Sunday, April 22, 2018
Miller Rock with Max and Matt (who bent his near-new tie rod).

The first jeep ride of the season. I've been tending rear brake issues and I think it's ready to get some use (more rear brake adjustment is needed). I met Max in Lyons and we had a bit of free time before Matt would arrive. We traveled the north portion of Bunce School road and onto Ironclads to the ledge. There were two side-by-sides debating how to get down the ledge. They tried to back up (two wheel drive - uphills - only to spin tires) to get out of the way of us. In the end we guided them how to get down the ledge and we u-turned out to get to the meet for Matt.

Off to Miller Rock there was scant little snow left from the snowfall a day prior. Matt caught his tie rod on a rock or root at a step and it had a good bend. He had just recently installed this tie rod and had the old unit sitting at home - a close 10 miles away. Lock up the jeep, head out and home for the parts and tools. Ample sun when we came back to the disabled jeep and it was a fairly straight forward task to tend the replacement (pickle fork to pop one ball stud out, turn off the tie rod from the other tie rod end, grab the old unit and reverse the steps. Floor jack to lift the driver's wheel to easily align the ball stud in its mounting hole. Toe-in eyeballed and was good enough for the trail.

Off to Miller Rock for a scramble to the top - not terribly difficult or dangerous and it gives a nice 360 view!

Maps for a later time...

On the way to the north entrance to Bunce School Road.

Matt leading at Miller Rock.

and into a bent tie rod. We tried the winch to help straighten but the tie rod didn't wish to stay aligned. Out came a jack to push it mostly straight - though it was time wasted. The first movement of the jeep found the tie rod back to its fully bent state. Stop work and head out for parts.

Max and Matt. Shoveling out some soil to fit a jack.

Back from the parts run - with nice cardboard to sit on. Bent tie rod out. Recently replaced and only slightly bent original tie rod back in.

Eyeball toe-in/out adjustment - good enough for trail use.

With the last rays of light we headed to Miller Rock and scrambled to the top (a first for me).

View northwest towards Estes Park / Rocky Mountain National Park. The multiple ridges reminds me of some Smokey Mountains ridges.

Mount Meeker?

Max and Matt

Northwest towards Estes / RMNP.