The first trip on the new All-Terrains was a classic mixture of So Cal conditions, namely pavement, hard dirt with a loose overlay, deep sand, and embedded rocks. I joined in with a trail run. Jesse Nelson from JD Fabrication had planned the route, and he'd done it not by physically prerunning, but by using Google Earth and his telephone. Once he'd found his chosen route in Google Earth, he found out who managed the lands we were going to be travelling through and called the land managers. We started just outside of Hemet, where the route quickly gained altitude as it headed along the flanks of Rouse Hill. Rouse Hill is no hill. It's a genuine mountain that's been given a diminutive name. We had a few Baja dual-sport buggies in the group. Boasting big suspension travel and horsepower to match, they were impossible to keep in sight even in light of how well my 4Runner works in the dirt. We caught up to the orange one, but our overtaking was thanks to a blown micro stub hub in the buggy for which the owner had no spare. He called to get a trailer on the way, but there were many miles of dirt before we'd reach our meeting point with the trailer. With the hub blown, the brakes were the only thing holding the wheel onto the vehicle, much like a semi-floating solid axle. At one point the brake on the disabled wheel got so hot it caught fire! To render the damaged corner inert, the offending brake line was disconnected and capped off. I tried to help by shining my flashlight where the work was being done. That's a BFGoodrich Baja T/A on the buggy. They're excellent for their labeled purpose, but the street manners aren't as friendly as the All-Terrain. BFGoodrich All-Terrains work quite well for towing duty! Being the tow vehicle wasn't a ton of fun, but the way luck works I was bound to need a tow someday and I wanted to pay the favor forward.
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