March 19 - Hopewell - by Karl - and Charlie's Version.  

Karls' story: Had a great time on Hopewell. Mike Finlay, his boy Mathew, Gene and I helped Chainsaw Charlie clear a little brush and a few logs off his trails and got to do some wheeling along the way. Some of the spots are fairly challenging and definitely fun. But then I always have a blast when I make it up a hill in one attempt that took Charlie 5 or 6. And I have witnesses so don't believe a word Charlie says. We made many stops and got alot of history and geography lessons. Too bad I forgot my pen and paper as I'm sure somebody would have found it interesting. Don't you feel sorry for people like that? Again, LOL implied. We saw paw prints of everything from coyotes to wolves to 30 point bucks, and quite possibly Bigfoot. Charlie may have been stretching it a bit on that one. I don't really see how a monster truck on 66 inch tires could make it through those trails, but hey, it's Charlie's story, he can tell it any way he wants. Looking forward to our next adventure!!

Charlie's version:  It was a dark and stormy night- oh, wait a minute, I need to shift gears.  It was a great day with moderate to warm temperatures and sunny skies, and the largest turnout for a trailbuilder this year.  I’d called Rick, landowner of Hopewell, and gave him a “heads up” the day before.  Hopewell is an “easy” trail, but it can sure throw some curves!  If you read Karl’s write up, you know who went out, so I’ll dispense with that.  A brief meeting on the Hopewell Indian mound, and off we went.  I knew it was going to be a rough day when we had to start clearing brush before we were actually on the trail, but it wasn’t that bad.  Down the long hill, slide through the steep part, drop into the creek, and- Damn! a tree across the trail straight ahead.  Up the creek and around/over the bend, and- same tree, just covering all options.  We cut up and removed the trunk leaving the top for another day.  Up the bank (need to figure another way up; this one is rutted bad), and down to the long hill up where we see a “widowmaker” leaning across the trail hung up in a tree.  I drove up to it (checkin’ out the locker- alright!), saw it had to come out or figure a go-around or both.  I sawed on it and dang near pinched the blade good.  We scoped out and cleared an alternate path, and Gene charged the new way enthusiastically.  He made it up and  positioned his Jeep to allow a pull on the widowmaker via snatchblock..  We pulled the base over to the side of the trail, and being the good guy that I am, I started clearing the leaves and slime out of the ruts.  On the third run, I went all the way up and it was Tim’s turn.  Well, he found some more slime and mud, and took several attempts to do the job.  Karl had a pretty solid track to run in by this time, but he made a spectacular run that had Ol’ Blue bouncing from side to side, the big V-8 screaming, and mud flinging to treetop levels.  He earned bragging rights to making it up in one try- gosh, it was beautiful to see.  Why, it woulda brought a tear to a glass eye!

So went the day.  We sorta bypassed several problem areas to address later, but still didn’t get off of Hopewell until around 4:00.  I had hoped to get up to the McCartney property, but even with leaving problem areas for another day, we had our hands full.  In fact, this was strongly reminiscent of an ice storm we had in recent years.  It’s work, but it’s also fun to go out with a group of “Jeep Nuts” that can entertain as they work.  Thanks guys,  for a great day!

Created: 17 Feb 2009