Submitted by John Labbett on Mon, 03/12/2018 - 00:00
March 10, 2018
It was a great day, it started at 6:30 am, at the Park-N-Ride with Mike/Laura Whittington, leading Kenny Lombino, Roman Cooper, and Bob Besch. Chad O. and family traveled separately. I arrived at the El Coyote Loco, in Lucerne, at around 8:30 am, to meet our guests Mike/Kristina Demers, and Brian/Brenda Harris. It was good location for everyone to converge. The breakfast was very good, filling, and it gave us a chance to meet and relax before heading out to the trailhead, where Diane and Richard/Vickie Hunt were waiting.
After everyone unloaded, we had our drivers meeting, headed up the road, and into Rattle Snake Canyon with nine capable rigs, all ready to handle the challenges of the day, at around 10:30 am. There was some rain, mostly during breakfast, then off-and-on throughout the day. The rain had the benefit of keeping the dust down, the clouds hung on the mountain ridges, and the temperature was very mild. Going through the canyon is always fun, we spotted several cows, and some quail, as well as, had lots of chatter over the radio.
We made one stop, to soak in the scenery, and took some pictures with a cow, prior to heading into Matino Wash.
The rock crawling starts immediately after turning into the Wash. The first obstacle is near the entrance, with two ways to get around it. Just past this “gate keeper” Richard decided to take on an extra credit rock outcropping, were he ended up getting high centered, and Chad ultimately had to winch him off the rocks. Of course, Chad had to attempt the same obstacle, and also found himself high centered.
The wash meanders back and forth with many rock challenges, fun lines, and several bypasses. Kenny handled things very well as this was his first “real” rock crawling experience. About a third of the way up is probably the hardest obstacle which is a large v-shaped rock formation, where the driver’s front wheel has to go up a vertical rock face, and the passenger side has to maneuver over a rock ledge, under cut rocks, and have a little extra oomph [maybe a sky hook] to get over, and the “sprinkle” of light rain made for a very challenging but fun time – and good video. There were only two of us that made it over – Kristina B., and I. The bypass also seemed extra challenging, maybe it was the extra moisture. Both the Demers’ and Harris’ JKs’ were amazing, but the 40’s on Mike/Kristina’s rig won out.
We continued up the Wash, had lunch, and were at the top around 4 pm. The end of the trail has another fun/challenging rock obstacle which gets your vehicle tippy as you slip and slide up and over the ledges.
Overall, the Wash proved challenging for short and long wheel based vehicles.
We circled back to Rattle Snake Canyon, made one stop on the way down, and were back to the highway at round 5:30 pm.
No breakdowns. Mike W. did have a “catastrophic failure” of his wheel well liner, but he tried to convince everyone that it was not worth mentioning. I’m sure that everyone was left with a few new “memories” on their vehicle. It was a good time had by all. Thanks for joining our day in the rain.