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2003 XS MT
5,484 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, so I know I don't wheel the Forester anymore, which seems to have a few folks here a little miffed.

Haven't been posting up much because of this, but didn't want to leave this one out.
Karla did bring Dash up, so the Forester did make an appearance. J
ust no real offroading. Some dirt roads and a short hilly/rocky stint up to the campsite...

anyways, report on!

What a great weekend!

I was able to get away from work and head out on Thursday afternoon.
The plan was to hit up Hayman Fire area again as we really like it (near Deckers),
but like everything else it fills up early and fast for the holiday weekend.

Got up to Deckers, drove through the entire burn area on 211, all the spots were taken.
No biggie, on the other end near 24 there are tons more options, so just kept going.
Ended up finding a spot off a spur road just before Tarryall Road.
Tons of privacy, even though we did have some neighbors show up on Saturday midday.
We were down in a gully a bit, therefore protected from wind and prying eyes.
Karla likes to tan.........

Karla came up and joined me and the dogs Saturday after work.
She dropped by Outlaw's place for a shower before coming, and of course forgot her boots and his house!
So, she spent all weekend tromping around in sandals with socks, or flip flops.
Freakin hilarious.
I had asked her to come up in Dash (the Forester) as I wasn't sure quite where we would be camping since I was heading up late Thursday.
Glad I did! We would have had to park her car somewhere else, it wouldn't have made it up the spur road.

Anyways, enough yabbering, onto some pictures and video!

The first sunset was the most incredible!
Took this just up the hill from the campsite.

Dinner prep. Man, it's so nice to have so much more room to bring things.
Like this table I picked up for CHEAP at a garage sale.
It's so fantastic, one of life's little luxuries when camping.

Look what Luke found!! Ok, he so didn't find it...
He stole it from his brother!
This got passed back and forth all weekend.

Campsite pics...

Brought my new motorcycle camping tent up with me as I wanted to set it up, see what it is like.
Non-freestanding, which is a first for me.
I actually quite like it!
Definitely dwarfed by our HUGE coleman tent I got for free, the ideal tent in good weather like we had all weekend.
I however do not trust the "palace" in high winds or lots of wet weather, so if the forecast isn't good, it stays at home.

My little slice of heaven...

I always seem to forget something, no matter how many times I've been camping...
This time? The dog food bowls!!
A little improv and we were back on track...

Kodi quickly found his favorite spot for the trip:

While Luke was more flexible, happy anywhere where he could roast himself.
No really, he would pant in his sleep.

Luke went and watched the sunset with me the second night.
Ok, let's be realistic, he probably thought heard a squirrel....
Sorry for the poor quality and blurriness, it couldn't be helped and it was a shot I wanted to get!

At one point the following day, Luke got a bit chilly.
That Coleman tent is too huge to put under much cover, and acts like an oven when the sun hits it directly.
Karla would be showing up that evening, so I went back in the tent that afternoon to clean up a bit.
Luke followed me in, promptly passing out in the heat of the tent on his bed.
I finished up, he was still sound asleep.
Headed out, leaving him in the tent.
Kodi kept a close eye...

Not but a few minutes later, Luke evidently woke from his sleep.
In a bit of a panic, he realized he was alone in the tent.
Keep in mind, he will follow me room to room in our 2 bedroom place as he hates being very far from me.
So, now he's stuck in the tent all by himself.
He immediately starts nosing the corner of the tent.
Not the door, but the corner.
Yeah, that's right, I pretty much have the smartest dog on the planet....

Met Karla down at Tarryall Road and Highway 24,
after stopping to help a rider that had laid down his old XJ650 and busted his linkage.
A few zipties and he was back on his way, he only had a few miles to go.
No sympathy for him though, he had ZERO safety gear on.
Sigh. I stopped to help out anyway.
They were going to re-attach his linkage with some bailing twine before I got there...

Anyways, Dash and Rhino:

After sleeping in pretty late, it became clear it wasn't gonna warm up enough for Karla to get her tan on.
Chilly wind wasn't helping!
So, we decided to pack a lunch head for the Gulches.
Given timing, we figured we could probably only run one,
we figured we'd run Metberry Gulch, as Longwater could be combined at another time with Hacket for a longer trail.
It was a great day for it!

Time for a really! moment... Can you see the Applebee's banner?


Most of the trail was really easy, with more than a few skinny spots that had me pulling in my mirrors and checking clearances.
There were a few obstacles to make it more fun thankfully.
And the views?


Really can't describe to you how scary this bridge was!
On my side, all I could see next time my tire was this deep black hole....

I think I about wet myself.]


2003 XS MT
5,484 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
We got to the top of this hill with an incredible view! Of course I only managed to take pics of the rig....

Although this was not the end of the trail, we figured we were pretty close and decided to turn around.
Having never run this trail before, we had no idea how much room we'd have at the end to get Rhino's big donkey heading back the way we came.
Plus, it was a nice time of the day to turn around, and there were some obstacles we wanted to video on the way back out.

Back we went. Just before the first obstacle we had to re-tackle,
we saw 2 wranglers and a comanche parked along the side of the trail.
They were facing our direction.
We hopped out, thinking something had happened and maybe we could help.
On our way we had passed a Grand Cherokee with a mild lift and nice tires, he'd kindly moved out of our way
(with his jaw on the ground, he could hardly talk cause he was gawking at the Suburban. ).
Walking 'round the corner, seems the Grand Cherokee was in trouble.
Looks like the crew of jeeps had stopped to help the driver out (Grand Cherokee was alone), he had "lost a coilover."
Not sure exactly what happened, and these jeep guys were unfortunately fitting the Jeep stereotype:
didn't want to talk to us at all after they got a look at our Chevy.
They were just finishing up repairs and declined our offer of tools and assistance,
so we headed back to Rhino to wait for them to finish up.

Soon everyone was back on the trail, and so we continued.
The following photos and one video are the obstacle that must have broken the Grand Cherokee.
Keep in mind we took the harder line.

Actually got a tire off the ground! That was fun.
Just had to back up once to adjust the placement of my left rear tire.]

Next obstacle was up a hill with some mud and logs.

Karla's commentary.... ROLFMAO]

This time we decided to stop just before the bridge to take some photos and video...
They still don't seem to do it justice!
Not a difficult crossing per say, just a bit hairy.
How in the world do you test the strength of a bridge for a Suburban???

Here's that black hole I spoke of on the driver's side when we first came over the bridge...

The other side of the bridge

Karla climbed down into the ditch to take some video, and made me stand still for this one. I don't like pictures!]

A Wrangler that had caught up to us made short work of the bridge.
I pulled out of his way, he stopped to say,
"man, I was thinking that bridge was really scary and might be a problem. Until I saw you take THAT [points to the suburban] across it!"
We both got a good laugh.]


2003 XS MT
5,484 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Can you see the bridge in the top left hand corner?

How about Karla? LOL She's in there, I promise!
She even had a clear view of me and wasn't trying to hide.

Rhino waiting patiently for us to finish our shenanigans...

Took these on our way back,
not on Longwater Gulch trail but on the road that leads to it.

After returning to the campsite, we settled in.
The boys were pretty tuckered out!
Luke is curled up in his sleeping bag...

And check Kodi out! Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

Got a nice fire going for dinner...

YUM. See the corn too?
We save our best food for camping trips. It's the only time we eat steak.

No photos from Monday, we spent all day lazing around.
Karla tanned, I napped and read a book in my hammock.
When it was all said and done I'd read one 300 or so page book a day.
Man that was nice!

Great weekend, I'm so glad we went.
Nearly impossible now to go camping with Karla because of the schedule at her knew job, so I just have to take what I can get!

Hope you guys enjoyed the photos and video. :Banane35:​

Premium Member
2013 Kia Rio Automatic
1,614 Posts
Awesome write-up and the pics are gorgeous of the landscape!

Holy wheel articulation Batman! (on that section that broke the Jeep)

I always love the videos with the "sound effects" of giggling/screeching/ughing! hehe.

EDIT: AND! I almost forgot, the puppies are so friggin cute!

none none
8,844 Posts
Very nice!

The gf and I went up to her cabin in the adirondacks by lake george this weekend (didn't bring the forester as it has a queen size mattress tied to the top of it currently) and ended up finding an amazing dirt road. Few miles of dirt along a winding river with waterfalls was pretty cool. At the end of the weekend we realized there was a trail that leads of from it thats open to 4x4 (most of the other trails go to private camp sites and houses etc). Unfortunately its too dark there with the tree cover. Makes me kind of sad that no foresters are out there camping anymore, the gf's GC on 245/70/16 snow tires is MUCH comfier on the trails than the forester could ever be unfortunately! (also the ~20 gallon tank and such makes getting lost in the forest much less anxiety inducing)

2003 XS MT
5,484 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hehe, thanks guys!

The articulation isn't bad. And that's with swaybars! Eventually will hack those off, but need to extend the brake lines first + might need to do some more hacking. Going to wait for the bigger lift. Used to be more articulation too, but now the front leaf springs are flat... I think I wheel it too much, :lol:. Hoping to fix that situation + MOAR LIFT in a few weeks.

And yep. Steaks are awesome. I'm a big fan of flank steaks. Not too pricey, easy to pack, cook fast and VERY tasty. Just put some dry steak seasoning on those. Don't need to marinate.

She (Rhino) does creak a lot! I need to find the right nipple for my grease gun so I can get under there and help that out a bit. Steering is starting to creak more too, will have a friend check that out when we have it up for the "new" suspension.

Funky - just too much for us to camp. 2 people plus 2 big dogs. Heck, Kodi hardly fits in the Forester without any gear! By the time we get loaded for even a 2 or 3 day trip, the suspension is so overtaxed (even with the lift) that any offroading besides basic fire roads to get to the campsite was out of the question. That being said, you are right, the Forester is MUCH more comfortable! But, no trouble here with gas range... Heck takes almost $90 just to fill the entire tank on the 'burb. But, mpg is definitely not why I bought it!

2001 Forester
1,140 Posts
Great write up as usual! I was wondering when it would show up! I saw the videos on youtube already.

2003 XS MT
5,484 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Writeups on this forum take the longest. I have a few forums I post these reports on, but a little different on each one depending on the audience. Every other forum I can copy and paste, even ORS. Here? Nope. So, this one usually happens last and takes the longest.

That being said, really glad you enjoyed it! I miss getting out there in the 4x4 (or previously AWD).
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