The China Wall anniversary run planning thread received little activity this year. Coupled with the week of cool, wet weather, turnout for this run was unusually low. After refueling in Lake George, I arrived about 15 minutes late to the trail head where I found Ty and Shane waiting. Paul expressed interest in joining us on the calendar, but indicated he would be very late due to an unexpected morning commitment. He expected to find us on the trail, but we never saw him.
After airing down, we took the spur out towards the eponymous obstacle. About half way to the wall we caught up to a group of 15-20 vehicles moving very slowly on the trail. We waited for a while (20 minutes?) for the group to clear a rig high centered on an obstacle and then slowly move the rest of their group through the section. We would wait for them several more times before reaching the wall, where we once again waited for them to clear the area. The large group continued past the wall towards the creek, so we made a couple quick runs up the obstacle then turned back towards the northern section of the trail to try to stay ahead of the large, slow moving group.
As we progressed back up through the area where we first waited on the large group, Shane burped his rear passenger tire. Shane rolled off the rocks with a flat and then set to re-inflating the tire. We quickly became a minor blockage on the trail as several more groups heading out to the wall worked past us. With Shane's rig blocking the easy line, the other trail users took the hard line and filtered through. Fortunately there was no permanent damage to Shane's tire and he was rolling again after airing up.
We stopped at the "breakover challenge" rock where Scott abused his truck a couple years ago to test our own breakover angles before continuing north on the trail. I have not run this section of trail in a couple of years and it seems like the corkscrew chute section may have eroded considerably since I last ran it. With the rain from this week the soil was wet and the rocks in this section provided little traction. We carefully worked our way down the obstacle in short bursts of slips and slides with no damage or truly concerning experiences.
At the north end of the trail we stopped near the gate to air up and plan the rest of the afternoon. While airing up we were all amused by the large pet pig another trail user let out of their car.
We decided to head up Tarryall Road towards Lost Park Road to explore some of the forest roads in that area. We turned north on 39, then explored forest roads 826, 824, 129, 39.2C and 130. Near the intersection of 130 and 56 (Lost Park Road), I found the area where we helped extract the F150 during our run here in January. Back on 56 we decided to end the day and took 56/Lost Park Road west to 285 to return home.