Thursday, April 24, 2014
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Tuesday, 22 April 2014 02:22

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Devil’s Canyon Details!

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  With synonymous names like The Terminator’s, Sledge Hammer or Hell’s Revenge many of the names given to off road trails conjure up some terrible thoughts of doom and despair. Others offer a little devious information just to entice you. The trail name may suggest a level of difficulty you’re sure to encounter or possibly a simple description of how you will feel when you’re done. This can be said about many trails, let’s face it if the trail were called “God’s Canyon” I’d go without hesitation but there is a “God’s Mountain trail” it’s just called the ‘Dusy.” As we know, Cake Walk trail is no cake walk, The Connector isn’t a nice phone operator lady and John Bull isn’t a Sunday afternoon zoo safari. They say the devil is in the details and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, if a trail is named for “Diablo” caution should be taken. “Devil’s Canyon” is a name only given to a trail with certain exceptional characteristics and it’s more than likely you won’t leave the trail saying “that was a walk in the park with sunshine on my shoulders.” This event wasn’t published for that reason and because I’d never run this trail I had my doubts about a big group. I had additional insight into the potential of trouble and it was the condition of Johnny’s truck from the first time he ran this trail, a little beat up really wouldn’t describe it, let’s just say Devil’s Canyon isn’t an “I don’t want to scratch my paint” kind of trail.

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  10007492 453378054808178 3085345327275142070 nThis trail’s menacing name lives up to the truth in advertising standard. The devil by nature is deceptive and this trail has the devils traits. It starts as many others do but there is no gate keeper, no other warnings of what’s to come. You slowly start to encounter some obstacles as the canyon walls grow taller and narrower. As you continue on there are more and more challenging obstacles and at some point you realize there’s no turning back, very much like entering the inferno of hell. As experienced rock crawlers we know getting into trouble isn’t a problem… it’s getting out. We had made it two thirds the way through Devils Canyon before we heard that all so familiar snap, “OH” a broken axle without a replacement, now the fun begins! Yes with a front locker you have three wheel drive but driving a trail with vertical rock faces in three wheel drive is like pushing a full shopping cart with a bum wheel through Wally World. Now we all know how fun that is! Our day just went from a fun challenge, to a determined as hell to get off the trail before midnight challenge. Thank God for my Warn winch as it became my guardian angel.

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   As most of the trails with synonymous names this trail didn’t give up until the very end. We managed to get off the trail without further damage although I felt like a one legged man in a butt kicking contest…with a cane of course. I know this wasn’t the toughest rock crawling challenge I’ve ever faced but it was no doubt the most difficult three wheel drive trail I’ve ever been on. What’s in a synonymous trail name? There can be a lot of things including confusion but if the name contains “Diablo” beware you could be in for a great challenge or the rest of your life. This trail lives up to its name and if you’re up to the challenge it can be a hell of a lot of fun!


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