Post your favorite off road stories. (no novels please) (1 Viewer)

Rainman

Wondering what my next vehicle will be...
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May 25, 2013
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Franklin, Tennessee
Mine's from the old GSMTR days. I was giving a ride to a little girl that was very much like my own daughter. She loved the zebra stripes and being from Colorado, she had some experience and no fear. We were headed down hill off Helicopter pad (the wrong way obviously) and got in a bind with steering in the groove next to the huge rock. Tim (fearless Tim) was spotting me and trying to get me to turn harder left. I just couldn't but inched it down and began to lean hard ass over. Got to the tipping point and I just gave up and gave it full clutch and no brakes. I barely managed to roll out of it but not before Tim high tailed it out of there. The little girl never flinched. "I knew we weren't going to roll over. My Dad NEVER rolls over."
The next spot is Guard Rail, or Roll Over Hill. Once again, down hill. We inched face down once again and on the film from the camera mounted under my cage, you could here her hyper ventilating all the way down.
Maybe you had to be there but those around will remember.

Edit: By the way, this was nearly 30 years ago.
 
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Joined
Feb 9, 2007
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Boise, Idaho
Back in the early eighties I was cruisin' for coyotes by my self in the 1972 FJ40 on a Forest Service road near Ukiah OR. Snow covered road and I was goin' too fast when the rig fell through some thin ice over a deep pot hole. When we bounced out, Ol' Green went over the downhile side bank. Couldn't for the life of me get her back on the two track so I had to drive straight down the slope to a flat spot, chain up all fours and let 8 cylinders (283 Chevy) scream me up the 100 yds to the road. Never told the wife (married 6 months earlier) about nearly havin' to walk about 8 miles out to the highway.
 

reddingcruiser

Practicing for retirement
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Redding, California
My all time favorite story revolves around the 4th of July weekend, 1983. A group from the now-defunct Sacramento Valley Cruisers were the first rigs through the Rubicon trail following a record snowfall in the Sierra. All were Rubicon veterans driving FJ40's and mini-trucks. It took almost 4 days of hard driving, hours of chainsaw work, laughter, cussing and winching, but we made it.

At the beginning of the adventure, somewhere at the top of the slabs, we ran into two solo rigs that clearly had bit off more than they could chew, but joined us anyway. One was a square-body Chevy step side that had never been on the Rubicon, the other was a CJ-5 out of the Bay area that thought he would be able to do an overnighter through the trial. The truck dropped out just past Ellis Creek after he crushed both his rocker panels trying to get up the other side (this was a long time before the bridge was installed). He took repeated stabs at trying to clear the V-shaped obstacle in the opposite bank, and to this day I can still picture his wife/GF/significant other screaming at him to stop, arms flailing away each time he took a run at it 😂! The CJ-5 saw the handwriting on the wall and turned back somewhere around Buck Island.

As is often the case, the lower elevations were fairly clear of snow, though every water crossing was a deep, frigid challenge. The Little Sluice was full of snow and impassable. We made it to Buck Island the first day and to Rubicon Springs by the end of the second day. The Big Sluice presented a new challenge - trying not to slide off the downhill side while trying to maintain control as you slip and sliding down the trail. Getting to the deep water at the bottom was actually a relief.

By the end of the third day we made it from Rubicon Springs to a couple hundred yards past Observation Point. The lower portions of Cadillac Hill that are normally pretty much always in the shade were a nightmare, as was everything just past Morris Rock.

We got an early start the last day, packing up and hitting the trail around 7am- then the real fun began. . The top section was deep snow, steep drifts, and deep water. Every tree was sitting in a deep pit of snow and sliding in meant getting winched out. When we weren't using chainsaws to cut blocks out of the snow drifts to dig our way through, we were rescuing rigs that had fallen into hidden tunnels in the snow carved by snowmelt. We probably spent as much time pulling rigs backwards as winching forward because once someone fell into a tunnel or cavern there was no moving forward without carving out a ramp. When we finally reached Miller Lake it was deep, deep water all the way to McKenny Lake. At 8pm we finally got to the pavement - tired, cold, hungry, irritated and elated. Aside from some dents, dings and scratches, the worst damage was a broken front spring hanger we were able to fix on the trail with 3 batteries, jumper cables and a piece of bar-b-que grill. Amperage control was lacking, but it held! Truly a memorable trip.

Rubicon 1982 1.jpg
Rubicon 1982 2.jpg
 
Joined
Feb 4, 2005
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Richmond, VA
Saved for when I have more time to write, but I will say it was @Rainman driving up Lower 2 in Telico with Mr. Toyota in the pass seat of Zebranator II on a night run to show him what this little 40's would do. GSMTR 1997-98? I will add the rest later.
 

Rainman

Wondering what my next vehicle will be...
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May 25, 2013
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Franklin, Tennessee
WOW! That Rubicon trip IS one for the books. From all the way out here in TN, I've done the Rubicon twice (in someone else's truck, I might add) and can't imagine feet of snow all over it.

@matzell Thanks for reminding me of that night. It's been a long time since I've thought about that. One of our local members worked for Toyota and a group of Japanese engineers were in the States for a week. He got a handfull of them to come see the GSMTR and sure enough, a few of them wanted to see what we did with our trucks. Absolutely no english worked with these guys. The look in the man's eyes as we crawled up through the rocks in the dark was a riot.

I think my favorite trail ever is the bottom of 2... at night. That's why I started the annual mini ride at the GSMTR. So many small stories on that 200 yard stretch.
 
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Joined
Jun 5, 2007
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5,199
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Brea, Calif.
Two foreigners come into Downey Toyota to buy new Landcruisers. Totally ignorant salesman ask me to take them on a demo ride. I find field with perfectly round hole about 12'-15' deep (looked like bowl pushed down into ground). Lock hubs, drive down into hole, get some air coming out of hole. Get back to dealership, buyers tell salesman we'll take two, but not this one, your man already destroyed it.
 

cruiserkreutz

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Dec 1, 2012
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La Grande Oregon
Watching mom and dad race our '73. Dad dropped a 350 in it and they raced it for years. Never broke a thing and won many obstacle course and drag races. As we all know, the drive train on these is incredibly strong. That blonde haired kid is me watching pops in the obstacle course late 70's. Yes, still got the '40.
1383532408266.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 5, 2007
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5,199
Location
Brea, Calif.
Another story; I led a small group of "early" TLCA members on a run up at Fraiser Park/Alamo Mountain during 1970's. Lots of comments over the CB's all day long about how rough the run was. About half way through the trip (and CB radio chatter) I discovered I had never even engaged my 4WD.
Another time I led another group of TLCA guys through the same run (except in reverse direction). Not 10 minutes into the run was a buggy with entire VW front-end cracked off. I chained the buggy frame to my trailer hitch and drug it (and it's occupants) through the entire run, again while CB radio chatter was about how rough the run was.
And both of those runs were when the Alamo Mountain/Miller Trail were not as torn up as they are now!!!!!!
 

reddingcruiser

Practicing for retirement
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Redding, California
I never really considered running in the sand really wheelin' but there was Pismo Beach in the 70's and early 80's. Nothing like today. Devil's Slide was open and we would go down and wait for the sand rails to bring down enough sand for bigger, heavier rigs launch up the face. Awesome view from the top! Then was blazing VW engine blocks lighting up competition hill at night, good times. I remember those FINE FJ40'S built for the sand, not much more than a shell of a 40. Yep, I miss my four paddle tires :(.
 
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pbgbottle

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Feb 8, 2004
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Cloverdale B.C. Canada
one of my favorite trips was one i had with my best friend before he past away from brain cancer ,36 years old , we where just out for a cruise out to Harrison lake BC Canada , we where just out playing around ,when he ended up out on this rock near the lake shore ,,i though hey that looks fun so i headed out low and behold while turning around in reverse blew a birf ,stuck in the lake ,,dang , it was fun , yanked it out of the lake and and onto the beach as wheel had jammed up ,blew the knuckle apart and removed the broken bits and made our way home ,there was suppose to be no carnage just light fun wheeling as he was sick , anyways one of my most memorable wheeling days ever ,he had blast ,,, just a few scanned pics ,no digital camera yet ,,lol

pics in next post
 
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flee

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May 27, 2020
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Chatsworth
On one '70's adventure in the 40 pictured in my avatar we were tooling along somewhere between Baker and Death Valley down a powerline road.
It was crazy fun seeing if we could get air off the humps where flash floods had cut through the road.
After several hours of this I spotted something in the middle of the road ahead. It was a 5 gallon Jerry can.
Very cool, I thought, a nice addition to my inventory. I got out, picked it up and brought it around back to tie it down and saw that mine was gone! :doh:
 

Clutchee

I'm fun sized!
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Apr 19, 2004
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Hotel M-F, home weekends!
Wow, great thread.....
1st cruiser event was 2001 GSMTR, many years after attending and watching rigs progress and making so many great friends. Each year my dad would ride shot gun and spot, many times I think about trail 5 and crossing creek and at the time the “ledge” coming out and making it up.... thought I had accomplished something huge.

The next being the LSLC round up, K1 old rocks, waterfall trail, going across the huge crack with Chris King spotting me, the pic hangs in my shop.... full bodied 60 with inch of tire holding it up.... and light under the other 8” of tire.

Cruiser events have tons of my life, best part being friendships, and memories!
 

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