Lake Shore Drive - 2001 4x4 Blast

by MuDusty

The 2001 Odyssey at Lake Shore Drive started out Friday morning, right on 'wheeling time'. When we got to the lake and the start of our trip, those who wanted aired down and locked up for the adventure that was ahead. After the first gate we again grouped up, but one of the group (one of the 5 non-Jeeps) wisely dropped out due to engine problems. So, we were off, now nineteen, to the first obstacle - an 18" waterfall. It was more like a stone wall! With a little bumping and a few tries, most made it (less a CJ7 with a broken drive shaft). On to some nice dirt washouts where flexing and lockers ruled. In some of the areas the passenger had a great view of nothing but dirt outside the window. At the inclinometer gulch the driver had the same view but with a great roller coaster feeling. I know at least one of my tires was still touching the ground. Everyone made it through, but we lost one sidewall. After parking a Scrambler with engine problems we did some more flexy wooded trails and then stopped for lunch.

After lunch our fearless leader said we all did so well that morning that we were going to do part of the trail backwards. He said he always wanted to try it that way, so off we went. There was a bit more flexy trail and the "the climb"…about 800 feet of ledges, rocks, bigger rocks, small stone 'cars' some might call rocks, a few logs and tree roots. When we got to the top we all rested. Some of the comments were: "That was interesting", "Boy, that was a lot of work", "Way too much metal on rock screeching", "I don't even want to look under the Jeep 'till we get back", and most important, "That was great!" So, after everyone made it up and out and stopped shaking, we headed out again up the rest of the stream bed until we got to the next waterfall….Little Niagara. Fearless leader tried it and got high-centered with both 35's locked. After he broke his rear welded axle we all started carrying rocks up to put under the wheels and he finally got out with help from his winch. Now, the whole group worked together and moved about a ton of rocks and built a ramp up the four-foot waterfall. (I know this might seem wrong to some to change the trail and make it easier, but at the end of a hard day it made a lot more sense to us and we knew after the next big rain storm it would all be changed again). At that point our fearless leader went off to get his Jeep fixed for Saturday.

Now is a good time to mention how well this event is organized. Fearless Leader II took over without a hitch, spotted everyone up the new rock ramp and lead us out to….paved road! It led us back to our temporary homes.

Lake Shore Drive is a great trail and I think a bit more than a 6 rating. If you are looking for a good challenge for a little better than a stock Jeep, this is the place for you. Special thanks to Craig Laurich (Fearless Leader) and his helpers, Jim Smith and Lou Goodman. We cannot thank the landowners enough for letting us on their land for a great day of wheeling in some beautiful country. ~

Created: 10/11/01