Ridge Rambler

Thanks to Norm, & Debbie for the photos and thanks to John for the article. 

The Third Annual Illini 4x4 Safari, held by the Two Rivers Jeep Club was another great success. Pittsfield, Illinois once again played gracious host to this event.

The May event in Pittsfield is known for muddy trails and a good time, and once again, Mother Nature provided enough rain to make the trails slick and muddy. Unlike the 2002 Safari, however, the rains came immediately prior to the event, and continued through the first day of trail rides.

Friday saw the Ridge Rambler crew depart with a small yet enthusiastic group of 8 Jeeps and 3 trail guides ready to hit the trails. With Hamer and Jenny Tate leading the group, and me tail gunning, we proceeded to the "Old" Farm and a quick driver's meeting at Hamer and Jenny's beautiful log home. We then proceeded onto the trail for an enjoyable morning of trail riding, which included some strapping and winching.

After eating lunch back at the cabin, we returned to the north side of the farm, and picked up running where we had left off prior to lunch. "Flying Squirrel Loop" stopped the group dead in our tracks. The trail, with all the rain had become extremely slick, and rather than continue to the big hill, we decided to cut a bypass for the hill. The Bypass became too slick, and another bypass was created. With some winching, the entire group cleared the loop and the trail ride continued. Due to the conditions, we didn't make it to the south side of the Farm to run the pipeline or the slide for life loops.
Saturday Morning found us back at the Legion enjoying a good breakfast. The rains had quit, and the day promised to see improving trail conditions for our crew. Throughout the day, the trails did improve, and in general the trail was in excellent shape. There were a few slick spots where we had run the previous day, but overall the group had minimal problems. Our group consisted of 8 Jeeps, a Toyota Tacoma, and 3 trail guide Jeeps. We proceeded out onto the trail following the trail head meeting, and enjoyed wheeling until lunchtime. After lunch, we finished running the trails on the north side of the farm, and headed over to the south side. We ran the "Slide for Life loop, and encountered our only trail blockage of the day....a 35' long, 14" diameter tree which had fallen across the trail. Everybody pitched in and moved the tree far enough out of the way we could bypass around it, and we "slid" down the slide. We proceeded to the "Pipeline", and unlike our previous wet weather experiences on the 'line, everybody cleared the pipeline hill without a problem. Whereas we had started Friday under gray and rainy skies, Saturday ended under beautiful blue skies and sunshine.

The crew returned to Pittsfield to get their Jeeps washed and enjoy a great meal, win prizes in the raffle, and enjoy some "quality" nutty entertainment (those of you who were there KNOW what I mean!) ....And Graham (Mad Brit) does a MEAN Screamin' Imitation!

Until the Next Event....




Created: 13 June 2004