with Bill Johnston
Chile Challenge 2006
Day 1 - The Arrival
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.
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.
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
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. 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. 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. 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
We did eventually get to the trails...
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. 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)
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. 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!