Lake Shore Drive - 2003 Safari
by Merrill & Rosaleen
Friday morning four Jeeps (3 TJ’s, 1 Grand) from the Chicago
area (part of a group of 23) set out for a leisurely ride on Lake
Shore Drive. Of course, it wasn’t the Lake Shore Drive that
we were used to. Once we got to the trailhead and aired down, etc.,
our trail guide, Craig , informed us that due to ongoing logging
on the property, he had to make some on- the-fly changes to the trail.
He nicely pointed out where we should have been going as we ventured
into uncharted territory. It wasn’t too long before we were
wending our way up a rock strewn creek bed that seemed to be getting
progressively harder. Pretty soon we were climbing waterfalls. Lucky
for us they were dry. Eventually we came to one waterfall that must
have been at least 30” tall. As we watched Craig attempt to
climb it, we all heard the loud snap of an axle.
Undeterred, he continued onward and upward and finally was successful.
At this point, everyone started moving rocks to form a ramp so we
could continue. Everyone finally made it over, some with some help
and some with wheels at angles Jeep probably never intended.
When a comment was made about the trail being rated a 3, Craig
responded that this section probably was closer to a 5.
We soon got back to the normal trail and were going along when some of the
group got separated. When asked which way to go, Craig responded with “between
the black and the brown cow”, which is exactly where we went. After
the waterfall excursion, the rest of the trail seemed relatively easy, with
the usual water crossings, hills, etc. However, the last hill prior to the
lunch break was quite an eye opener as it felt as though we were going straight
We stopped for lunch at landowner Mike’s place, where
he had generously prepared BBQ’d chicken and brownies. He also
took all the young one’s with him to feed the fish in his pond.
While we were busy eating, some of the group were busy replacing
the broken axle.
Soon it was time for the afternoon section which was more hills and water and
mud. The highlight of the afternoon, for those of us without front and rear
lockers, was a trip through the ”Grave”, which is exactly what
it looked like.
All in all, it was an interesting day and the hardest wheelin’ any of
the four of us had ever done. Many thanks to Craig, Jamie and Jim
for their excellent leadership and willingness and patience to help any of
us who needed it.