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TRJC Takes a Road Run Through Pike County
by Mark

Photos here!

Once again we drove through rain to get to Pittsfield on Friday and it rained into the night.  It seems that that is all we have had this year in Illinois, rain and mud.  Saturday morning we woke up to nice weather and the day only got better.  A lot of club members showed up for a great breakfast at the VFW and it was decided that there would be two separate runs to choose from.  Lee and Charlie had been working for a couple of months to put a road run together and O.R. volunteered to take a second group through his old haunts and trails from his younger days in Pike County. 

Chris and I chose to follow Lee and Charlie and we headed out with eight other Jeeps and a Dodge Dakota for a day of sight seeing and camaraderie.  It seems that Charlie had been working on his Jeep up until the last minute and Dennis did not think that his welded lockers would hold up very well for a long day on the road so Dennis borrowed his wife’s Dakota to make the run.  Charlie decided that he’d take the comfort and companionship in the Dakota and park his Jeep for once.  It’s well known how hard they run their Jeeps at normal club events so everyone was kind and didn’t make any jokes about the Dakota.

Lee and Charlie planned the day well and mostly stuck to narrow gravel and single lane township roads while trying to show us places of interest.  The leaves were turning and Pike County was a good place to be on a bright sunny day.  We visited a historical site where the town of New Philadelphia was once located.  It’s registered with the National Register of Historic Places and holds some historical significance in history.  I’ve included some photos of the plaque and informational sign so I don’t have to go into a lot of explanation here. 

The morning was spent seeing the scenery and there was a lot of talk back and forth on the CB’s.  Lee managed to guide us to his house in time for lunch and he opened his home and its facilities to everyone.  I’m not sure that all of the ladies took advantage of a potty stop on the trail where a cornfield was used but everyone was grateful to Lee and Tammy.  We also noticed that during lunch Lee wasn’t taking any chances with his Jeep and that he put a battery charger on it.  It sure looked like Jenny had had a very hard night as she managed to sneak in a short nap after lunch.

After lunch we hit the trail and saw a lot of Pike County that we normally don’t get to see.  There are a lot of creek crossings on township roads in the county and it was obvious that some would be pretty hard to make in bad weather, even with a Jeep. 

At one such crossing Dennis had a little problem, the front end did not engage and he made several attempts to climb out of the creek, throwing large rocks for quite a ways before yours truly told him that he had a problem.  On the second attempt to engage the 4wd worked and the Dakota made it without much effort.  Shortly thereafter Chris told me that it looked like Dennis had a flat tire on the Dakota, she was right.  We got Dennis stopped at a decent spot, found the leak, which appeared to be a tear from a rock, plugged it, added air and we were off again.

Late in the afternoon we were getting close to Hamer and Jenny’s house and Jenny offered its facilities to the ladies, a gesture that appeared to be greatly appreciated.  Hamer had not made the run as Jenny was making him work at home so we got to socialize with Hamer for a while.  We also got to see Lee receive a jump start from Dennis, everyone had been wondering if Lee’s Jeep would make it a whole day without breakage.

All in all it was a pretty good day with a lot of socializing between friends.  Lee and Tammy invited everyone to wiener roast after the trip and many took advantage of that opportunity to continue socializing.  No, it wasn’t exactly the trail riding that we are use to with the club but it sure beat spending the day at home raking leaves.  Chris and I had a good enough time with our friends that we would do it again next year if the event is scheduled.

Created: 03 Nov 2009