Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick

  • 13 Replies
  • 2274 Views

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Ridjobradi

  • Sr. Member
  • 472
  • 3
Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« on: July 26, 2017, 06:22:02 PM »
My drive actually started near Seattle.  I bought the bone stock rig near Seattle.  Some friends picked it up for me and held it for a couple of weeks, until I could get there.  I installed the lift, tires, got it aligned and started driving it.  After visiting some friends in Seattle, I drove south to start the TAT at what is normally the end point, Port Orford, Oregon.  The TAT is normally driven from east to west, but the GPS coordinates will allow yo to run it west to east.  I installed the coordinates in a Samsung tablet with Back Country Navigator Pro, fueled up, loaded my cooler with food and water, and then started driving. 

The drive down to Port Orford was also interesting.  Oregon is a gorgeous state.  The sand dunes on the coast would have been fun, but I didn't have a permit or the time.






This is the starting point on the coast, Port Orford.


There was some on pavement driving to get to the national forest.  Once you leave the pavement, it is a few days of mountain switchbacks, fallen trees, landslides, and water crossings.  I dont' have much for pictures on the first night after entering the forest.  The sun was going down and the light is limited due to the mountains and the tree cover.  I had to double back and find alternate routes three times.  The last time, I decided to camp when I found the landslide.  I drove back a ways to stay away from any falling rocks.  The weather was nice, with no rain in the forecast.  I skipped the tent, through down a tarp to go under the bedroll and then crawled into my sleeping bag.






I awoke in low cloud cover and planned my route around the landslide.  It was too dark to get good pictures of the land slide.  I walked through it for a bit.  If I was in a fully built rig, I could have crawled over it.  It wasn't a good idea to try in my 4" lift Sidekick Sport and nobody within a few days walk.  I started driving again and stopped when I found a stream to sit for breakfast for some breakfast.








I drove on some more and stopped again along a river, where someone had previously setup a nice campsite.  The decided to go for a swim and have lunch.  The water was cold, but it was nice to swim in.




After driving on for a few hours, mostly off pavement, I saw marker on the GPS for Clear Water Falls. 


After the falls, I was driving over the pass, when I found a Lincoln Navigator stuck in the snow.  They had been there for hours trying to get themselves out.  The snow was too deep and they bottomed out.  I grabbed my snatch strap from my recovery bag and then the mosquito spray.  The mosquitoes were vicious up there.  It seemed out of place to deal with mosquitoes and the snow at the same time.  It was a couple from WA that was stuck.  There was guy that was helping them that was riding the trails on a an enduro bike.
[img width=600 height=337https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/5RD2nym64wqLEA7rNSI2CNZNWMAyxo3L25g73nda4SKbG1vO_jB9jo1SQdR_7OdVA4PgaXsHIjUwNFuYAB4wxNkZewtXg82PiWx-jdZAeLtLIpSohiCkIfp8Iik_slccxsUR5bC1FIKRJoPCA5q3BoxhGwshtksQRooD6vKUTrtbURNOMD54NA_WpJgK2qNQpDo4KkSZxStOv_uQbvk8bQIiqOcA99Ej2pOX0CQDAn8dOfztwdLb61DuUZ7yiPVqSCSgPftJtbiVHiktGg97tYd0bISq8gQr6xiLmbGpRv9g-_LVodTzHdgZiEBgJc0ZKh8kSp2A1Pnb4-82iKd7bOry2p1r6MLN3cvUB5nsfzz2Fk_Y-eoz7cwqbo2MxOXkvOma3o_bWSq555mvPfq_yazx1imbyB_uDPrI7pZ9rR49G_BztGp834tDrPdE8CQ-ieQOls87ECKIhsSXhwXiw565cD0htpW8Bu-iTQxSOsPp6ghFcz1d8axRGmwZS6jfBOd-NOTmwejLa-Zm56MifxyFNg-sxl33FSWrW8-xJUAynMvqSZ3FS_MlPFOm8E3M6rplv9mc7L5Epc1wL0qwHzDWUKzZKoxHx5WjM6POvoEoo3CjWl9fktXNyLvxKgYMZv29sc2Z9Tm49mMMRLgY9RCAOFSBpMYcTOEE-jyaXSpcEPw=w1654-h930-no[/img]http://This final picture was the end of my second day second day on the trail and my third day of driving.  I got bored of driving by myself and I knew there was a Zukiworld trip going on north of me.  I decided to drive 610 miles north to meet up with them in the morning. 


The next post will be brief.  Eric has posted an excellent write up about the EPIC OVERLAND ADVENTURE – IDAHO, UTAH, AND WYOMING.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 08:57:31 AM by Ridjobradi »

Offline Ridjobradi

  • Sr. Member
  • 472
  • 3
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2017, 09:51:14 PM »
The next morning I got a few hours of sleep and tried to determine where the Zukiworld team would be.  I was very fortunate that I found them before cresting Oxford Peak.  I followed the trail that was on their route map, but 3/4 of a mile into the trail it was obvious that nothing bigger than a 4 wheeler could have gone further.  I back tracked and on my way back to the road, I saw the Zukiworld team and made introductions.  I tagged along for the rest of the day.  I popped a ball joint on the passenger side and they helped me get it all back together again.  I had a floor jack and Matt had a bottle jack.  We were able to get it bolted back up and the ball joint seated.  If it was not for them, I would have been thoroughly screwed. 

I didn't take as many pics during this time, as I didn't want to straggle behind the others too long.  They are all used to the amazing scenery, but I am not.  The gulf coast of Texas is as flat as any land can be.  The county that Houston is in varies no more than 50 feet naturally.  We have to have building codes that require houses to be at least 14 feet above sea level.  I find myself driving thousands of feet above sea level, with 900 foot drops off the side of dirt road we are on.

This is Matt, aka Sewerzuk, in front of me.  He has a Sidekick Sport also, but he has Kreator's coil over kit.  It's a very capable rig.


This is Gil's rig in front of me in this picture.  I am not sure of his current screen name.  In front of him is Ebewley's Equator.  I don't think I have  picture with David's Suburban, also known as the Super Mega Tracker. 


We camped near the previous pics that night.  The area we camped in was good place to do so.  It wasn't a typical camp site.  It was a pretty site, lots of trees, lots of rocks, and fire rings someone had left.  There was also chair / thrown carved from log.  I wish I had taken a picture of it.  There was plenty of dead fall to get a nice fire going.  I slept in the rig that night, due to the rocky ground and I a disappointingly thin bed roll.

The next day we started driving towards Paris Canyon.  Our progress slowed substantially that day.  We spent hours cutting dead fall and new growth from out of the trail.  There was a lot of time spent using Gil's hand saw, Eric's chain saw, and Matt's winch.  Again, I didn't get many pictures of this.  I was too busy clearing trees.  I believe Eric's wife took some pics of everyone going through a water crossing and a few other interesting obstacles.


« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 09:00:39 AM by Ridjobradi »

Offline Ridjobradi

  • Sr. Member
  • 472
  • 3
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2017, 10:08:26 PM »
I had too much work to do, to camp with the group that night.  I had some deadlines to meet and I needed good internet access to send all the files.  When everyone was making camp, I took off for a hotel that was much farther away than expected.  It was a long drive on paved roads, but I checked into my hotel and got my work done.  I had more to do in the morning, so I wasn't able to meet up with the group until after they had already hit the road.  The drive back from the border of Wyoming had some interesting views.  We don't get to see old log cabins on the gulf coast.  They have all rotted away in the moist air.




I met back up with the group at Minnetonka Cave, for some exercise.  As Eric stated in his article, it was 444 steps down and the same 444 to get out.


After the cave, we all started out towards Bear Lake.  I had driven by it earlier in the morning to meet back up with the group.  It was crowded for the 4th of July weekend.  There were lots of people and it took a bit to find a place for us to park.  Most everyone was enjoying the lake, when Gil and I decided to look for some shade to park in.  I wasn't up for swimming, mainly because I get sunburned walking across the street.  Gil and I started driving towards the valley that leads to the border convergence.




We met up again after the kids in the group had worn themselves out playing in the water.  It was a much needed break for those fortunate enough to have their kids with them.  The following pic shows the Suzukis lined up before the border convergence.  My spare is inside, behind the back seat.  The larger tires will not fit on the stock spare mount.  I will install the one I built for my old rig, when I get back to Texas.



I will split this day into two posts.  The next post will be about the drive towards the border convergence.

« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 09:09:10 AM by Ridjobradi »

Offline Ridjobradi

  • Sr. Member
  • 472
  • 3
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 09:11:24 AM »
I apologize for the broken links.  I cleaned the posts up a little and fixed the broken picture links.  I was not able to see the broken links, so I opened up an incognito browser.  This allowed me to see which links were broken and work my through the posts to correct the links.

Online ebewley

  • ZW Administrator
  • Enthusiast Contributor
  • 6231
  • 54
  • ZUKIWORLD Online, Editor
    • ZUKIWORLD online
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2017, 11:09:46 AM »
Hey this is great Richard! I'd like to extract this when your done and make an article for the front page, with your permission of course.

-Eric
Eric L. Bewley                               
Editor, ZUKIWORLD Online                   

Suzuki 4x4 Owners Association - Please Join  The ZUKIWORLD ORDER Today!
About ZUKIWORLD Online: We are an enthusiast web site dedicated to the promotion of the Suzuki Automobile as the best and most capable vehicle on the planet. We offer product reviews, Tech tips, DIY, Travel and Adventure, Forum, Technical information, Life Style, and so much more!

Offline Ridjobradi

  • Sr. Member
  • 472
  • 3
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2017, 11:20:22 AM »
Eric,

No problem.  Glad to share it.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2017, 09:25:28 PM by Ridjobradi »

Offline duke45

  • Jr. Member
  • 9
  • 0
  • ZUKIWORLD Online!
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2017, 01:28:24 AM »
That is a totally cool adventure!

Online rasmeidirtrider

  • Jr. Member
  • 43
  • 0
  • ZUKIWORLD Online!
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2017, 01:45:56 AM »
How did the Sidekick Sports perform a long the way?
'96 (07/95) US imported Sidekick Sport, 16V, 1.8L, 4 auto, 4x4, 4dr, A/C, ABS, 100K miles, VIN: JS3TD21V6T4101985, bone stock, except 215/70R/16.

Offline Ridjobradi

  • Sr. Member
  • 472
  • 3
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 11:33:24 AM »
Having the additional ground clearance from the lift and larger tires has been important.  A lot of the TAT is relatively flat, but portions of it need lots of ground clearance.

The Sidekick has done well, with only a few issues. Some of the issues were my own doing, like improperly torqued bolts.  Others are wear and tear from the trail, caused by the lift.  This has resulted in me doing a walk around every morning or after particularly difficult trails.

Online rasmeidirtrider

  • Jr. Member
  • 43
  • 0
  • ZUKIWORLD Online!
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 03:05:21 AM »
Thanks. What is about the mileage with these huge tires?
'96 (07/95) US imported Sidekick Sport, 16V, 1.8L, 4 auto, 4x4, 4dr, A/C, ABS, 100K miles, VIN: JS3TD21V6T4101985, bone stock, except 215/70R/16.

Offline Ridjobradi

  • Sr. Member
  • 472
  • 3
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 04:26:40 AM »
I have only had it on pavement for a few tanks,so far. The mileage is 20 mpg on the highway.  The off pavement and off road driving that I have been doing gets me about 16 mpg.  We had one day of slow crawling in low gear, tree trimming, etc that I got about 8 mpg.

Online rasmeidirtrider

  • Jr. Member
  • 43
  • 0
  • ZUKIWORLD Online!
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 05:51:13 AM »
Thanks. That is a big impact!
'96 (07/95) US imported Sidekick Sport, 16V, 1.8L, 4 auto, 4x4, 4dr, A/C, ABS, 100K miles, VIN: JS3TD21V6T4101985, bone stock, except 215/70R/16.

Offline duke45

  • Jr. Member
  • 9
  • 0
  • ZUKIWORLD Online!
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2017, 11:05:15 PM »
I have only had it on pavement for a few tanks,so far. The mileage is 20 mpg on the highway.  The off pavement and off road driving that I have been doing gets me about 16 mpg.  We had one day of slow crawling in low gear, tree trimming, etc that I got about 8 mpg.

Sounds a great overall performance!

Offline Ridjobradi

  • Sr. Member
  • 472
  • 3
Re: Trans-America Trail in a Sidekick
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 02:38:42 AM »
It's been a busy month, but the Sport has been sitting.  I developed a bad oil leak at the rear main seal, somewhere around the CO and OK border. 

Because this rig was new to me, I was checking the oil during fuel stops.  The oil had been good to go until the Oklahoma border. The transmission fluid had already gone from looking ok to looking like it had never been changed, even though the previous owner said it had been flushed a few days before I bought it.

I decided to pull off the trail and do the next 5 hours on pavement. It would have taken about 10 hours on the trail. There was also some extreme mud in Oklahoma and I was running just in front of a big thunderstorm. 

My son had just returned from deployment in the Middle East, so I was heading towards his house in OKC.   I dropped the rig off in his garage and started prepping for the repairs. I had to be at work in a few days, so the rig would have to wait. 

We started working on it over a week ago, but then Harvey entered the gulf and I went back home to prep for the storm.  I was able to get back to the Sport yesterday. It is back together, but I am waiting on replacement shocks after the manufacturer sent the wrong ones.

Now I have to leave again. It may be 6 weeks before I can get back on the trail.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 02:46:42 AM by Ridjobradi »