2007 - 9th Annual 4x4 BLAST

Please send articles and photos before August 19th.  Thanks!

Check out our Sponsors List .  Without their generous support, we would not be able to make donations back to the community that allows us to use their private lands!

The BLAST is over for another year.  The weather was hotter than ever but that had little effect on the wheelin' and all the fun.   As articles are written, I'll put them up here so check back often!

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to those who bought raffle tickets allowing TRJC to make more donations back to the community.

Mel, Michael, & Jacob of Joliet, winners of the Mile Marker Winch, with John.

Greg of East Peoria, winner of the BF Goodrich Tires.

Chuck of Mokena, IL, winner of the Neal Tire $500 gift certificate.

Community Donations

  • $650 went to the Two Rivers Regional Council of Public Officials for their foundation to replenish the local food pantry.

  • $650 went to The Community Center for air conditioning the second floor .

  • $700 went to purchase a “Taps” Bugle for the  Pittsfield American Legion.


Dutch Creek - Mark & Chris

Exit Ramp - Mark and Chris

Murphy's Law - Mark & Chris

Mark & Lilly's

Dave B's

Catastrophe Hill (Andrew & Sonya)


Mark & Chris

Greg & Melanie

Mark & Lilly

Kelly's Thank You

Graham's Excellent Write-Up

I would like to thank everyone at the Blast for making the event so enjoyable.   This was the first trail ride for my daughter Melanie.   She and I had such a great time she was still talking about it a week later.   We took the night run, Murphy's Law,   and Pokey's Run.   I would like to thank all the trail guides who helped us and made us feel at home.   I would also like to thank everyone who helped with my steering box on Murphy's.   It was greatly appreciated.   Here is a link to the pictures that we took:
Thanks again and hope to see everyone again next year.
Greg and Melanie

Hello from a tad cooler N. IL !

Just wanted to say that despite the heat and dry, we had a Blast!

With there being no rain in your area for quite some time, the trails were very dry and dusty but still proved to be challenging to some.  We had a great time just hitting the trails with friends and getting to meet new people.

This event we decided to try a couple trails that we haven't done before. On Friday we went out on Pokey's Run. Very pretty terrain and I can see it would be a fun trail with some rain!  We had a few Jeeps break (including the trail guide's) but it was still a fun trail.  We finished the trail a bit early and the guys couldn't make up their minds if they wanted a beer & showers or hit the trails a bit more.  So us girls decided it was still early and let's wheel some more.  About 15 minutes later, our friend Jeff, decided once again to put the OverKill Off Road roll cage to the test. Nothing was damaged, we righted his Jeep and decided to call it a day. On Saturday we hit Atlas. 

I have to admit after hearing about Rod & Kelly's run on it last year, I was a bit nervous (not Mark, just me). This group on Sat. was a bit small but that was fine as it was all our friends and the trail guides.  As we stopped to air down and lower windshields, Jeff's Jeep had some issues.  About 20 minutes later it was missing its wheel.  Dan & Jeff stayed to go to town and fix it and met back up with us after lunch.  I think that this trail is now Joie's (our 8 yr old daughter) favorite trail.  She loves the "up & downs", which there is plenty of.  Again, this would be a very difficult trail with some rain. Rod & Kelly did provide a bit of entertainment through out the day, but they did manage to keep at least 2 tires on the ground at all times this time.  Coming off of trails and seeing Darcy's view was breath taking and gorgeous!  I wish I would have had my camera out at that point.  Guess we'll have to do it again so I can take a picture!

Because the trails were dry, I didn't have much time for pictures as we moved along pretty good but the ones I did take can be found here... Click on the thumbnails to enlarge them. 

A BIG thank you to our trail guides and everyone that works so hard to pull this together.  Great job! See you in the spring at the Safari!

Mark & Lilly

It was beautiful, hot and sunny midwest weather when we went to Pittsfield for the 4X4 Blast.  After inspection and registration we signed up for our trails, OR's Exit Ramp for Thursday Night, Murphy's Law for Friday, and Dutch Creek for Saturday.  All of these trails were new to me, my wife had been on Exit Ramp in May at the Safari.
Thursday night at 7:30 about 14 Jeeps left the Legion and followed Doug and Don Maxheimer to Exit Ramp where OR Freeson was waiting for us.  OR then led us into the night, through some pretty good level 1 trails.  In our group was a real newby to Jeeping. Tiffany and her son were there in their new Jeep which she had not made a payment on yet.  It looked like they had a great time by the smiles on their faces all night long and I managed to catch them smiling in a photo.  I heard that on Saturday she got a lot of water into the new Jeep and ruined her second CB Radio of the weekend..  She still must have had a great time because I saw her joining the club at the dinner Saturday night.  My wife Chris and I really enjoyed the night run and can't figure out why there aren't more Jeeps on this part of the three day event.  Things certainly change when it's dark out. 
Friday morning we ate a great meal and met with our trail guides to Murphy's Law, Steve "Chief" Gambrill and Randy Newport.  Once we were on the trails we found them to be a little more exciting than the trails we had been on before and we enjoyed every minute of it.  While Chief led us from one point to another, we saw Randy jumping ahead and found that he was always ready to spot as we reached the next obstacle. He worked pretty hard to ensure we had a good safe time.   We got to watch several people try a really stinky mud hole. Some had to be pulled out of it.  Kelley ran through it real hard and managed to turn her yellow Jeep a muddy brown and I'll bet it will never smell the same.  We had a great day - the worst thing that happened was that our digital camera filled up too quickly and we missed out on many good photo opportunities.
Saturday morning we lined up with Lee Ator and Trent Knoles and followed them to Dutch Creek.  Due to the hot dry weather in the area we found that the creek was low but there was enough water to have some fun in.  All day long we were led through 900 acres of timber, pasture and creek beds with many obstacles that I'm sure would have been a lot harder had the water level been normal.  Lee was kind enough to point out a water hole that a friend of mine lost his engine in while at the Illini 4X4 Safari in May. I've started calling it Lake Alex.  At the end of the day Lee informed the group that he had about 30-45 minutes of new trail that we were welcome to try and a couple of us took him up on the offer.  All in all we had an excellent time on the Ator property.  
Besides three great days on the trails, the 4X4 Blast has a dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.  We found the food to be excellent and the auction, raffles, and company to be a good time.  During the entire three days we didn't find anyone that wasn't friendly and having a good time.  The sad part is that the Blast ended too soon and May looks like it's a long way away.  I guess that is the best part about joinning the club, going to work days and other events where you get to drive on the trails throughout the year.  Chris and I would like to thank the property owners, the trail guides, the board, and everyone in Pittsfield that worked so hard to put on such an enjoyable event.
Mark & Chris

The following were sponsors of this year's Blast. Please thank them for their donations and patronize their businesses whenever possible.  Also check our links page for major sponsor's logos here.

4Wheel Drive Hardware
Advance Adapters
Best Systems Car Wash
BF Goodrich Racing
Borgeson Universal
California Duster
Chenoweth Bulldozing & Tile
Clover Patch
Cobra Electronics
County Market
Discount Jeep Parts
Eastwood Automotive Tools
Green Acres
Griot's Garage
Heartland Lodge
High Impact
High Spirit Liquor
Husky Liners
JC Whitney
JD Motorsport
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Mickey Thompson Tires
Monroe Street Suites

Morris Mountain ORV Park
Motel Pike
NAPA Auto Parts
Neal Tire
Oitker Ford
OverKill Off Road
Painless Wiring
Phillips 66
Pike County Chamber of Commerce
Pike Pittstop/BP
Pine Lakes Resort
Pittsfield Main Street
Pizza Hut
Predator 4 Wheel Drive
Premier Power Welder
Randy Newport
Ready Welder
Red Dome Inn
Refreshment Services Pepsi-Quincy
Rockathon Beadlock Wheels
Royal Gate Chrysler
Toumbs Repair
Tuffy Security Products
UFTRING Jeep of Peoria
Westin Automotive
Created: 08/14/2007