|Saturday night Ford sponsored a buffet dinner for the entire group.
Over 50 people were in attendance for this awesome dinner at the Palm Canyon
Resort in Borrego Springs. When we arrived in the banquet room there was
plenty of ice cold beer, wine, and appetizers. Before dinner Ford showed
us a video presentation on their new 2001 Sport Trac. The Palm Canyon Resort
served a great dinner with your choice of either BBQ ribs or BBQ chicken.
Numerous side dishes were also available and for desert they had some of
the best apple pie I've had in years.
Several companies donated door prizes for the event. Matt Adams got
Lighting to donate two pairs of their ultra bright headlights. Trailmaster
Suspension donated a set of 4 - SSV shock absorbers, Explorer
Express donated a wall clock and a jacket, KKM
donated 4 - $25.00 gift certificates, the Chart
House Restaurants donated 2 - $50.00 gift certificates, FLY-N-HI
Offroad Centers donated 2 pairs of KC lights and a receiver hitch cover
and I donated 5 - www.explorer4x4.com
windshield banners. There weren't quite enough prizes for everyone to win
something, but Ford made
up for that when they gave all of the drivers an Explorer Sport Trac jacket.
So no one left empty handed or with an empty stomach!
2001 Explorer Sport Photo
by Peter Weber
Sunday a few folks had to head back home. Trailmaster, Explorer Express
and Michael Rudd from Fourwheeler all went their own ways as did a few
from our group. We did pick up one new traveler though. Tom Wilson from
Super Ford Magazine road rode with us most of the day.
We started Sunday's run as one large group and found an area that was
riddled with trails of every caliber. A few of us drove up a narrow crevice
until we reached the top of a ridge. RangerX then led us on a white knuckle
trail. It may not have been quite as bad if it hadn't started to drizzle,
all I could think of was slipping off the edge of this ultra narrow trail
which joined two plateaus. The trail was loose, barely wider than the Explorer,
lasted over 100 yards, was off camber, and to make matters worse,
we had to take the same trail to get back. A few of the folks who climbed
up to the ridge with us declined this side trip.
Kevin Kocher Photos
by Peter Weber
We regrouped with the others on top of the ridge. Matt Adams found a
great way down practically STRAIGHT. With a little guidance Matt positioned
his Explorer on the edge and dropped the front tires over the side. I took
this same trail after Matt, and I can tell you it seemed like an eternity
before I could actually see the trail in front of my Explorer. All I could
see was sky. Once the nose did start pointing down hill it wasn't so bad.
A bit loose, but no problem.
Matt Adams Photo by Peter
Just as we reached the bottom we heard a call on the CB that José's
Explorer was stuck on the trail. It turned out that his starter was D.O.A..
This may not have been a big problem if his truck had a manual tranny,
but it didn't; he had an automatic. This is where a close family comes
into play. José's cousin, Alfonso, was also along for the trip.
Alfonso started his Explorer, removed the starter while the engine was
running, and placed it in his cousin's truck! This worked great, both were
once again trail ready. By now everyone else had gathered for lunch. We
met up with them just in time to get a quick bite before we were ready
to head back to the staging area. A few of the group needed to leave around
noon so we headed back to camp running the wide wash like it was a super
highway. There was one slight problem with this tactic. Somehow Wendy Crawford
made a wrong turn when she entered the wash and got split up from the group.
We didn't realize it until about 15 minutes later when someone asked, "Where
is Vivian?" Vivian was one of the Ford crew and she and Wendy were no where
to be found.
We said our farewells to those who needed to leave and the rest of the
group quickly saddled up to find Wendy and Vivian. Ray Hutchinson, AA6H
and I both tried Wendy, KG6CG, on the ham radio and the CB. At first we
heard nothing, but once we got to higher ground we could faintly hear her
on the CB. Ray ran his truck to the top of a hill where he was able to
spot Wendy in the wash. He talked her in to us and the situation was quickly
After rejoining with Wendy we formed two separate groups of vehicles.
One group was led by Paul Bredehoft and consisted of the locked up rigs
and the other was led by myself and consisted of unlocked rigs and stockers.
I can't tell you what happened with Paul's group, but I can share with
you the fun that we had. Our group found a narrow twisty trail to climb.
After most of the group made it to the top Juan Felsmann decided to try
and climb a steep loose hill, which I guess had his name on it! We all
cheered when Juan crested the top of this hill. He did a great job climbing
it. Little did we know what was happening on the other side...After we
got the last of the vehicles up to our vantage point we started around
the hill that Juan had climbed only to find him stuck in the middle of
two trails leaning precariously to his left. Once Juan started down the
other side of the hill he couldn't decide which of two trails to descend.
So instead of making a decision he got stuck between the two. In order
to keep Juan's truck from rolling I drove up the hill towards him. We then
anchored the back of his truck with my winch cable. He was then able to
point down hill and towards his right. The rear end slid, but the winch
cable kept him safe.
By the time we got Juan free we only had about 20 minutes left before
we were supposed to meet back at camp. I found some high ground with a
few trails leading away and told the group to just have some fun on their
own for the little time we had left. Once again a call came through on
the radio, this time it was Tom's turn. Tom had slid off the trail in his
Navajo and trying to get back on the trail put him at a pretty extreme
angle. Juan came to the rescue as well as Rick Gamboa. Rick had only recently
arrived on the scene. He missed most of the days activities, but was just
in time to help extricate Tom. When I got to the scene Juan had a pull
strap on one side of Toms rear and Rick had a strap on the other. It was
decided that I would take Rick's place, so I backed up towards Tom, they
attached the strap to my clevis and I pulled him out while Juan's truck
stabilized him on the hill.
That was it for Sunday; 2 pulls, rain, one broken starter, and one lost
Explorer. That was enough for me for one day!
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