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Barrett Lake
Sept 11-15

Trip Reports: Hollister Hills

Saturday, November 2002

The day started at 10:15am, 10am for everyone waiting on the group that I made late (Adam, James, and self). When we arrived I was very excited about the large turnout because I had only heard confirmation from two or three people. Waiting at the entrance to Hollister were Jesse and Shannon, Eli and Judi, Skip and Todd, Terri, Kevin, and guest Luke with and a friend. Everyone chatted for a little while, and then we headed to the dirt.

As we pulled into the playground area there were an abundance of new Tahoe's, I mean Hummer H2's. There was a Hummer convention put on by a dealer so that the drivers could learn to 4-wheel after spending $65k. It turns out that stock H2's cannot get through the mud bog because 31" all-terrains and 3' of mud do not mix. Kevin jumped at the opportunity to pull out one of the immaculate machines. This was an exciting event because there was about 10' of slack that was not taken out. The brute power of Kevin's blazer ripped the H2 out and scared the poor driver badly; I guess I'd be scared to travel from 0 to 30 backwards in a split second too.

Before hitting the trails our group headed over to the Little Rubicon and played around. It was cool because there were envious people lined up all around the squeeze rocks in hopes that they could one day have a vehicle as set up as any of ours. I believe this is where a rock pushed in Jesse's gas cap and surrounding area a couple of inches.

The heart of the day was spent on what Kevin called The Canyon, which is not the Hollister map. The trail was somewhat challenging and required a bit of finesse to avoid rolling or slipping into trenches. The aftermath of The Canyon included a root that disliked the entire side of Kevin's rig, a tree angry with Eli's top, and holes that wanted to roll most of us.

Finally, Tank Trap was for the fearless; James, Luke, and Jesse headed down the nasty trail. Near the beginning, Luke was playing around and trying to straddle a 3' rut when his front left tire slid in and set him on his window frame. We continued after the Cherokee was powered back to its wheels by hand. I was spotting for James, who made it all the way down without a scratch. About half way down we had some traffic attempting to come up the trail. One of the guys looked up and saw the TJ at full flex heading down toward him while he took pictures in awe. We discovered that Luke's Cherokee has about 4' of drop in his front end. In fact, it drops far enough for him to completely take out his 8" lift coil spring! Jesse made it down with a couple of small casualties, but did well. The whole idea behind driving this trail is to stick one tire on the crumbling wall, straddle the ravine, and slide down the slick rock ledges. Top Truck Challenge uses this trail!

The trip was very fun and it was great to see the large turnout. Obviously this was my first time seeing Tank Trap after so much talk about it. There were a few dents and dings (some very expensive to fix) but it's all part of the game. I can't wait to go on the next run.


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