Two Rivers Jeep Club: 2002 4x4 Safari Trail Report

Ridge Rambler Trail

Friday and Saturday Runs

After registering for trail rides on Thursday night, Hamer and Jenny Tate lead our crew of intrepid Jeepers on a trailride though the Pittsfield countryside on Friday morning. Thanks to 20 plus inches of heavy rain in the preceeding weeks (including an inch of rain the day before), the group was guaranteed a slippery, sloppy run on what is normally a "1" rated trail!

At the mandatory Trailhead meeting the crew was given a pep talk and instructed to air down and get prepared for some seriously slick conditions. The group began to roll down the trail, experiencing minimal problems, until decending into the Walnut Grove loop. Anyplace you decend into, you can pretty much be assured you must climb out of...and Walnut Grove is no exception. Sliding around, we winched and pulled up around the slick curve, until we reached the point of exiting the loop. We all enjoyed a nice lunch at Hamer and Jenny's beautiful log cabin, and enjoyed a relatively uneventful afternoon of wheeling in the light, constant rain.

Saturday morning, we arrived rested and refreshed at the Legion, ready to tackle the trails again. With a new crew to lead, Hamer, Jenny and I, looked forward to a much nicer day of wheeling, as the sun was shining with a nice, albiet cool breeze (ok, I'm being was COLD!). We arrived back at the cabin, and, after a short pre-trail potty break, proceeded to the trail head and began wheeling. Having traversed the trails the prior day, they were definately slicker and sloppier. Net result? More Winching and Pulling! Fun was had by all as we worked the Jeeps and Scout through the morning sections of the trail. After all the work of winching and pulling in the morning, we again retired to Hamer and Jenny's cabin for lunch and a bathroom break.

The afternoon was to be spent on trails we had not taken the day before, hoping to avoid the slippery sloppy sections we had previously run. So, the group headed down to the south side of the farm, and decided to offer a optional we coined "The Slide", due to the slick conditions. Five Jeeps took up the challange, and led by Hamer, took the loop. The rest of the crew positioned themselves for that perfect "Kodak Moment" at the base of the hill. Having mastered this loop, we next headed for "The Pipeline"...a long, cleared section of hill. Little did we know exactly how SLICK this section was! The first 4 vehicles made it up the pipeline cleanly. Time for the intrepid Scout to make it's attempt. Conditions being as they were, the Scout got stuck in some serious goop, and was stalled about a third of the way up the hill. First attempt to extract was via strap...alas, no traction... Hamer came part way down the hill, and hooked a winch to the Jeep strapped to the Scout...but the winching was hindered by....a lack of traction! Add a Cherokee, strapped to Hamer, who was winched to the Jeep strapped to the Scout (confused yet?). Finally, slowly, we extracted the Scout from the hill. Wary of sticking any more vehicles, the remainer of the the crew was given the option to try the hill (two did, sucessfully), while the rest of the crew bypassed via the CRP field to meet the rest of the group. Finally, we took our final loop of the day. While trying to get into position to assist a stuck vehicle, your's truely got himself slid off the trail and tucked into a couple trees and egress blocked by a stump. Quick work with the chainsaw by Hamer and a quick winch pull extracted my Jeep and we were on our way back into town. The Jeeps were washed by the high pressure hoses of the Pittsfield Fire Department, and all enjoyed a nice closing dinner at the Legion Hall.


John Huebner

Trailguide (Tail Gunner) Ridge Rambler