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Old 08-13-2012, 02:06 PM   #1
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Religious experience on Miller

I just wanted to share my story from a recent Miller jeep trail run and how it changed my outlook on things a little. I was doing a night run with IH8rds and as i was coming down the final set of switchbacks that drop you at the picnic area at the base of Miller from Lockwood, my right front rim clipped a rock. The energy of the impact, even at a crawling speed, was enough to shoot my front end straight left. Simultaneously, my right front tire popped, left front tire rolled a bead, and my steering gear box input shaft sheared.

As i tried to regain control, my left front tire went over the side of the cliff. It was about 5 inches from causing me to roll to the base of the mountain. I hit the brakes and slid to a stop inches from disaster.

I didnt even know what hit me as it all happened so fast. I gave the wheel a quick turn to the right and gave it a little gas and i slid forward even more causing my pucker factor to increase exponentially!!

As i stepped out of the jeep to assess the damage, I quickly realized how lucky i was to be alive. The damage was too great to be repaired that night so i stripped my jeep of all that was important to me and we headed back to camp.

All i could think about that night was how in the heck i was going to get a steering gear box installed on the side of a cliff! Not to mention my fear that other wheelers would try and get around me and possibly send my jeep to its death. Both of these fears kept me awake late into the night.

The next morning i got a hold of Jeep and they had a new gear box coming in the next day. All i had to do now was retrieve the tires and try and move my heap out of the way so other wheelers could get by..

Two days passed and i had the part in hand and was headed out to do the first steering box of my life. I was well prepared as my posse of fellow wheelers reached out with tech advice and offers to drive from all around to come help. For that, i will forever be grateful. Special thanks to Rich for his help and generosity.

As we were headed out to the wreck site we saw a group of wheelers at the flying J, and we immediately knew they were headed to Miller. We told them about my heap blocking the trail and they didnt seem to mind much at all.

As we approached my heap, we expected to see a parking lot of rigs stacked up behind mine all cursing my name, but there was none. I noticed a group further down the trail and thought they must have came in the other direction. I approached my jeep only to find a note on my steering wheel that said "4x4 HIM Hey if you need any help or a tow out let us know" with 2 names and tel numbers and the CB channel they were on. I was shocked. I have heard stories of peoples rigs getting looted and i assumed the worst. It was about that time that one of the guys who were already on Miller, turned around and came up to lend a hand. Great group of guys! Big time props to the 4x4 Him group out of Bakersfield for being stand up guys and helping me out.
Anyway, i ended up getting the new box in about 2 hours in 100 degree heat on the edge of a cliff and managed to limp my girl through the rest of miller and home. She is now in the shop getting pampered and brought back to life.

I wanted to post this to give thanks to all my fellow wheelers as well as highlight how dangerous this sport can be. It can happen to anyone at any time. Stay safe and happy wheeling....Crittert aka Aaron

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Old 08-13-2012, 02:32 PM   #2
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Glad to hear you're safe Brother. I guess it just goes to show that anything can, and does happen. Even on the easy runs. Looking forward to Wheeling with you guys soon.

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Old 08-13-2012, 02:42 PM   #3
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Holy shit man. I thought my luck sucked when I popped my tire. Glad to see that you and your girl are alright.

I did want to add to what you said about Jeepers and wheelers in general just being some of the coolest people. When I popped my tire, there was no shortage of people there and ready to help. Just awesome people all around.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:06 PM   #4
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I am coming in from the V twin motorcycle end of the sport. It is vastly different here. People are much friendlier here and willing to help. What a difference.
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:40 PM   #5
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Good story Aaron and glad your okay as well! I always enjoy helping fellow Jeepers and this past weekend found myself on the other end of the help when I flopped my Jeep on Dishpan. There was never a shortage of people willing to help. They helped in getting me out, getting the Jeep upright, getting it prepped for restart and soon I was back on the trail. Although some were friends in my normal group, many others I had only known from that mormning! I obviously could not have done that alone...and although I was humbled by my mistake, It felt great to have to have people help me out so willingly.The Jeep sprirt is a strong one!
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Old 08-13-2012, 04:51 PM   #6
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I'm always amazed at the generosity of fellow Jeepers. Time, parts, fuel, basically whatever it takes. Whether you're in our group or not, nobody gets left behind. And the good karma that that brings is immeasurable. Not that we do it for that, but yeah. Bonus.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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Aaron, I am so glad your jeep stopped when it did. I had no idea it was that close when we spoke on the phone. Thank you for the nice words. I was glad I could help and I am glad you know that I was serious and had you said you needed my help I would have need on the road within minutes. I hope the final repair bill is not too steep.

I was kind of hoping we would do a night run on Miller the next time we meet. :-)
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:27 PM   #8
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Holy input shaft Batman! Great story. I'm glad everything is all right; I know its just matter of time before something like that happens to me.
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Old 08-13-2012, 08:56 PM   #9
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Glad you're ok Aaron! Crazy story, odd that all of that went bad at the same time.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:16 PM   #10
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wow crazy story and glad to hear nothing really bad happened. there's a guy that got too close to the edge of the trail on miller and the ground gave out and he rolled down the hill, he was ok. gotta be on your toes out there on the trail. its great that everyone is always willing to help others out.

Bill you flopped on dishpan?
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:47 PM   #11
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Wow Aaron we are very happy to hear you came out of that unharmed. The Jeep as we all know can be repaired or replaced but not a human life.

The second best part of this story for me is to hear of the Jeep wheelers willing to help you out. This story reconfirms to me that I am associating myself with the right kind of people--Jeep people!

Hope to see you on the 24th and wheel with you two.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:36 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ZombieClownZ View Post
Holy shit man. I thought my luck sucked when I popped my tire. Glad to see that you and your girl are alright.

I did want to add to what you said about Jeepers and wheelers in general just being some of the coolest people. When I popped my tire, there was no shortage of people there and ready to help. Just awesome people all around.
I wasn't sure if I was really unlucky or lucky on this trip. It was a good combo of both to say the least

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Glad to hear you're safe Brother. I guess it just goes to show that anything can, and does happen. Even on the easy runs. Looking forward to Wheeling with you guys soon.
So true Rob. This is exactly why you never wheel alone. If Lorie hadn't have been there I would have been screwed
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:38 AM   #13
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I am coming in from the V twin motorcycle end of the sport. It is vastly different here. People are much friendlier here and willing to help. What a difference.
Welcome to the Jeep world. The people here are great. I have met some really great people on this forum.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:41 AM   #14
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Good story Aaron and glad your okay as well! I always enjoy helping fellow Jeepers and this past weekend found myself on the other end of the help when I flopped my Jeep on Dishpan. There was never a shortage of people willing to help. They helped in getting me out, getting the Jeep upright, getting it prepped for restart and soon I was back on the trail. Although some were friends in my normal group, many others I had only known from that mormning! I obviously could not have done that alone...and although I was humbled by my mistake, It felt great to have to have people help me out so willingly.The Jeep sprirt is a strong one!
Thanks ..Hope your ego is healing nicely as well. I know I beat myself up trying to replay what I coulda or shoulda done. Bottom line is that's how we learn.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:47 AM   #15
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Aaron, I am so glad your jeep stopped when it did. I had no idea it was that close when we spoke on the phone. Thank you for the nice words. I was glad I could help and I am glad you know that I was serious and had you said you needed my help I would have need on the road within minutes. I hope the final repair bill is not too steep.

I was kind of hoping we would do a night run on Miller the next time we meet. :-)
I can't thank you enough Rich. The final bill wasn't too bad. Steering box, alignment, new tire. The real problem now is that I might have bent my frame a touch. We got her to align but the steering wheel won't center. I might just have to disconnect and recenter the wheel again.

I'll be riding bitch with Lorie on the 24th because I am out of wheeling funds for a while after this fiasco. But I can't pass on a trip to Skyranch
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:49 AM   #16
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Holy input shaft Batman! Great story. I'm glad everything is all right; I know its just matter of time before something like that happens to me.
Ya Randy I couldn't believe it either. I was really surprised that I didn't bend a tie rod in the process. I guess I found the weak point in the system. Somebody was telling me there was a brace that can be installed around the steering box to beefen it up. I am gonna look into that.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:51 AM   #17
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wow crazy story and glad to hear nothing really bad happened. there's a guy that got too close to the edge of the trail on miller and the ground gave out and he rolled down the hill, he was ok. gotta be on your toes out there on the trail. its great that everyone is always willing to help others out.

Bill you flopped on dishpan?
You're talking about Lorenzo and Lorenzo's ledge. That was the first thing I thought of after this happened. My roll would have been much farther, although it would have put me closer to the campground
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:55 AM   #18
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Wow Aaron we are very happy to hear you came out of that unharmed. The Jeep as we all know can be repaired or replaced but not a human life.

The second best part of this story for me is to hear of the Jeep wheelers willing to help you out. This story reconfirms to me that I am associating myself with the right kind of people--Jeep people!

Hope to see you on the 24th and wheel with you two.
Definitely great people Bernie! If it wasn't for my Jeep I wouldn't have met my amazing GF Lorie and the rest of my new Jeep family!
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:16 AM   #19
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Bent Frame? New Jeep! You know who to call. Lol
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:24 AM   #20
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Bent Frame? New Jeep! You know who to call. Lol
I wouldn't think of calling anyone else Rob...Gonna live with it though. It's not in the cards for me to buy a new one right now.
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:31 AM   #21
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No worries Brother. Whenever you're ready. Besides, now you can justify more mods for yours. Lol
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:21 AM   #22
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O MAN ! Glad everything turned out ok ! You guys should have called me you know im not far from there Icould of had you back on the road the next day! o well glad your ok . Where are you guys wheeln after the 24th?
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:28 AM   #23
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O MAN ! Glad everything turned out ok ! You guys should have called me you know im not far from there Icould of had you back on the road the next day! o well glad your ok . Where are you guys wheeln after the 24th?
We actually thought about it cause i had to run to santa clarita to pick up the part from Jeep. We didnt feel right puttin you on the spot like that..now we know. We havent made any plans as of yet for after the 24th. I would like to do a BB run again though..
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:40 AM   #24
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This thread reminds me that just because we go slow does not mean this sport does not have it's dangers. I ran Miller some weeks back and we found a very large rattler in the campground at the river crossing. No one saw him till we were all sitting down at the table. He was coiled up inches from everyones feet. No one got bit but it just makes you think just how much you need to be on guard. Both on the trail and off.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:06 PM   #25
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We actually thought about it cause i had to run to santa clarita to pick up the part from Jeep. We didnt feel right puttin you on the spot like that..now we know. We havent made any plans as of yet for after the 24th. I would like to do a BB run again though..
Ok next time dont hesitate. BB sounds good im in let me know .
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:25 PM   #26
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It was Saturday Ron; you were surfing

I'm thinking BB too after the 24th Aug.. But, I believe Aaron wants to go to San Diego the weekend of the 7th Sept. Gotta play that one by ear..I'd like to go back to BB..

If we don't go on the 7th weekend, I can't go again until the 21 Sept weekend.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:02 PM   #27
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It was Saturday Ron; you were surfing

I'm thinking BB too after the 24th Aug.. But, I believe Aaron wants to go to San Diego the weekend of the 7th Sept. Gotta play that one by ear..I'd like to go back to BB..

If we don't go on the 7th weekend, I can't go again until the 21 Sept weekend.
ya but one phone call i would have been up miller. you guy going wheeln in San Diego? let me know im up for a run after the 24th and BB sounds like fun.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:05 PM   #28
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Nice of ya!

No wheeling in SD. He has a friend he wants to hang out with. I'll let ya know!
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:00 PM   #29
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Glad you're ok, and you are right the jeeper community is great.

BTW, here is a vid of a guy going off a cliff in Mitsubishi and walking away. It is a race car but one heck of a crash.

Race driver Jeremy Foley miraculously survives Rocky Mountains crash | Metro.co.uk
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Old 08-15-2012, 11:49 PM   #30
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Glad you made it out ok. We have pulled a few vehicles up from that canyon and never fun. That little switchback can bite hard and has.

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