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2001 Juju Mountain Clean Up

I've been involved in cleanups since the early 90's, when I also founded the New England 4 Wheelers, Inc. I hate to see trash and junk cars in the woods, that really sets me off! People think they can just dump their trash anywhere. We have the equipment such as winches, hi-lift jacks, on-board air, chains, tow straps, Jeep trailers and anything else we might need to clean up these areas. It's not about money, we don't get paid, we do this as part of local community service. We also like to drive our Jeeps on these abandoned roads that we clean up. We pull, drag, and do whatever it takes to place these abandoned, rusted vehicles in their new home - the local junkyard.

We worked with the local selectmen, who in turn have the police look up VIN numbers to see if they have been reported stolen. We drive these old Jeep roads to see the beauty of nature, not to see old cars. We seek the waterfalls, mountain top views, old foundations, and stone walls that mark these roads and have for many generations. We recently had a member offer to let us use a Jeep trailer for the club to help us in our efforts. This ex-army Jeep trailer has a pintle style hitch. It swivels side to side and lets us take it over rough terrain, but it was not ready for this cleanup. Instead I used my wannabe Jeep trailer (no pintle, just a 2" ball), but it does have high ground clearance, a Jeep tailgate, and Jeep wheels. We don't get a lot of people to help, but I feel we need to do this. And why? Because we can!

Part 1, Nov. 17th:

We had 7 Jeeps in our crew. We headed up Juju Mt. to our first junk vehicle, a burned out Jeep Cherokee rolled over on it's roof. We opted to winch it back over, jack the Jeep up, and put our spare tires on it, as this would be better then dragging it. The steering wheel was gone and Paul Dockery suggested I use my tire T wrench to keep the wheels straight. I climbed in, and Paul got in his Jeep Cherokee. It was only fitting that he dragged it out. We spun it around and headed down to the dirt road to drop it off.

Now it was on to the next abandoned car, a Buick Riviera. Joe Ostrenga had been up there a couple weeks before with a few Jeeps and found the car. We were in luck! This car was still intact, including the tires. Joe and Russ Durning hooked the tow strap up and Chris Schuch backed up to the car and hooked his Jeep to it. After a couple of hard pulls, it was free. Paul aired up a tire and I got in behind the wheel. Mike Moody suggested that I put some sunglasses on and gloves because of the broken glass. I put on the car's seatbelt and said "Buckle up for safety!". Chris started to pull the Buick off the power line trail with me steering the car and headed out to the main dirt road.

By now it was lunch time. We decided to drop off the car and eat our lunch on top of a lookout spot just around the bend. What a view of the town below! After lunch we headed back to grab the Buick. Ray Joyce hooked up to it this time. Again, I got behind the wheel of the car to steer. We pulled the car through a deep puddle on the main dirt road, then started heading downhill. It was then that I asked Ray to unhook the car. It had brakes and it was easier to just let me drive it down to the tar road, where the junkyard would pick it up. As I started down on my own, something made me look to my left. I saw a little field mouse up on the door panel, looking at me as if to say "Where are you taking my house?!". Chris Schuch had said earlier that he saw a mouse in the car. I guess my response would have been: "This car belongs in the junkyard, sorry!". While I was driving the car, Russ and the others were hooking up to a 2WD Ford pickup frame. No tires, just rims. Russ pulled the Ford frame down next to the Jeep. We would have to be back on Nov. 23 to finish the job, or so we hoped. But we did get the Buick to the junkyard before sun down.

Part 2, Nov. 23rd:

On the 23rd our group met again, this time there were five of us. Jim Higgins and I headed up the gravel road towards the three wrecks that we left on the main dirt road last week. Jim pulled out his hi-lift jack and we proceeded to put my spare tire on one side of the front end of the Jeep. We put the rest of the tires on the Jeep and Jim spun it around, facing down hill. I put a tow strap on the back and Jim pulled from the front down the gravel road towards the tar road. It was then that we heard Chris on the CB radio. He told us Lou Kiklis of Elias 4WD Center was backing his truck and car trailer up the hill. Lou winched the Jeep on the trailer and we went down to unload it at the junkyard.

A short time later, we were back on the hill. Russ Durning and Chris Schuch pulled down what was left of the 2WD Ford pickup. Again Lou winched the wreck onto his trailer and off to the junkyard. We unloaded the Ford and came back up the road . Russ and Chris located some white metal goods, I hooked up my Jeep trailer and we started loading it up. Russ took a car hood, put two dryers on it, and we strapped them together. We turned around and headed back to Lou and Jim. Lou had tried to turn his Dodge truck and trailer around and got it high centered. Jim tugged Lou back and we were able to turn him around. We loaded up as much as we could onto Lou's trailer and then filled mine. There are still two cars and more trash up there, but it will have to wait until late spring, 2002.

Total cleanup effort: 1 Jeep Cherokee, 1 Buick Riviera, 1 Ford Pickup, 1 snowmobile, and 15 or so assorted white metal goods.

Thanks to all those who helped out:
Paul Dockrey, Chris Schuch, Ray Joyce, Andy Rullie, Russ Durning, Mike Moody, Joe Ostrenga, Jim Higgins, Jonathan Messier, and Lou Kiklis.

Written by Rich Banfield
New England 4 wheelers 1988-98
BaystateJeepers 1998-2001
PatriotJeepers 2001-

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