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I have run Collateral Damage. But there is one trail at Table Mesa my Jeep will never see so long as it is my daily driver - Die Hard. Its an even tougher trail. This is one of those trails where if you escape with just cosmetic body damage it was an awesome run - mechanical breakage of some sort highly likely. It has been known to eat even D60 axle shafts. Gnarly stuff. And the last vehicle I would take on it would be a four door on street tires - it's not a long wheelbase friendly trail at all.

Some gentleman from VJC decided it would be a good idea to do exactly that. ALONE. And needless to say, he didn't make it far before destroying ball joints and ujoints and his Jeep was dead in the water. Lucky for him, the trail is over by Crapshoot and generally cell signal in the area. So he posted up for search and rescue. On a holiday weekend. (New Year's)

Saturday night, a friend and I went out there (we just went to the end of the trail - no way were we killing two more Jeeps) to make sure the guy and his dog got off the trail - it was getting late, cold, and he wouldn't have repair parts until the next day.

We left the Jeep. Generally this is a bad idea - leaving an unattended vehicle on the trail is just asking for trouble. One guy had his AXLES stripped off when he did this last summer. No, not his radio or gear or small pieces - the entire AXLES. But we had no choice. We didn't make it public knowledge, kept it off the rescue post until morning when they were already on the way back out there.

Two of my very very good friends (one is a member here, @phxchargerfan) went out with the guy to repair the mechanical damage. They have some well built vehicles but even they didn't drive the trail either - they walked in. And as a complete surprise, it was then that it decided to snow at Table Mesa. Yep. They were out in the SNOW fixing this guy's rig. What are the odds?!?!?

Repairing the damage was only part of the recovery tho - actually getting the Jeep off a trail it had no business being on would be a monumental challenge. By end of the day, the mechanical damage was repaired - but getting the Jeep off the trail was a no go. The Jeep spent another night on the trail.

Finally the following day, the big guns with the rock tube buggies and 42 inch tires had to come in to get the vehicle off the trail.

This guy was so lucky. That a bunch of complete strangers would spend a freezing cold holiday weekend helping him.

And after having seen a portion of Die Hard irl, I can guarantee you won't see me on this trail anytime soon.
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I saw this story on VJC after the fact, and recognized the orange Jeep. There are a lot of lessons in this whole story, but maybe the best is just how great the OHV/Jeep community is!

For a group of people to give up their weekend and go out on a rescue mission in that weather says tons about their character. I hope the rescued person learned some things too.

As for that trail, I don't own a helicopter, I don't hike much anymore, and unless I win the lottery, I won't ever own a buggy, so that trail and I won't be getting to know each other anytime soon!

I seriously tip my hat to the whole bunch that worked on that rescue!
 

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Great story, thanks for sharing.
 

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I was following this on the VJC facebook post. Crazy to think someone would go that alone. Hell, I don't even go LT alone... And you can bypass a fair amount on LT if needed.
 

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I think he learned his lesson (hopefully). Huck said he still wanted to try to finish the trail. We tried to get him to turn around after we fixed it, but he thought he could make it. All in all, he got out and that is all that matters
 

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