Jalopnik - HUMMERs on Drummond Island

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Off-Road Trails And Games Of Grab-Ass: A Look At Hummer's Bright Side

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    Hummer is mostly dead, but last summer, we took two H3s and joined the Hummer Club on an expedition to Michigan's Drummond Island. One local woman grabbed my ass, but for the most part, the fun happened behind the wheel.

    We originally intended to run this story whenever Tengzhong and GM came to a sale agreement — sort of a "here's what the Chinese have gotten with their purchase" story — but then the deal was delayed. And delayed again. And delayed again. Now it's completely off, and GM claims that it's going to close Hummer down. Considering that we just ran Hummer's obituary, we figured now was as good a time as any to get on with describing how wheeling SUVs on a remote island is fun as hell.

    Drummond Island is a seriously nowhere piece of earth, a rock located off the tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the waters of Lake Huron. Since nature decided to have ice-age glaciers leave Drummond as a rough-edged outcrop, it has become a popular spot with the region's rockcrawling and off-roading enthusiasts. It offers an astounding and seemingly endless variety of terrain, from muddy cedar bogs to deep deciduous forests, rocky shelf routes, and high-speed trails. It's an excellent way to test the off-road prowess of anything on wheels.

    It's easy to paint H3 owner with the broad brushstrokes of waste and limited off-road utility that apply to the H2 — after all, they look the same, right? Still, there's more under the surface. Once you leave the asphalt, the difference between the H3 and its older brothers becomes markedly clear. Where the H2 and H1 are off-road sledgehammers, the H3 is more of a pick-axe. It'll take you almost anywhere you want to go without much drama. It'll fit down tree-lined paths designed for Jeep Wranglers where bigger trucks mash vegetation and bend fenders. Thankfully, some of Drummond's trails are off-limits to the big boys; this blessing allowed us time to feel out the locking front differential and practice our spotting.

    We also had the good fortune to hit Drummond during a rainy spell. The low-lying island was flooded in places, and some of the two-track trails had turned into highly satisfying, rocky-bottomed bogs. Two-wheel drive was good enough for a lot of what we encountered, but four-high made the slippery stuff passable. The locking diff and four low is reserved for situations where things get vertical; get the system set right and air down the tires, and you can climb over darn near anything. Feel free to drag the thing over a rocky outcrop, too — it's got full underbody armor which handles the protection racket quite nicely. (We tested it. A lot.) You just have to be sure to close the sunroof when bombing through the deep puddles. (Not that we would know anything about that.)

    Those same rains that provided us with entertaining mud also ensured hanging out around the campfire at night wasn't very fun. When you've got a bunch of folks doing manly stuff like off-roading, you need a place to go and tell lies at the end of the day. Given the weather, we ended up at the Northwood bar, a loud and boisterous joint with a great jukebox and cheap libations.

    This is where it got weird. As the night wore on and the lies got bigger, I eventually had to rid myself of some rented beer. On my return from the restroom, I passed a table full of local ladies having a grand old time. In full view of everyone I was with, one of them reached out and grabbed a handful of my ass. Puzzled, I kept walking without looking back. The entire table erupted into laughter, and discussions of Hummer's future were killed for the rest of the evening.

    No matter what anyone says, we're at the end of Hummer's days. Even if the brand gets purchased and saved from the axe, it will never again be the big, burly, GM-backed leviathan it once was. During its brief stint in history, it pretty much played a game of grab-ass with image and ego, and that's what eventually sunk the ship. I walked away from my homely suitor that evening, and it seems that America will soon be doing the same for Hummer. Still, while it lasted, it was entertaining.

    Send an email to Ben, the author of this post, at [email protected].

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  2. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    I love the H3T. With one year of production it's going to be a rare truck.
     
  3. Manthrax

    Manthrax Active Member

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    last time i went wheeling an h3 was in our group and it was pretty good on the rocks but SUCKED in the mud

    said he bought new mtr with kevlar hoping it would help but not really, his friends h2 was eating everything in its path on all terrains
     
  4. popsnbeer

    popsnbeer New Member

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    I assume the H3 sucked in the mud because of no power (3.7 I5) and a heavy ass truck! Maybe w/ the 5.3 it could spin the tires a bit more....it's just not made for the mud.
     

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