2008 Safari
The Trail of Life
by Chief

What a weekend.  Just what I needed.  The fire house has kept me busier than I care to be this spring and it was good to get out on the trails.  With the soggy and cool spring we have had so far, we could not have bought any better weather.  Murphy's Law was in typical form bringing surprises at nearly every turn. The first surprise was that we filled up for both days before 6:00. What was not a surprise was my old buddy Gary "Murph" Williams being in vintage form, at sign in he began to tell me how his front end was out of his Jeep, but he and Frankie Smith had a plan to get it fixed up in just an hour.  Okay Murph, but hey, they did it, and Murph was waiting for us at the trial head Friday morning.

Surprisingly the trail was not all that muddy but it did have its moments.  I would fill up this entire issue if I tried to relate to you everything that happened, but I am sure someone else will provide some play by play action.  (Right Ricky and Graham?) An unnerving realization came to me during my trailhead driver's meeting when I discovered that including the three Murphy's Law guides, we had a total of 9 current or former TRJC Trail Guides. Anyway, its enough to say that by the end of day one, Murph's Jeep rejected the new front end and reverted back to it's two wheel mode, my tail gunner Randy Newport in his "Super Grand", suffered a beating in "Carburetor Alley" but kept going until the tree roots at the top of "Rock Hill" ate his hubs and front axles.  I found myself as the only Murphy's guide still running, and I had my moments as well. Our goal of being off the trail by 4:00 was not achieved. It was a good day on Murphy's.

On day two, we were blessed to have the Legendary Civilian Jeepers making up the majority of the group.  What an awesome display of Jeepin' Engineering.  Just what Murphy's Law likes to test and test it did. We began dropping parts off of Jeeps early.  Some Jeeps just decided not to run anymore for no apparent reason. Murph was in a "hog heaven" thinking of all the parts he would be able to claim.  "Carburetor Alley" claimed a front axle u-joint which was quickly repaired while the remainder of the group tackled "Fuzzy's Folly" in memory of its namesake, only to find out a tree had fallen at the exit requiring us to cut our way out. A new, relatively virgin section of trail caused a bit of a problem and an escape route had to be found to prevent spending all afternoon winching up a couple of hills.  Somehow Jim Smith's tie rod managed to break for no apparent reason.  It was quickly welded by Cannonball, with his 50 foot guarantee and promptly broke again in about 75 feet.  Nothing like arc welding while standing in a creek, right Cannonball?  All went well for a while until the infamous "Mudhole" claimed a victim filling its air intake system full of water.  While repairs were being made, we began to gather up the Jeeps left along the trail to get them to the roadway.   I do believe this is the first we have left the trail in shifts, but all made it back to civilization.  What a weekend.  I hope all who participated enjoyed the Safari and will come back and bring some friends.

A special thanks to Virginia Williams who allows us to eat lunch in her front yard and use her real bathroom during lunch break.  It is very much appreciated.

Words of Wisdom:  42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.
                                    Remember, half of the people you know are below average.

We will be celebrating our 50th Anniversary at Harristown Fire Protection District on June 8th. You are all invited.  For details, see our website at . ……… See Ya on the Trail…..

Created: 19 May 2008