Carburetor Hill was truly a wicked cool obstacle. It was a steep climb with rock stair steps similar to Guardrail at Tellico except the rocks were covered in a greasy sand/mud compound. On either side was a long drop off that would render a winch useless if you fell off the side. Steve took the line to the left and did an excellent job of negotiating the hill. Rob went next and hammered on the hill but just couldnt get his zook to bite so he moved over for Jay to attempt the hill. Jay took the line to the right and with a little go-go juice overcame the obstacle. I went next and took the line to the right but as I got past the first part Tim guided me a different way to cut back across the rocks. Unfortunately it failed. I couldnt get the tires to bite on the rocks due to the mud so I backed off the step and proceeded up the right-hand side. After we made it up the slope Rob decided to follow our line and finally made it up and positioned himself to winch Chesters zook. Tim wanted to give this hill a shot so he drove Chesters zook and broke the left front axle in the process so the winch pulled him up the rest of the way.
We decided to head back to the hotel to make repairs, watch the video from the day and get some rest. Tim and Steve were planning on going to Louisville to fix Tims zook while the rest of us just hung out at the hotel and watched wheelin videos, but before we could do that we had to get past seven large mud holes that were filled with water from the previous days rain. These mud holes were deep but not that bad. We bypassed a few and hit a few but nothing impassable. Now it was onward to the hotel.
Sunday - February 18, 2001
Tim and Steve arrived back at the hotel around 8 am and Tim explained how a broken piece of axle had gotten hung up in the ring gear from a previous trip and destroyed the teeth on his 5.12s. Steve had a spare 5.12 back in Louisville and set it up for Tim so he could run on Sunday. They were up until 3am fixing his zook. Thanks again Steve for all of your help.
This was another cold yet beautiful morning. The sun was shining hinting at warmer temperatures. Like I said, hinting! Since it was Sunday and church was in session we had to unload at the parks parking lot. We were in luck because there was another access point for the trail just down the road therefore our on- road time would be limited.We went up this section of trail and once again we encountered small ledges but this time there were patches of ice. As the weather warmed up the ice melted and mud softened, now it was gooey again. This trail led us to the rock pile from the previous day. Since Tim did not get to tackle this pile the previous day he was determined to conquer it. Tim went every direction over this rock pile he could think of until he got his right rear spring hanger hung up on the biggest rock in the pile. The good part of this was that we were able to see how droopy his suspension was, the bad part was that he was stuck. As Tim tried to get the rig free he busted the left front axle when it hooked up on the rocks. After that Tim pulled the cable and winched himself off the rocks. Once again bad luck was upon Tim. From the rock pile we proceeded to the "Tabletop" and then on to the bypass for the "Bowl" heading to a new trail for the day. When we arrived at the creek crossing we went straight past the electric substation to an area we did not attempt the previous day. Steve told us that there was a great hill climb named "Moonshine" a little ways down the trail. Soon after we passed the substation and up a winding hill we were at "Moonshine" or as Steve calls it "Moonshot" 'cause when you stand your rig vertically here you're looking at the moon. This was an awesome looking obstacle. It looks like a section of the hill was cut out in a v-shape and between it is a long steep mud covered rocky hill climb about the width of one and a quarter zooks. If you were to roll it backwards and the rocks didn't stop you it was a long drop to solid ground. Steve was the first to attempt the hill, remember his front right axle wasn't working. He hammered down, hopping and bouncing all over the place. He was having a ton of trouble keeping the rig pointed forward. A few hops later and he stood his rig up skyward. Oh no he's going over! Luckily the zook came back down on all fours and he decided to pull the cable and pull himself up the rest of the way. Next in line was Tim who also had a broken front axle. Tim gave the hill one heck of a try but with the broken axle he wasn't getting the bite he needed to get to the pinnacle. Finally, frustration set in and he had Steve winch him up. Next up was Rob. He hammered away for some time and then as luck would have it bounced the right way and he progressed a little farther and a little more until he was able to make the hill (to our surprise). By this time the muddy hill was like slush so Jay told me he was going to give her all she's got and he did until the u-joint in rear drive shaft gave up the ghost, "Ka-BOOM" and it was over! Jay backed down so I could attempt this beast. I approached the obstacle and as I did I realized that wider is not always better. I would have to get my right tire up on the bank of this hill in order to get over some of the rocks. Furthermore it was so slushy by this point I was having trouble cleaning out my Boggers. I guess all of the bouncing would help me unload the tires but it wasn't going to be easy. I hammered on this hill for sometime before I ended up standing my zook up vertically not once, not twice, but three times. I finally realized at that point it wasn't going to happen so I threw in the towel and backed down. After Steve, Tim and Rob descended the hill we decided to take the wounded back and head for home. We will be back again to tackle this hill and hopefully next time it won't be so darned muddy! List of Carnage: Steve Birchler - Broken Right front hub and bent housing Tim Porter - Broken 5.12 Ring and Pinion and Broken left front axle Jay VanGelder - Broken rear u-joint Jeff Chester - Broken right and left front axles