"The Moose" 2012 Nissan Frontier PRO-4X Build Thread and some stories MNCarl

South Dakota , Wyoming , Montanna , Morrison Jeep Trail / Goose lake, (Continued)

With Wreckdivers trail fix complete....I say trail fix but it was more of a rip the half shaft out of the front diff so he could continue on with out it flopping around and breaking something else.
So there we are .....now what.... how do we continue on? (Wreckdivers truck is now rear wheel drive only / with a locking rear diff) these switchbacks are so steep we can barely do it in 4-wheel drive.
There no way to turn around and go back down, and there is a group of people/vehicles traffic jammed behind us.
We have one truck in front of Wreckdiver ....it was Bijanjames in the silver Nissan Frontier with the RTT.
Well just hook a tow strap to Bijanjames silver nissan frontier....No No
Bijanjames is smart....he was thinking a couple of steps/moves ahead...what if his truck breaks something from trying to pull Wreckdivers truck up the mountain with a tow strap. Then we would be totally screwed. We have to keep the lead truck in one piece.
Bijan suggests we need to winch Wreckdivers truck using the winch in Wreckdivers truck...and using Bijan's truck or anything else (trees / boulders) as an anchor winch point.

The going was slow....but we all maintained cool heads.
On this particular (super tight and steep)switchback Nick had to ride the front bumper on Bijans truck to try to keep the front wheel down.

Then it was Bijans turn to ride the bumper on Wreckdivers truck

Fortunately Wreckdiver had his Maxtrax with him.

Not sure if you can see it but Bijan is up there hooking up Wreckdivers winch cable to a tree/tree strap.

Winching off the same rock/boulder the Expedition Overland guys used in the Youtube video when they pulled an overland trailer up the Morrison Trail.

It was extremely challenging getting Wreckdrivers truck around the switchbacks with only rear wheel drive, winching and maxtrax , there where several times where his back rear wheel would be hanging over the edge.

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South Dakota , Wyoming , Montanna , Morrison Jeep Trail / Goose lake, (Continued)

All of our problems seemed trite, petty, and trivial.

All of our problems
Broken truck
Winching with an overheating winch
Stacking rocks under tires
Positioning maxtrax
Hot weather
Fixing a birds nest winch cable

All seemed trite, petty and trivial.

Some of you may have already seen the post here on Expo in the regional NW (WA, OR, ID, MT, WY) section.

We where about 3/4 of the way up the switchbacks when all of sudden I heard the worst crashing sounds I have ever heard in my life.

An older couple in a newer ATV side-by-side somehow came off the edge of one of the switchbacks below us.

Here is a link to a news article.

There are a lot of traumatic details I could reveal but I think it would be best to keep these details between all of us that where there at the time.

But there are some details that are worth mentioning... a woman that was with the people (traffic jammed behind us) happened to be a paramedic and from what I heard she did every thing possible to the best of her abilities and what we had supplied her.

Someone in our party somehow got a 1 bar cel phone signal and dialed 911 , but lost signal 1/2 thru the call (dropped), very frustrating... and somehow got another 1 bar cel phone signal to call 911 back and complete the call.

The rescue helicopter arrived a short time later

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South Dakota , Wyoming , Montanna , Morrison Jeep Trail / Goose lake, (Continued)

All we can do is continue on.....

Like I said in the previous post... all of our troubles trying to make it up the side of this mountain seemed trite.
At this point I was just glad to be alive.
What can we do ....all we can do is keep trying to continue on, we have to get to the top of these switch backs with a broken truck, there is no turning around.
After the major event that just occurred we where all not feeling the greatest, somehow I managed to stomach a ham sandwich on the fly and offered to make Wreckdiver a ham sandwich but he was having none of it, I am guessing he just wanted to get his broken truck to the top of the switchbacks.

More winchining

More Maxtax

I kept harping on Wreckdiver to eat something as his hopes for making it up the last few remaining switchbacks where diminishing.
Me: Wreckdiver do you want a ham sandwich ? I can make you a ham sandwich no problem.
Wreckdiver: No Carl , I am fine maybe later....

Me: Wreckdiver do you want a ham sandwich ? I can make you a ham sandwich no problem.
Wreckdiver: No Carl , I am fine maybe later....

and repeat......

It was getting comical at this point the guy would not eat....the rest of our group thought I was some sort of ham sandwich nut case.

Wreckdiver finally broke and I made him a ham sandwich.

Well with a lot of positive attitude and help from Bijan and Nick we got Wreckdivers truck to the top of the switchbacks.
We started at the bottom of the switchbacks at 9:45 AM got to the top gate at 5:30 PM

My truck...

The gate/sign

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South Dakota , Wyoming , Montanna , Morrison Jeep Trail / Goose lake, (Continued)

Morrision switchbacks complete

Should be easy going from here on out?

I thought it would be easy going from here on out, but we had to do some more winching with Wreckdivers rear wheel drive only (broken front half shaft) truck.
I say "we" but it was mostly Bijan and Nick helping Wreckdiver , I helped when I could but I have quite a few years in age on these younger guys....although Bijan is not that much younger than me.

Obligatory (we made it) group vehicle shot.

Solo shot , My truck (The Moose) and myself

I reset my MPG average before the trek up the Morrison switchbacks.
Looks like I got 3.4 MPG LOL

It was a very long day, but what a feeling of accomplishment.

The sun was getting low.

I could see on one of my GPS devices (Red Dot) the end of the trail was near.

We ended up at the end of the trail in the parking lot off 212 / Beartooth Highway.

Talked to some people that where waiting with trailers to load up the ATV's and side-by-sides that where traffic jammed behind us.
Apparently the Jeep Rubicon, Toyota Tacoma and the the ATV's that where stuck behind us turned around to go back down the Morrison Trails but could not get past the accident scene, so they all had to come back up.

So Wreckdiver understandably made a bee-line for home with his broken truck (he lives about an hour and a half away) and the rest of us drove back down the trail the way we came from to find a place to camp.

We ended up here

Where we all set up for overnight camping and Bijan made Elk burgers and Nick and his wife made mushroom & bacon shish kabob's over the fire.
I so wanted to eat an Elk burger but I was stuffed full of ham sandwiches from the day.
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South Dakota , Wyoming , Montanna , Morrison Jeep Trail / Goose lake, (Continued)

Trail to Goose lake

We all woke up Saturday morning (at our remote campsite at the end of the Morrison Trail) feeling good,... made big breakfast's, packed up camp and aired up our tires.

Well now what...

Wreckdiver had completed the Goose Lake trail with Blackdog previously and was to be our trail leader for the Goose Lake trail,,, but he left us last night and limped home with his broken truck.

Well I spoke up and said I have the trail head for Goose Lake and some other turn offs marked on my GPS.

Ok so we drove down the trail out to the parking lot then out to 212 / Bear Tooth hwy , took a left towards the Top of the World store planning to gas up and re-supply in Cooke City.

Just as we all wizzed by the Top of the World store with Bijan (Silver Frontier with RTT) leading the convoy, Bijan comes over the CB radio saying we need to stop turn around and go back the to the Top of the World store and go talk to someone.... What? .... OK.

We all pull into the Top of the World store parking lot and there is a red late model Jeep Cherokee with a RTT parked and a couple of guys standing there on the deck/patio drinking coffee.
From what I remember Bijan had seen these guys the day before in the town of Red lodge ? and stopped to talk to them about their roof top tent as it was the same brand of tent as Bijan's.

In this same conversation yesterday with the Jeep Cherokee guys, I guess Bijan had mentioned the we where going to be doing the Goose Lake trail today and the Jeep guys told Bijan that they where going to be in the area and possibly doing the goose lake trail today as well.

After talking with the Jeep guys... come to find out they have run the Goose Lake trail previously and know exactly where to go.

Awesome now we have a replacement trail leader for the Goose Lake trail.

So we follow the jeep guys to Cooke City and we all gas up, get supplies, air down our tires and then proceed to follow the Jeep guys to the Goose Lake trail head.

I never really got a good pic of the jeep guys.... Geno and Jeremy ....They where always having so much fun joking and bouncing around... not only did we gain a trail leader we also got some great entertainment.

Geno (Left) and Jeremy (Right) with Geno's Red Jeep Cherokee...and Nicks amazing wife Kayla (spelling?) is in the pic as well.

We also gained another member for the Goose Lake trail ride.... Fellow Expo member with the Expo handle "forsakenfuture" in his super nice Jeep Rubicon....apparently he seen that we where doing the trail today here on Expo and wanted to tag along. .... Awesome the more the merrier !!!

All right then lets hit the trail.

Rest break at a lake called Round Lake.

The trail had a little of everything , but is was mostly like medium to intense rock crawling for about 4-5 miles.....suspension jarring , slow going.

Creek Crossing , The creeks name was "Lady of the Lake Creek"

Of course pics do NOT do the trail justice....the only time I could take pics while driving was in the easy parts of the trail.
There where spots on the trail where you could shoot up to a about 5-10 MPH but you would immediately have to back it down to 1-2 MPH to start rock crawling again.

Is that Snow in the month of August ?

This was a pretty major hill , there was a bypass on the left or you could go straight up the middle ...If I recall correctly Nick and his wife (in the Toyota 4-Runner) went straight for the middle (did not take the bypass) and made it.

We all took a break at the top of the hill....thats Bijan

forsakenfuture in his Rubicon

Finally after a very long technical (but fun !!) trail we arrive at Goose lake

Walking to get to Goose Lake

Me , Carl, MNCarl

Goose Lake

It was cold ....fortunately Wreckdiver told me to bring warm clothes and jackets.
More snow

Those crazy Jeep guys Geno and Jeremy departing for a hike in the mountains

We moved all of our vehicles up out of the parking area onto a semi flat plateau and set up camp.

Nick's wife Kayla relaxing reading a book with a hammock she set up. I have to give credit to this young lady ...from what she was telling us she has her own Jeep Wrangler and is an avid off-roader. She also maintained her cool during the long day yesterday going up the Morrison Trail and she makes awesome French toast and fried potatoes.

It was getting cold out when the clouds where blocking the sun , Bijan started a fire and had enough Elk burgers for everyone in our group.

Bijan flipping burgers...Elk burgers that is.

I have to say , I don't know if it was the cold crisp clean mountain air or the beautiful scenery but I have never had a burger that tasted so good.... Thank you bijan

After dinner the whole group climbed up the mountain/bluff that was next to our camp while I stayed behind and stoked the fire....We where at about 9000 feet elevation and this old flat lander Minnesota boy was feeling the light air or lack there of air....so I passed on the climb.

On their way back down Nick was targeting me with snowballs

Campfire stories under almost a full moon in the Bear Tooth Mountains .....amazing

Well off to bed we have to get an early start tomorrow.
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South Dakota , Wyoming , Montanna , Morrison Jeep Trail / Goose lake, (Continued)

Woke up early Sunday morning with sound of rushing rapids and view of Goose Creek.
Time to pack up and hit the trail.

Now its time for some early morning rock crawling.

I was only half awake and I could not figure out why I could not get up and out of this first giant obstacle leaving Goose lake.
I tried 2-3 times and finally made it up and over , this is when I realized I did not have my rear diff lock on.

Of Course once again pics (blurry pics that is "sorry") do not do it justice.

The Jeep guys Geno and Jeremy slept in and stayed back at camp as they where going to do some hiking/climbing today around Goose Lake.

What an awesome trail going back out was just as much fun as going in.

The trail was just an technical on the way out as well.

And some of the views where even better on the way back out.

Airing up

And before we knew it we where on the Bear Tooth Hwy heading toward Top of the World Store again.

Top of the World Store

After a Quick break we where on the Bear Tooth Hwy again.

Wishing I was riding my motorcycle

Then we arrived at the town of Red Lodge

Where Bijan, Nick & Kayla, and myself at a late breakfast at the Red Lodge Cafe

From the Red Lodge we convoyed to the Town of Laurel where we all filled our gas tanks and I went my separate way.

I then drove non-stop well except for gas and rest breaks all the way home to Minneapolis.

Calculating leaving Goose Lake at 6:30 AM Sunday morning and arriving at my house at 3:30 AM Monday morning I drove for 21 hours well take an hour out for late breakfast in Red Lodge.
About 1000 miles
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Damage from Morrison Trail WY. Goose lake MT

Damage from Morrison Trail and Goose Lake.

Rear Fender arch:

Front upper valance

Major gouges in front bumper passenger side

Drivers side

I also had the unbolt the front Shrockworks bumper as it was tweeked off it correct mounting position,I then adjusted it and re-tightened the mounting bolts.

My fairly new BFG KO2's where chunked pretty bad in the rear from trying to get up the first obstacle leaving Goose Lake (forgot to turn my rear diff lock on)

Rock sliders had major gouges both passenger and drivers side.

Stock nissan pro-4x gas tank skid took a big hit, Still have to pull it off and pound it out.

Stock nissan rims gouged from rocks, front passenger rim has a large chunk missing.

Front bumper is now straight and re-tweeked to correct position.

I touched up all the paint gouges/scratches on the rock sliders and front bumper with Magnet paints Chassis Saver Paint, then 3 additional spray painted coats of VHT Roll bar paint.

Over all I am amazed the way the truck performed drove 1000 miles beat the crap out of it , then drove it 1000 miles home.
Extended length Radflo coilovers with the front anti-sway bar removed really smoothed out the ride on the trail.

Rear (chunked) tires are rotated to the front, thanks discount tire.

I am going try to hammer out the dent on the rear fender arch this weekend.
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weekend wheeler
Great write up.
Good to see that you guys made it despite all the bad things that happened. the CV break must have been a nightmare for that guy
i have to admit, i had my doubts as to how you were going to get that huge Nissan up that, but that's great you did it anyways!
Auto Trans would not go into "D" Drive

Auto Trans would not go into "D" Drive.
So I hop in my truck this morning to go to work and the truck would not go into "D" drive.
I could slide the gear shift from "P" to "R" and "N" but it would not go to "D".
So I googled it:

Popped the center console off (easy just pull up on the cup holders , then up on the shift console).
Adjusted the loose shift position clicker thing and tightened it up and while I was in there I adjusted my parking/emergency brake.
It took all of 10 minutes...LOL