Nissan Offroad Association of the Southeast
NOAS 2005 Spring Run @ Coal Creek was a success!
It started with months of chitter chatter back and forth… who's showing up when and where are you coming from kinda thing. Finally the NOAS Coal Creek Spring Run of 2005 was here…and it was looking like it would be the largest yet
It started at Kevin's house on Thursday May 12th with a dozen or so NOAS members showing up throughout the day, the last being Nate at 11:30 PM. We all relaxed with a few beers and hit the pillows at an early 2:00 AMish….but 2 of the NOAS wives stayed up well past that.
In the morning it was time to get going. I quick swap of some tires for Brock and a CV shaft on John's truck and we would be on our way..not so easy as we found that Brock has something against grease and had pretty much destroyed his right front bearings…."is that what that noise was?" he said as Nate pulled his spare set of bearings and got to work. Not too long after we were all headed to the campsite.
After setting up camp and welcoming some members as they showed up a mid afternoon trail run was organized. Trail 16 was picked because it was the one we did last year and offered some good challenges with bypasses. "It should only take us an hour and a half" Someone said. We all rolled out at 3 pm with John trail leading. Things were going great, trucks performing , except for a minor bead blowing by Ryan, until the creek!!!!! John was first….not on the first try, second got a little farther, 3rd try SNAP….the passenger side CV shattered. Oh well, with a quick winch and he was out of the way for his Jeep buddy to give it a try in his dual locked XJ on 35s….nope…he got his front tires up and that was it. Out comes his brand new hydro winch. BUT, in the middle of winching out the solenoid broke and left him stranded for the time being. In the mean time Nate took the bypass followed by Brock and Mike. However instead of the easy way they all had to take and equally steep muddy hill to avoid the winch line attached to the Jeep. Nate and Brock made it with no problems…then came Mike. Nate was spotting him (and antagonizing him a little) but didn't quiet understand why he was trying to turn back down the hill towards the jeep. "turn your wheel the other way!!!!!"…."what are you doing Mike?!!!!!!" were some of the things Mike heard as he looked back in confusion. Then Nate saw it….the floppy passenger side wheel…the tell tail sign of broken steering. So now there are 3 truck broken and no spare parts. For about an hour there were some R rated words being heard through the woods on trail 16 until we forced a pathfinder tierod on to the Frontier and got him out of the way and got Brock down the trail to pull the Jeep up. WE were back on our way with about 3.5 miles to go. Having Johns truck only able to use 2wd made the rest of the trail much arder for him. I am sure there were a few times that his Frontier was hitting redline just to get up some of the steep slick hills.
AHHHHHH the last hill climb….we were almost to the top and then it would be smooth driving down to the camp…..BUT NO…with Mikes tires being severely toed in his tranny had to work much harder for the last 3.5 miles and had over heated preventing him from getting up the last hill climb. Richard to the rescue…strapped him, but was unable to pull him up the steep with his manual tranny and non-locked rear end. Nate backed down what seemed like miles and strapped him up…..up…up…almost to the top when it just got too slick and too steep. Richard strapped to Nate strapped to Mike did the trick. We let Mikes tranny cool by towing it down the hill until it felt like it was wanting to go again. With some "which way?"s over the CB Nate finally lead the group back to camp….time nearly 11 pm.
The rest of the night was filled with great fireside conversations, checking out others sweet rigs, and plenty of cold ones. Most tried to get to bed early in preparation for Saturday's trail run….some didn't.
Saturday Am we woke to the sound of drizzle on the tents. The usual stirring around the camp as people prepared food and readied there Nissan's for the day's Trail riding.
Everyone lined up to make the trip up Windrock. On the way up a small contingent (Burgpath (Kevin), Krawlr (Don) & Outoway (Stephen) broke off at the trail head to T15. Don in his Krawlr tried the stair steps. Was able to make it up the first one, but not quite the second one. Next to try was Stephen in Commander Smurf. He gave it one heck of a try, but also couldn't make it up. Had it been dry, it would have been different. While we were playing on T15 Brad (Redx) showed up on his ATV to watch.
From here we headed over to the bottom of Rattle Rock to do a bit of playing. Again Don was first to give it a go. We didn't plan on running the whole trail as it was still wet. Don impressed all onlookers with his run at rattle rock. He did extremely well with his air bagged Taco. Stephen tried next, and didn't get as far, but he did get up on the first obstacle. We were joined by Porsche996 (John) and Ice Chicken (Isreal).
After playing for a bit and watching an ATV try his had at Rattle Rock as well, we headed up the mountain. As were going up, it was very interesting to all of a sudden see the blades of the windmills come out of the fog. A very impressive site to say the least.
Once at the top, some of us played in the big mud hole. And also went over to the climb to the top where my Pathy Humped the hill 2 years before. Don tackled the hill with relative ease. Stopped and had lunch and were met by most of the rest of the group.
After getting our grub on we headed out to tackle some more trails. Tried T6 first (was supposed to be an interesting trail, but was more like a drive way. The next suggestion was to try out T3, which was listed as moderate. Upon getting to the trail, it was definitely not a moderate trail anymore. Erosion had turned it into something that was darn near impassable while wet. The decision was not to run it after seeing it.
A bunch of the group decided that they were going to call it a day and headed back to camp. While a group of 6-7 of us did some more trails.
In the process, we were hit with some more severe storms. Wouldn't have been as bad, except that we also had an ATV coming with us. Don stopped and gave him a jacket to help out.
We came upon a nice mudhole that a couple of the guys decided to play in. First up was Nate (Luv2ski35) and proceeded to sink his Fronty to the frame. Brock hooked his winch to him and was trying to pull him out, but all he was doing was pulling himself closer to the mud hole. Don then also hooked up to Nate, and with the two of them pulling, they made short work of it. Dario was the next to try his luck at the hole. From a different approach into the hole, he was able to make it in. There is some very interesting video of that one. On the way back out, they stripped out the CV axle. Riccardo tried it next in the same Pathy, but didn't do near as well with the CV being broke.
On the way back to camp, we played on some hill climbs and a couple of other water holes.
Once back at camp the nightly festivities started to get under way. The first part was to christen Outoway's SAS Fronty for it maiden voyage after being under the knife for more than a year.
There was Pizza from Big Ed's for dinner. And the Raffle was held as well. All NOAS members walked away with something in the end. The bon fire and as well as the usual antics that are associated with our runs were enjoyable as usual!
Raffle winners are as follows:
Sunday only a few of the remaining 30+ trucks were brave enough to hit the trails again. Ricardo, John and Nate decided to make an easy few hours out of the morning (famous last words). This story is far to long to tell in detail so I will shortened it up. The trail ride was fantastic. We found an awesome hill climb and played there for awhile before heading out to trail 11….nice trail by the way. On the way back Nate's alternator took a dump…no problem, the red top will last long enough…."lets go look at the bottom of rattle rock" John urged. We all agreed and headed down there. This was the groups mistake as there is a nice set of very deep mud holes right near the bottom of Rattle Rock and it had already been proven that Ricardo in his pathfinder and Nate in his frontier liked to play in the mud. Forgetting about the previous days experience with mud they both attempted the deepest. Nate, with his snorkel and already crapped out alternator, thought nothing of it until the muddy water made a distinct noise as it hit the fan blades, came up over the hood and stopped his forward momentum….he quickly backed up and gave it another shot with success this time….standing proudly next to his truck the mud line was nearly up to his nipples. Ricardo decided that this hole was too deep for his non snorkeled Pathy and eyed another one off to the right. He took it slowly at first but realized that speed was the key as he was forced to back up and hit it again. This time he got farther but sank his truck in a very soupy, deep, stagnant, stinky part of the hole. John came to strap him out, but in the process something in the mud hole put a 4 inch gash in one of his Swampers…..and Ricardo learned that changing a tire on a truck that is covered with a 1" layer of bad smelling mud is no fun and that starters do not like deep mud a second day either. Finally we made it back to camp….Nate threw in his spare alternator and the rest packed up what was left of the NOAS shanty town. We were off, so we thought. Just miles down the road Nate overheated his engine and the group was forced to stop and find a carwash to spray out the radiator…no problem. And we are off, John headed North to KY and Ricardo and Nate headed south to Atlanta…..so we thought. Just 10 miles down I75 Nates spare alternator turned out to be a dud and the 2 were forced to stop….John was called and was heading back down to help out. Ricardo, his brother, Dario and Nate's Wife took off in the Pathy, heading for Atlanta due to a 120lbs Great Dane and a 100lbs Shepard mix having to ride in the back seat of John's truck back to Atlanta. Nate left his truck and john left his camper at some truck scales with permission from the guard and headed back to Atlanta to pick up a new alternator first thing in the morning. John and Nate were hauling butt trying to catch up to the Pathy which had left 20 minutes before them…..when Nate's phone rang…."the Pathy is dead…alternator"!!!!!!! "What exit are you guys at?' "7"….."OH SH@%....we are at exit 7" as John swerves over 2 lanes to make the exit. We swap in Johns SUPER BATTERY to the pathy and the dead battery in to John's and we are on our way….seriously this time.
One last thing. I, Nate, sit hear writing this as my Frontier sit with a dead starter......it was fine until 3 days later…. No more mud for me….well until next time. Thank you to John for taking an extra day off of work to drive all the way to Atlanta and back and to Kevin for being at the truck scales to supervise the installation of the 3rd alternator.
We hope to see all of you again…and hope to see many new faces too.
The pictures from the run can be viewed in the gallery.
NOAS would like to thank all that were involved with making this run a success.
We would also like to thank the following sponsors that we had for the run: