1998 - Trail Building
Now, we realize that the "work" in work week-end indicates no fun, but Pokey and I were never ones to conform entirely. So, with that in mind, the "Fearless Four" consisting of Pokey, Tom Cash, Jason Oderwald with Papa Jack riding shotgun, and myself with Piston-Packing Barb aboard, headed for our trail.
We had walked a new section two weeks ago, and were all set to start clearing on it. Pokey (of course) wanted to start with the "fun" part, but I insisted we do a little work first. Even though Ja-son had marked the trail for us on the first work weekend, apparently the melting snow washed out his pee so we had to go back to square one.
Once we figured out just where we would start, out came the chain saws, pitch forks, and pruners. The first section cut was one I had been looking forward to trying, so at the first chance, White Lightning came off the hilltop. With Pokey's expert spotting, I transversed the ravine with no problems. (We may have to cut the tree if we wipe too many tops off the tall boys!)
Anyway, we continued on and amongst the cussing and discussing about where Jason had left his mark, we kept clearing. Pokey (being the natural born leader he is) led us through the next piece of newly made trail. Although one area seemed to be somewhat difficult, he easily made it once the winch came out. The rest of us came on behind him and we continued.
Most of what we laid out from there on was not quite as exciting until we came to our exit from the woods. Someone (Lord only knows who) suggested that we deviate and straddle this "harmless" ditch. Well, let me tell you, one tire misplaced dropped you into a hole that swallowed jeeps. We could easily have rolled if not for the high banks on each side wedging us at a 45 degree angle. We all had to winch or be strapped out of this one. After managing to get everyone back on the trail, we all decided to drive the new section again just to make sure the trail was easily visible. After the first two drivers went into the same hole and had the same result as the first time, we made a "go around" for the weak-hearted.
Don't worry, we'll still let anyone try it that wants, but.....ya shudda oughta ben thar!
Feb 21st had 20 members working on 5 trails. Several of the key members had a chance to attend other events out of state this weekend. We managed to get ourselves organized, and the group that was there did a lot of trail building. David Jacobs' crew worked on Mississippi views all morn-ing. Unfortunately for John, the afternoon didn't go as well. His engine threw a rod right through the piston. It took Rob's, Rick's and David's winches and straps to pull John's jeep out where they could get it onto David's trailer. Not one to be stranded for long though, John already had another engine put in by the next work week (many thanks to his wife, Sandy).
Saturday May 2, was yet another work weekend. But this time the club sponsored a campfire and hog roast for all those who have been helping build the trails. Parks Livestock donated the hog for the event. The party was held at Tom Wombles house and Pokey again did an excellent job of cooking and slicing the hog. An afternoon shower didn't dampen our spirits. Some of the landown-ers even joined us. A board meeting was also planned for that night so we just pulled up chairs around the campfire and discussed what was on the agenda.
I know that a small handful of members have experienced the original leg of Bullwinkle, with it's heavy duty off-camber hills, it's Top Taster, and the nosedive back into Flynt Creek. We recently introduced the new and improved sections of this trail!
I have to share the credit for all this deviate stuff with a few club folks whose hard work and sweat helped make it all possible. There was extensive hiking and exploring by Uncle Sam, John Toumbs (my twin brother) and me. You shoulda seen John the day we stumbled onto the Flying Squirrel. The term 'kid in a candy store' doesn't even come close!! But, after all our efforts, the Moose still lacked continuity. Until, that is, our fearless trailmeister, O.R., came out to see what we were up to. It seems this trail was an unfinished vision from years past! The parts we had yet to figure out he had already planned for, and vice-versa. Could this be Jeep Zen??
Only 17 or so fool-hearted (I mean brave) souls and their machines cared to face our creation on Jambo weekend. WOW!! This was much tougher on man and Jeep than I had expected! With features like The Moose's Back (hill climb) and Flying Squirrel Creek (rocky it contains Moose Lips Rock) you're pretty sure to get a kiss on your body work.
Horse Shoe Waterfall gets your rear wheels air born. There is the Old LogBog. And Launching Pad Hill was unclimbable (trust me). So an impromptu Alice Route Hill was cut to get us out of the squirrels grip. And, of course, there's John Wayne Hill (ask someone who's done it), Hub Hollow, The Fender Moguls, Fat Man's Squeeze, and the Intimidator. WHEW! This trail is a body shop's dream!
As the action reached hair raising levels, so did the carnage list. 20 or so winching exercises, 12 to 15 fenders (some both on the same jeep), 8 or 9 quarter panels (Moose Lips), a windshield frame, one axle, one tranny tower, one tire, one power steering pump, numerous flares, tail lights, scratches, dings and dents, and the obvious seat cover remodeling! Upon further inspection I noted that my X-case was falling off the tranny. Lack of maintenance, maybe? Nah!
So, I ask you; do you think you can survive the Kiss of the Moose? You have a while to ponder it.