The Black Hills. Patrol 2 and the BHJC.

A Patrol of the Mile Hi Jeep Club

Howdy Patrol 2,

Prior to writing the report I want to take a moment to thank our hosts for this event. Tom, Mark and Deb, and Seth and Cagney with the Black Hills Jeep Club were excellent hosts. They took the time to make this a very enjoyable trip for Patrol 2, and I hope that we can return the favor when they head down into our neck of the woods. You can visit their website at the link provided below, and keep in mind that they run "Jeep Camp" sometime in June every year. I plan on attending in 2014, and hopefully some others from Patrol 2 will join in.

http://forum.blackhillsjeeps.com/index.php

John and Glenn arrived in Palmer Gulch around noon on Monday. They offered to purchase the FS trail passes for the group and headed into Rapid City. (Thanks John and Glenn. Real time saver there.) Ann and I arrived at around 3pm on Monday. The four of us had dinner at the Ponderosa which is the restaurant on the KOA property. It was great seeing John again. We planned out our next days activities and then retired to our rooms or camps for the evening.

On Tuesday John and Glenn saddled up in John's new JK rig, and Ann an I took the Libby. We headed through the Needles area and then went through Custer State Park. Did I mention the Donkeys? I am pretty sure Glenn did in his write-up. Lets just say they were VERY fond of Ann. She even snuggled up to one or two of them. John has the pictures. Hope he posts them. ;) Vic had some trouble on his drive up to SD. He needed some repair work on his rear drive shaft. Luckily the BHJC was able to recommend a shop that got him in and out in a day.

On Tuesday evening John, and Ann and I met with Tom and Mark at Shooters in Rapid City. They pointed out some trails for us to run on Wednesday and Thursday, and we set up the time and place to meet on Friday. Rich Stockton, Richard and Sherry, and Vic were in town when we got back from Rapid City.

On Wednesday we got an early start. After breakfast at the Ponderosa we headed to a trail near Sheridan Lake. I do not know the name of this trail, but it is marked as FS 6830 on the SD FS maps. One thing to note. The FS maps are not very accurate. We found many trails that were not marked at all, or that were improperly marked. After wandering around in the area for an hour or so we came to a dead end. This was rather unusual as the dead end ended up at a trailer park. The BHJC rated this trail as a "3" which equates to about a 5 on our scale. I would say this was spot on myself. Most of the trail was easy, with two obstacles, one with a bypass, that would require something more then a stock rig. If I did not mention the heat and the dust, I will now. It was HOT and DUSTY for the entire trip! After finding our way out of the area, we aired back up, and headed back to Palmer Gulch for the next day of fun. Keith and Sharon joined the group on Wednesday evening, having come in from Iowa.

On Thursday we again had breakfast at the Ponderosa, and then headed out for a series of trails east of Paktola Lake. After running into numerous dead ends, we finaly found FS 6660. The BHJC rated this trail as a "5" which is equivalent to a 9 on our rating scale. Again, they had this about spot on. We walked the trail for about a quarter of a mile, and decided that none of our rigs were up to the task. Maybe Richard will bring up the Sammy next time and we can watch. We attempted to find an old Granite Quarry in the area, but with the poor trail markings we got turned around, and ended up hitting pavement so we aired up, and headed back to the barn.

There was a moment of panic once we got back to Palmer Gulch. Our plan was to have a Bronco's party Thursday evening, but when we got back to the lodge we found out they were having problems with their satellite service. After an anxious hour or so they got the service restored, and we got to watch the Bronco's demolish the defending Super Bowl Champs 49-27. Go Bronco's!

Friday was our first day on escorted jeeping. Tom, Seth and Cagney met us at the Steel Wheel Campground at 10 am, and we headed to an area called "Camp 5" This is a very unusual area in my experience. There is a FS road that runs the entire length of the trail, I would rate it at maybe a 4 or so. Not something you would want to bring an SUV on, but any stock 4x4 with low range should be good. The interesting thing about this area is that there are about 12 separate sections of the trail. The locals call the area 1, 2, 3 etc. These are branches off of the main Camp 5 road so you can run them or bypass them as you prefer. We ran Area 1 and 2 in the morning. I would rate these parts in the 6-8 range. Basically creek beds. Lots of rocks. No named obstacles, just endless rocks. After lunch, John, Keith and Sharon, Rich, Glenn, and Vic headed back into town, while Richard and Sherry, and Ann and I stayed for more trail fun. We hit an additional 4 sections in the area. Mostly in the 6-8 range, then we headed back into town as well.

Saturday we met Tom, Mark and Deb, and Seth and Cagney just north of Pakatola Lake at 9:30. We headed into roughly the same area we had been in on Thursday. The trails were all in the 6-8 range this day. I ended up busting my front Diff, oil leak, as well as shearing off a valve stem, while Tom blew out two hubs on his front end. All in all it was a great day. We got to see some incredible scenery, while the trails were hard, but not impossible.

Again, I want to thank Tom, Mark and Deb, and Seth and Cagney for their generous hosting for this series of runs. If any of your BHJC members make it down into Colorado, please let me know, and I will make sure you are taken care of.

George

Comments

Rich and Donna Stockton's picture

Thanks so much for all you guys did to make this a very successful and enjoyable trip. Your efforts in planning the trip, contacting the Black Hills Jeepers, leading the runs on Wed. and Thurs., and hosting the Bronco’s party were much appreciated.

George Gallie's picture

Ann and I had a great time on this trip, and it was the company that made the trip so enjoyable. The BHJC really deserves most of the credit though. Tom, Mark, Deb, Seth, and Cagney went above and beyond the call of duty in helping out Patrol 2 on this trip. I look forward to another trip up there next year at some point. Hopefully I can make their Jeep Camp.

George

George

George
(303)877-7351
georgegallie@aol.com

I just wanna go jeepin!

Vic Padilla's picture

Vic, Rich Stockton and Richard Dillon (and Sherry , Bonney) headed up to Palmer Gulch on Tuesday Morning. We stopped at a rest area just before Lusk Wyo. As we were pulling out of the rest area, I noticed a loud rumble. Upon further investigation, i found a loose and wobbly drive shaft. In Lusk we decided that i would lube and inspect the Drive shaft. Bought a small grease gun, found a park, with shade and pulled the shaft. The shaft was bone dry, at at the CV joint. Lubed and installed it and carried on.

George asked the Black Hills guys about a drive shaft shop and got me a phone number. The next day, Glenn, ruined his day of 4wheeln by taking me to Rapid City, TWICE to get the shaft repaired. $300 later, i installed the repaired shaft and was ready to go on Thursday. Thanks George and Glenn!

Vic o]]]]]o
"A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter; he who finds one finds a treasure. A faithful friend is beyond price, no sum can balance his worth." Sirach 6:14-15

George Gallie's picture

Was a bummer you had some trouble Vic. Luckily it was not anything too major, although it is unfortunate that you only got to drive your rig on two days.

George

George
(303)877-7351
georgegallie@aol.com

I just wanna go jeepin!

Gene Carner's picture

Sounds like you folks had a hoot.Great write up.Wish I could have made the trip.Gene...