Member's Appreciation Day - Atlas - March 29, 2008

Courtesy of the Schumachers

It was a beautiful day when we met at the VFW for the first club run of the year.  Breakfast was great and everyone got to socialize a lot.  Alan Grady was nice enough to allow Chris and I to try Atlas even though we only had a 3.5 inch lift and 33" tall tires.  He told us that there were a couple of sections we wouldn't be able to run but that we'd be able to watch the others and get photographs.  When we arrived we found the ground to be soft and somewhat muddy and everyone aired down their tires.  At the first climb I attempted to follow Thomas Grady up the hill four times and finally had to stop and get some good advice from Alan Grady and Jim Catt.  After airing my tires down from 14 lbs to 10 lbs and being told to hit it hard in third gear until I was clear of the mud I managed to make it fairly easily on the next attempt.  Alan and Jim were really good about giving me guidance and adult supervision and for the most part we managed to climb everything we came to.  On an area where we watched the others navigate a creek, climb a hill (winching some Jeeps) and then return to the creek we watched Thomas as he and Alan were both unable to climb out of hte creek due to the mud.  After they winched the Jeep out of the creek I got the pleasure of winching their Jeep the rest of the way up the hill as there was no traction at all.  I caught some flack about how slow hydraulic winches are, and everyone else bypassed the spot.  
We stopped for dinner at that time and everyone sat in the warm sunlight and socialized.  I found out that real men eat canned Cheez Wiz on cold hot dogs when they run on Atlas, it looked scrumptious.
After dinner we were back at it and a couple of muddy spots later I knew I was in trouble when Thomas Grady had to make two or three attempts to get out of a creek.  I made a few atempts and then Thomas got the chance to return the favor and strapped me out of the creek.  I think it was payback time for my winching him earlier as Thomas seemed to really enjoy throwing mud all over our Jeep while pulling us out of the creek.  When Alan took a picture of the Jeep I saw that Thomas had a big grin on his face and later he wouldn't even help pay to wash the Jeep. 
I do have to say that we weren't the only Jeep pulled or winched that day so we don't feel too bad.  Everyone was really understanding and helpfull with us and no one seemed to mind that we slowed them down a few times.  Atlas was really fun and I hope to be able to run it again in drier weather.
Created: 03 Mar 2008