Texans Invade Tellico: The Aftermath | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Texans Invade Tellico: The Aftermath


Elite Explorer
Moderator Emeritus
February 13, 1999
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Tampa, FL
City, State
Chief GPS'um and Still Lost Native Texan
Year, Model & Trim Level
'99 EB 4x4 "Herc" RIP
Texans did Tellico. Or maybe it was visa versa, LOL. :D

I promised not to do the writeup since I already have before, so I'll leave as quick as I can here and leave the real trip article to the others - but it's hard not to say something when you're as talky as I am :)
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( Cue organ music chord from an old Vincent Price horror movie )
THIS is Guardrail. No picture could ever capture the obstacle's terror; and Yes, we did it (down, not up). I'd prefer leaving impressions of Guardrail in a reply to this thread from Michael and Mudd*****. Like I said, I want to hear what others think now that they have seen this place. Don't lose the scale in that photo. The dark space gap below the ledge in the photo is four feet deep. Welcome to Telliico.

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Starting the weekend:
I followed Michael's spotting. :(
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So I spotted for Michael :D
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Randall's Mudd***** ripped out both of his radius arm bushings on both sides of his new Dana44 solid axle swap, I crashed in my right side rocker panel (I have rocksliders but haven't installed them yet, oops, stupid!) and passenger door panel, Michael got body damage on doors and rockers on both sides, and we hadn't even aired down yet :D

Just kidding, but barely. This trip was typcal Tellico once again. I have yet to come here without returning home damaged. I am probably forgetting several whoops, but as I recall:

  • Randall(Mudd*****); both radius arm bushings grenaded, rear quarterpanel plied out, Ox Locker neutralled, BFG sidewall ripped open.
  • Michael; body damage both sides on both doors and rocker panels.
  • Herc; rocker panel and door damage on right side and major damage to front crossmember: probably requiring cutting torch removal of crossmember and reinstall of new one on frame. :(

Welcome to Tellico :eek: . And we still have stockers wanting to come here. :rolleyes: But hey that's other's calls on this thread for opinions.

It was great to get a t-shirt and become an offical Texas Wheelin' Demon (Ziegenbocks!!!) and I appreciate the hospitality of Michael and Randall who came here to my new digs and made me feel at home instead of them. Josh Adams joined us Sunday and it was a true pleasure to meet yet another quality member of this website and a person I am proud to call a friend.

I'd like to leave Josh to answer this thread and post his thoughts concerning Tellico for stockers; he joined us Sunday on Trails 6,4, and 8; all of the easiest trails here (except for 3 which is also easy).

I'll just leave here with a couple of photos I caught and wait to listen with you all to hear what Michael and Randall think when they get back and how they compare Tellico to Moab, etc. I will say that in my opinion Saturday was absolutely brutal . We spent the entire day running only Trail #12 Schoolbus and Trail #11 Helicopter Pad and Guardrail (I talked Michael out of trying Helicopter Pad though I think he really wanted to do it). We spotted and drove Schoolbus and Guardrail inches at a time, and Michael in the very capable "Red Bull" looked at me right in the eye that day and told me "I'm not having fun anymore". It was time to go home, and we still had a long way to go to get down off the mountain. It takes a lot for him to say that. I didn't even drive that day; I only spotted, and I was as beat to a pulp by day's end as any thing I've ever done. Heck no you can't do this stuff in a stocker. I've run Schoolbus in Herc but after revisting it again with Michaeal and Mudd***** I forgot how brutal it was and I may pass on doing it again.

Or not.
I need a higher paying job.

Photo time. I need to leave the writeup to others so I’ll just post some photos and leave the story to others.

Here we go. The next few photos are taken on Trail 4 which is the second easiest trail in Tellico.

A flex shot to show off Mudd*****'s new Dana44 solid axle.
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Michael going up the hill after Fain's Ford:
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And here is Michael hiking a leg going down a Schoobus wedgy...
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Here's a link to my photos from the weekend:
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We need to get rick on this trail and have him show you guys how to do it =)

Jeez good thing Gerald didnt get to wordy eh.;)
just kidding Gerald, the pic.s look great. your right lots of time they dont show you how nasty stuff really is.

Certainly looks sweet! Maybe some day before the sport explodes, i could make it down there.. Looks like some great wheelin! Maybe i should finish my truck up finally!


So, Gerald does this mean your rocksliders will be on for our November Tellico trip?

That stuff doesn't look THAT bad! I'm thinking I'll bring my 2WD Ranger in Nov.:D Yea right!

Well at least it sounds like everyone was able to get off the trail under their own power. I've seen a lot of rigs not be able to that after some of the trails you guys did.:hammer: :roll:


Hey Gerrald, thanks again for the ride! It was great to meet ya'll Sunday. Michael and Randall, I had a blast guys. I will be up there the next time you guys are up to do it again!

Now, Tellico is awesome! Nothing like on the videos or pictures. I wish I could have been there all weekend. I missed alot of good wheeling in those 2 days.

As far as the trails I rode on with Gerrald, those are supposed to be "easy." They are, if you have an well equipped rig. But I wouldn't take a stock Explorer down them. Bone stock would not be the way to go. If you want to take your Ex down the easy trails at Tellico I suggest a set up like this:

2" lift at least
31" tires
Limited slip in the rear
Rock sliders

Even with this stuff, I would take some "driving" to get it through. Also rock stacking. I heard Micheal say he would love to do it in a "stocker." Stocker being the mods I listed above. If you have anything less than these mods done, you will not get far, due to ground clearance issues. But I think no bone stock Ex would go through it. If you tried, it would be an all day thing on the "easy" trails, cause of the rock stacking a worrying about damage and such.

I will post more later, including pictures from Sunday.

Nah, all you guys needed were some superchargers and some nitrous :D

Seriously, glad y'all had fun and made it out in one piece. I can't beleive Michael got "a feeling". Anyone who's ever wheeled with Mike knows he's one of the most easygoing and worryfree people on Earth.

Well, I don't have to worry about making the trip in November then. :) If those are pics of the 2nd easiest trail, there is no such thing as a 'puppy' run.

the reason he's so easy going and worry free is that his red Bull is so capable, whats to worry about when you can just walk over the obstacle the six trucks in front of you took an hour to climb?

Souds like he met his match (paint color match too) at tellico, oh well it;s about time that pretty red Ex had some dents, though it be a big ass dent he got.....

Looks like you guys had fun and I'm actually glad I didnt attempt this, not without sliders first, then okay....

That and Mike hasnt rolled yet. When that happens it changes things. :eek: Cant wait to see the rest of the pics. See you guys at the slabs.

After looking at the crossmember pic, how'd you do that?

That's crazy. The crossmember is supposed to be lower than the differential. That must've been a hell of a hit. How'd you not ruin the diff also?

Yeah, I'm a wee bit out of align right now :D I think it happened on Trail 4 since it is an easier trail and I got a little fast and careless in a "Get-home-itis" mode and slammed down hard on a sharp boulder that decided to spear my crossmember. Yes it was a very hard hit, but my crossmember was already banged up pretty badly. This just went too far.

I have no idea how the diffy survived; I obviously took all the hits only on the crossmember.

I did also talk with Michael about stockers doing a run and concur that you really need to at least be set up as a "superstocker" with the mods that Josh listed. A group of bone stock Explorers, with skid plates, could probably make it on Trail 4 by picking easy lines and good spotting and a lot of work, but it would take all day long, and you'd have to be willing to tick off a lot of people behind you that you'll be holding up until you can get to the next place on the trail wide enough to let them by. For that reason I believe it would be best to do it on a weekday (Friday) before it gets crowded on the weekend.

A "Superstock" with 31" aggresive tires, skid plates, towpoints front and rear, limited slip, 1.5" - 2" lift, and good driving would have the time of their life on Trails 4, 8, & 3, and come away from the weekend on cloud 9 after running those trails and making it through. Those with big kahunas and willingness to accept "consequences" might even consider going down 6. It would take a lot of work and it would be slow going but it could be done. If body damage is not an option I wouldn't show up here without some sort of rocksliders installed. I'd be happy to lead a superstock group some time.

Heh, I broke enough stuff at Paragon yesterday to keep me occupied for a while. I'll stick to the simple stuff until I become a 'superstocker' like you mentioned. :)

Alright, I have some pictures from this weekend ready now.

This is Slick Rock (at the top of the pic), and the approach to Slick Rock at the bottom. The approach looks challenging, and the the rock itself looks intimidating.

This is Peckerwood Ledge. Man, the left of the pic is a straight verticle climb up about 5ft. Guys with huge tires appear to have dug a rutt on that side trying to get up. There is a lot of winch cable damage to trees in that area, and also some broken tail lights lenses on the ground.


Here is Michael having some fun at Fain's Ford. We were hoping he would get some air, and almost did.

Ok, here is one of the rocky sections on 8 I think. It was the first trail we did on Sunday. This is on one of the "easier" trails, and the rocks themselves were stuck out of the ground about 1'- 2'.

Here is a link to my album from Sunday.


Great pics guys!

The trails look a little wet, were they? The river is very low too.

I can't wait for November!

Damn that looked like some serious Fun.

I wish I could have gone :(

dang.. that looks fun!

looks like i'll be going passenger come november though!

Yes, it was VERY wet, at least on Sunday anyways. It rained for a little while as we were going to the trails and for about an hour on the trails. It just makes stuff more interesting.

Dang that looks fun. Nice pics Josh... I'm gonna have to come out and let you show me around Gerald...of course that'll be after I slap my solid on up front, so it'll be awhile :D Can't wait to hear the texans take on it all!

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Man, awesome pics, makes me want to go that much more, The site map shows fanes ford as an easy trail, but the pic shows it being a little more agressive.
Thanks to those that posted pics, not often we get to see east coast wheeling.:D