2004 - 6th Annual 4x4 BLAST

Rick's thank you and links to photos are at the end of this article.

Our sponsor list follows the links. Without their help, we'd not have such a great raffle. Please use their products as a way of saying "Thank you."


The war cry of the 6th Annual 4X4 BLAST 2004 by Graham

Depending on your point of view, the rainy conditions the night before the event and rain most of the first day of wheeling was either a blessing or a veritable pain the butt. Depending on your point of view, the smaller than usual attendance was a good thing with less 4x4s on the trails and a greater chance to win prizes at the lottery and shorter food lines. Regardless, the event was a great success as usual for the 270 plus participants. Over $3,800.00 was raised for charitable donations and I didn't hear a single complaint throughout the entire weekend.

Emails like this one make the preparation and hard work all worth while!

To Whom It May Concern:

Just thought I would let you know that my experience with the recent 2004 4x4 Blast was nothing short of spectacular.

The trails were great, even if they were a little wet on Friday. We had great trail leaders for both days.

I did Black Oak on Friday and Murphy's Law on Saturday.

The trails were great, the people were great and the food was great. Your entire club and community should be commended. I usually travel a little bit farther to go "Jeeping", but why when TRJC is right next door?

Keep up the great work.

P.S. I was also impressed with two of your club members/trail guides for stopping to assist me on the way home on Sunday.

One of my trailer tires experience a flat just south of Quincy. Just moments after pulling over, I looked back to see two of your club members. I didn't get their names, but they know who they are. Please tell them "Thanks again" for me.

Looking forward to next year!!!!

Signed, Bob

Steve Maurice and the $6.00 kid waves to the camera after claiming the first in line spot to be tech'ed in.

The Tech crew getting it done. They are always the first to set up and usually the last to leave. They were back at a 7:00 AM each morning for late arrivers.
Registration was flawless and very efficient thanks the efforts of Anthony Prochaska and his crew.
Trail Guides were on hand to help guests choose a trail. Fifteen trails were offered ranging from a rating of 2 through 4-1/2. The so called easier 2 rated trails would be a challenge to the 6 first time wheelers that traveled the Ridge Rambler trail in very wet and muddy conditions. Jeep TJ Rubicons were out in force on just about every trail. Two of the new long wheelbase TJs were also present. Jeeps made up the greater majority of the 4x4s but there were Broncos, Toyota land Cruisers and pick ups, plus Suzukis and other vehicles on the trails.
$500.00 smiles!!!
Lana Bilderback shows that it's not just the guys that can max out the ramp at the vehicle rodeo.
Tammy Price shows that her husband better not get her mad with muscles like these.

Tony Rio trying to convince himself that he needs new tires from Neal Tire Service of Pittsfield. Neal tire was one of the primary sponsors of the event by donating a set of tires that were eventually won by Warren Dixon. Sadly for him, his wife Karen sold them the next morning before he had a chance to polish them.
Don Maxheimer was getting it done making home made ice cream to raise money for the club's Christmas Basket fund for the senior citizens of Pike County.
Trail Boss Doug Maxheimer makes final notes before his insurance mandated "Doom and Gloom" speech at the driver's meeting.

Event coordinator Rick Culberson welcomes the participants to the 6th Annual 4X4 BLAST 2004.

It's 6:45am Saturday morning, where else would you find Tank Schultz but under someone else's Jeep welding parts back together. John Toumbs and Brad Schultz monitor the welding system control panel.
This is a lot of fire power just to wash a Jeep. Next time you had better make sure those decals are on tight. Pittsfield High School students were on hand to wash vehicles and raise money for their athletic fund which is no longer supported by the School Districts.

Outstanding food cooked by the Ladies Auxiliary at the American Legion Hall.
Larry (Tank) Schultz can still find humor in the fact that he has $40.00 worth of raffle tickets and not one of them is a winner.

270 plus participants enjoy the Saturday night dinner, raffle and auction.
Plenty of bathroom humor from Master of Ceremonies Graham McNeill a.k.a. the Mad Brit. Items auctioned included this receiver hitch mounted toilet seat and two cases of infamous Billary Beer donated by Team Plesko.

Club President O.R. Freesen shows the audience the check for $3800.00 that will be divided between two Pittsfield residents, whom are both suffering from cancer, and the Pittsfield High School Athletic Program.
Becky and Don Walston are very happy after winning the Warn winch at the raffle. The winch was presented by Warn representative Brian Schleicher. Also pictured are Kathy and Gary Shadwick.


Even after the event was over the fun didn't stop. Tim Miller's CJ5 was found precariously balanced in the parking lot of the Motel Pike early Sunday morning.

A lot of people worked very hard to get the 2004 4X4 BLAST done. It was a great time, it was financially successful and the club was able to help many others in greater need than themselves. It was great to see so many new wheelers at the event and also to see so many old friend s returning.

Git 'er Done - Quack, Quack

Whew! It's Over --- and THANKS!

By Rick

The 2004 4X4 BLAST is over; now I can fix my broken Jeep. About 15 minutes into the Lakeshore Trail, on Friday morning, I some how hit a massive log. The log had somehow gotten between my drive shaft and transmission. When we went to pull it out, somehow the clutch slave cylinder broke and jammed the transfer case shifter. T.J. a/k/a “The Video Man” said it was not a massive log but just a little twig. Now I don't know what he was looking at, but lying in the water, in a creek, during a rainstorm, I still think it was a massive log. I made a call and Little Jess Jeep in Quincy thought they could get the parts. By the time I got the broken parts off and drove to Quincy, they said they were in Springfield. No way to make it to Springfield by 5:00 PM so I will ride with someone else tomorrow. A big "Thanks" to John Toumbs for driving T.J. around for the rest of Friday.

On Saturday, T.J. and I drove the truck out to Montezuma where we got rides from anyone we could, thanks to Craig and Lou. We did get some good pictures during our rides. Boy what one night of drying can do to a trail. We ran the trail by noon so the six or seven Jeeps decided to follow us North to the County Line Trail. I had called Mad Dog "Dave Jacobs" and told him we were on the way. Just as they were pulling out we pulled in. What timing we have; thanks to Sparky and not filling up with gas. We spent the rest of the afternoon with Pete, Dave, and Gerald on County Line and had a great time. There was some very good wheeling going on and good film was taken.

To have a great weekend like this I would like to thank all the people of Pike County, for allowing us to play in their back yards. A very BIG THANK YOU to the landowners who let us use their property for the sport we dearly love and the American Legion, Bowling Alley, and John Wood College for the use of the parking lots and buildings.

As I was saying my thank you's Saturday night I was sure I had left some people out. Two that I saw after my thanks were Ardis and Deanna Lozenski, Ardis helped with the raffle prizes and sponsors as did Deanna, but she also did both the front and back of the 2004 4X4 Blast T-Shirt. So THANKS girls and sorry I missed both of you.

Dave Christensen and Graham McNeill were again the backbone of the team. They keep me on the straight and narrow making sure I had all the information and pages of papers to make registration always fun. Tony and Andrea Prochaska had a great crew and it seemed like the registration moved fast this time. Rick Miller did a very good job of selling raffle tickets at the last minute. He had to put together a crew at the Blast and they did a very good job. Garry Shadwick and Team Plesko also did a wonderful job with the Tech Inspection. It was no fun looking under 100 Jeeps and other type of want-to-be-Jeeps in the rain to see if all could pass the inspection. John Toumbs and his crew did a great job both Thursday and Friday with the Rodeo. Saw some impressive Jeeps on the ramp.

We had a smaller turn out for the Blast this year but I have to say I never had so many people who where there to help and do anything that was needed of them. A big "Thanks" to all that have been left out or forgot or I just can't remember. We also want to congratulate Warren and Karen Dixon, winners of a set of tires from Neal Tire and Don (Pokey) and Becky Walston winners of the Warn Winch from GDS and Warn.

Like I said, it's over. Now to start next year. I have volunteered to coordinate the 2005 Safari and Blast so if any of you would like to help, look me up at a work weekend. You can also call me at (217)827-2899 or e-mail at We have openings in registration and other jobs that need to done.

2004BLAST Photos and Stories

Photos only

Videos and DVDs of the 2004 BLAST and Safari are now available.

2004 4x4 BLAST VHS tapes or DVD - $20

Send check or money order with your mailing address to:

T J Kinney
727 N. Carolina Ave.
Decatur IL 62522

(217) 422-9801

The following were sponsors of this year's BLAST. Please thank them for their donations and patronize their businesses whenever possible. Also please check our links page for logos of our major sponsors and links to their web sites.

4 Plus
4 Wheel Drive Hardware
4 Wheel Parts
Advance Adapters
Advanced Air Systems
Aston Enterprise (TN)
Attitude Performance
Badlands OffRoad Park
Beard Seats/Red Art
Best Systems Car Wash/ High Spirits Liquors
Best Top
Blue Bell Club
Borgeson Universal
Brewer Science
Brickyard Grill
Cabela's Inc.
California Duster
Cardinal Inn Café
Classic Tube
Cliff's Insane Terrain
Collins Bros. Jeep
Corner Pantry
Crane High Clearance
Daystar Products
Extreme Outback Products

G.D.S. 4x4 Drivetrain
Giovanni's Pizza
Green Acres Motel
Griots Garage
Harpoles Heartland Lodge
Heckethorn Products
High Impact
Hi-Lift Jack
Hopewell Views Hunting Club
Husky Liners
Ice House Inn
Illinois Four Wheel Drive Assn
Interco Tires-Swampers

James Duff
JC Whitney
Jeep of DuPage
KN Replacement filter
Mac's 4x4 Products
Mile marker
Monroe Streets Suites
Motel Pike
NAPA Auto Parts
Neal Tire - Pittsfield
Oasis Off Road
Off-Road Motorsports
Oitker Ford
Painless Performance

Pepsi-Refreshment Services
Performance Gear & Axle
Pheasant Run Resort
Pike County Chamber of Commerce

Pine Lakes Resort
Pizza Hut
Predator 4 Wheel Drive
Premier Power Welder
Pull Pal
Red Dome Inn
Redneck Concepts
Rockport Off Road Park
Rubicon Manufacturing,Inc
Shell Valley
SkyJacker Susp. LA
South Oak Dodge
Summit Racing
Superlift Suspensions
Team Plesko
Tim Miller Electric
Tiny Bits of Silver
TJ Video
Tops 4 Less
Toumbs Repair
Tuffy Security
West Texas OffRoad

Created: 08/17/2004