CLUB: SEA OF MUD
Everything went according to plan!
Let me qualify that statement. If the plan was to get stuck, have the vehicles radiator get plugged up and risk overheating, ‘enjoy’ nasty bugs, make use of the winches and tug straps, then yes everything went according to plan.
Five Wranglers and one CJ7 met at the Gravenhurst Canadian Tire before driving up Hwy 11, then 118 East, then north towards the Hindon Forest Access Road. At a clearing we stopped to let some air out of the tires, repack
gear, stretch, and oh yes – get re-aquainted with some of the various flying inscets in Ontario bush country.
After a short meeting to discuss the route options, we started along the Hindon Forest access road. At an intersection we pulled over to check the map and I noticed steam coming from my radiator.
Everything going according to plan yet?
A quick look at the gauge showed 260°F. After lifting the hood we realized that the electric
fans were making noise but the fans weren’t spinning. Luckily it wasn’t too hard to remove the dual electric fan assembly and take a closer look at the problem. The pins securing the fan blades had dissappeared.
Al was able to re-secure the plastic fans to the fan motors with cotter pins and modified circle clips. Thanks Andrew for the ‘MacGyver’ supplies.
Now we were ready for some action.
Next up we came to a wet boggy area. This provided numerous challenges for us to negotiate the mud, tight corner, and buried logs and rocks. Most of us needed to winch at this spot. Two vehicles had a type of
winch that when ‘freespooling’ suddenly uncoiled at a high rate. This caused a real birdsnest, so the lines had to be pulled all the way out and respooled.
We carried on. Most of the standing water so far had been quite shallow - roughly 30cm. Then in the middle of the trail a nasty deep spot showed up. I had made it throught the last one unaided but had to get the winch out for this one. Everyone else was able to go around this spot.
The next hour or so was mostly gnarly challenging conditions with various stretches of ‘corduroy’ (logs buried to help ATV’s across the swampy areas). However since May had been warm and dry we were able to drive along at around 5 km/h without stopping. Until we got to a fallen tree. I followed the ATV trail around the downed tree, but it was too tight for the other’s so we pulled the tree out of the way using a tug strap.
Another innocent looking water crossing turned out to be a Jeep-sucking mud pit. All vehicles needed a tug with the strap from the vehicle ahead to get through. Since the vehicles still had a bit of forward and rearward movement available it was decided that this would be quicker than winching. It is always a good idea to have secure tow points at the front and rear for a situation just like this.
We stopped near a small lake and used a container to splash water on the front grill and rad’s of the vehicles to loosen up the muck before carrying on. It was another two hours of slow bumpy trail after this but luckily no one else got stuck.
Around 4:30 pm we came to a clearing and intersection where we took the time to repack gear, re-attach sway bars, air up tires and get out and stretch. Another 15 km of dirt and gravel roads took us out to the highway and on our way home. See you next time!
Here’s Sukja looking out the window of Shawn’s Willys Wrangler to see a ‘sea’ of mud!
Trailside cooling fan repair. Anyone have a manual?
Andrew on the muddy trail dodging tight rocks and trees.
Here’s Michael trying to get over a greasy incline.
The shallow water was passed and now I found the ‘deep end of the pool’.
Here’s Brian giving it a try with his JK Rubicon and General Grabber Mud Terrains.
Time to repack gear, re-attach sway bars, air up tires, stretch, and say ‘au revoir’ until next time.
Brian and Al feeling good after getting Andrew through. But check out the mud-packed front grill and radiator area. This would mean a slow trip home later stopping frequently to let the motor cool.