Camp He_p at
Rausch Creek Offroad Park
with the Maryland Creepers,
NOVA Jeepers, and the Off Camber Crawlers
August 17, 18 and 19, 2007
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Hoss on Big Rocks
NOVATJ on trail 18
87YJGuy on Trail 18
Colby on Crawler Ridge
Sunbee on Trail 12
Colby on Trail 12
Wow, what a great time.
This got long, so the cliff notes are that it was a great weekend and we all made it home.
Being a member of all three clubs attending, this event is important to me. I had asked months ago to be able to help, and I am glad I got that opportunity.
It was a scramble to get my Jeep repaired after the damage I took at Crozet. As it turns out, I finished up at the AOR shop on Thursday afternoon, and left for
the park just minutes later.
Takes me a while to make the drive now that I pull a trailer, and took a little longer as I went extra slow while my new trailer, that I purchased so I could attend
the event, earned my trust. Got to the park right at 5:00, and was the first one there. That left me to start the process of blocking off an area in the trailer parking/
staging area for the BBQ.
I really don't mind being alone in places like this, and actually found the peace and quiet refreshing. However, once you get used to being in a "so alone I can scratch
me balls and pick my nose without anyone caring" position, it'll startle you to turn around and find someone staring at you from two feet away. Turns out that the
guy was a visitor to the area, and had stopped at the gate to check out the park. Talked with him for a little while and actually seemed like a nice guy, once
I realized he wasn't some wacko looking to cut me up with a chainsaw. However, just finding him staring at me without saying a word creeped me out enough that I
was happy when some more of the Camp He_p crew showed up.
We ran the trails on Friday, and tried to take it easy so the Jeep would hold together for the weekend. Started off on the comp area which, with that amazing
sandpaper like traction leading to some crazy spots, seems like it's just begging to start rolling newbies. Moved onto log bridge, where we encountered a swarm
of bees that managed to sting a few of us (four on my back). Afterwards, we ran trail 4 then moved onto trail 2, where a broken axle u-joint seemed to be
a good indicator that we should end the day early.
The event officially started the next morning, and I was up before 7:00 to offer my help. As it turns out, I had time for some quick coffee then headed up to
help get vehicles staged between the incredibly straight lines TJdreams eyeballed the day before. A NOVA group of 13 showed up almost immediately, and actually
beat me to staging. Many of them knew me and wanted to be in my group, while the others just wanted to stick with their friends, so I ended up with an overfull
group before most of the others even had one vehicle. Score one more for my overinflated ego.
Had an assortment of sizes following me, from JeepFreaks big YJ to Sunbee's stocker. Turned out that everyone still managed to stick with us all day, the stocker
kept up (she was the shining star of the day), yet nobody got bored. Was really cool being out with some of my friends that I had never really been on a trail with before,
and seeing the difference in Unscramble who ran hard all day, yet was terrified last year on his first outing. Was also cool to finally meet some of the new faces on NOVA,
as the club lately seems to be overrun with new people while all the old timers I knew have disapeared.
We ran out to trail 15, then went over to 12. I ended up losing a bead on my right front tire, but had plenty of time to fix it durning lunch. Took our time
following the new cut through trail to E, and took the group over to play on Yellow Jacket Ridge, where we got a few to lift some tires by running the poser line.
Two other groups met up with us there, so we skipped trail 4, which was on our list, and took the long way around to trail 2. At the end of that one, we ran
up the back hill, where I finally made it up after being denied so many attempts on previous trips. There was a rock moved on Crawler Ridge, which caused
me to get the Jeep stuck badly and ended up taking a strap of Unscramble. Unstable came down, on a slightly easier but still challanging line, followed by Colby
who made my line look easy.
After calling it a day, we hit up the BBQ put on my OCC. Didn't win anything in the raffle, but laughed my ass off with everyone else when Stu used a set of
grab handles to carry around his little girly rat-dog.
Sunday was pretty laid back, and we just spent most of the day playing. Ran trail 18 and a few of us ran through the little rock garden it offers. Moved onto
Big Rocks, where I found that my new belly pan allowed my to make it over the first set of rocks without a push, for the first time. Decided to run the larger
rocks and, with some expert spotting by Stu, made it over that for my first time. Called it an early day after that, and headed home.
Gotta thank everyone that helped put this event on, from all three clubs and the park. Pretty amazing weekend, especially with making a couple obstacles that had
been challenging me for a while. Can't wait until next year.
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