I was given the option to try it or take the bypass. I watched a couple take it on and really thought it felt similar to a few of the climbs we had on hells the day before. I felt I could do it.
Still, I paid close attention to those that would go ahead of me for the line to follow.
So here I come. You can see I’m pretty much where most had started out. So I thought it was the right line. Nope, not the right line for my ride.
Ok that’s enough. I could feel it was out of shape. I didn’t know how high I hung that wheel but I knew it was off the ground. Thankfully, the other trail boss Mark was heading my way to reposition my rig for a second attempt.
He had me back down and come in much further to the driver’s side of the truck. He pointed to the tree limb and said, you want this limb to hit your windshield. That’s how much more over you need to go. Following the directions I repositioned and proceeded to walk right up it without any drama.
Still, not out of the woods yet. I still had to cross the off camber section with the top heavy rig. Mark told me to take it slow and creep across the face. No issues as I crossed it.
We had to start coming back down again. This was a fun one.
Right back up and out again. I found my departure angle slightly lacking in some of these.
Ron’s run down this section.
It’s after this section we ran into an issue. Nothing gnarly or cool to say we broke on. Just a slab on the driver’s side and the passenger side dropped low, the steering went right. The front end felt like it was going to crawl over the short ledge so I gently rolled into the throttle. Then I heard the distinct snap of a front axle shaft/u-joint. It was followed by the complete lack of drive on the front diff. I backed up and took a new line and went right over, but could hear the clank, clank, clank of the u-joint yokes in self clearancing mode.
There was another ledge to climb up right away and I knew I wasn’t going to clear it. I got help with a winch to pop over it. Thankfully there was a intersection of the trail with a dirt road that would take us back to the highway. We called it a day at that point. There were some others that bailed with us including Ron as the trail got harder from here out. So we got back to the road, aired up and headed back for camp in Moab.
We had leftovers from the fajitas from a couple of nights before in the fridge so for lunch since we were back early I figured we could have fajita quesodillas. Gotta love having a fridge for leftovers.
It was a great idea as they came out awesome.
We hung out downloading the SD cards to the laptop and staying cool and hydrated until the others got back from the trail. Later we fixed up our final camp dinner for the trip. Ribeyes seared in the cast iron skillet and some baked beans. My son loved it, as did I.
We ended up hanging out with many from the trail group camped nearby as it got late. Great times were had and were really bummed to be heading out the next morning.
We planned on a fairly early departure, but after the night before it was slightly later than planned. Still we got the camper broke down and packed up and said our goodbyes to those that were up and about. We pulled out of the campgound and headed north to get to I-70 for the push home. We made good time and before we knew it we were back in our home state.
We pull off the interstate in Grand Junction for fuel and to part ways with Ron and Mason. We’d be rolling back on US 50 and they’d be getting back on I-70 for Denver. After filling up and exchanging goodbye’s we headed on in to Junction and onward to Montrose again. From there we just cruised driving in and out of a large thunderstorm we ran into in Montrose and dealt with all the way to Salida. We made pretty good time despite a horribly slow stop at a Sonic in Grand Junction for lunch. Still we pulled into the driveway by 4:30 and unpacked.
All in all it was an excellent trip even with the breakage on the last trail day. Ron and his son were great to travel with. Both our boys seemed to speak the same level of sarcasm that kept cracking us up. They got along pretty good for not ever meeting before. We had a great time hanging out and sharing stories and experiences. Ron’s Blazer is a beast for sure and performed well despite the lack of low range. Being able to manhandle it on both trails in high range showed me he could handle the adversity without throwing in the towel. Totally impressed the fan shroud noise and low range issue were the only issues after just completing the drivetrain swap and lift a few weeks before trip. I’d have no problem heading out with Ron again on another trip for a weekend or longer like a desert trip.
Blazer bash itself was a riot. Getting to meet folks I’ve known through the net and seeing the trucks in real life and watching them in action was so cool. The fact that Wade and Mark made sure we kept our home on wheels in one piece was awesome. Not having wheeled with any of these guys I’m sure there was a level of uncertainy on our driving ability or the trucks ability with the houses on the back. I understand the apprehensiveness and appreciated the direction to keep us safe while having fun too. You guys rock. Our rigs are not full on rock crawlers, but feel pretty good about how they did. I need more time on slick rock for sure.
Now to fix the broken axle shaft and prep for maybe one more trail ride before it gets blown apart for the next round of upgrades.