with the power needed to keep going forward. It will give you enough forward momentum to get over what you need to. As that back tire touched the rock, I told him to power it over. He did that well. I stopped him and told him to turn it hard passenger. I started him out again. With just a subtle suggestion here and there he made his way out of the obstacle. When I got back to his side of his Jeep, he was a grinning guy. I did not know that there were 2 ladies in the back seat. Those two were even happier than the driver. There were high fives and cheers going on.
The driver looked at me and thanked me. He told me that he was sure his Jeep would be able to do it. When he did do it, he felt confident in his ability. I told him that another person may have given up on it. I told him that I was glad he did it. I said that many quit but that I know one guy that did not. He smiled again. I shook his hand and walked back down to my Jeep.
I heard them talking about people who help others and how they can motivate. They called me a great guy for helping them. I told them that is the off-road code. Help is always there.
I know I will see them on the trail again!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QG2BJKNpIJY

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