Sunday was shaping up to be a beautiful day. The day started cool, but comfortable and all campers were headed to Sullivan Lake. In an effort to keep the day moving smoothly, the group was split with half the group heading up by Little Green Lake and the other half taking the Crag Lake back door, skirting the swamp and rejoining the Sullivan Lake trail. Before we could get onto the trail, however, Tom discovered his Suzuki had a broken hub and headed back to camp.
Despite being one vehicle short, the approach worked well and the two groups converged just as we were in sight of the lake. Not long after, we were all on the lake’s edge having lunch and enjoying the gorgeous views along Sullivan Lake.
Heading out from the lake, the group split into two once again with half headed up to Evergreen Mountain and the remainder returning down Sullivan Lake. With the weather holding, we were having a quiet day climbing and soon we crested to see the vast views from the top. Before we could reach the can opener and start our decent, Nick dropped off a ledge tearing apart his front drive shaft. With no replacement available, the decision was made to turn back and head down and out the Crag Lake back door. With Nick in 2 wheel drive, we were anticipating a slow ride out with some necessary strapping.
As we wound our way out past Sullivan Lake, a tight corner proved too tight for Paul’s JKU which, without the rock slider lost on Day 1, took some damage to the B-pillar and rear door. The damage, fortunately, was superficial and did not slow the group down and soon we made it to the Crag Lake back door.
Nick made quick work of the bypass climb. As Peter followed behind, he took a strange bounce and popped his front left tire off the bead. With a winch and tow strap for stability, a bottle jack, a ratchet strap and a hi-lift, we were able swap in the spare tire and move forward.
With Peter and Nick up the hill and ready for the final descent to the access road, the rest of the group worked their way up to the top of the ridge. As Mark maneuvered his way up one of the rock faces, his Defender slid sideways and back into a tree taking out his tail light.
Fortunately, that would be the last of the damage for this trip. Even without his front driveshaft, Nick managed to drive off the trail entirely on his own power and we all headed back to camp to share stories about the day’s adventures and misadventures.