Big Dogs Spring Fling
at the Cove Campground in Gore, VA

June 8,9, and 10, 2007


link to Big Dogs Webpage


link to the Cove Campground Webpage

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standard pre trip poser shot Photoshops of Gene as a woman, a midget, flaming homo, etc. poser shot from some trail Ed's two-fist hole in his BFG XJ on Snake Ed having the same problem getting over the same log and wedging a tree in between his bumper and fender Some asshat that was on the trail with us taking a chain saw to the obstacle, despite us yelling for him to stop.  If you need a chainsaw before you even try the obstacle, you need to be running lower trails or staying in the parking lot XJ having issues going down Camp 8 Going down Camp 8 They lost a wheel in Nancy, so she got driven back to camp on three wheels. busted mirror mount from the night run dented hood from the night run dented fender from the night run the other dented fender from the night run dented windshield frame from the night run shot of the Bunny trail Scott stuck on the V trail, waiting for Barbara to pull him off Ed's carnage more of Ed's Jeep coming down the hill on V CJ coming down V without a rear driveshaft.  There was a guy in Camp 6 that welded it back up for him that night, good enough to get him down the highway just a shot of one of the lakes from over by the showers Ed playing on a little part of ET, just off U turn easy me in the same spot just another angle Ed having trouble on Horseshoe still stuck.  To be fair, I had a lot of trouble getting over this log too and tore it up a little making it harder for him more of ed stuck lost a pin for my disconnects, and ran out of spares, so here is my trail fix using a bungee cord end someone asked me for a shot of how well my camping gear fits, so here is that pic busted rock light.  think this was from the night run, too shot of the lake from by the staging area shot of the lake from the entrance to the cove while it doesn't show my ruined wheel or fawked up hub from almost losing a wheel on the highway, here are the reminants of my front driveshaft.
seems that I blew one of my new u-joints, which exploded my CV joint, which in turn took out the driveshaft.  the force was enough to destroy my transfer case
linkage and hit my skid plate/crossmember hard enough to knock two bolts out of it.  Trails are good, highways are bad.

What can I say about Big Dogs, other than night runs are a bad idea.

Rode with OCC all weekend, so I'll just use their trip reports to tell the stories...



Now that I have been in OCC for a while i decided it was time to learn the fine art of being Trail leader. So on friday I lead our ride at bigdogs. The following are the brave souls who were willing to follow me on my first attempt to guide.

Ed "specail" Salas and Passenger Sarah Green TJ Rubicon on 33's
Dave Martinek Red TJ on 32's
Scott Scott LeLacheur and Passenger Julio Vargas Red YJ on 33's
Ed Miller Black TJ Rubicon on 33's
Mike Lansinger and Passenger Mark Mason Green 4door JK Rubicon on 35's
John Altieri and Passenger Rebecca Richter Silver XJ on 31's
Charles Brownell Orange XJ on 32's
Eric Johnson and Passengers Kurt, Bret and Gavin Silver LJ on 33's
Ryan Hesslep Silver Suzuki on 33's
Lee Hubbard and Passenger Kim Day Black YJ Stock

Our Plan for the day was start out on simple lower Advanced Stocker friendly 3 Trails and increase in difficulty from there. John Hunt requested that we add Julio to our group who showed up in a bone stock Toyota Land Cruiser. After talking to John and Julio we all agreed that it would be best for him to see the trails as a passenger Scott . offered up his passenger seat. With that taken care of we drove off to the trails. The Day started With (Level 3) Snake which for the most part was very passable by all in the group on to (Level 3) Dynamite where the day started to get interesting. We ran into a group of Grands which diverted us back on to Snake where I found a tree trunk most of the way across the trail. When I attempted to drive over it. My driver’s side front lower control arm mount got caught on the larger root end of the tree and forward motion stopped. After looking around we figured it would be in my best interest if Scott pulled my jeep back off the larger part of the tree. Apparently we did not see a smaller Branch that was Simi buried which stabbed my front passenger side tire cutting a hole approximately a foot long in the side wall of my BFG Mud terrain. After the Tire was swapped out the rest of the group made there attempts at crossing the log most made it over using a few tries a little skinny peddle and a slight re org of the brush on the side of the trail with at worst very cosmetic body damage. From there the group went down (level 3) Loop ten once again most people made it through with out any issues with the exception of The Stock black YJ who had some problems on the little rocky hill climb close to the middle of the trail where everyone has lunch. We decided to have Scott winch him up and notices a little bit of a burning smell which he said probably were his brakes since he was trying to 3 peddle it to gain traction. we stopped for lunch and moved on to driving up (Level 3) Twister close to the top of Twister the Black YJ started having even more trouble what we smelled was getting worse and we found out it was not his brakes but his clutch we also found out that the silver XJ was over heating a little since he had been playing in one of the mud puddles that we passed and caked his radiator with mud. Once everyone got caught up we decided that the clearing at the top of camp 8 would be a better place for the Black YJ so we towed it up to the top. To keep the group moving I started people down (Level 5) camp 8 Scott and Mike stayed behind with the Black YJ and eventually ended up towing it back to camp. With some careful spotting we were able to guide almost everyone through the trail with out any problems except for the over heating XJ which really was starting to have problems not only with over heating but he also did not have enough ground clearance to make it through some of the rocks with out more damage then he was willing to accept after speaking with him he decided he would head out and the orange XJ along with the Silver Zuk went with him as escorts. With everyone off Camp 8 Scott let me know that they were back from towing the black YJ and were heading down nasty towards Sissy and K2. Following his instructions and perhaps suffering from the 102 degree heat I got the group a little turned around and we turned left when we should have gone straight and ended up driving up (Level 5) Squealer Everyone made it up with out any issues but I would like to mention Dave martinek and the Silver LJ who are both not locked front or back and were able to walk right up the hill with out any issues. once we made it up squealer we met up with Scott and the remainder of our group made there way down ( Level 5) Nasty then on to ( level 4) Sissy ending the day with ( Level 6) going down K2 Exiting using the last 50 some yards of (level 6) trickle.

Over all it was a good day of wheeling. And given the chance i think i wouldnt mind guiding again. I would like to thank Scott Scott not TomTom for helping us get around from trail to trail as well as Dave martinek and Sarah Craig who both assisted in Spotting duites at varrious parts of the Day.

See everyone one on the trail soon!

Ed" Specail" Salas



Saturday Trail Report for Big Dogs Summer Slam

Barbara & Julie Blue TJ (Members)
Scott & Burton Red YJ (Members)
John N & Doug D Green TJ (Member/Former Member)
Rick V & Julio Gold TJ )Member)
Dave M Red TJ (Member)
Ed Miller Black Rubi (Member)
Greg & Megan Desert Tan YJ
Jay, Teresa & Alex Dark Colored TJ
Ed Salas & Sara Green Rubi (Members)
Tom Dark Colored TJ
Don & Sam Blue TJ (Member/Son)
James & Ed Silver CJ (Member/Guest)
Mark & Gretchen Greenish JK

We left the staging area about 10:00 AM and headed toward Pinnacle. We stopped briefly to look at the Bunny Trail and started down Canyon. Canyon has some decent rocks and a small rock ledge which everyone handled with no problems. We then arrived at V trail, which is my favorite trail at the Cove. We started up with no problems, then about half way up Ed M broke his front axel U-joint ears. So we winched him off the trail and noticed that his ball joint had failed as well. He hopped in with Dave to finish the trail. Scott got hung up at one point, and he was willing let me strap him (pictures to come) rather than winching himself out. Where Scott got hung up was the same rock that also took out his radiator on the green jeep a couple months back. He vows that he will be back to get his revenge. We all made it to the top and began to complete the loop at the top of the trail. Which was a rocky up hill and then a Minnie K2 down hill. James got half way up and broke his rear drive shaft again. Don (maybe it was Bob) turned around and winched him down the hill. After he got turned around with help from the fat guys, he had to drive out in 1 wheel drive. Dave M also lost a bead and fixed it the quickest I have ever seen (or didn't see, thats how fast it was). We decided to head back to camp since Ed M had to go into town to get parts. When he got back everyone ate some BBQ pork sandwiches before going to repair. Don, Scott, Mark, Burton, his brother Ed, and his other brother Ed went to replace the ball joints and returned to camp about 2 hours later, they sure are getting faster at that. We then had a great fire, it was a really good trip.Thanks to Julie and Burton for the great spotting. Best of luck to James in his move we are going to miss having you out there.



Well, another great weekend of wheeling.

As usual we tried to take it easy on Sunday and get off the trail early so we could pack up. Our group consisted of:

Me(AKA: Don, Bob, Roger, Shirley) and Sam…Blue TJ
Dave…Red TJ
Ed and Sara…Greenish Rubi
Scott and Barbara…Red YJ
Chris…White YJ

At the Drivers meeting we told John that we wanted to run Whaoo and Trickle and he was OK with that. We knew that there was another group running Trickle so we went down Whaoo first. It was a nice little run with out any issues. Just the way we like it on a Sunday. I failed to ask the other group which way they were going to be running Trickle and since we didn't want to meet up with them going opposite directions,( that wouldn't have been much fun), we decided to go up U-Turn Hard and down U-Turn Easy. Part way down U-turn easy we pulled into the top part of ET to play on some bigger rocks for a short time. That's always a fun thing to do. At this point Scott and Barbara decided to bail out and head back to finish breaking down camp. The rest of us wanted to do "just one more trail". So, with our fingers crossed that the "just one more trail" gremlins wouldn't get us, we decided to do the Horseshoe trail. I don't believe any of us had ever run Horseshoe before. It was an up hill climb at first with a few rocks and some fallen trees. With a little strap for Ed and a little skinny peddle for the rest of us we made it passed the slippery logs. At the top of Horseshoe, if you're not careful, you can end up in places you don't want to be on a leisurely Sunday afternoon. There is a turn off that will take you to Death Valley and another one that takes you up Boulder. We managed to find the crossover to the down side of Horseshoe and finished the trail with out any gremlins. Yea! After that, we headed back towards camp where Chris jumped off at camp 3 and the rest of us headed back to camp 2.

The whole weekend was a blast!

Don

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