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Thread: North Sand Hills 6/12

  1. #1
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    Default North Sand Hills 6/12



    First we scouted a few campsites, but quickly decided to head straight for the sand hills.

    We soon encountered the biggest sand hill of the day. I had opted to take my Explorer and unknowingly had a much higher tire pressure than I thought as I was getting stuck, but with some assistance from Jim to get aired down quickly, I was able to make it up the first big hill. Mike got to make use of his truck's electronics which helped him get up a very steep dune even after seemingly getting stuck near the top of that first hill. We then proceed to explore and zip around the rest of the sand hills.

    Once on the south side of the hills, we encountered a UTV with a tire that had come un-mounted, which Jim helped re-mount. https://youtu.be/n74nj1AIVp0

    We played around the south end of the dunes a bit more, and nearby a truck hit a bump a bit too hard and damaged their front suspension to the point that there was no clearance between the tires and wheel wells. Jim gave the driver a ride back to their camp, where they connected to a trailer to Jim's Jeep, went back to the truck and loaded it on the trailer, and with a little assistance from myself + Jim's snatch strap to get up another hill along the way, we got it back to their camp.

    After we got done playing on the sand hills, Jim & Trent tried to find a campsite away from the mosquitos as Mike and I waited near the creek. Unsuccessful, they decided that they would soon head home.

    Jim and I decided to have one last lap around the dunes, where Jim once again came to the rescue as we encountered a dirt-biker whose chain had popped off. They lifted it up onto the back of Jim's Jeep and got it back to their truck.

    I was still considering camping, so Jim showed me to a campsite with a nice view we had passed earlier. After a few minutes I too decided to head home, as the sounds of the blaring music, ATVs, UTVs, dirt bikes, and the still swarming mosquitos made the campsite a bit less than peaceful.

    Overall I had a fun day out on the Sand Hills, though camping would probably have been more feasible on a quiet weekday with lots of bug spray + a bug zapper + scattered citronella candles + a large campfire to repel the mosquitos.

  2. The Following 4 Members Say Thanks to Mad Maxx For This Post:

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: North Sand Hills 6/12



    Sweet video of the tire! Thx.

    Sorry you too headed home last night.

    I enjoyed being there again. Helping others was nice icing on the cake.

    The mosquitos certainly were a detraction (thanks for the bug spray - it helped!).



    Dad would often comment - things come in threes. Today was such a day.

    1) Pop'd outside bead on a right rear 4-place side by side. (Mark posted video, above)
    We came across a 4-place side by side that had a tire off of the bead. The guys said they had help on the way (a buddy with an air pump) [Milwaukee M12 Compact Inflator]. If they called a paid recovery service I'd have taken second seat so as not take a paying job from someone. I mentioned jacking it up - they commented - oh no, we'll just lift it up (they had many strong bodies in the group - it was no issue). One guy had a lighter - I had starting fluid (it's been in the jeep perhaps 8 years, this is perhaps the first use). One guy handled the tire to align it, many hoisted, I sprayed and clicked the lighter - poof - mostly done. It didn't fully seat (perhaps 80%). The portable inflator didn't look to be doing anything so I pulled the jeep's air hose and finished it for them. Hindsight - I should have removed the valve core and sprayed uniformly around the tire. When it seated, it wasn't proper. I called it out to them and they said they'd take care of it later. A happy group.

    2) Toyota Tacoma - blown front suspension
    We were playing with the small, steep hill over at the east side of the south area. Sitting up top I watched a 4-place SxS and a full size pickup (with what might be a roof-top-tent) heading to a rise. This rise / small hill had a bit of an abrupt transition from flat to incline. The black truck hit it and BAM was a loud sound. I didn't see any air bags through the glass. The right front tire looked on the bead. I assumed the left front tire blew off of the bead. Then I notice the truck where it stopped up top / on the flat - the RF tire is stuffed into the wheel well. We drove over to them - the LF tire was also stuffed into the wheel well. Looking on the underside - both shocks were blown. The driver said this vehicle has coil over shock suspension. The interface at the lower end of the coil spring broke - on both sides. The truck would roll but with minor rubbing of tire / wheel well - in the straight. Turning would likely be worse.

    They had a trailer for it (that the 4-place SxS came on) but didn't have a vehicle to get it back to camp. I volunteered. They had a 2" receiver on the back of the pickup. We went to camp, grabbed the trailer and headed back to the truck. I was quite curious how the jeep would handle this task. At one spot, heading uphill with the empty trailer, the jeep was having a struggle. Mark kindly stayed nearby to be a helping hand*. The jeep got the trailer to the pickup and from that point it was mostly downhill. The jeep did well enough until one uphill section. Mark lined up in front of me with the elastic rope and that was the trick - out and moving in only two or three tugs. We stayed connected until the hard-er packed downhill then disconnected. The jeep was able to get the trailer and truck to their campsite. It likely exceeded the jeeps rated towing capacity - by about twice over - LOL (looking up specs - the jeep is perhaps 3100 pounds and the truck/trailer looks to be about 6500 pounds). In a couple turns on the sand (all of 5mph) I noticed the trailer pushing the rear of the jeep outward - not a feeling one would want at speed on a highway.

    3) Bad chain dirt bike (broken master link, no spare)
    Mark and I were making one last pass through the dunes and at the valley between the north and south areas we saw a guy waving his arms at us. Driving over he was emphatically asking for help. The master link failed and he had no replacement. We were in the little valley between the areas and he was looking at one gnarly up-hill to get out - pushing a bike uphill in deep sand - ugh. I figured - we can just set it in the back of the jeep (realize - the back of the jeep has the big steel trunk - one fairly flat open space). He and his buddy hoisted the front tire up to the jeep and I held it in place as they lifted the back tire up. We pushed it across until the front tire dropped out the passenger side. This left the back tire in the jeep and the bottom of the engine sat in the jeep. He jumped up with the bike and we headed back to their camp - though on the way hitting the big hill one more time (Mark wanted to tackle it once again). The biker rode down the big hill with no issue. We had the bike unloaded and then it struck me to get a picture - that would have been a fun pic to have. He was very appreciative for the hand. He was looking at a hard task getting the bike out of there.

    * I was a last-minute tack-on to this trail run. I was mostly jumping into the group un-announced. I told everyone to head out and enjoy the dunes, I'd help these folks and would catch up later. I didn't want to impose / be a distraction to the run they had planned.
          

  4. The Following 5 Members Say Thanks to Jim For This Post:

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    Default Re: North Sand Hills 6/12










  6. The Following 6 Members Say Thanks to open_circuit For This Post:

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    Default Re: North Sand Hills 6/12



    Nice vids. That sand mode certainly was impressive. The vid doesn't do the incline justice (they rarely do). He said he had no foot on the gas or brake - just pressing a button and the vehicle did the rest.

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    Default Re: North Sand Hills 6/12



    My takeaway from that is if I get in the sand, lock it all up and then very gently spin the wheels, and just be patient. Without watching that video I don't think I would have ever considered just waiting it out that long.

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    Default Re: North Sand Hills 6/12



    Trip write-up is complete. A few highlight photos posted here with a full set at this link:

    www.JimWilliamson.net/automobile/2021-06-12--trail--north-sand-hills/


    I removed the antennas from Mark's explorer (original at the link above) - a clean look against the mountains




    Playing at the small hill




    Pickup loaded up to head back to their camp








    New-to-me fencing






    Creek crossing


  10. The Following 3 Members Say Thanks to Jim For This Post:

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