Thursday, October 19, 2023
Trail - Hole In The Rock

Trail in yellow.  We'll deviate from the Hole In The Rock trail to visit a side trail called The Rincon.

Jump to the Rincon Recovery
Jump to the Premier Power Welder (a part of the recovery)

click for a larger size


Down one slick rock slope to head up a long gulley

Keep the tires on the black lines and all is good

We're deviating off of the main Hole In The Rock trail to visit a land feature call The Rincon. It's a Colorado River natural re-route. The river had flowed on a horseshoe path but it cut across the top and the horseshoe area went dry. The trail heads up the right leg of the horseshoe to the water. That's our goal.

Curious dollups

This is where the day will have a curious deviation.

I was at the tail end of the group taking pictures of those ahead. James went to run through an obstacle area (37.28652798063392, -110.7751363546742) with the rest of us waiting. Jen got out to spot. It was a ledge with some tippy (from my way back view). I was looking from afar and my thought was - "I don't think I want to run that section". James completed the ledge area and started moving up the slot between two large rocks (37.28645816602537, -110.77559118745026). As James was heading up the slot Jen was torn between spotting him and spotting the next jeep. She wanted to be in two places at once.

Next we hear over the radio, a very calm voice of James saying something like "I might need a bit of recovery help". A bit more on the radio - front end went into a hole. My question was - how deep / could we put a hi-lift in and push the front end up? Comment came back - "I can't see the bottom". My thought - "A NINTEY FOOT DEEP HOLE!! - that's some hole!" It was only much later did I find out more about the hole. Yes. I'm leaving out some details - you'll get to enjoy what I enjoyed for the first hour+ in the event.

Why so long for me to find out about the hole? I drove up an alternate route to the valley area and played out winch line. I stayed at my jeep, foot on brake, never getting to James' jeep until it was recovered.

Picture of my cool shade vantage when the call came over the radio (James was out sight / in the slot beyond the tree).

My view of the issue for an hour or so.

A significant snag in the removal was the parking brake drum catching on a lip of sandstone. In the end several items happend - scissor jacks were used to lift the frame of the jeep, some chiseling of the rock was tried - but in the end - the cast iron drum was broken as the jeep was pulled back.


Getting closer!

Gents at each side with jacks to lift the frame.

Done - mostly - now to tend the broken parking brake drum.

As James was coming up the slope, just past a lip of sandstone, was the hidden hole. The front end went in and that was it. Curiously - no body damage happened - while fitting closely. The only damage was the parking brake drum.

Now to tend the parking brake drum...
Premier Power Welder put to use

Drum being cut off

The newly installed and un-tested onboard welder with DC accessory power was put to good use powering an angle grinder with cut-off discs.

Yes, it's a DC outlet. True AC devices will not work with it but many AC motor devices, specifically if they are on/off style and not variable speed, can run with DC power.

End result for the drum.

The group decided to not complete the trail - not having everyone else drive up the obstacles that caused issue. The rest of the group walked out to a vista point to see the Rincon. As my jeep was at hand I drove to a slightly different spot for a few pictures.

Satellite image of the land feature - where water used to flow and how it cut across the top of the horseshoe.

Looking up the right leg of the horseshoe. Colorado River / Lake Powell visible.

Lake Powell / Colorado River

The group's vantage

Back to the trail - heading to find a campsite

Up to the mesa and higher speeds.

The road winding to the distance.

Passing by the San Juan River again

Back to the wall - the white jeep (along with the rest of us) made it up without any winch or strap assistance.

A section of the old, hand cut road. I could have driven it but chose the smoother route on the left.

The last campsite

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