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onthetrailsm.gif (3000 bytes)with Fred Lowery

Hot Springs Rosser Rush

RosserWell I had the whole day off Friday and it took me all day to get my butt ready to go. I finally pulled out at 7:00PM and got in to HotSprings 11:00PM. Took quite a bit longer since I could only go 55MPH because guess who was already running late enough and didn't take the time to pull the driveshafts. From my house Hot Springs is exactly 200 miles, so when I got there I made sure I cranked it up and let it lube up real good. Got me a motel (yeah I know, really roughed it didn't I) and settled down to get some rest. The registration was held at the KOA campgrounds and man where there tons of people there. Got registered and got all my little free goodies they give you and then went over and had the all you can eat breakfast (pancakes & sausage). After breakfast we had to drive about a half mile over to the staging area where we met our guides. Now comes the time when I want to say what kind of showing Zuki's had. ME, MYSELF & I, that's it. When I pulled into town I saw one Zuk at another motel and I thought, cool there's going to be some brethern here. WRONG! Someone told me that he had ran Friday, but he sat in the same spot at the motel all weekend and when I left he was up on a trailer. He must have busted something because I was the only Zuk at the staging area. I was swimming in a sea of J**ps. Probably somewhere in the range of 300 or better. There were a couple of Hummers, one set up Scorpion style. (Heard later that he broke on one of the trails) There were a few early Ford Broncos and even fewer Toyotas. Full size vehicles was almost none. Well with that many J**ps and me with no back up I wasn't looking to start talking them down...LOL. Several people came and looked and actually said "Yeah I hear these things really can go." Made me smile at that, yep word is getting around. When we got all the groups sorted, we headed out for the trail head.  Ours was all the way around the other side of the mountain, at least that's the way it seemed. It was about a 12 mile ride to the trail.  Our group had 18 in it including the guide and the tail runner. There was 16 J**ps, (there was 1 old 48 Willys flat fender, 3 stock TJ's, 3 CJ8 scramblers, 1 Cherokee and the rest was a mix of CJ5's & CJ7's and Wranglers) me and a early Bronco. Felt like the Lone Ranger out there<GRIN>. We had some pretty steep and rocky gasline trails up until lunch. By then we had already had our first casualty. A nicely built CJ7 broke his motor mounts and sent his fan blade into his radiator while trying to take a rock ledge. After lunch we kinda started heading into the woods a little more and ran into a lot more mud on these trails. We had our second casualty here. The Willys flatfender wouldn't crank and acted like it was locked up. Found out later that the starter that he had just had rebuilt the day before went out again. Caught a couple of little small stream crossings here. Picked up another trail further up and got a really nice wide stream here that was packing a good rocky bottom and running 2 to 3 ft depending on where you crossed. This trail started back up into the mountains again and we were soon running on a nice tight trail winding along a ledge. No mistakes here or you were really in trouble. We did have one J**p get  a flat at this point but had him back up and going in just a few minutes. We finally wound back into another trail that brought us back to our stream crossing again. Here the group split up and some went back to camp since it was already 5:00. The rest of us, eight in all went on what the guide call his "timber trail" around to Rock Hill. This proved to be not far from straight up the side of the mountain on softball to bowling ball size rocks that kept making it hard for traction. All this fun while also trying to maneuver between pine trees. I mentioned that the other trail was tight, this was so tight that as narrow tracked as I am I was even sucking my breath in on some of these. Oh yeah, btw, pine needles don't do good for traction either. Finally about 50ft from the top I got caught on a teeter totter crossover while trying a line between two trees. Me and two other guys actually picked my rearend up and slid it over about a foot where I could get on through. Really smoked my clutch on that one. We came on back down the other side and make it back to the stream again. We all just got out in the steam and half of us backed up on one side and half on the other side facing each other and set there and let them cool off. After my clutch cooled down, we got to taking turns crossing as fast as we could trying to splash the others. A lot of fun. We then split up again with 4 going back to camp one way and 4 going another. Me, the guide, his tail runner and one other finally made it back at 7:00Pm, just in time for supper and entertainment. Rosser folks supplied bar-b-que chicken leg quarters, baked beans, corn on the cob, cole slaw and rolls and ice cream. We also had a band to listen to while we ate. There was a raffle done and quite a few prizes given away. They gave away a set of the new BFG tires and a Ramsey winch. I was only 13 numbers away from winning the tires. Oh well allot of fun anyway. Afterwards I walked around and looked at the different rides and talked with some people that I ran into that I knew. Sunday, we all met up at the campground again and had breakfast. There were more rides going out but I hung around and visited with some of our bunch from Saturday then said my good byes then headed on back home. Superlift will be sponsoring the same set up this fall so maybe we can get more Zuks out this next time.

08/11/10 15:28


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