This canyon is one Ken Peterson loved as do some of our members. Doug Ohm was our trip leader. It has been a marathon of runs these past few days as we have both had visitors who wanted to wheel, so we did. Doug led five jeeps in from Silver Creek meeting us at the Rock Quarry off of El Rodeo where the Morgans and Becks were waiting. We entered into 3 1/2 knowing that just a few would try to complete and others would be watching from below and above.
Doug Ohm with Josh and Natalie went in first. They went through the first obstacle with a little difficulty tipping the jeep a little high but otherwise OK. We were helping the Morgan’s come through when they got a flat tire and were losing differential fluid. They decided that since it was not the real difficult part that they would turn around and watch with the others. That left three jeeps terracing this trail.
The Bob Smiths and Reg Becks watched as Doug went up the “V,” then listening and driving as they were instructed, got over the crevice. Next obstacle I want to call the washing machine because it had water in it. You had to enter into it like an S, get lined up to climb a wall about four feet high with water in the bottom.
After we got up that wall it was at this point the watchers went back to their jeeps and drove to watch from above. The three of us drove on through a few ups and downs then on to a bouldery alley, as Doug put it. We were coming up from behind as Doug was starting into a narrow valley with large boulders to cross, when climbing a rock on the right side his left tire fell off its perch causing the jeep to do a slow rollover onto it’s side. They were all OK and we were able to upright the jeep with our winch with little effort. Doug’s jeep had a little damage to the left front fender and some damage to our winch and plug when the jeep came down and rolled back into us.
Otherwise, the only other problem was the last waterfall where Mock Turtle (our Jeep) had to take a strap to get up. Marsha Smith has renamed the trail: Jack Ass—4½+.
With everyone moving we went on to lunch, at that time the “duck” went around and got some dollars put in it’s gullet with lots of pictures being taken. After lunch we had Gavin lead us exploring some trails for future club runs. We all had a good time. Off to another adventure soon.
TRAIL NAME - 3 1/2 - A.K.A. JACK ASS
Report by Karen Beck, photos by the Morgans and the Reg Becks
We awoke Wednesday morning to clear skies and cool temperatures in the '60s. I meet with John and Norma to gain an updated perspective of the Odessa/Doran trail. The trail is rated difficult with several major obstacles. I had heard many Internet descriptions saying the trail was currently impassable and to expect body damage and equipment breakage. John confirmed that the canyons were difficult and that a couple of weeks ago he broke an axle. However, he was encouraging and said "you can do it." Where have I heard that before? With that I rallied the participants to see who was going to do Odessa/Doran or go with Darril on the easier run. Everyone decided to do the canyons.
John led us to the trailhead where we began the air-down process. At this point John and Darril informed me that they were not going to run the trail with us, but would observe from the ridge above. We proceeded into the trail with nine club member vehicles and one visitor--Lonnie, Ken Peterson's son. As we passed the entrance to the Gate Keeper, I immediately noticed that the wash was much deeper than I had remembered from seven years ago when I last led a group through Odessa/Doran. Within a short distance you could hear the vehicles engaging their 4WD option. We proceeded up the canyon and were now at the first major obstacle, a 4--5 foot waterfall. My 88 YJ cleared the fall with a little more than usual acceleration. Joe decided to let Ruth drive as he would spot. With a short winch line Ruth pulled over the fall. Others followed, with some also requiring a strap or winch for assistance.
As we proceeded up Odessa we came up an obstacle I like to call the narrows. The trail narrows with high canyon walls and is slightly off camber. This part of the trail is famous for taking out the driver side windshield. Each driver came through with the greatest of skill. No damage. The next obstacle was without a doubt the most memorable. As you travel along a narrow ledge you come upon a notch that causes your left rear tire to slide forcing the vehicle into a nose high off-camber configuration where the road had partially washed out. As the driver, you have a great view looking down a 30 foot cliff--okay, a ten foot slide. With a little help from all we managed to get everyone through the obstacle and on to our lunch stop. Lunch was at the base of some unknown mines. After lunch we proceeded to the top of Odessa where we met our guides John, Norma and Darril.
Concluding our uphill climb we now began the Doran Trail. Doran is primarily downhill with many large boulders, steep waterfalls, and high canyon walls. As we proceeded down Doran each driver was paying close attention to tire placement and securing any loose items in their vehicles. We were feeling pretty comfortable thinking we had Doran under control, when there it was, a waterfall with ragged edges, off camber sides, and a steep vertical drop. The first three vehicles chose to ride the left wall for a slow decent to the boulders at the bottom. Others chose the right side for the thrill of being off camber. Mike gave us quite a scare as his descent caused the right rear tire to reach new heights. Bob jumped on and pulled Mike's rig back to earth. We proceeded on through a scenic canyon and made a right turn to smooth ground.
One major obstacle remained before we called it a day--the Gate Keeper. Gate Keeper was an optional obstacle with only one taker, Joan. Joan proceeded down Gate Keeper and made it look easy.
Thursday was a day to recover and enjoy an easy scenic run. We met up with Darril for a trip through the Calico Desert. We traversed the flat lands, followed the power lines and then headed for Rainbow Basin. Rainbow Basin provided us with a spectacular view of nature's geological landscape of reds, grays and green layers of rock and sand. Thursday concluded with a visit to the old mining town of Calico.
In conclusion: Odessa/Doran is a difficult trail. Vehicles need to be equipped with 33" tires, suspension lift, at least one locker and have at least one vehicle with a winch. Would not recommend for larger vehicles. Thanks to all for the support. Bill
CALICO, CA. ADVENTURE OCTOBER 2012
Report by Trip Leader, Bill Hammond - Photos by Joyce Hammond and Joan Beck
This row: First two photos of Gate Keeper. Last photo, Thursday's run to Rainbow Basin.
Thanks for a wonderful trip, Bill! [Ed]
It was a tough run. Not as bad as we had anticipated after having heard tales over the past few years how difficult it had become. Needless to say, Doug Ohm with Uncle Stan, Larry and Debbie Surratt, Niles and Gloria Surratt, Reg and Karen Beck and Phil riding with me, were on the alert, wary and very cautious. Reg and Karen chose to take the high road and follow our progress from above the wash. The entry is difficult requiring good spotting with careful tire placement. After successfully navigating the pitfalls, we rounded the corner to "the waterfall." Fortunately, no water was present. With Phil helping me pick the right line and with a bit of luck, we popped right up - the other three jeeps, after a few tries, wisely chose to winch or strap as there was a nasty off-camber section just before the steep climb. Thank goodness for great spotters.
The run was long because of all the technical challenges, but we were all happy we had tackled it - we were a bit busy so didn't get very many photos, just enough to show you some of the hard areas, and yes, a lot of strapping took place.
HARD A$$ - MARCH 2012
By Joan Beck - Photos Phil Strittmatter and Joan
Our out-of-state members, the four Surratts love challenging trails and they were leaving in a few days, so this run was crammed into their available time slot. An 8:30 leave time was established and we waited an additional 15 minutes for more wheelers before actually departing. Larry and Debbie, Niles and Gloria, Doug Ohm with Uncle Stan, Joan and Phil made up the caravan to the trail which took a little over an hour with stops to de-trailer and de-air.
It's important to note that Barney's Revenge is approximately one-and-a-half miles long, almost too long for a trail that must be rated a 4 1/2+ - not quite a 5. It's a trail that should be done with only a small number of very well setup rigs with hard lockers and large tires. It's a trail that is very technical and demands a drivers close attention to the proper line. It's a trail consisting of large granite boulders, some larger than your rig.
There are, however, several bailouts and we opted to take one about half way through due to the waning day, a busted knuckle joint and a bunch of tired but happy folks. Was it said that the trail becomes more difficult from there on? Maybe some day we'll finish it all the way through. Phil.
From Joan: The wash starts out mildly but as you proceed along the trail, with great subtlety it bares it's fangs with bigger and more challenging boulders. At one point, three rigs took advantage of a go-around that was just as bad as the boulder field. When we made the unanimous decision to bail out we had all hiked ahead to see what the next obstacles might be. Bigger, tighter and more menacing - we were too tired to cope with it and didn't want to risk getting stuck at night, as it was, we reached pavement around 4:30. Great run.
By Phil Strittmatter - Photos, Phil and Joan Beck
CHALLENGING RUNS - EVENTS
PETERSON'S PASS - APRIL 5, 2014
Report Karen Beck, photos Reg Beck, Joan Beck
It was a dusty drive down Silver Creek with 15 rigs on their way toward Peterson's Pass.Guest, Brent Philipp, drove from Phoenix that morning to join us in his "super" Blazer. Some of the newer members didn't know quite what to expect, but handled the tough situations exceptionally well.
Doug Ohm led the way with 13 vehicles tackling the pass - the two Larry's took the by-pass. Doug did a great job spotting everyone through the obstacles, by the end of the day he was pooped. Members Wayne and Ellen Hinrichsen got stuck 3 different times on different obstacles - they had been through it before without a problem - they paid the price with a donation to the chicken. Then Bob Seibert got caught on some rocks and needed a little help, again the chicken got fed. The troops kept going up the pass where Brad got his Jeep Comanche into a small problem getting some body damage - happy chicken. Last but not least Larry and Marie Soester who had rejoined us at the go-around mid-way through the pass (now 14 rigs) had to have a helping hand as their air locker malfunctioned. The chicken burped with all the money it was fed on this beautiful April day! Thank you to everyone who contributed.
Some body damage happened to different rigs along the way. Our guest from Phoenix might not be back after the damage he sustained - not really, Brent is looking forward to our next challenging run. Dave Thomas is very happy with his new tires and top. George and Jackie are finding out how expensive jeeping with the B4W's can get - new locker, new tires and now some body damage. But they keep smiling and having fun. We have to say though that for first timers going through Peterson's Pass, Tom and Janis Pipkin, George and Jackie West and Bob Seibert all handled it like pro's. Well done!
Thanks to all who helped with spotting, strapping, winching and getting all the jeeps through and to Bill Hammond our tailgunner. Great job gang!
THE SLEEPING PRINCESS
B4W Adopted Trail with the Kingman BLM Resource Area
Photos shown below of the Bob Miller Extension - rated
a 4, and Hell's Half Mile - rated 4.5 on a one to five scale of difficulty. Enjoy. Never travel alone!
Report Joan Beck, Photos Joyce Hammond, Brad Morrison, Joan Beck
Doug Ohm led the run, and YES, it was hard! 12 vehicles turned out to try the trail that had not been attempted in a few years. Brent Phillip showed up from Phoenix. Brad Morrison greeted us at the trailhead but did not attempt it in his Cherokee; he hiked the trail figuring it was a 1/2 mile trip—it took us 4 hours to tackle it. At the end Brad hiked down in 15 minutes. The Hammonds came along so Joyce could get photos at the Gate Keeper, George West came along thinking he might give it a try, but once at the Gate Keeper decided not to destroy his Jeep. That left nine vehicles—Doug Ohm with son Mike, Niles Surratt, Larry Surratt, Pete Peterson with Norma, Mac Ruiz, Phil Strittmatter, Bob Smith, Brent Phillip, Joan Beck, tail-gunner. After viewing and photographing the Gate Keeper Bill, Joyce and George left us. The only person not getting the chicken that day was Phil Strittmatter. The rest of us had to be strapped! We all spent time trying to remove teddy bear cactus spines (jumping cholla) from our clothing, bodies and tires. We were also attacked by other cactus critters and the ever present cat-claw bush/tree, all seemingly intent on torturing us. At different spots along the trail we highly entertained a whole bunch of burros seemingly fascinated by our antics. Terrific, frustrating run but we did have fun.
HARD A $ $ --JANUARY 2015