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Wellsville, Ohio - May 17-18, 2002
Sponsored By 4WheelParts-Memphis
Ranger Roundup 2002 - Jim Oaks;
The Roundup started out on Friday with myself, Hiroller, ErinBronco, justdave, PTRangerV8 and Ozzy grabbing dinner at the Riverside Roadhouse. Afterwards, we did a late evening prerun of the trails.
The landowner met us and let us on the property around 10:00pm. We managed to get out of the trails at 3:00am. It rained the whole time we were out. Shortly after getting started we encountered a downed tree. Hiroller made it under the first branch but caught another that pulled a large section down breaking the right top corner of his windshield. He then used his Ranger and a tow strap to yank on the tree and break it apart. After a 1/2 dozen breaks enough was broke apart to get past.
We encountered a narrow section of trail that dropped off on each edge and had obstructions in the path. It was one of those sections where you had to let off the brake and let it just coast forward past the obstacle and down on to the flat area. Hitting the brakes would have caused you to slide off the edge.
At one point I was going up a trail that was heavily rutted on the left. The truck stalled going up. It was so slick that I winched myself back down to avoid sliding off an edge. My crummy Autozone starter wouldn't kick over, but I backed it off the transmission, hit the key, tightened it back up, and was off and running again.
After some long, narrow, twisty, rutted, muddy, water hole trails........we finally made it out and called it a night. I was extremely thankful to get a warm shower that night.
Saturday we all met at the rest Area at SR213 and SR7. When I arrived I found GoukyEdge and his newly acquired Bronco II. He was using a sawzall and hilift jack to modify the fenders to mount up some bigger tires (See the top 2 photos left).
We had 19 participants show up for the trail ride. After Gouky was done with his 'modifications' we left for the trail. The landowner had given me a key so I let everyone in the gate. The road going back to the staging area was so bad that some had difficulty getting up it. One guy came in a full size Chevy Blazer (?) and apparently shut it off waiting for Hiroller to unload his Ranger from his truck/trailer. The Chevy couldn't restart and I ended up winching him up to a flat spot where they messed with the starter and finally got it running. I then pulled Gouky up the road after he found that the 4WD wouldn't work.
After we got up to the staging area I borrowed the ATV from the guy that came along with Gouky to see if I could find a better path than the one taken the night before. Plus, the powerline hill was looking rough. We chose to take the powerline hill after it appeared to be the best option.
After a couple of us got down the powerline hill there were 2 Jeeps and a Toyota 4Runner wanting to go up the hill. The Jeeps made it up....the Yota failed. After waiting a while, our group decided to go around the other side. All was well until the Blazer went in to a deep rut and nearly rolled. 351Ranger, Leebo and JOD decided to stay at the top of the hill and explore the trails up there. The trail going down the powerline hill was pretty intimidating. JOD's kids were with him and they wasn't up to the challenge after seeing others mishaps.
Once at the bottom we had to go over a smaller hill and then down a trail. Gouky's friend flipped his ATV over going up a hill. Fortunately he wasn't seriously hurt.
From there we found ourselves traversing down the side of a hill on a switchback. I was leading the group. At one point the side of the trail collapsed behind me and we had to build a bridge over it using logs and rocks.
At the end of that trail was a creek rushing with water (thanks Rain!). We followed it around trees and through mud bogs in and out of the water. I love that section of trail! We then encountered a GMC Jimmy that ran out of gas. A donation got him out of our way. We took a rocky trail out of that valley back up to a flat area. It was a twisty and very rocky trail that had everyone bouncing in there cabs. We stopped at a flat spot at the top and regrouped.
When I took off I crossed a deep rut with a makeshift bridge. When we all pulled out ErinBronco and JustDave didn't realize it was there and missed the bridge. They hit the rut and ErinBronco made a hole in the dash with his hand. We were so close right there they never had a chance to see it. ErinBronco's finger didn't look to good. Not sure yet if he broke it.
We got in to some nice water and mud holes and played for a while. Brett00 buried his Ranger but was able to winch himself out. We saw a guy sink a Chevy S10 Blazer. Hiroller pulled him out of the hole. When they got out, his passengers opened their doors and water gushed out!
It was definitely a Blazer day. We had to rescue 3 of them. Ok, one was a Jimmy....but same thing.
On the way out JustDave and ErinBronco ran over an obstruction that bent the heck out of the transmission cross member. TrailRunner encountered the same damage on his truck.
We had all decided to meet at the Lisbon Days Inn at 10:00 pm to go grab some dinner. It was around 8:30pm when we left the trail. We all stopped while Gouky and his friend tried to find a way to get his ATV back to the staging area since we came out at a highway.
At 10:00pm we met at the Days Inn. Only about 12 of us decided to leave from there and eat. We went up by Boardman (Youngstown) and had dinner at the Outback Steakhouse. The waitress was very friendly, but I think the other employees freaked out when we showed up 15 minutes before they stopped serving. Oh well. All in all it was a great day finished off with a great meal.
Lessons learned - Make sure when you come to Wellsville you have a full tank of gas, CB radio, tow hooks and straps, first aid kit, food and water in case you're there much longer than you plan.
What's does TRS-1 look like after a weekend of Wellsville?