Now that construction is complete on the new place (well.. mostly) we felt well overdue for a trip to the woods. A friend picked a weekend at Flat Nasty, so we loaded up and rolled out. The kids were very excited to get to the park as ever since we had mentioned “Going to the Woods” a few days prior, they kept asking if it was time to go yet:
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
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!)
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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:
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.