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Cleary Welcome Winter Run
#1
So set up to shake down my Jeep...new radiator, new power steering set up, 4 limit straps and 3/4 Fox shocks operational.

Turns out, we started in fall, ended in Winter.

11/5
Met at my house at 10 am

Attendees:
me
Chris Olson
Randy Wise and girls
Eric Francisco

Headed up to the trail at the top of Gilmore.
Chatted with BLM Ranger coming out of the area. They said they went to the trail head, but certainly couldn't have accessed BLM land with that street truck.

Headed up, expecting a quick route.
The first small wash offered the first time for me to check real-world clearances.
Everything looked good.
Eric came through next. Frozen dirt allowed him to slide hard into the bottom of a rut, bouncing off his driver side rock slider and cracking the rear driver side flare.
Randy and Chris came through ok.

The usual trench we play in was another story:
I went right up the middle, diving into as many full flex holes I could. Eric should have some good pictures of me...at the top of the wash, my passenger tube fenders where hard into the frozen bank, and tried to stop my progress. Managed to back up, turn hard left out of the rut, then applying a burst of speed pulled up and out.
Eric straddled the wash and managed to air out the passenger front tire, while avoiding the bank I had been hung up in.
Randy was going to try, but slid in. No locker bound up his front and he couldn't go forward or back. We tried to get him out under his own power, but that resulted in him pinching out his passenger reverse light on the frozen mud. Chris tugged him back, then he backed out and took the bypass. Chris straddled the main crack, and exited prior to the gnarly corner.

We worked our way along with the snow increasing in intensity.

Through the next wash, we posed for some pictures. Chris tried out his drone, but had camera issues, so no aerial shots of our group. We took plenty of flex pictures. Randy got to really test out his XJ since the lift. Not having a front locker made it a little more bouncy than ideal, but he didn't flop and came out with a smile and busted plastic.

We hooked up to the Mine road, then on to the Circle to Fairbanks trail.
We took the left fork, heading to Chatanika.
The trail was good, but clearly rutted and full of little ponds. Might be fun in the summer.
We made good time. Had to stop to clear a pair of 10 inch deadfall trees.

Dropped down Muddy Hill, cruised along the Ditch and popped out at the old FE Camp.

Reconnected sway bars, shot the breeze and played on the Steese. There must have been some freezing rain out there earlier, as the road was boilerplate ice with 1/2 inch of fresh snow on top. You could do cookies there no problem. Videos of that on Facebook.

Carnage:
Randy: passenger back up light, some body damage
Eric: more noise from a bushing on a shock
Me: scuffs from a frozen bank on my tube fenders (beauty marks)
Chris: camera malfunction on the drone.

Thanks for everyone coming out!
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#2
Had a lot of fun. Gained some experience and got a feel for the XJs flex capabilities. Front locker should be here next week, and 4.56 gears are waiting patiently on the work bench. :rockon:
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