On June 21, a group of 7 moderate rigs, and 5 hardcore rigs met at the Western Sizzlin for a day of running some of the toughest trails in Oklahoma. However, on the way to the trails there were a few problems. First, there was a slick grass covered hill, which gave some of the moderate rigs some trouble and had to be pulled up. Then, there was a problem with a Posi-Lok system being jammed, but with some quick wrenching by Tyler Beavers, the problem was solved and we were back on the trail.
The hardcore and moderate groups then split up to run different trails. The hardcore ran Panel Wagon at a blinding speed with no trouble until the top where some of the rigs were forced to winch. After Panel Wagon, the hardcore guys moved onto Transfer Case hill, one of the hardest runs on the mountain. There were some problems there. The Moores had to replace their rear drive shaft before the drive back to town, then received a little body damage on the bed of their Toyota caused by sliding into a rock wall. Ron in his custom built CJ, had suspension problems when he hit the control arm on a rock bending it, causing the axle to move forward and damaged the drive shaft. Rons rig was stuck on the trail until the guys got back to town to have the link straightened. There was an impressive throttle show by Joe in his 350-powered CJ.
The moderate guys first day was at a much slower pace. They were on the run Panel Wagon for around 5 hours and only made it up ¾s of the way. After the Posi-Lok problems, no one broke except there was a throttle problem with the lifted Bronco and a burnt out winch on the red YJ. Panel Wagon was more of an extreme moderate, which was unexpected for the moderate rigs. There were many close calls to rolling over; all were stopped by winching or some great spotting. Up at the top of Panel Wagon the trail got to hardcore for the moderate group and they were forced to turn around and go out the way they had come in. The way back went much smoother with only few troubles.
The second day of wheeling the groups split up once again with the moderate guys going to Kinta to run the much mellower trails and creek beds. For the hardcore guys it was back up to Poteau Mountain for another day of tough climbs. Grassy was the trail they went on this day, which was completed successfully by all the rigs without winching. Only few problems occurred within the trail, Tyler Beavers broke the Posi-Lok cable, which forced him to manually move the front axle into four-wheel drive. There were several difficult climbs on Grassy, which challenged all the drivers. On the last hill of Grassy, Phil Bargman managed to break the bead on the rear passenger side 44 bogger. After the quick trail fix, the crew completed the hill virtually flawlessly. The crew once again split up, a couple of the rigs headed back to town with a few who went on to take a look at Anaconda which is another one of the hardest trails in Poteau.
All and all, the Poteau runs were a success and no one was hurt or seriously broken. Although the moderate crew ran a more hardcore trail than expected. We all had fun and cant wait to return for more. Thanks to all the Trail Chaser rigs and passengers who participated in the run.