Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

COMPLETED: 4ever 4given Offroad Club - SMORRth of July

Trips/trails in the central part of the U.S. (loosely follows the Central Time Zone)
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by boog2006 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:00 pm

Event: SMORRth of July 2013
Club: 4Ever X 4Given Offroad
Dates: July 4 – 7th
Location: Southeast Missouri Off-Road Ranch,
Seymour, MO
Website: http://www.smorr.net
Trail Rating: 3.5 Rugged Trail ; 4 Challenging Trail (Larry's Hill)
High clearance SUV or truck required, taller suspension and tires recommended. Few stock vehicles capable of completing the trail without damage. Very large rocks exceeding 12″ present throughout trail requiring a spotter or heavily modified vehicle to traverse. Very loose and cambered climbs present, also heavily rutted requiring good suspension travel. Tall ledges present requiring good clearance or rocker panel protection. Little margin for error, and possibility of body damage. Tires must be 31″+ with aggressive tread and strong sidewalls. Lower tire pressure, skid plates, and limited slip or traction control required to prevent vehicle or trail damage. Rear locking differential and 32″+ tires recommended.



July 4th
The day started with a 5 hour drive (6 hour trip) to Seymour, MO from Symsonia, KY. This was a family trip including my wife (Erin), daughter (Evie 6), and son (Dalton 3). We would be staying overnight at the park, so, we hooked to our Jayco pop-up camper and hit the road about 8:00 in the morning. We arrived at the park shortly after 2:00 PM and several of the rigs had already arrived setup and were on a quick run of the park. We took a few minutes and setup the camper :camping: , un-packed the trailblazer, and aired down the tires. About 2:30, another driver showed up with his YJ and began setup of camp as well. Once complete, we began looking over the map for some trails we could run and hopefully meet up with the rest of the group.

We decided to head south out of the campground on Ranch Road (1) and monitor the CB for radio traffic. We knew the rest of the group was on Channel 4 and I had recently bought my Midland 75-822 handheld. We ran Ranch Road till it connected with Brixey Road (1) just below Larry’s Hill. At this point I could pickup some radio traffic of the group, but they were unable to hear me. We listened for a while hoping to hear a road name but was unsuccessful. We took Brixey Road (1) to the Southwest and then turned around to head back to camp. On the way back we felt like trying out a Level (2) trail and chose PeeWee Crossing (2) We got on PeeWee just west of Hawkeye (3) and followed it around to Coyote Ugly (2) taking Ranch Road back into camp.

Image

We arrived back at camp around 5:30 and the rest of the group had returned. Evidently, they were worried about us on our first trail run in the park without an escort and thought we’d take off down a level 5. They were just about to load up to go look for us. We buttoned down for some supper and met the entire crew and began our plans for the first night run of the trip. The park gates close at 12:00 so we had plenty of time, assuming no one broke down. The consensus of the group was to tackle some harder trails, so I left the TB behind and hopped in the XJUGGY.

July 5th
By the time everyone woke up ate breakfast and prepared the rigs, it was almost 10:00. Since, I was with a pretty extreme group; I chose to ride in the YJ. We would be coming back around lunch to pick up some additional rigs and then I’d be driving the TB. We went out the NW end of the campground and picked up Stocker Stomper (3) to Bull Run (3). By the time we reached PeeWee (2) it was time to pickup another rig and rider back at camp. We decided to take PeeWee (2) to Wild Turkey (2) to Ranch Road (1).

We came back to camp and picked up another rider for the YJ and a stock TJ with the exception of 34’s. We decided to take PeeWee (2) again but this time started at the NW corner of the campground and ran it ‘backwards’ from how we did it on day one. I was amazed at how different the terrain was by changing directions. On this ride my wife and kids came along to see some of the park. My kids absolutely loved it...but...they want a jeep! We took our time on PeeWee (2) and stopped by Double Whammy (5) and Full Throttle (5) to watch some rock bouncers attempt some climbs. We followed Ranch Road (1) again and wound up at Larry’s Hill for some play time.

Image

All of the rigs, except the TB, tried Larry’s Hill with success. My wife was a little leary of it so, I passed to keep the fun level for her high and would attempt later.

Insert Video

July 6th
Shopping Day in Springfield, MO. Battlefield Mall, Hu Hot Mongolian Grill, and Bass Pro. It was a fun day.

I had the privilege of driving RUBIJON on the night run. It is a Wrangler Sport, ARB locker upfront, Detroit in back, lots of suspension, on 37’s. My favorite part of this rig was the hand throttle. When crawling through the woods, this seems to me to be a must have.

We headed south out of the campground and caught Flex and Stuff (3) to PeeWee (2) to Coyote Ugly (2). Flex and Stuff (3) was amazing. It’s basically a washed out bed that works out the suspension completely. If you don’t have enough suspension, lockers are required. I was able to navigate very well with some expert direction from my co-pilot (RUBIJON himself). After we topped out on Ranch Road (1), we decided to hit Bronco Buster (3) to V-Notch (4). RUBIJON was very nervous as he had ran this trail several times. Where V-Notch (4) ends on Ranch Road there was either a 2ft ledge to climb while at a 30° slope or a horribly off-camber bypass at which his wife had deemed the trail (NEVER AGAIN). But, we took it nice and slow through bronco buster and I was gaining more confidence with how the rig handled. We stopped and watched as the other rigs went up V-notch (as the name implies you basically strattle the valley and drive on the bank with driver and passenger tires) and RUBIJON instructed me to select which line to take. His advice, “whichever one feels right”. As I started up the hill I was heading for the ledge but at the last moment felt the bypass to the off-camber turn at the top was the best choice. This also happened to be the one that made RUBIJON the most nervous . Using the hand throttle at about 2000 rpms, it just went right up the notch. And without effort flexed through the off-camber turn at the top. This run was probably my second favorite of the weekend. With a locked TB, this would have been very fun.

Image

July 7th
Sunday was the last day of the trip. Had to be careful on the trails, but wanted to have a lot of fun and end on a high note. My wife decided to stay behind by my kids wanted to ride some more :thumleft: . I trusted my guides and we headed out to Cold MTN (3) off of Ridgeline (1). We followed Cold MTN (3) to Cougar Crossing (3) to Jagermeister (3) to Larry’s Hill (4). As the name suggest, Ridgeline (1) started on a high point. Cold MTN (3) and Cougar Crossing (3) wind down the mountain and then Jagermeister takes you back up to the top. This was the highpoint of my weekend. We were able to see some of the most amazing views and I hope to go back in the fall to see it with different colors. Somewhere in the middle of Jagermeister is a lookout point with a deck and sitting area and a pull off big enough for 20 rigs. Would be a great place for a group to stop a morning ride for lunch and take in the scenery.

Image
Insert Video’s

Now when we started the day, I had told the guides “Let’s do some two maybe three’s”; “Test me don’t break me”. At the end of Jagermeister (3), there are three ways out. Turn around and go back, or take Larry’s Hill (4) up or down. Down we went. The trail was really fairly uneventful with the exception of the ending. And once I was down, I had to try to go back up...



In an effort to keep my truck together for the 6 hour trip home, we opted to call it a day and head back to camp.

Here's the movie wrap-up...

Last edited by boog2006 on Tue Jul 30, 2013 4:59 pm, edited 12 times in total.
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by ErikSS » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:11 pm

Great Video!
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by AWCougar » Wed Jul 10, 2013 7:19 pm

Whoa.... epic trailer :lurk:
"Though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays." -Sun Tzu

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by RyansTBLS » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:37 pm

Wow! Can't wait to see the whole video :lurk:
The problem with the Trailblazer is, people think you know what you're doing.
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by Moots1288 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 8:45 pm

That was an awesome trailer.. Can't wait to see the whole "movie"
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by drburke » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:06 pm

Reeks of... iMovie.. lol

Can't wait to see the final result
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by DirtyBacon04 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:37 pm

*best boston accent* Yo, dat was WICKED awesome, dood!!
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by Cable810 » Wed Jul 10, 2013 10:30 pm

^ :lol: Awesome video
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by djthumper » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:03 pm

I didn't see any trailers... Just a bunch of jeeps and a quick shot of a TrailBlazer... :finger:
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by boog2006 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 8:26 am

Here's some more video of the trailblazer on Larry's Hill. This was on the last day of the trip, five hours from home, and I had to tow my camper back. So, the decision was made not to get to crazy with it.





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by RyansTBLS » Fri Jul 12, 2013 11:49 am

Awesome! :awesome: Looks like you need more skidplates :poke:
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by Cable810 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 12:28 pm

Nice!!
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by boog2006 » Fri Jul 12, 2013 1:25 pm

RyansTBLS wrote:Awesome! :awesome: Looks like you need more skidplates :poke:


Yeah had the MDB radiator and oil skids....definitely need gas tank skid and now I need new control arms :)
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by boog2006 » Tue Jul 30, 2013 5:01 pm

Write-up now complete. See original post for details.

Next year...more Trailblazer
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