It was a cold November morning, when 15 Jeeps gathered in a dirt parking lot. I passed around the sign up sheet, the club aired down, and the few of us with locking hubs locked them in. We split into two small groups. I lead the first group and "Mr. Rubicon" Bill Barnes led the second group. I headed out down the road, towards the trailhead. We made a sharp left up a rocky hill, and then ascended another steep hill, then down the other side to a dirt road that led to yet another hill. This is how it went all day; there were a lot of tough hills to drive up and down.
We proceeded to climb up to the overlook for a great view and some of us drove Up "hard top hill" while the rest watched. Hard top hill leans you to your left near a rock ledge then to the right, and you have to watch out for the tree on the right. You can hit your windshield frame or your hard top. Now we were coming back down off the top and Bill's group was coming up the other way. Our group was headed for oil pan hill, a tough hill climb named after a Jeeper who dented his oil pan near this hill. The name stuck, but first we had to climb sections of slick hills to get there.
I climbed up the first section with no problems, but the next section had a bend and it was very slick so I pulled out my winch cable and pulled my self up. Paul was right behind me, and managed to make it up in his Willys. Sharon was next and she suffered the same fate as I did, and had to winch. Many would go on to curse oil pan, because the jeepers after us would have to get winched up by "Tin Can" Jan, and then tow strapped by a fellow Jeeper. After we were all up Oil pan hill both groups ate lunch, and Bill and I told the crew what was in store for the rest of the day ÖMore TOUGH hills to climb! We packed up and were on our way.
Up, down and around hills, we were making good time I came around a corner and crossed a small brook, there were many rocks to fight off and the rocks hung me up. My winch came out again. Other Jeepers would have problems here to, this slowed us down but it would not be the last time! Further down the road we crossed a slick rock water crossing. Then back up the hills again. Now we were at ėthat friggen hillî Remember this hill everyone?
I started up and then quickly backed down because you had to drive around or over this one big boulder. I made it around then had to fight the next set of boulders in the road. I made it up the double whammy. John S. was next and he had to winch up, then Paul and Sharon did the same. A large rock was giving everyone trouble on the second whammy.
So when it was Clevelandís turn, I suggested we pull ėthat rockî off to the left side of the road by using his winch and a tree saver. This helped get everyone up. Making it no longer a double whammy. The first section would still give the rest of the group trouble. I watched Bill Barnes in his Rubicon TJ walk right up "that figgen hill" with the Rubicon's factory Low gears, lockers and after market tires.
Brandon and Bill had to make rock ramps so the others would not get high centered on the boulders of "that friggen hill". There was still one more major steep hill to climb, but it did not pose a problem because it was hard packed, and we drove right up it. The sun was setting on our group of Jeeps fast as we turned back on to blacktop. This turned out to be one of the tougher Jeep runs we had this year.
Thanks to all who showed up 15 Jeeps ( 5 TJ's,4 CJ's,4 YJ's ,2 XJ's)