Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

COMPLETED: More Diablo Dropoff - Jan 2008

Trips/trails in the western coast of the U.S. (loosely follows the Pacific Time Zone)
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by The Roadie » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:41 am

Three parts - lotsa pics!

Teebes finally got his act (and TB) together and we had a day to go play in the desert. Perfectly clear, 72 degree, and no wind! First was an easy and scenic trail into Oriflamme Canyon - some steepness and switchbacks, but I had taken SDFullerC here with a stock Envoy, so it wasn't a real challenge. Went with a 4Runner from another offroad forum AlekG and I are members of, driven by their member SWR, which stands for Scenic Wonder Runner.

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Then we took some pavement to get to the next trail, Canyon Sin Nombre, which I've posted about here before when I did a solo run. The first part of this is an entire semester's worth of sedimentary geology packed into a half hour ride.

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Then we get to the edge of the badlands, and face the Diablo Dropoff. Two separate descents, the first one sandy and the second one a rocky flume.

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Greg goes first on the sandy one to judge the avalanche danger, then sets up to shoot video of me and SWR after we know it's safe to go down.

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Then the rocky one.

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User avatar
The Roadie
Founder
 
Posts: 5009
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:29 pm
Location: CA, Vista, San Diego County
Name: Bill Carton
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: GMC Envoy
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ G80
Rank: Expedition Guide

by The Roadie » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:42 am

So into the tight runout from the dropoff, past a nasty rock that's in the middle of the trail and pretty much unavoidable. I got hung up on it two years ago, and even with the G80, did the exact same mistake and got hung up again. Backed up a bit, three times, and finally humped myself over it.

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But not without whacking the new Purple Cranium Spider diff protector.

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And depositing some of its blue powder coating on the nasty rock.

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So next up is Teebes, who attempts the same starting line as I did, with the exact same results. Wheel spin on the rock, sideways slippage, and hanging up on the diff. Manual pushing didn't help, and it would have taken longer to break out the Hilift for rock stacking under the tires, so I just gave him a quick strap assist.

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Finally comes SWR, with a narrower truck, more practice, and a healthy dislike of scratching anything including his rock sliders or frame. Without lockers (!!) he places his right rear tire exactly on the peak of the rock, bumps a few times to get over it, and makes our heaving and grunting look sick. Learned a lot about elegant driving from him!

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User avatar
The Roadie
Founder
 
Posts: 5009
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:29 pm
Location: CA, Vista, San Diego County
Name: Bill Carton
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: GMC Envoy
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ G80
Rank: Expedition Guide

by The Roadie » Sat Aug 25, 2012 1:44 am

[Where we went in Sandstone Canyon is now closed off, probably forever, to vehicles. Never can do this trip again.]

Thought SWR was going to get the first dent in his door when he opened it here, but no. He's truly one with his truck and knows where the door will stop within a cm.

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Finally, as the sun was setting, we went into Sandstone Canyon - the place that the trail guides say that if you only have time for ONE RIDE in Borrego at all, this should be it!

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You wouldn't believe you can drive through here, but it's possible!

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I gave the camera to Teebes to get a few of me.

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There was one piece of carnage on the trail - a broken front sway bar link end. I can't cry - it was time to change 'em out anyway and now I can fab up the disconnectable ones to copy AlekG. It did make for a pretty floppy ride home through the mountain twisties running without the sway bar. Hope you enjoyed these!

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User avatar
The Roadie
Founder
 
Posts: 5009
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:29 pm
Location: CA, Vista, San Diego County
Name: Bill Carton
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: GMC Envoy
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ G80
Rank: Expedition Guide


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