Well, I was only there on Saturday so I can't speak for the whole weekend.
Weather was beautiful Saturday and we broke into some very small groups. I was riding shotgun with Smitty in the 62, Rob & Norm had the 4-runners, and John had the 40 with the mini drivetrain.
We headed deep into Paragon first thing (right after we ran back to the hotel to pick up the keys to the 62 that wouldn't come off the trailer with out them.) Headed down Rabbit Run toward Rock Swamp & Woodpecker, an area of the park we hadn't really explored before. Things were going great until John lost steering. (That tends to happen when the steering arm comes off after shearing 4 studs.) This lead to some major downtime while Rob and I ran back to the trailer to get a spare knuckle & bearings. Rob and I got yelled at by a Paragon guide with 30 some Rubicon Jeeps for being without our group. What's the point of point of a group if you can't split up and go for parts/help? An hour and a half later we returned with parts, and Rob on double secret probation with the Paragon office. Cam & John soon had the 40 back together after replacing the knuckle, studs, knuckle bearing, and a birf that got chewed up.
We decided to get closer to the exit before we broke something else and got to experience some new "trails" that had been cut to bypass Valley Road and Muddy Pipeline. I guess cutting down trees and leaving stumps and holes everywhere could be called a trail, but it really sucks riding through.
Anyway, on the way out, there is a trail Cam has been eyeing for years and really wanted to run. I think it is called "Sluice". Basically huge rocks like Pitfall and other trails, with a drop into a huge water hole, and then a tough rock climb back out. The rest of the group was content to finish the day watching Cam test the 62 against the trail. BTW, the hole is normally water - this time of year it was 4" thick ice that was starting to break up and really broke when the 62 landed on it. As usual, Cam's aggressive driving got him through the impossible. I thought I saw steam coming from the rear of the truck when he came out of the icehole and quickly realized it was smoke from one of the 3 Optimas that had shifted into the side of the aluminum fuel cell. A few panic moments passed when I couldn't decide to jump into the truck and help or run like hell passed. He and I quickly got the battery disconnected and off the fuel cell, jammed some sticks in for a quick fix to keep it from shifting back. Then he had to finish the tough climb out. A full throttle assault followed by a loud snap of a rear axle annouced that Cam was finally happy and called for the winch. Unfortunately, the fuel pump or injection in his truck will act up if it slams to much, and today was no exception and he had a tough time keeping it running for the winch ride out. Rob finally yanked him out with his powerful 4-runner and Dawn towed him with Norms truck almost back to the staging area. Not one to be towed all the way home, the 62 finally fired and pulled itself back to the parking lot and onto the wedge.
Norm's 4 runner performed flawlessly throughout the weekend, following the seasoned veterern's around without even getting a battle scar. Well done Norm. I only ask where do you go from here - the truck is close to perfect.
I got a quick glimpse at Lance's 60/55/buggy and was impressed as ever with the quality of work that Lance does. Wish I could have wheeled with him, but my schedule only permitted one day.
I'll let others fill in the rest of the details I missed. I think Norm has the only pics from Saturday - the rest of us forgot our gear. Sorry to have missed you at RC Dan, but looks like you guys had a good time as well.
Wow Helluva writeup, Tim. I don't know those trails you mentioned (only cause I don't have the cajones to drive them), but sounds like fun was had by all - exceptin for the carnage.
Sounds like a saweet truck Norm has. Kudos to Rob.
I got a new hopefully temporary moniker - the creaker. It seems my stock length ome shackles in the front are too short, causing the longer hfs springs to have such insufficient movement upon articulation, that upon reaching the end of their limited movement, they are forced sideways into the shackles. Thus the loud creak. I've ordered 1.5in longer for the front, and have 2.5in longer for the rear that will go in soon. That should solve the lack of spring mobility.
Once you splained your predicament to the guide, was he still an a** about the minimum group requirement? Oh, I guess so, seeing the double secret probabation comment. Go animal house!