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Author Topic: Gitchee Gumee 2013  (Read 2274 times)

 

Paul Hittie

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Gitchee Gumee 2013
« on: September 30, 2013, 12:37:25 pm »
All I can say is WOW!

Dad and I arrived a day early, and spent Thursday on the trail with a group led by Jim K - sort of a scouting/exploration trip.  Left at 11am for a three hour trip (cue the Gilligan's Island theme song) and returned 8 hours later.  Some gnarly creek/stream crossings (4-8' deep cuts, usually a V at the bottom, or maybe 3-4 feet of creek bed at most) compounded by a broken fuel line (dropped the tank on the trail, JB weld, etc) and a couple of dead-end trails.  The finale of this run was a 36+" diameter maple tree that was broken 12' above ground with 3 separate trunks over 24" each to clear from the trail.  Great fun!

Friday we spent the day with Jim M - trails like "Lower 2" that looked cool but proved impassable, and "No Bridge" with 7 creek/stream/river crossings including the Chippewa River (1-2' deep, rocky bottom, 5+mph current).  For the first time I found the forward mounting of my winch to be a liability, I dug lots of furrows in the dirt/gravel/rocks exiting the narrow stream/creek bed cuts.  Sure wish my key for the locking pin on the cradles was not left in my desk drawer at the office....New gas tank skid along with stout rear bumper, rock rails and trans/engine skid were all used extensively.  At one point the trail disappeared in the woods, we picked the path of least resistance through shrubbery and 1-3" trees until we finally found the trail - it was 50 yards above us on the ridgeline, had to cut our way up there.  10 hour day on the trail!

Saturday, again with Jim M, was a trip to Tribag Mine (abandoned in the early '70s) but not until we took some beautiful pictures of the Batchawana River falls, dealt with a 200 yard section of the trail washed into the river earlier this year, ripped off and replaced a brake line on the trail, and crossed a beaver pond (we later whacked the dam to let the water down) with 32-34" standing water over the road (more if you didn't stay on the road).  We lunched at the mine, explored both the upper and lower mine entrances (old copper mine) then sent off to explore a trail Jim had not seen in more than 2 decades - the "Back Door to the Mine".  We found it, but spent almost 7 hours going 4 miles.  At about 10pm, we discovered that the next 400 yards or so were a nasty boulder-strewn washout.  Did I mention one of the guys in our group (the same one who lost his right front tire twice in about 30 yards?) lost his clutch slave cylinder and was trying to negotiate the rocks with no clutch pedal to work with?  At 12:30am, when any other single obstacle would have made us stop on the trail for the night (8-10 hours of trail in the dark to back-track, including sneaking along the washed out trail along the river in the dark) we finally hit the Carp Lake Rd, a gravel road that although dusty was suitable for 35+mph travel.  Pulled into camp at 1:15am, where moments later the sounds of beer cans popping open could be heard all across the campground!

Surprisingly most of our recoveries were made with a simple strap - only a couple times was a winch required, although having v-8 equipped Jeeps and buggies make a strap work much better.

Fantastic trip - if you can make it, and have a comfort level with rough terrain, narrow brushy trails, deep and/or moving water, and being self-sufficient on the trail, then you have to make sure to get this one on the calendar for next year!
When you stumble in life, Make it Part of Your Dance
 

 

J's Jeep

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Re: Gitchee Gumee 2013
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2013, 04:03:04 pm »
I am almost positive, after reading about your trip that Jane is going to give 2 thumbs up to go on this next year...................NOT!!! LOLOLOLOLOL
Sounds like quite an outing!
I'm going to start calling you Paul "Hard Core" Hittie(no porn reference insinuated)!
 

 

LPM606

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Re: Gitchee Gumee 2013
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2013, 07:58:45 pm »
That does sound awesome.  I think if I can scrape together the dough for some new rock rails and a jerry can before next year, I might give it a whirl!  Glad you made it back unscathed.
 

 

Paul Hittie

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Re: Gitchee Gumee 2013
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2013, 11:17:05 pm »
Almost unscathed - lost the wheel weights on the rf wheel, along with the lip on the wheel.  I will have to swap my spare onto that rim.  The RR is not as bad, the weights are still there but a bit lighter.

Sent from my electronic tether

When you stumble in life, Make it Part of Your Dance
 

 

LPM606

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Re: Gitchee Gumee 2013
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2013, 07:01:59 am »
Not to bad for driving through multiple creek beds, rock gardens, and overturned trees!
 

 

gogolen

Re: Gitchee Gumee 2013
« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2013, 11:39:48 pm »
Sounds like an awesome trip! Can't wait to see pics.