Summer Campout
Ira Wieny
7/29 -7/30

Ah, and now that I have your attention… ;-)

I hate to bitch too much but lets just say that the weekend could have been a
LOT better for Lorrie and I. We started out with a leisurely drive up the
mountain on Friday. We both took the day off so we could get up to camp and
relax a bit before the run. We had just blown by a Ford Powerjoke towing a 5th
wheel on the 4 lane somewhere above Sonoma. I was pushing about 27# of boost
from the turbo when I passed them. About a mile or so later another grade and
I am not quite into it that much (~20# of boost) and we hear a BOOM! I mean
BOOOM!!! Psssssssssss…. Boost == 0 EGT’s 1200 and climbing. My first
thought is SHIT I just blew a head gasket. Second thought is “no that is not
where the noise is coming from. 1st gear and about 5mph gets us to a point we
can pull over. I get into some shade (lucky me) and pop the hood.

Good news, NOT a head gasket, bad news, intercooler boot has slipped off the
turbo housing UNDER the clamp. I think, ok this is not such a hard fix… I
get out the tools and put the boot back on. All in all, in the shade, not such
a bad break down… 1 mile later… Boom! Psssssss. Shit! It slipped off
again… I was only pushing about 18#!! come on!…

Short story. It blew 2 more times (the last one at about 10# of boost, without
the jeep on the trailer) before we finally made it to camp…

Many thanks go to Dirk, Mark Polomik, Darell, and his friend Lynn for helping
out in person, and on the phone…

Needless to say I am not a happy camper Friday night… (Get it, camper
heheheh I slay myself…)

We had a great campfire on Friday night and turn in early because we were both

Sat morning we all get ready, line up for a photo. Get some release forms
signed (Because we are such a litigious club now), find a seat for Ed who rode
his motorcycle up just for the day, and we are off on the trail. Right off our
leader, Eric, was on the radio informing our newer members of the proper lines
to take through the rough spots. Indeed from this end of the trail there is
some serious “rockery” to be dealt with right off.

First I would like to congratulate Loro on excellent driving skills. Being
able to handle the Bronco, with manual transmission, high gears, without power
steering, AND without fuel injection just has to be commended.

Over all the trail did not present too much trouble. The first problem we had
was getting Richards Xtera and Loro’s Bronco over a stair step. As always some
rock piling ensued, but no straps were present. The “hard” part of the first
rock garden really was not that bad. For some reason it seems the trail
changed quite a bit. I did manage to kiss the big rock right where my left
mirror would have been had I not pulled it in… ;-)

Next thing I knew Jim Hodges ended up off the trail. Richard was able to strap
Jim back on the trail and we got him past the rocks he was trying to navigate.
During this we noticed some fluid leaking from the front of his Jeep. After
some more rocks we surmised that he had probably just gotten a little warm and
boiled over the excess water he had put in the over flow bottle. No harm, no

Overall the Jeep did well for Lorrie and I. I have determined that I need,
among other things, better tires… I just could not keep on my lines…
However, I had a good time and other than a bit of a kiss on that large rock, I
don’t think I did any banging on the rocks. Lorrie did a great job of spotting
in between taking many, many photos.

After some lunch we got to Lions Butt. This was a rather Moab looking
obstacle. Darell and I decided to skip it and just spot people up. Jim was
the only one to not make it as his transmission was giving him trouble…
Don’t get me started about those automatics… ;-) Other than that everyone
did a great job making it up.

Indeed from Lions Butt to the rock pile the trail is passable by pretty much any
vehicle. Looking at the rock pile I don’t see how those guys did it 2 weeks
ago. They did mention they had moved some rocks to help with the first stair
step up into the obstacle but without 37″ tires I don’t think it would have
been passable yesterday.

The drive back to camp was pretty easy. We had some down time and then got
ready for the potluck. The potluck went great. As usual we had more food than
we could eat. Brian cooked up some berry shortcake which toped off Sushi,
baked beans and sausage, french bread, pasta salad, mixed fruit, and macaroni
and cheese. I found that sloppy joe mix and meat topping french bread is
pretty good.

The only down side to dinner was the slight bit of rain that we had… What is
it with rain and our “summer” campouts? Anyway, the rain stopped and we had a
great campfire again. We even had DVD’s courtesy of Eric.

Sunday morning, Lorrie and I tried to get up early to take care of the turbo
issue. We did not do such a great job. Over the weekend there was much debate
between myself and others about how I could make it home. I decided that it
was best to drive the Jeep separatly and use some hose clamps to “strenghten”
the intercooler boot.

Lorrie and I made our way home very slowly. But in the end we made it home
without the truck breaking down. Which is really what counts.

All in all, a very fine trip.


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