2003 4x4 BLAST - Mossy Mountain - 3 Articles
Three weeks had passed by the time I was invited to write something for the Blast and I’m afraid Alzheimers has set in by now. The disease has so advanced upon my years that I even had to look up the correct spelling. I’ll do the best I can.
Friday morning my Jeep was incapacitated, but Pokey had an empty seat in his. I decided to cast aside all self-preservation tactics that I’d learned in my long life and ride shotgun with him.
Neither of us had been on Mossy Mountain for quite some time so we decided to give it a try. The weather started out great and stayed that way until noon. Once noon passed though, the weather was great all afternoon. (Reason that out, folks.)
The trail was full and included vehicles from Indiana, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois. We even had a couple of well-behaved dogs (passengers) along for the ride.
After leaving Pittsfield by the back way to avoid mixing with other trails, we arrived at the trail head and suffered through another necessary meeting, aired down and hit the “good stuff”. It was fun revisiting such memorable spots as O.R.’s famous, “Get over it, lady, you’re not having a baby!”
Actually, things went well most of the day except for a couple of vehicles having difficulty in the expected holes. We’d had a good rain just the day before but it proved to make things more fun instead of easy. The driver right behind us, who’ll remain nameless (Tom’s son-in-law) made the mistake a couple of times of getting too close when we happened to be in the middle of sloppy mud. His windshield wipers worked.
Mossy has a lot of close, tight turns which made things interesting once in a while. We had one Jeep among us that had some trouble with a tight turn at a gateway. He hung up on a large post but only left the paint from one side of his vehicle (bumper to bumper) in getting loose. That’s why the body shops like us so much.
Either the day was mostly uneventful or memory has evaded me. About all I can remember of the day was that we all had a good time and suffered minor losses. Thanks to the guides for the outing.
Well, the weather was warmer and drier than the Safari. Carey came early on Thursday to make sure the trail was trimmed back so that nobody got stuck by too many rose bushes.
We headed to the trail with a large group on Friday. I was following Pokey and Carl Seymour (aka “Bad Carl”). Carl entertained me by trying to find out which way was “up” on the mirror. I don’t think he ever found out, because he ended up folding the mirror in. It then became my job on the trail to tell him if I had fallen behind as he could not see me.
The day ended up going pretty smoothly. We did have one obstacle that gave some challenges. While Chad and Tom were trying to get the last of the group through, the front of the group headed on ahead, but the entire group made it back together before lunch time.
As the trail was pretty dry, we were able to run a new section of trail that had not been run during an event. I believe the general consensus was that it was a good addition to the rest of the trail, aside from Carl, who thought there were some tight spots that you had to maneuver through with some two or three point turns and a little like a roller coaster. But Carl, you weren’t even the one driving! (Sorry, Carl, but you were the closest person to me all day that was providing entertainment. We really do like having you on the trail with us!)
A good day was had by all, with only one minor breakdown. An old Willy’s had unwarranted fuel problems. Seems the fuel outlet of the brand new tank, installed three days prior, became plugged with some unknown substance. Some crafty ingenuity (fuel hose stuck through filler neck. Thanks, Dirk!) got the Willy’s up and going back to town for some more civil repairs.
On Saturday, we left with a smaller group. However, we opted to skip the first section of trail so that we had more time to run the new section. Things went pretty well in the morning. When we got to the mud hole, Chad decided to try to get his Jeep a little muddy, and succeeded. He was then followed by Warren in his Willy’s (the fuel situation was much better), who found it quite humorous to e throw rooster tails onto Chad (a special thanks for helping with the fuel situation the previous day, I guess). Chad had also driven over the old mud hole on Friday, so we all decided to drive over it to pack the dirt in a little more so that maybe we can get it passable under wetter conditions, at least for a little while.
We again ran the new section of trail. We had to break out the winch to come up a little spot coming out of the creek (which Susie’s Knob also uses) that is difficult if you do not aim for the tree. The only other problem we had was a YJ with an overheating concern. A couple of refills of water and we made it through the day. At the trail’s end, Carey performed his usual conquering of Magic Mountain. Mike, in his Cherokee, then wanted to try the same, however, he ended up snapping an axle joint, which he declared was not bad for a joint with well in excess of 100K on it. Luckily, he trailered it so that he could come back for it later rather than having to take the chance of more damage. We all then opted to head back to town to get ready for the good dinner and entertainment.
Thanks to all who helped make this another successful and enjoyable event, especially the landowners!!! Hope to see everyone back next year.
Saturday on Mossy Mountain was a great ride. When we got to the trail head and had our drivers meeting, we were informed to let the trail guides know if we had problems with overheating during the day, since the weather was hot and humid. Little did I know how right they were. As we hit the trail, everyone was having a great time. We got going, and immediately had some killer combat cows getting in our way. As we got into the creek the day started to really heat up, and we were glad that the trail had a lot of cover from the trees.
We got through the first few obstacles with no problem, and then hit a few larger hills, and some light mud where a few vehicles did need to get strapped. Eventually, we got up through an area where we needed to turn back around and go back the way we came. Of course, everyone was still busy telling cow jokes from our earlier experience. At this point I had to start running with my heat on thanks to overheating. We stopped for lunch at a place where one of the Jeeps was able to get back to town for things they needed to do. Right after lunch was when I was glad that we had the people on the trail that we did. Everyone was helpful and understanding of needing to stop every so often because I needed to cool down my Jeep. Believe me when I tell you that being in 90 degree heat with the heater going is not the best thing in the world. We eventually came to a point where our fearless trail leader, Kerry, decided to try a bit more extreme crossing of the creek. When the Grand Cherokee who was with us tried it he needed a winch to get him up the other bank, and in the process dug it up so much that I got stuck and needed to be winched also. At that point we decided to forgo the challenging way and use the easier route.
From there we proceeded through the last few obstacles with little problem to the end of the trail, where Kerry and one other Cherokee decided to go back up the last hill on a tough path. While Kerry made it through, the other Cherokee broke a U-Joint and went back to town to get his trailer to bring his Jeep back. Over all, everyone had a great time, and thanked our trail guides for such a fun day.