Quarry Road, February 2002
It's that time of year again when we get a few nice days here and there as spring approaches and the winter modifications have been completed so it's time to wheel! With the weekend quickly approaching it looked as if we would have some good weather so we opted to run the Quarry Road Trail. Actually, the Quarry Road Trail is a township road, which is only passable with a four-wheel drive vehicle, and in some spots only "modified" vehicles will make it.
Quarry Road Trail is located approximately 5 miles east of McArthur, Ohio, off of State Route 50. The road starts off as a gravel road which leads to a large staging area where you can unload your vehicle if need be. From there, you cross a small bridge and follow the gravel road back to a steel gate, MEAD land. At that point you need to take the dirt trail to the right and you are now on the trail. This trail used to go all the way through but rumor has it that it has been closed off at the far end (by who, I do not know) so you have to run the trail forwards and then backwards to get out.The day started off beautifully. It was a cool day in the 40s with a slight wind but for February, we'll take it! We were going to meet a group of zooks from the Hamden area whom we had never wheeled with before to run this trail. This should be fun. We arrived around 11 a.m. at the staging area and unloaded our rigs and waited for the Hamden group to arrive at noon (they all work second shift and needed their beauty sleep as Steve says). As noon quickly approached the Hamden group swarmed in! This was great, they had 4 Samurais and 2 Sidekicks! They told me another buddy of theirs with a Samurai might show up later but we were to go ahead and start the trail and he would catch up. If he shows up that gives us a grand total of 10 zooks. Here's a list of the vehicles and drivers (from left to right):
Jeff Pollock / Black 87 Samurai.
Steve Martin / Red 92 Tracker " Toyzook" Tracker body on Toyota chassis, 22R engine, stock Toyota parts, 33x12.50x15 wide climber mud tires on 15x10 beadlocked rims
Steve Bentley / Camouflaged 89 Sidekick, 2" body lift, stock motor, 31x10.50x15 mud tires by High-Tec retreading inc., on 15x8 black steel spoke wheels
Jeff Martin / Black 87 Samurai, 1.6 tracker engine and tranny, 31x10.50x15 Wide Climber mud tires, 15x8 chrome wheels
Ryan Prater / Red 87 Samurai, 31x10.50x15
Jamie Kelly (Goat) / Dark Blue 88 Samurai stock w/235x75x15 wildcat extreme mud tires
Bob Martin / Silver 88 Samurai w/31x10.50x15 no lift (fender trimming), locker in rear
Other two not shown in picture: John Ellis / White 92 Samurai SPOA w/33' Boggers
Mark Coleman / Light Blue 87 Samurai 31x10.50x15 Wide Climber mud tiresWe proceeded to head down the gravel road to get to the trail when a Forest Ranger drove up behind us and stopped to talk to us. He wanted to make sure we were aware that any deviation from the township road onto private land would cost us a fine of $250 each. After that word of advice, he said have fun and stay out of trouble. The Ranger really was a great guy he was just doing his job and once again we were off to wheel. We quickly arrived at the steel gate and merged to the right and we were on the trail. We proceeded through a flat stretch of mud holes that were shallow but they quickly became deeper. Steve in his Camo'd kick went off the side of one of these mud holes and got stuck. He tried a few times to break free but was unsuccessful so a strap was pulled and we were on our way again. We proceeded to twist through and around more mud holes and until we got to an area of just pure "sloppiness"! This gunk was like wet cement. One zook in, one zook stuck. Pull the strap, get that zook out then another stuck zook. It was nasty. It was like flies to fly paper. Once in someone had to pull you free. As we were working this section of the trail the weather decided NOT to cooperate, it began to rain. This should make this trail even slimier. The next real obstacle we came upon was the hill(s) climbs. There are five different hill climbs there and when mixed with rain really make them interesting. A couple people tried the hill climbs unsuccessfully and after that the group decided not to run them and just move on. Mark Coleman joined our group at this point so now we have 10 zooks on this trail ride.
The by-pass to this part had really become interesting due to the off chamber rutted section along with a large rock that had been exposed makes for a fun obstacle. With a little wheel spin here and there the group cruised onward.We proceeded down the trail and we found more deep mud holes and then a long downward stretch of trail with some extreme off chamber sections. The one off chamber section is really bad because of the long drop down a fairly steep hill on your left if you miss your line. Unfortunately I was unable to get pictures because there was no place to really stop and get them. After this section was the creek crossing. At first glance it doesn't look to hard but as they say, "never judge a book by its cover". The bed in this creek is like quick sand and the various walls on the other side are steep and slimy! The group at this point split up to attempt different spots to get out of the creek. A few had to be pulled up by the ones that made it up but all-in-all everyone made it until.Tim Evans went in and attempted a few different spots. Tim was having a really hard time getting out of the creek and then he hit the bank at a side angle and dumped his zook hard into the creek. We quickly jumped into the creek to check on Tim and Annie. They seemed ok so we got them out of the zook while I moved my zook into position to winch Tim's zook upright. We hooked up the cable and righted Tim's zook. We then repositioned the winch cable and pulled his zook out of the creek. After that Annie wasn't feeling so well so we figured we better get her home so we cleaned out Tim's zook and fired it up and proceeded back the way we came through the trail. We bypassed as much of the mud holes and obstacles as possible and soon arrived back at the staging area. We loaded our zooks and headed for home.
This was a fun trail ride up to that point but it reminds us that we can get hurt enjoying our sport so ensure that you have the proper equipment to protect yourself and your passengers. Luckily Tim and Annie had a roll cage and were wearing seat belts or things could have been a lot worse. After we got home I spoke with Tim and Annie is doing fine, just a little sore from the seatbelt.