No traction No action
Posted: Dec 15 2016
Author: JUSTIN MONNIN
Next on the adventure schedule was Guy Fawkes; say it with pride or say it with disdain, either way, remember the 5th of November. Howard Smith puts on a Guy Fawkes event, "Bash" as he calls it. One weekend a year as close as he can get to November 5th, Howard holds the event on his farm. If you are lucky enough to get an invite I recommend attending. His property is multi-level and usually slippery as all hell. Our goal every year is to make it up to the top level and drive through the cattail swamp. The last few years have been dry and easy to navigate. Although, this year was anything but easy. All looked well at the bottom level.
By the time I got to the second level things were getting a bit tricky. The autumn leaves combined with my favorite East Coast condition, "duck snot mud", made going in any direction you chose more of an option than a command.
If the ground in that picture looks level you would be correct. As far as the traction coefficient was concerned we were on the side of Everest. Have a look at this next picture. I was driving on glazed donuts. The only thing that was acting as traction aids were the decomposing leaves.
With some winching and a lot of skinny pedal, we finally made it to the top level. Just for reference, it wasn't any drier up there either. I was actually in a tiny bit of luck because other people had managed to get through the cattail swamp. A lot of the "duck snot mud" was pushed off to the side and a clear path was beaten down. Once again the independent suspension became a fantastic asset.
I'd like to say that the LR3 ripped its way through the muddy swamp. I'd love to say that I was the master of the mud but, in all honesty, the only thing that earned its keep was the; red winch.
After the winching across the cattail swamp, it was time for the descent. Normally this isn't a big deal, BUT, (that's a large "But", no offense to the LR3's large bottom intended) there was no stopping this 6000-pound bobsled. A few times I needed to be winched down a hill from another truck that was anchored to a tree. I wish I had some pictures; instead of taking photos I was trapped inside the truck with my buttocks trying to inhale the driver seat. The first little descent I was on ended with me using a small tree for brakes because the LR3's brakes were absolutely useless.
That was a little precursor of why I should upgrade to a full steel bumper instead of the hidden winch mount. Dont get me wrong the hidden winch mount is slick and fits in the truck perfectly but when the rough stuff starts to show its ugly face it's nice to know you can bang into a large object without risking the destruction of a $1500 headlight. I got lucky on this one. The tree was small and the bumper was able to absorb the impact. A little bit larger tree and a little bit more speed would've been a costly mistake on my part.
I don't have a poser pic for this update but here's a fantastic picture of how muddy the "duck snot" was.