We had the Moretz's, Rummage, JR and Becca, the Queens, John and Jennifer S, John and Grant Fries, Eric Velazquez and Jamie, the Kozlowskis, Latt Moretz, Mike Cook, and the Conkins. Brian Sutton came up too but rode with the guys from Durty Rok. Friday morning we met up around 9 a.m. and got ready to go. We had heard dire warnings from the staff at the park about trail 16...that winches were sure to be used and impassable trail conditions were to be naturally we headed straight toward it..... We had intended to run 16 with the group from Dirty Rok but we got separated, so we got onto trail 2 and then headed to break off on 16. John Fries had carb problems right from the start, so RQ and John S followed him back to camp and then he and Grant jumped into their jeeps to meet back up with us. Trail 16 is rated moderate and is a long trail and we made it to the big waterfall at lunchtime without any major problems. John S and RQ had rejoined us by this point so after a nice lunch we headed out to finish 16. There is a nice hillclimb near the end of 16 and John S managed to hit the fallen tree on the side of the damage but a lot of laughs... After we finished 16 we wanted to try to run trail 8, which was a single black rated trail, and 8 dumped onto 23, which is Atomic Ridge trail. We started 8 and came across a mudhole that was deeeeeep on one side but passable on the other. after the mudhole I ended up turning the wrong way onto a trail that was not on the map and we had to turn around to back out. John S' s motor was running hot so he and RQ headed back to camp. Then, Rummage's starter went out so we pull started the Datsun and we were on our way. On the way back through the mudhole, Conkin decided to have a white knuckle moment when he got too far into the deep side and got stuck. When Rummage yanked him out Conkin very nearly flopped into the mudhole. Trail 8 seemed to have our number as Jake shredded a valve stem. They changed out the tire and we were on our way again. We got out of 8 and then ran back to the trailhead for 23. We ran a short section of 23, which is Atomic Ridge. It has a nice ditch you drop into for a short section. It was really getting late so we decided to head back down to camp. We were a long way from camp but were making good time, right up until we heard JR say on the radio"uh, Rummage, your driveshaft just fell off"....Rummage collected his front driveshaft and we were back off to camp. We made it back to camp and had a great dinner. We had the grills going and had good food, and after supper the repairs were made to the Datsun. The starter was replaced and the broken bolts were drilled out of the front axle yoke, and then Moretz noticed that the cap on one of the front axle shaft ujoints were broken. Rummage replaced that shaft with his trail spare and he was ready to run Saturday. Also, the decision was made to repair Jakes tire. They managed to break the bead and change the stem, but setting the bead turned into a problem. RQ found out that flip flops are indeed flammable when the ether was put to the tire and lit, making for a funny video if you havent seen it. RQ suffered some burns to his foot, and I am very grateful that he wasnt hurt worse. Something to remember for next time.... Saturday we intended to run 15, which is the trail that Rummage broke his wheel off on last year. Rummage had some transmission problems and once they got them sorted out we headed to 15. 15 was harder this year than last so a few of us shot through it and then as a group we headed to trail 3. 3 is a fun trail that has some nice rocks and obstacles. We had just made It to the bottom when it started to rain. We had some lunch and the rain stopped, so we ran a little more of 3 and then started to head back up the hill out of 3. Eric V landed hard on his tierod and ended up bending it into a nice curve. There were 3 exits to trail 3, one of which was really scary. There was a branch off of 3 with difficult section, so John S, Moretz, and I went back down to give it a shot. John S really put on a show here, at one point having literally everyone yelling at him to "STOOOOOOOOOP" before he launched off the side of the trail down a 40 foot hill....we ran a hard section and then broke off before the very difficult exit and rejoined the group. Then we decided to go and run Cadillac Hill. We got to the end of the trail and found 3 buggies having a very difficult time getting up the hill. Based on how hard it was for them, we decided to pass on Cadillac Hill and head back toward camp. We got back to 15 and Moretz, Rummage, JR and I decided to run 15 one more time. The Conkins, Mike Cook, Eric V, went and ran trail 2. JR really put on a show here, and really showed how much he has improved since last year. I am very proud of the little fella....Rummage got into 15 and got his rear diff hung up. He was trying to get unhung when the stock trail spare that he had replaced the previous night let go, ending his day. Moretz, JR, and I went up 15 the rest of the way. I got high centered on a rock with all 4 tires in the air and had to break out the winch to get free. We finished out 15 and headed back to camp. Saturday night was more fun, with everyone hanging out, a very competive series of cornhole games, and general frivolity. We realigned Erics jeep as best as possible for his drive home.
July 2013
Click thumbnail to enlarge