2009 Safari
New Salem - Saturday - by Mark


 Day two of the Safari started out a lot better than day one.  Chris and I ate a huge breakfast to make up for not eating anything the night before.  We had a few cancellations on the trail after people heard about the Friday run and some of those that were with us Friday left for home.  Surprisingly we had more sign up even after being told that we did not intend to tear up any more of the trail and we were heading straight for the bad mud that we did not drive in on Friday.

Thirteen Jeeps left for New Salem and as promised we started them right in the mud.   On the first hill over half of the Jeeps had to winch.  There was an exciting moment when the bolts holding the tow hook on the front of a Jeep broke about three seconds after we started winching it.  No one was hurt and we wrapped a tow strap around the front bumper and used it as a tow point the rest of the day.  It’s doubtful that there were grade 8 bolts holding that tow hook on.

On the second hill only one highly built Jeep made the climb.  We then went to lunch as it was after 12:00.  After lunch we backtracked and found that the ground was saturated.  The tracks we had just left had standing water in them and every slight incline and off camber became an obstacle.  We started winching on easy ground and the more that we winched on it the worse it became.  Doug then led everyone around on fairly easy trails, winching here and there and avoiding everything that we drove on the day before.  We were damaging everything that we were driving on so we decided to go back to the first two mud holes and run them backwards.  No one (that tried) made it through the first one and they were all quite muddy by the time that we were done.  It quickly became 4:00 and we called it a day. 

Chris and headed to the motel, took quick showers and put on clean clothes and then drove to the American Legion.  We had a good time talking with everyone and I put the Rubicon on the Articulation Ramp for fun.  Several people had fun at the tire toss and there was a group of Pike County kids that were operating a car wash.  I don’t think that they expected the amount of mud that was bought back from the trails. 

Dinner tasted pretty good as did a lot of Don’s ice cream, before and after dinner.  Don makes 30 gallons a day for the Safari and Blast and there is never any left over.  All donations go towards food baskets at Christmas time in the Pike County area.  Don covers the cost of the material himself.

The economy hurt everyone this year and the companies that always support our event dug deep and donated generously.  We had several door prizes and other items to raffle.  It looked like we made a little money with the raffle items.  Some people were disappointed and thought that the Power Tank should have been a door prize but the club purchased it to raffle as a fund raiser.  Power tank then donated a 40% off gift certificate which went as a door prize as well as a set of BFG tires, a set of Cooper tires, a Smittybilt winch, a Warn recovery kit and many other items.

I’d like to thank Lisa Catt for all of her hard work putting the Safari together.  She had a lot of help which was necessary for everything to be put together and run as smoothly as it did.  I do hope that before the Blast she replaces Don with a better weatherman.  Hope to see everyone at the Father’s Day run in June.

Created: 28 May 2009