A small group headed to the west end of Johnson Valley to try a new location for the club. Mark and I arrived in camp midday on Thursday and setup in a location that was away from others, at that time. The valley did fill up with campsites as the weekend progressed. Bryan Slattery arrived as Mark and I took a quick scouting spin around the camp. Dick arrived later and had to be retrieved from the darkness.
Friday morning we started full of confidence and headed straight to Cakewalk trail. The first five minutes went well until I charged into a v-notch without looking for the best line. I pivoted on the rocks and slid into a large rock on the drivers side (twice). I sadly placed some red paint on the rocks and could not get out without Mark and his winch. I later reviewed many You-tube videos and discovered that I approached this area exactly opposite from the preferred line.
We continued bouncing around the east end of the buttes to find a nice high view of the valley. We then played at the east end for a while and Dick found a rock to high center his flat fender. After using the High lift jack, Dick had a wild ride getting off the rock. We all determined it was time to head back to camp to eat lunch and decompress.
We took a cruise on Friday afternoon and found a trail that started easy and then proved to be more difficult than expected. We pushed through with minimal damage and then sat and watched others create more damage. Once again I checked the you-tube videos and identified this trail as Hammerdown in reverse.
Darrell and Emily arrived Saturday morning and we all headed out for a quick spin around the entire Butte area. That afternoon a few went for a tour of the valley and headed north-east to review the open sections of the King of the Hammers race course.
After we returned home I watched more You-tube videos and recognized a number of locations that we stumbled upon and did not know. We drove around Chicken Rock a few times and probably should have started there to build confidence and check off a requisite trail. There are also a number of V notches that we drove past without checking off the standard tourist list. I had fun and will go back again in the future. Next time I will consult the internet to determine which are the “really important” rocks, prior to arrival.
Written by Tim G., SB4WD Club 2021 Club President