2009 Safari
Murphy's Law by Chief

I was really encouraged by all the comments I received while at the Safari about my "Raccoon War" stories.  It was good to hear all the comments about how glad people were that the masked marauders had reignited the battle so I would have something interesting to write about.  Well, surprise, I am writing about Jeepin’ this time!

Despite the rain and mud, I really think the Safari went well.  On Murphy's Law we had a full trail both days.  Needless to say the conditions added to the intensity of adventure, though we did not have so much fun that we stayed out until nearly midnight like some.  I could literally write pages describing the two day "mudfest", but I will limit my details to what I personally experienced. I really encourage others to write about their Safari times because I am sure everyone has a story.

On Friday morning I found myself to be the "weak sister" of the trail as my front hubs did not want to lock in. Recognizing I was holding things up by always getting stuck at the front of the line, I took myself off of the lead and let Murphy take point.  I know that had to be just as scary for Gary as it was for the rest of the group, but it had to be done. (Murph is a true "Free Spirit" on the trail and usually scouts ahead of the main group looking for possible trouble spots). While Murph was leading the line of Jeeps through the creek crossings, Randy Newport, (our resident mechanic and recovery expert) and I pulled a hub to try and fix it. We really could not determine the problem so we decided to wait until lunch to tear into it. There we discovered it appeared the hub had gotten excess bearing grease into the locking mechanism and would not engage.  A little WD-40 and a few towels and now I am fixed, Thanks Randy!!

At lunch I picked up a rider, Virginia Williams, Murph's mom.  She likes to ride with me because one time I rolled the Chief's Buggy in Carburetor Alley with her in it.  She thought it was so much fun she wanted to do it again. Virginia enjoys seeing the scenery and all the enjoyment others get riding on her and Murph's property.  We did great floating through the water fall and running the creek. Then I got the bright idea to run a particular section of the trail backwards.  That's when we found out we should not run that particular section of trail backwards.  An incline coming out of a rather foul smelling mud bath proved to be the undoing of several of the Jeeps.  I managed to get to the top of the incline where my engine promptly died and would not start. Then, Virginia and I found ourselves sliding right back into the bog.  I ended up winching myself up to level ground where the engine immediately started and ran fine the rest of the time. 

After a few more Jeeps went through, we began to experience some trail erosion also known as BoggerDig. From that point on the incline became a major challenge.  With the help of Frankie Smith and his monster Jeep, we managed to get those who became struck pulled up. Then former Trail Master Tim Miller with his white rocket powered machine came blasting up the incline after a couple of adjustments and seemed to cultivate the path with shock waves to make it passable again. There was some carnage when Warren Anderson broke a front spring but everyone else came through unscathed.
Saturday started out well and was really a great day. 

The crew from Black Oak came and ran with us and it was great to have them with us. They really helped to keep the trail moving by Rooster skimming off the slick stuff for the smaller Jeeps and Bob strapping others up some tough spots.  I think Durrell just enjoyed the moment of wheeling without the responsibility of leading a trail. We got to do some winching as well as the morning hill climb became a two winch hill.  I winched the first 100' then Randy hooked them and winched them up the last 100'.  The Waterfall was pretty deep, but all made it through. Randy got to showcase our optional obstacle, the Can Opener, and it was interesting to say the least.  I think Matt Goodell might have thought his multi-colored Scout might be staying in the Can Opener until Randy, the recovery man devised a plan to get him out.  I know I have missed a lot, but I am running out of space.  Really, take some time to sit down and write about your experiences, Enquiring minds want to know.


Created: 28 May 2009