2002 - 4th 4x4 Blast - Back 40
by Dave Selph

Click to view the Back 40 photo album

This was our family's 2nd trip to the Two Rivers 4X4Blast. Last year we ran our Grand Cherokee and had such a good time that we started building our TJ shortly after. Like last year, this year we had our 2 children (Talon-5 and Myla-3) with us on the trails. We chose Back 40 and Lakeshore Drive this time. Friday Morning we headed out for Back 40. The weatherman said that storms were heading our way, so we put the top on but decided to leave the full doors off (that would later prove to be a mistake).

After the entertaining drivers' meeting we headed out to the trail. Our group consisted of 16 rigs. We had a wide variety, with TJ's, CJ5's, CJ7's, YJ's, a ZJ, an old flatty and even a Suzuki on the trail with us. Our first vehicular casualty came before we made it to the trail. Magid Tachan's yellow CJ7 from Wisconsin decided to stop running, but it was fixed in time to line up at the trailhead with the rest of us. After a short drivers' meeting, our trail guide Walt led the way down the trail. We didn't make it very far when we had our 2nd casualty. The old flatty broke a motor mount. This repair took a little longer to fix, but after a bit it was heading down the trail again.

We were having some fun winding through the woods on an off-camber section when it started to rain…and rain…and rain! Just as we were wishing that we had brought the doors along, we noticed that our friend Jeff Hillman's CJ5 had stalled in the trail behind us. We jumped out into the deluge and worked to get it off the trail so that the remaining rigs behind it could continue on. Trail guide (and fellow Union Pipefitter) "Hay" and his fiancé Kathleen in an LT1 powered CJ7 came up and we winched Jeff's rig off the trail. Hay and Kathleen stayed behind with us to get Jeff's rig back to civilization. Hay strapped onto Jeff's rig and towed him back down the trail and we followed behind. It was still pouring. We could see the red barn that we were heading for, but unfortunately, recent excavation had removed the last section of the trail that we were on. After some clever winching and considerable work by Hay, Kathleen and others, we managed to get Jeff's rig down to the barn where everyone else was having lunch. Upon later inspection, we found the culprit to be a Mallory ignition coil that had managed to get wet and explode.

After lunch we pulled TJ in behind the rest of the group and continued on the very, very muddy trail. The rain had made everything very slick. On an off-camber entrance into a small creek, we managed to slide down to the bottom and get the two drivers' side wheels off the ground…way off the ground. And then there was the big drop off into the creek (if you've been on Back 40, then you know the one that I'm talking about). We managed to get both back wheels off of the ground and do a front wheel stand coming down that one. We wound through the muddy trail the rest of the afternoon and had a fun, challenging time. We met a lot of nice people, had a great day 'wheelin' and I can't say enough about the great job that our trail guides did.

Thanks for yet another great Blast.
We'll see you next year.
Dave Sherri, Talon and Myla Selph.


Created: 08/22/02