Drivers and Ford Crew in
their new Explorer Sport Trac Jackets
After the group made a few passes up the first set of hills we departed
for some more fun obstacles. The 2001 Sport Trac was really showing the
disadvantage of a long wheel base and low nerf bars. Although it never
got stuck; we could hear the bars scrapping regularly. By lunch they were
angled upwards instead of sitting level. To Ford's credit these bars are
easily removable and once removed they won't leave any gaps or holes in
the body. Many people commented how good the Sport Trac would look with
Trailmaster's 4" lift kit. I have to agree it would be a great looking
rig and the improvement in ground clearance due to increased tire diameter
would make it even more offroad worthy.
Juan Felsmann driving the
2001 Sport Trac
Speaking of Trailmaster...we found a nice hill climb with a rock
ledge thrown in for good measure. Even some of the locked rigs were spinning
their tires getting up the hill. Trailmaster's rig was unlocked so they
decided not to go for it...until my wife intervened that is. Charlotte
"coerced" Trailmaster into trying their rig on the trail. Pierre, one of
Ford's crew, was behind the wheel. He had never driven offroad before and
this was his first real obstacle. Anyway, Pierre guided the Trailmaster
Explorer up the hill and over the ledge with no problem at all. Although
the wheels were spinning he made it look pretty easy.
Kevin Kocher climbing into
Trailmaster Explorer lifting
a rear tire
Another good photo op was to be found after lunch. Everyone was getting
some air under at least on tire as they made their way down the narrow
chute. My favorite shot is of the 2001 Sport Trac coming down the gully.
It looks like it's nearly vertical with a tire off the ground to boot.
Watch your step!
We only had one bad stuck on Saturday. Jose Soto dug himself into a
bad spot attempting to climb a steep trail. I set up my winch to try and
pull him backwards but, large boulders weren't going to let us pull from
the rear. Finally, Matt Adams gave him a winch line from the front and
pulled his rig up the hill. I captured a spectacular shot of Jose kicking
some dirt about 20 feet into the air as he tried to free his rig.
Jose kicking up some serious
After Jose was pulled free we headed back to camp. One more long hill
climb only proved difficult for the stockers. A ledge near the top with
narrow walls thrown in made it exciting for the non-locked rigs. Once on
top of the ridge we could see our base camp in the distance. We made our
way back, in short order, in anticipation of the nights activities.
Rick Horwitz stretching
the suspension same spot different angles
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