Rosser Roundup 2000
The Rosser Roundup 2000 was held on Memorial Day weekend in Monteagle, TN. and the headquarters were at The Smokehouse Lodge. The event is sponsored by Leon Rosser Jeep in Birmingham, AL and is one of many Rosser events held during the year. Bob Hazel of Sports-in-the-Rough is the event organizer and he does a wonderful job bringing such a large number of 4 X 4s together. The biggest thanks need to go to the Middle Tennessee Trailrunners who hosted the event. The MTTR handled everything from trail assignment and tech inspections to providing trail leaders and tailgunners. On a special note, most of the land in Monteagle is private property. The MTTR works year round to maintain a good relationship with the landowners and hunting clubs. Dont go to Monteagle and try and ride on your own, contact the MTTR and they will be glad to invite you along on one of their club rides.
Team Zuki arrived in Monteagle around 5 P.M. on Friday and got registered for the event. Next was tech inspection, I was rated a Level 5 on a 1 to 5 scale of trail difficulty. That meant I could choose any trail I wanted, so I decided on Keiths Cove II which is rated a 4. One thing to remember, in Monteagle when it rains a 4 is a 5-plus! Did I mention it had rained all week! We saw lots of Zuks running around camp but unforuntaley we didn't get to ride with any of them. maybe next year we can get all the Zuks together for a Samurai group photo.
After getting through trail assignment I went in search of fellow club members from C.A.O.S. Riding around the camping area was a blast! There were so many 4 X 4s, there were full size rigs sporting big blocks and 44s down to stock vehicles that had never seen dirt before. In one area of the camp was a small off-road playground. Here you could find entertainment just about any hour of the day. The big rigs drew a large crowd as they slung mud everywhere! I found several C.A.O.S. members and it turned out that most of us were signed up for the same trail!
Saturday morning dawned to a cloudy overcast sky. We all met at our designated meeting spot around 8 A.M. Our trailboss for the day was Alvin from the MTTR driving a Dodge pickup with a big block and 44" Ground Hawgs. His brother was to bring up the rear in his Dodge pickup with 44" Boggers. Everyone was setup with at least one locker and a winch with about 18 rigs on our run. After heading down the mountain into Cowan, we arrived at the trailhead and starting airing down. This is when Mike Cohn from Rockcrawler.com discovered he had a problem with one of his hubs on the full floating rearend. Since he had flat towed his rig to Monteagle and would have to flat tow home, he decided to head back and try and find some parts to fix the problem.
The trail is tight and twisty running mostly up hill. There were lots of rocks and ledges along the way as well. I have led several groups up this trail in the past and its very technical when dry. Today the trail looked like someone had dumped millions of gallons of mud on top of the rocks! No matter what tire you were running, they all looked like "Drag Slicks" once on the trail. At least as the day went on the clouds gave way to some beautiful sunshine.
As we made our way up the trail we could hear our trailboss putting the big block to work on the first major obstacle. Its an uphill climb with a couple of ledges near the top and a sharp left turn once you make it up. With the massive amount of mud covering everything, traction was nowhere to be found. Only 2 rigs made it up without pulling a cable, The big Dodge up front and William Lockridge in his CJ7. Today we all got a lesson in "Hit it a little harder". By the time we made it to the top of this trail, everyone including both Dodges had pulled a cable at least once. As many times as I had run this trail, I had never had to winch but today I pulled the cable twice! It was a very slow pace due to all the winching that had to be done. Normally we run this section of trail in a couple of hours. Today it took from 9:00 A.M. until 3:30 just to get to the Bald Spot!
From the Bald Spot we took the easy trail back down and out at the rock quarry. We only had a couple of mechanical breakdowns for the day. A CJ8 lost his clutch but William had spare parts that he lent to him. Also our tailgunner broke a bolt on his rig and lost steering but was back in action after a short delay. With everyone back on pavement we headed back to the Smokehouse for the evening activities. Just as we were coming into Monteagle we saw a very nasty storm headed our way. The storm hit just as we got back to camp and was trying to get dinner. The wind came up and the bottom fell out. It didnt last long but it did drop some more rain on the trails for the next day.
On Sunday we got the C.A.O.S. members together and we all took turns measuring our RTI scores on the 30-degree ramp. Did I mention it was raining again! Since we all wanted to ride together today and I know may around the area, I took them down to see the bottom of Brains Creekbed. This trail is a 5+ and we had heard that the group that ran it the day before had major breakage! After a few of the guys played on the first small section we headed over to Stairstep. This is a very short trail but its tough from the start and has one major set of ledges to get up with two 3 to 4 foot ledges to climb just past the major obstacle. The camera crew from TNN was there filming the carnage of the day. We found out that they are doing a 3 episode pilot on off-roading. Out of all the vehicles that tried, nobody climbed Stairstep without a cable. It was just too muddy to get traction but everyone had a lot of fun trying. We then headed back to camp early in order to clean up for dinner and the big raffle.
After filling up on BBQ we all gather round hoping to win some prizes. Lots of stuff was given away including 2 winches and a couple of bumpers. Out of all the C.A.O.S. members present, we came up empty handed! Not one winner in our group, at least we had good luck out on the trails as everyone made it back both days without mishap.
All and all we had a great time. We did however hear some horror stories about some of the rides getting bottlenecked. In fact one ride ended up with over a 100 rigs on the same trail at one time. We didnt run up on anyone on Saturday and only a small group ended up in front of us on Sunday. So until next time
See ya on the trail!