JULY 4th, 1998 Pirates of the Rubicon
July 2nd, 1998-
Kelly, my girlfriend abandons
me and heads for the trail with some of the neighbors. She is too excited
to wait till Friday night since I had to work all day Friday. So she
packed up her Jeep, and headed out Thursday night with Jim and DC.
July 2nd, 11:00PM
The phone rings. It's
Jim on his cell phone. They are up on the trail en-route to Spider Lake.
He says that Kelly is broke hard, and they don't have the parts and/or
tools to fix it. I tell him to let her camp where she is, if she is
comfortable with that, and I will send up help the following day. Kelly's
spirits are dampened, but she isn't going to let this ruin her weekend.
July 3rd, Noon
I am at work, and wondering
what the hell I am going to do. I discover that I don't have my Visa/ATM
card, Kelly has it. How in the heck am I going to buy a new CV without
money? I stress out all day, until I get off at 3:33PM.
July 3rd, 1:00PM
The rest of the Pirate
clan heads up to Loon... They come across Kelly's broken rig, and they
assist her in surgery. Dean has a new CV, so they operate and get it
all together in no time. They were amazed that Kelly was right down
under there wrenching and getting greasy. That's my girl!!!
July 3rd, 4:30PM
I am so excited, yet stressed
about what I am going to do when I get to where Kelly is, since I don't
know if she is fixed, or still broke. I finally get to Loon Lake, and
air down the tires. I look across the other side of the slabs way in
the distance, and I see all the Pirates. I contact them on the C.B.,
and they say they helped get Kelly all patched up, and ready to rock!
COOL!!! All of my stress immediately dissapates, and it is now time
for a kick butt 4th of July weekend. I tell the guys (and gal) to go
ahead and haul ass, I will catch up to them down the trail.
July 3rd, 6:00PM
I catch up with the rest
of the gang, and we all take a break. I thank all the boys for assisting
Kelly in patching up the Jeep, and saving me the headache! Kelly wants
to drive the Land Cruiser, so I hop in the Jeep, and we continue on
our way. Man, it is amazing the difference between driving the Land
Cruiser, and the Heep! Night and day!!! It takes me a few minutes to
adjust to the decreased ground clearance, higher gears, and less suspension
travel the Jeep has. Of course Kelly is a happy camper now that she
is driving my baby!
We head up walker hill
with no problem, until the tie rod on the Jeep decides to taco. We pulled
over and yanked it off, and straightened it out in no time, and were
back in business. A short while later, we made it to Little Sluice.
I elected to drive the Jeep up Toyota Rock, since I was limping in 3
wheel drive. I couldn't get up, so I decided to winch up, and save the
poor little Jeep some pain.
After we got the Jeep
out of the way, it was time to have a little bit of fun. I ran down
and hopped in my Land Cruiser (Kelly just wanted to go relax for a while!)
and run the 'Box. The sun had gone down by this time, and it was totally
dark. I walked the box so easily that it was boring for all of the bystanders,
so I figured I had better please them all.... (* one side note, I was
getting tired of smaking my head on my bent roll bar from a previous
roll onto my driver's side. I needed to fix that.) .... I cranked her
hard to the left, right into the wall right past the difficult part
of the 'Box. I began climbing the wall, and just kept the wheels cranked
left. Everyone began to cheer.... I felt my adrenaline begin to increase....
The rig kept climbing the verticle wall, going farther and farther,
till she was at the point of no return - she started tippiing in slow
motion, and onto her side! The crowd went wild! The stupid part was,
was that I had to flop it before emptied out all of my damn gear! So
much for all of my ice! What a clown!
Everyone came down off
of Heckle Rock, and helped put the Cruiser back onto her wheels. We
tossed all my junk back into the rig, and headed for camp. What a day!
July 4th, Morning
We wake up to a brilliant
sun, and the trickle of the stream beside our tent. This is what it
is all about... This is God's country. I hope that we can keep this
trail open for many years to come, so that my grandkids can enjoy this
place as I have for many years.
July 4th, 11:00AM
My Dad shows up at our
camp. He drove up to Loon Lake and hiked in with his dog. He said it
was a long, but great hike. It is actually only about 4 miles, but the
rocks make it a long 4 miles! My Dad had some bad news with him - it
seems that Jeff, our President, was broken down on the trail, right
out of Loon Lake. He said Jeff wasn't sure what was wrong, the motor
just quit running and wouldn't start. We later learned that he had broken
a timing chain. Talk about a bummer, huh?
July 4th 12:00PM - High
We all gathered at the
Sluice Box and watched all the Yahoos run the 'Box. The Hecklers were
out in full force, egging everyone on. It was perfect. As you all may
or may not know, today was the day to initiate our new members. Jimmy,
Dean, Scott, Vince, and Troy were all lined up to run the 'Box, blindfolded.
After the 'Box was clear, we began our initiations.. The lineup was
like this: Vince first, Dean second, Scott third, Troy fourth, and Jimmy
last. My personal thoughts were that Vince would have the toughest time,
because his Cherokee was the least setup of the group. Or so I thought.....
Bobby hopped in the passenger
seat with Vince, and he put on the specially prepared goggles. The lense
was a #Krylon Black, zero visibility. Vince began heading toward the
box, the crowd was bigger than I had ever seen it. Everyone has
hooting, and hollering. The energy from the crowd actually gave me goose
bumps! Vince approached the first major obstacle, and walked right over
it, like it wasn't even there! I couldn't believe my eyes! The crowd
roared with delight. Vince navigated on, using Bob as his eyes. He continued
to motor on through the rest of the box, like he was driving through
a K-Mart parking lot. I couldn't believe what I just saw! He went through
easier than every other guy who was in front of him, with no blindfold!
He did not have to back up once! Hell, he never even stopped! Amazing....
Next up, was Dean. Dean
chose The Technician as his co-pilot. Dean approched the first large
set of boulders, and had a little difficulty. He kept hanging up on
the rock, just spinning his tires. You could see the frustration begin
to mount on his face, but right about the time the frustration began
to show, he popped right over the first set of rocks, and then was able
to motor right on through the rest of the obstacles, no problem!
So far we had two really
impressive runs, who was going to really blow it, I wondered to myself?
Scott was next, and he motored up to the first boulders. He ended up
having the same problems as Dean did, trying to claw his way into the
proper line. By this time, the crowd was yelling and screaming, and
doing their fair share of heckling. It was great. Scott was trying over
and over, trying to scrape his way over the first set of boulders without
much luck. I took a swig of beer, and then the next thing I know, Scott
had popped up and halfway over the rock! As his front tires came over,
his rear tires fell into the crack. This caused his Jeep to pretty much
roll over onto it's side! The crowd went nuts once again, naturally.
This 80% roll was not about to stop Scott though, he just attempted
to continue forward, to the approval of the crowd. His driver's side
Boggers dug and clawed for traction, pulling the Jeep forward slowly,
as the body grinded against the granite. Slowly, the Jeep crawled out
of it's perdicamint, and righted itself onto all fours! Spectacular!!!
Scott continued on his way, motoring on through the rest of the 'Box
like it was nothing.
The next two clowns, Troy
and Jimmy, with their outrageous rigs, made short work of the 'Box compared
to Scott's wild show. They both walked through without hardly a scratch!
They made it look too easy. I think we are going to have to do a more
difficult initiation next year, since these guys made it look too easy!
After the boys were all
done with their runs, it was time to congratulate them, and hand out
club stickers. I congratulated them all and welcomed them all to the
club. Everyone was pretty fired up, life was good.
We hung out for a while,
and watched everyone bash around in the 'Box. I decided to give my "crack
line" a try, and give everyone a show. I eased up the "the
rock" and tried to go up it. Unfortunately, the ground was wet,
so my back tires weren't doing their part of the bargain. I backed up
to get a better line at it, and low and behold - Bobby was right behind
me. He decided not to move, so I gave him a "Pirate Bump."
The crowed jeered and cheered - I broke one of his headlights!
"Uh Oh" I
I got myself a better
line, and made another attempt. About halfway up, the crowd began to
go wild. The next thing I know, my rig lurches forward! Bobby had just
rammed my helpless self! That dirty DOG!!! The crowd went nuts, and
that just ecouraged him to back up, and give it another hit. He backed
up, and came at me again! All I could do is sit there and take it. I
sure wasn't going anywhere! SMACK! He hit me again! But he didn't stop,
he kept coming forward, and the next thing I know, there is a 36"
Swamper in the back on my rig! Too cool! The crowd applauded, and roared
with approval... This was good, really good. Bob backed off of me, and
pulled out the strap. He had stuffed me into the crack pretty good.
He yanked me backwards, we gave eachother hi-fives, and I gave it another
run... After a few unsucessful tries, I finally got fed up. I wasn't
in the line I wanted to be in, I was too far over to the left. I didn't
think I had a snow's chance in hell to make it, but I decided to give
it a go anyhow. The L.C. clawed up a little further, and then came to
a halt as I was pretty well high centered. My driver's side Boggers
were pretty much in the air, and the transfer case crossmember and rear
driveshaft were kissing granite. It didn't look good. I figured I was
done. I was about to call for the strap, but I decided to give it one
more shot forward. I let out the clutch, and cranked the wheels into
the wall, to try and get the passenger Bogger to get some bite. All
of a suddden, the rig eased forward a few inches! I couldn't believe
it! It did it! The crowd began to cheer, as I eased it down off "The
Rock." Chills ran up and down my spine! What a rush!
After the long day of
events, we all decided to hit camp, and relax for a while, and throw
down a few cold ones! The rest of the weekend was pretty quiet (in comparison
to "Wild Saturday"). The one thing that was pretty exciting
was the fact that Sunday morning my Dad ended up catching a 1 pound
Rainbow Trout in the creek with his bare hands! It was too cool!
Kelly gutted the sucker and cooked it up for breakfast. About an hour
later, Dan came over with his proud trophy - he caught an identicle
fish with his bare hands! That catch would be dinner! After all
the fun and relaxation we had on Sunday, we decided to stay another
night, and hang out at Spider Lake till Monday.
July 6th, Monday Morning
We headed out Monday morning.
We did a final inspection/cleanup of Little Sluice (there was more trash
than usual) and gathered up all the garbage, and our cans. A few guys
offered to help haul out some of the trash, so I would like to thank
them now. Unfortunately, I don't know their names. After we hit the
trail homeward bound, we already had thoughts of our next adventure
brewing - the 46th annual Jeeper's Jamboree!
This story written by your friendly webmaster, Lance