The Mighty Merc – 6th ORT – Flat Nasty Off Road 2-10-18

Yes, 6th trip. I only took one photo from the 5th trip out so you’ll just have to use your imagination on that one!

After a few stops on the way down to scrape off the windshields from the freezing rain we encountered, we arrived at Flat Nasty to find that we had the park nearly to ourselves. Apparently not many goofballs want to brave the cold and freezing rain to go play on the rocks!

Given that it was dang cold, and I was often holding a kid, the photos are lacking a bit. Which is often the case these days. But here’s what I’ve got

We covered a touch over 6 miles in the park:
Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Photos form the day:
Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Pop riding shotgun:
Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

The kids were done by the end of the day:
Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

We ran into more freezing rain on the way home. Lots of stops to clear off the windshields, but we made it back just fine:
Sara L.: 6th ORT Flat Nasty 2-10-18 &emdash;

Another good day in the woods even though I mostly stayed out of the fun spots in the park. Wrenching in the cold just didn’t appeal to me that day! I still managed to nearly blow out the Drivers side rear window, and the tie rod was frowning at me by the end of the day.

Over all, the truck still works pretty well. Once I get into the new house, I hope to address some areas to improve upon things.

Link to the photo album form the day (Click ME!)

The Mighty Merc – 4th ORT – SMORR on 10/14/17

After the successful CO trip under our belts, it was time to start beating on this thing a bit. So on lucky Friday the 13th, I loaded up solo to meet some friends down at SMORR in Seymour Mo. Burned out of St. Louis on the back roads:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

And pulled into SMORR with just enough time to slap the tent up before nightfall:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

As daylight broke the next morning, I was amazed to see how full the campground was. There was a customer appreciation day going on with Sam’s Off Road shop out of Tulsa OK and they drew a heck of a crowd:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

We loaded up everyone (Including the camp dog) and rolled out for some fun:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Still a lot of green in the trees down there right now:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Just getting our feet wet as we worked our way over to Wagoneer Hill:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

I wound up leading the group which meant that I got to work my way to the top of waggoneer hill first. All was going fine until the last ledged which wound up kicking me over into a tree. I managed to save the rear glass, but the drivers side mirror bit the dust. This was a bummer as you really can’t see out of this thing, and now without a mirror that meant even larger blind spots to work with:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Unfortunately, the Bronco lost a center pin in the rear leaf, which caused the rear end to shift enough to cause the rear DS (and yoke) to die. So we snuck him out the rest of the way on Rocky Road as he followed the MJ:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Side note, maiden voyage on the MJ, the thing worked good!
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

After tying up the rear DS on the bronco:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

We wandered our way back to camp for lunch:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

After lunch, played around on Flex N stuff as well as V notch:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Working our way to the other side of Rocky Road:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Unfortunately, there is where the MJ had its first little issue:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Thankfully, he had a spare. So while he swapped it out, we ran up and down the trail a few more times for fun 
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

The trail dog is still happy to be along:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

After getting him going again and dropping the MJ off, we ran around a few other areas of the park. I managed to bend down my passenger side rocker really good when I caught in in a nook and used the Merc’s weight as a leverage. I did managed to bend it back mostly flat, however, the frame is a bit tweaked on that side now:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Others played around on the entrance to the rattler, but it denied us that day. I spared the Merc the damage as it would have ate the rear doors since it kicks you into the wall as you climb:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

Not many pictures after that. We played around on Double Whammy for a bit (we actually all made it up), and Larry’s hill (that’s changed a lot!). While we all made it up the hill, there was a bit of a recovery effort on the old YJ as he first lost a hub, then the rear drive shaft.

Saturday night was full of lies around the campfire and good times! I should have just slept in the Merc though as about 2:30 in the morning, the cold rain came in and proved to me once again that my tent is not weather proof. So after 6 years of use, I didn’t feel bad wadding the thing up and chucking into the dumpster on my way out of the park:
Sara L.: 4th ORT 10-14-17 SMORR &emdash;

As far as the damage report goes, the Merc needs a mirror, and I need to bend my transmission cross member back down (it frowns now making the T-case hit the body). Otherwise it came out pretty happy.  For better or worse, it’s just like wheeling my old Ranger.   Which is to say, it’s big, heavy, clumsy, and I can’t see boo out of it!

Link to all the photos I gathered (Click Me!)

I do have some videos from the day, but since we are in the process of selling our house (It’s under contract) and building a new house, I’m not sure how soon I’ll get around to looking at them.

3rd ORT at Flat Nasty 8-12-17

The first trip out in the Merc with both kids in tow was a success! So hopefully we can work on getting out more frequently than we have been. We spend the better part of the day on the “Tourist” loop in consideration for the younger folks that were with us, but we still managed to play on a few things here and there:
Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

There were a couple of pit stops to let the kits out to wiggle. It was fun to watch them get at it:
Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

Lots of wildlife running around down there:
Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

And bugs! Though at least some of them were pretty:
Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

[Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

This is why I think the mercury was a success, we picked up a another kid when the bronco had issues early on. Both boys, and our little girl wound up crashed hard in the back seat with the A/C blasting:
Sara L.: 3rd ORT 8-12-17 Flat Nasty &emdash;

So while I’m still trying to track down my misfire, I can’t really complain about how well the rig works off-road around here. For even as big as it is, I don’t really have a problem squeezing it around with the front end unlocked. At times I was able to avoid doing 3 point turns while the TJ on 40’s was having trouble getting around the same turn.

Link to all the photos:
http://saral.zenfolio.com/p455611676/slideshow

Videos from the day: