Project VehiCross Goes Gambling 

After taking a quick moment to drop the tire pressures, we hit the mud.  I locked the transmission into 1st, found the best ruts, and hit the gas. The VX did not disappoint.  Check out how deep that mud is! And that was the shallow spot!

Towing a Stuck XJ
Once you made it through the first pond, there was an even bigger challenge ahead. This pond was too deep to go through, so the best course of action was to straddle the edge. Go too far to the left and you could suck in water or even tip over. Too far to the right, and you’d get into the soft, uncompacted mud and get stuck like the XJ did. Most Gamblers decided not to do this as the trail ended up looping back on itself. We went through the first puddle but chickened out on the second. It was still early in the rally and god knows I didn’t want to be finding Isuzu electrical parts out here!
VehiCross Sand Trail
A short drive later, and we were onto a sandy trail. It was very narrow and lead to a sand hill that was absolutely jam packed with stuck Gamblers. Once again, we turned back. It was already getting late and we didn’t want to wait for an hour for a path to clear out. Not only were we waiting on fellow Gamblers, but regular off-road people were getting annoyed at all the stuck shit heaps in their sandbox!
VehiCross Campsite
After some more easy trails, we made our way to the campsite for the night and set up while it was still light out. If you’ve been a Boy Scout in the last two decades, you’ll immediately recognize the tent (which I bought from my old Troop when they replaced all of their tents about a decade ago).
Gambler 500 Campsite
There was a main site that filled up quickly. All in all, at least half the teams slept outdoors on Saturday night, though a few found indoor lodging.


  1. Those ZJs came with a shitty full time 4WD transfer case with a viscous center section that eventually failed. The NP231s that came in base models were true 4WD (locked front to rear with no differential). Still open diffs front/rear though…

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