When I arrived at Winchell's the only one there was 10 Ball but he wasn't going. Dakota Tom arrived shortly there after followed by Louise in her car! She wasn't going either! Montego was his usual punctual self and it was time to roll.
With Montego in the lead we made great time to San Diego and beyond through a misty rainless night. We tanked at some anonymous off ramp and were shortly pulling into Corral Canyon and it looked like it was going to be some fun terrain come sunup.We popped a cold one around 11:30, told lies, and called it a night. Rooster's arrival shattered the serenity with a big air horn blast. That woke the whole campground, which was us three and two motorcyclists who are used to loud noises.
When we were all up the coffee went on and we all aired down and hit the trail with the usual Rough Wheeler punctuality, under the able navigation of Rooster, this was gunna be fun! We were a mixed bag with a YJ in the lead followed by the shiny red Grand a TJ and a Chevy truck. The map said that the Bronco Peak Trail was just out side of camp but we apparently drove right passed it with Rooster reporting that all he saw was a motorcycle trail.
We found what turned out to be the Gunslinger Trail and were wheeling up into the overcast hillside. The view from the top was nice, though, there wasn't any real pull off spot but we weren't stopping for nothing. The trail down the backside was much more interesting especially in a full size. There was some nice rock crawling on the way down and we were wheeling and nothing was going to stop us! Except for that right turn down hill nothing but hood Braille descent with a radio call from me that "I think I'm stuck" Fortunately I hit my front locker and unstuck myself with the associated banging and crunching just as Montego arrived with camera in hand.
So we all made it down with out further note and back to the main trail in search of the previously sought Bronco Peak Trail. As Rooster drives by it a second time and we call Rooster back, someone calls "I don't think John will fit". Two fences border the trail apparently designed to let the large folk know that they might have a tight squeeze. Everyone drives on as I play 3 ton pinball between the fences, ugly sound, but I made it and we are to the first challenge an uphill rocky "s" turn topped with what is best described as "the Fang"! Dakota and Rooster cleared it with no problem. Montego was up next and took a left line and saw three guys grimace, as he got fanged from stem to stern with a grin on his face all the way! Damm the torpedoes!! I was up next and took Montego's line, from inside the cab it seemed ok though the outside perspective undoubtedly was quite entertaining. By the way, did I mention that it was slippery as Hell? But anyway a couple runs at it and a nibble of pumpkin later we were all through.
The trail was a little uneventful until Dakota's call that Rooster is out and looking at something. And it looked to me like body damage waiting to happen! Big slippery boulders with not an easy line to be had. Rooster made a few runs at it before the cable came out. Whitch made it not easy but only very difficult. Rooster was wheeling like a mother banging bumpers and rockers and yanking that cable till halfway up in a mighty Cough chug chug chug gasp the Rooster was cooked! The $80,000 suspension don't do no good when you can't start the motor. Leave it to Rooster to break down in the toughest, slipperiest, rockiest, narrowest spot in the whole park. Showing self control beyond belief, there was a little heckling going on, the Rooster winches himself to safer ground for a quick fix and another try. But it was not to be. After we all put in our two cents there was only one thing to do, LUNCH . Food and a barley pop or two produced no answers so it's time to go in to recovery mode. Montego offered a strap and was rebuked in favor of Dakota.
So Rooster was strapped bassackwards to a small turn around spot. After trying to flip him over to turn him around, it was decided that we would winch off of a big rock outcropping up the hill. Dakota turned towards the hill and Dave shouts that he's getting into the underbrush and branches. Dakota replies, "that's where I'm going" and stuffs big red thorough the bramble into winching position and half removes his front bumper in the process! I see true Rough Wheeler spirit! So we drag the Rooster tail first up the hill and drop him back down into a nice three point turn. Now that we are all grill forward we mosie back the way we came but that's no fun. Rooster decides to lose the bead on his left front tire on an off camber left turn around a tree. No big deal right, wrong! Remember slippery. And anyway have you ever tried to jack a flexi jeep on a slight but slippery side hill? But we all pitch in and get it done. Most of us were having a lot of fun! We eventually make it back to camp. Like 4:00.
It's getting late and I'm heading home anyway so Rooster produces a tow bar and we hook up for the ride home. Not wanting to miss the spectacle Montego and Dakota decide to follow us out. A little way down the road Rooster asks me how the jeep feels back there and I inform him that "I don't know I've never towed anything before". The look on his face was worth the price of admission. I learned a lot about towing going home and put on a good sideshow for those following.
I was running late so Dakota took over for me on PCH for the last leg back to the Chicken Coop to end a truly fun trip . And y'all missed it !!!
P.S. If you ask nice I bet Dave will show you his photos.