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At the top
Another shot of my dirty Jeep
Big Red, with "low" Eric and Eric Geye's Jeeps in the background
"Show me the rocks!"
Eric Geye's XJ
Richard's beast at rest
Bret's Jeep
A lovely shot of Grouse Lake from the camp
Amy driving Big Shiny on the way down
Andy gets a jump from Scott Hilton's Grand at the first obstacle, day three
By about 4:00 we had made the summit between Swamp lake and Grouse lake. The view was phenomenal in every direction. We were pretty beat from a long but fun day on the trail. A short drive down the back side led us to the shore of Grouse lake, where we set up camp for the evening.

After getting our tent pitched, we took a very refreshing swim in the lake, which was surprisingly warm for being at 9200 feet. The camping there was great...lots of people tried their hand at fishing or went for a swim. After dinner, there were plenty of good stories to swap around the campfire. Amy and I discovered you can make nachos in a frying pan!

Day Three: Saturday

The second day on the trail proved to be longer and rougher than the first, with several challenging obstacles and tight sections through pine trees. Not far down from camp we had to drop off a pretty tall ledge and then try to get around a big boulder right in the middle of the trail. Andy took the tippy line that Richard found, and somewhere in the process his battery got fried. Paul from San Diego had a very long (like 14 feet!!) set of jumper cables, so every time Andy stalled somebody was there to give him a jump. I didn't envy the 5-speed...things were much more pleasant with the auto. tranny.

Somewhere near the top of this section I put a nice crease in the passenger side rear fender, my first body damage to Big Shiny since I bought it last October. Not a big deal. Came down hard on the skid plates more than once, and smacked the front pumkin on the occasional unseen rock. Overall, everyone really did a great job of making it through a pretty tough trail with very few problems.

One section that gave everybody a short pause was a long, steep slab of granite that had to be driven down. Traction was great, but it was really steep, and a little off camber in places. More of a psychological challenge than anything else.The bottom presented a few problems because of the extreme departure angle, and immediately after coming off the slab you had to hit a hard left turn over a big rock. I took the wrong line, and at one point had my pass. side front tire about 3 feet in the air. Thanks to a good spot I made it over with now problem, but it was exciting.

The front locker came in handy on several occasions, but I only locked it up when all my tires were spinning.

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