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.

27th ORT in The Lone Ranger– SMORR 10-11-14

Still beating this thing around… this was one very wet weekend! While I was looking forward to camping this weekend, I wasn’t too upset that we wussed out and hotel camped. We met up with the usual group + Bray at the part and covered about 8 miles worth of trails:
Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Even with the light rain throughout the day, it was still a good time, and there was decent traction throughout the park:
Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

The YJ just wanted to nap:
Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

All the tree’s were starting to turn:
Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 27th Off-Road trip SMORR 10-11-14 &emdash;

Only a few surprises as far as carnage goes. Bray found a surprise water hole and hydro locked his motor. We managed to get it rolling again, and he made it home okay. I had a bit of a surprise on the way home when a Tie Rod loosened up a bit making for a quick white knuckle lane change. Tightened it up and rocked out all the way home.

Link to all the photos: Click Me!

Videos!

Highlight Reel:

Bray’s Video:

Rob’s video:

Full Group up Wagoneer Hill:

Bray playing around on Double Whammy:

25th ORT in The Lone Ranger – SMORR 6-21-14

We headed down to SMORR with several folks from SIJA and MO4wd. Some familiar faces and some strangers. Good times were had. Lots of photos in the link below:

Slideshow of all the photos (Click Me!)

Loaded up the truck and went to work on Friday, patiently waiting for the bell to ring to head South:
Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

We had to make a quick stop in Rolla for some grub and check out the XJ’s steering. It turned out that the ram for the hydro assist had worked itself loose causing it to dart around some. A quick fix and we were back on the road:
Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Just outside of Mt. Grove MO, we ran into green skies, cloud rotation, and some major rain and cross winds. The wind blew me onto the should at one point, and it was blowing hard enough to force me down two gears. Crazy!:
Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

All was calm when we reached SMORR though which was nice as we were tent camping for the night:
Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

The next morning we started following Al around in his Truggy hitting some of the sights in the park. While I didn’t get to run around all day due to my running issues, I still managed to cover 11.25 miles which isn’t too shabby:
Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

This was a fun little waterfall. Lots of traction!
Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Saturday Night It rained pretty good which put a damper on the night wheeling, so Sunday Morning I packed up a wet camp and hit up a small café in Houston for Breakfast:
Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

And threw everything out in the sun to dry out when I got home:
Sara L.: 25th Off-Road Trip SMORR 6-21-14 &emdash;

Three wasn’t much Carnage to report. My truck had developed a pretty healthy miss on the way down to SMORR. A set of spark plug wires from Bray, and a new plug sourced from town made my truck run better than it has in a long time! The red TJ wound up shearing a few teeth off the ring gear up front, but that was on the last obstacle of the day so it chose a good time to let go.

A fantastic trip and I look forward to others!

Highlight reel from the day.

Other videos