Trail Report: FMCA 4-Wheeler Thanksgiving event at Golden Vally, AZ

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

John Canfield

Site Team
Joined
Aug 8, 2006
Posts
14,132
Location
Texas Hill Country
We joined the 4-Wheelers a few months ago and decided to make an event as soon as possible and the Thanksgiving Rally was the first.  There were 65 motorhomes in attendance (Golden Vally is close to Kingman in the NW corner of Arizona) with a good mix of TJs, several LJs, JKs, many JKUs an older Cherokee, a newer Cherokee and one YJ.

Most everybody was on 35" tires, the YJ was on 33"s and he went everywhere I did (actually it was the other way around - he was Trail Leader on the Secret Pass trail!)  There was a range of experience level from not very to extremely experienced and the trails were rated from a 2.5 (very easy) to 4.5 (hard) out of a 5.0 scale.  There were some very built-up Wranglers to barely modified and everything in-between.

We started out with a 2.5 trail (and with several grumpy folks) that was fairly boring, did two 4.0 hard trails (great groups - we had a blast on these trails), had a maintenance day due to ripping out our left rear shock from its top hangar, and then wound up the event with a fairly easy 3.0 trail.

Every afternoon at 4PM was Happy Hour and for Thanksgiving the club provided turkey, ham, pie and the ladies brought side dishes.  YUM!  The Saturday meal was provided by the club (Subway sandwiches) and we had a one-man band for entertainment.

This was an expensive rally - we had to pony up $5 per person  :D - the club is pretty flush with cash so many of the rally expenses were club-subsidized.

There was a LJ that rolled three complete times (the owner let his 14 year-old grandson drive a 4.5 trail  :eek:) but thankfully nobody was badly hurt, just a few bumps and bruises.  Recover of the LJ took an entire day and it was towed back to the campground being not drivable. Everybody thinks it is a complete write-off, the pictures don't look so bad but the front axle and steering wheel are bent.

The LJ has a full add-in Rockhard cage which undoubtedly helped maintain roof integrity when rolling.
 

Attachments

  • RolledLJ1.jpg
    RolledLJ1.jpg
    71.9 KB · Views: 45
  • RolledLJ2.jpg
    RolledLJ2.jpg
    80.8 KB · Views: 44
  • RolledLJ3.jpg
    RolledLJ3.jpg
    59.2 KB · Views: 45
Here's a couple of pictures of my banged-up left-rear shock.  I couldn't find a replacement in Kingman so I beat my old one back in shape and re-installed it.
 

Attachments

  • TrailRepair.jpg
    TrailRepair.jpg
    63.5 KB · Views: 45
  • UpperShockMount.jpg
    UpperShockMount.jpg
    42.2 KB · Views: 38
Here's a few pictures of the 4.0 rated Secret Pass trail, named so because the Indians used it to escape from the chasing solders.  It was beautiful in the canyon and it's now one of our very favorite trails.  There were a few optional obstacles (I did all of them except for one I missed on the way out.) 

Here's a video of Rick (LJ with Nth Degree long arms) and Jay (stretched TJ with long arms) crawling the obstacle I missed  ::).
 

Attachments

  • AiringDown.jpg
    AiringDown.jpg
    28.9 KB · Views: 30
  • iPad.jpg
    iPad.jpg
    90.4 KB · Views: 35
  • Obstacle2.jpg
    Obstacle2.jpg
    73.7 KB · Views: 30
  • Obstacle3.jpg
    Obstacle3.jpg
    80.9 KB · Views: 32
  • Obstacle4.jpg
    Obstacle4.jpg
    94.4 KB · Views: 36
  • Obstacle5.jpg
    Obstacle5.jpg
    88.6 KB · Views: 35
  • ObstacleTheFirst.jpg
    ObstacleTheFirst.jpg
    88.8 KB · Views: 33
  • RubiObstacle.jpg
    RubiObstacle.jpg
    111.1 KB · Views: 35
  • StrappingOff.jpg
    StrappingOff.jpg
    84.8 KB · Views: 38
Here's a video of us doing a mandatory (no bypass) obstacle and an optional obstacle (called "The Squeeze") on Sleeping Princess (named because a very long rock formation looks like a female - sort of - if you have an over-active imagination.)

And a few still photos attached for the voyeur in you  ;).  Notice the wording on the trailhead sign!  This trail is rated 4.0 out of 5.0 and that 4 rating is due to the one mandatory obstacle - there is only one line that will get you up and over without a whole bunch of work and crashing/bashing.  There is some off-camber that places the roof edge close to a canyon wall and a surprisingly steep climb out of the canyon.  The difficult part of the trail only takes two/three hours unfortunately - the rest of the trail was just a dirt road <sigh.>
 

Attachments

  • TrailHead.jpg
    TrailHead.jpg
    57.3 KB · Views: 27
  • TrailLeaderStruggles.jpg
    TrailLeaderStruggles.jpg
    76.6 KB · Views: 28
  • LJgoingUpObstacle.jpg
    LJgoingUpObstacle.jpg
    84.2 KB · Views: 27
  • BadLine.jpg
    BadLine.jpg
    70.7 KB · Views: 28
  • 4doorStruggle.jpg
    4doorStruggle.jpg
    77.8 KB · Views: 29
  • RickEnteringSqueeze.jpg
    RickEnteringSqueeze.jpg
    95.6 KB · Views: 29
  • RickInSqueeze.jpg
    RickInSqueeze.jpg
    125.8 KB · Views: 31
  • LunchStopView.jpg
    LunchStopView.jpg
    65.7 KB · Views: 31
Whooooa John,
Thanks for sharing.  The dash cam is  so fantastic.  I loved being able to "hear" the run.  Didn't I tell you the FMCA 4 wheel group is a good one!

Betty
 
Awesome pics and video John! 

John Canfield said:
There was a LJ that rolled three complete times (the owner let his 14 year-old grandson drive a 4.5 trail  :eek:)

That's one of those "What in the hell was I thinking?" moments. 

But then again, he probably got and ear full when he took the kid back to his parents........
 
Betty Brewer said:
Whooooa John,
Thanks for sharing.  The dash cam is  so fantastic.  I loved being able to "hear" the run.  Didn't I tell you the FMCA 4 wheel group is a good one!

You're welcome Betty!  I had so much fun we signed up for the Moab rally next May (assuming I can find space at an RV park - there's already over 100 signed up.)

SargeW said:
Awesome pics and video John! 

That's one of those "What in the hell was I thinking?" moments. 

But then again, he probably got and ear full when he took the kid back to his parents........

Thanks Marty!  I'd love to be a fly on the wall when the kid's parents found out what happened (but then again I see little kids on quads, go figure.)
 
"he took the kid back to his parents........"

Someone said that his Dad just died this year. And his mom and sister was in the Jeep with him and his grandpa. He accidentally hit the accelerator instead of the break. His grandma was in another Jeep, either in front  of them or behind, I not sure. 

Greatly fully no one was hurt. And all of them were at happy hour that night. It took of a pretty good size crew, and 3 jeeps to recover them.

We also had a pizza party one night. It was a great rally. We had a great time.

Thanks to the knowledge and experience of the FMCA 4 wheelers.
 
John Canfield said:
  I had so much fun we signed up for the Moab rally next May (assuming I can find space at an RV park - there's already over 100 signed up.

Great.  We  will see you there.  Why not try to get on Portal's waiting list and then  extend for the following week and do the RVForum Moab rally too!  It's stil early enough for folks to cancel.
 
Barb said:
...
Greatly fully no one was hurt. And all of them were at happy hour that night...

Amen to that!  I heard the LJ owner give a little chat about the accident.  I remember a couple of times going down a steep ledge or waterfall when we first started wheeling the Rubicon and I was pushing the brake pedal so hard my boot contacted the throttle and off we went WAY too fast - what an exciting moment  :eek: .  Now I have a significantly improved technique  8).  Nice to see you and Frank there!

Betty Brewer said:
Great.  We  will see you there.  Why not try to get on Portal's waiting list and then  extend for the following week and do the RVForum Moab rally too!  It's stil early enough for folks to cancel.

Yikes!  Sounds like I'm a few months too late for the Portal.  I'll see how many are on their waiting list and figure out my next step.  Right after Moab we're hustling south to Amarillo for the Palo Duro Jeep Jamboree, or I would stick around for sure.
 
There's eight ahead of me on the waiting list at the Portal, but I have a confirmed site at Spanish Trace with a 48 hour cancellation notice so I've got an Ace up my sleeve  :).
 
It's a pretty quick drive from Spanish Trails to Portal, if you take the go around town route. It would be great if you would be a trail leader, and take us on an adventure. Frank, I sure would be your tail gunner.

It was great seeing you guys there too. It was a great rally. 
 
Great pics & video John.  I had a great time and really enjoyed the friendly folks in the group.  Like you I'm looking forward to Moab in the spring.  :D
 
Barb said:
It's a pretty quick drive from Spanish Trails to Portal, if you take the go around town route. It would be great if you would be a trail leader, and take us on an adventure. Frank, I sure would be your tail gunner.

It was great seeing you guys there too. It was a great rally.

I volunteered to lead 7 Mile Rim - that's one of our very favorite in the area.  We ran that last year with another Rubicon and then again by ourselves a couple/three months ago.  Love to have you guys at the back!

Bill - thanks!
 
John,
We're already signed up for both the rallys at Portal plus the next week to rest up. We'll be glad to meet you "serious Jeepers" and maybe even tail along. We had a ball at each rally this year and look forward to doing it all again with our Poison Spider inspired lift.
Ernie

This time we may even get up in time to make Hells Revenge.
 
Great!

Hell's Revenge isn't too bad unless you play around on the optionals  :eek: (which we didn't do because of no spotters) but going down Whale's Tail was one of those oh-my-gosh moments.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
132,447
Posts
1,395,435
Members
138,133
Latest member
CSRTECH
Back
Top Bottom