Annual Illini 4x4 Safari, held by the Two Rivers Jeep Club was another
great success. Pittsfield, Illinois once again played gracious host
to this event. As usual, Pittsfield was covered with "Welcome Jeepers"
the area had again seen significant amounts of rain in the weeks
leading up to the event, the rains held off enough to allow some
drying of the trails, especially Ridge Rambler.
the Ridge Rambler crew depart with a small yet enthusiastic group
ready to hit the trails. With Hamer and Jenny Tate leading the group,
and me tailgunning, we proceeded to the "Old" Farm and
a quick driver's meeting at Hamer and Jenny's beautiful log home.
We then proceeded onto the trail for an enjoyable morning of trailriding.
After eating lunch back at the cabin, we proceeded to run the south
side of the farm, including the pipeline and Slide for Life. Hamer,
Jenny and I swapped places for this section of trail, and I was
leading the group through the scenic south side. Our "excitement"
started as we travelled from the Slide for Life to the Pipeline...A
herd of Cattle decided that our nicely cut trail across the CRP
made an ideal resting place in the afternoon sun. Some gentle encouragement
and this first heard decided to mosey out of our way. After running
the pipeline, we proceeded to the final section of trail on the
old farm....and found another group of cattle awaiting us. After
convincing them to moooooooovvvveeeeee, we completed the trail and
drove over to the "Mcartney" Place. This section of trail
was newly cut this year, and had not yet seen a wheel turned over
the trail. We broke the trail in right, and ran the rest of the
property, finishing up at 4pm and heading back to town.
Morning found us back at the Legion enjoying a good breakfast. It
had rained overnight, and many of us were wondering what condition
the trails would be in that day. Much to our surprize, Ridge Rambler
got no rain, and the trail was in excellent shape. Our group was
an eclectic collection of vehicles, Jeep TJs, YJs, XJs, and aWilly's
CJ2-A. As Hamer had a morning committment, Jenny and I had a guest
trail guide with us....Fuzzy. Jenny took point on the trail, with
Fuzzy running mid-trail and myself "pulling up the rear".
We proceeded out onto the trail following the trailhead meeting,
and enjoyed wheeling until we reached the big hill leading into
Walnut Grove. One Jeep developed front axle problems, and, as it
was nearing lunch time, we took him out via the bypass and returned
to the cabin. The Willy's and the injured Jeep YJ decided to "call
it a day" (Willys due to limited fuel), but we managed to pick
up a special guest for the afternoon....Jim and Lisa Catt joined
us, straight from their wedding earlier that morning! Hamer also
joined us at lunch, and the crew went back to trailrunning for the
afternoon. The only real "excitement" during the afternoon
run was the discovery of a badly washed out area on a section of
trail we had not run the previous day....a large load of rock had
washed out of a crossing....quick work replacing the rock fill enabled
us to continue running. After completing the trails on the old farm,
we again travelled over to the Mcartney place and ran the trails.
We finished up about 4pm after a satisfying day of trailriding.
Saturday Dinner was excellent as usual....and SURPRIZE! I Won one
of the big prizes....a JeepBox!
(Tailgunner), Ridge Rambler
YOU AT THE 2003 BLAST!