On The Trail!with Bill Johnston

Chile Challenge 2006

Day 1 - The Arrival

Click through for a closer look...The weatherman says we are in for some nice weather here in Las Cruces, New Mexico for the 2006 Chile Challenge. As I pulled into the fairgrounds west of Las Cruces, I counted half a dozen Zooks already there. Not bad considering the trails were already heading out for the day.

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...Here are a few from mild to wild, stock to 'trail experienced...

The stocker on the right didn't see any trails the first day, but the 49" IROKs on the bigger machine saw plenty of action.

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...The 'Zukicon' we found had many upgrades that were born out of need and experience on the trail. The 2000 driver of the Grand Vitara brought the vehicle out to see what it could do - bone stock. He was pleasantly surprised.

Day 2 - Amatista Ledges

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...The crowds started gathering early for the trail line-ups. As you can see, the 'Zook -on-49's' didn't just sit at the fairgrounds looking impressive... he is heading for his trail assignment.

 

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...There were many Zooks in attendance this year, like the 'short bus' tin top with the 33's and the virtual lift. Today we did Amatista ledges, and we four other Zooks to even up the field a little. Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...To get to Amatista Ledges, we had to drop down Big Jim. It had a few large ledges, cracks and crevices to maneuver that turned out to be fairly technical. Rock sliders and stout bumpers were pretty much required unless you wanted to leave pieces on the trail. Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...Once on Amatista it was more ledges and technical driving. The crack on the right can swallow a Zook. If you rear tire falls in you can dent the targa bar...   think about it. Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...The whole trail gave us plenty of opportunity to show off a little and have some fun. Tomorrow we hit Cayenne Crawler. This is one I have never done before, so it could be very interesting...

Day 3 - Cayenne Crawler

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...The air-down point for Cayenne Crawler is the old quarry where the Chile Canyons start. This makes for a whole lot of vehicles (of every shape and size) including a few strange ones.

 

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...We had many law enforcement officers watching every move. This was a chance to either make or break our chances for future events in the area.

We did eventually get to the trails...

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...The trail to Cayenne Crawler took longer than the trail itself. We had to go down a moderate trail, turn onto an extreme trail and then turn onto our trail. We got there by noon. Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...The trail was very short, but it took a bit of technical driving on the ledges. We finished up the trail by 2:30pm. Then it was a nice drive across the countryside back to the fairgrounds.

Day 4 - Broad Canyon (Hard)

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...Broad Canyon is a long standing tradition among some of the participants. The trailhead is ominous as the path leads into a slice in the rock. This trail changes with every rainstorm.

Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...The group was made up of all sizes of vehicles from Zooks to Hummers. Some did better than others on each obstacle, depending if the challenge was better suited to longer or shorter wheelbases. Click through for a closer look...Click through for a closer look...Saturday night was the big feed, along with a huge raffle giving away at least two sets of tires and two winches. Lots of food, prizes and surprises for all. Stak 4X4 showed off their 3 speed Monster Boxes. They had both versions (standard and Bronco style) installed in rigs while they showed their new 2 speed box out on a table for a closer look by all.

Come back tomorrow for updates from the trails!

08/11/10 15:36

 

 

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