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by Alain Hoffmann

Hard On The Rocks

Franken Taco's homepage

Thanks for the following pictures and text to Robert Canon (Franken Taco, above) who has an excellent homepage although still not much about Land Rovers

For the complete trip report click here.

The White Rovers Homepage

Thanks also for Ben, the owner of Whiterover (one of the best D90s around) who provided us with such a breathtaking action - and permission to show it.

The last picture of Ben's D-90 with straight sheet metal anyone will see for a while.
After lunch a few people start playing around on some of the bigger rocks in the wash and the canyon walls. As we're easing Frank through a squeeze between two large boulders Sophia suddenly exclaims "Something's happened!" I'm momentarily distracted by my driver side front tire climbing a boulder and my passenger side rock bar grinding as the truck is tilted toward a bigger boulder on the opposite side. When I look up I can see people on foot and in vehicles rushing down the wash but whatever occurred to cause the stampede is around the curve out of sight.

We jump out of Frank and begin running up the wash. As we round the curve the D-90 comes into sight. At about the same time we hear with great relief that Ben is out of the vehicle and uninjured.

As we approach we can see Ben standing next to the truck (in the tan shirt beside the door of the vehicle) but I'm confused about what happened. I originally thought the odd limestone "teeth" sticking out of the gravel might have contributed to the accident.

From the tire tracks on the canyon wall it soon becomes obvious that the D-90 had been climbing the ~45 degree slope and flipped over -backwards-!

A winch line was soon attached to the rock bar on the opposite side...

...and the Land Rover was winched onto it's side...

...then back onto it's wheels.

The extent of the damage was immediately apparent, as was the fact that the stock external roll-bar had suffered doing it's job.

Ben begins picking through the debris ejected through the shattered sun roof and windshield.

A bit less head room, but still much better than it would have been without the external roll bar.

From the side you can see how the hard top was pushed back as the truck tumbled.

The uprighted D-90 below the slope that sent it tumbling.

Even though it was up-ended for only a few minutes, the engine was hydrolocked with oil in the cylinders. Once the plugs were removed and the oil expelled the accessory drive belt needed to be reinstalled. During that process a broken radiator was also diagnosed. This picture shows the windshield and sun roof kicked out so Ben could see to drive without having bits of glass blowing/falling in his face.

The tail gunner for the run offered to lead Ben in the D-90 and Pat in her Early Bronco back to civilization. As the group continued on we rounded a bend and took this shot of their rigs on their way out. When we met up with them for dinner it was clear that their adventure was only starting!

Shortly after returning to event HQ we ran into Pat and Ben who by then had the D-90 on the trailer. You can see the damage incurred when it did it's back flip. During the drive back they had to put all their drinking water, a case of soda, and a cooler full of stock tank water through the broken radiator in order to make it out.