Saturday, April 7, CORE went on an RWMA exploritory run. The trip was organized and lead by Jamey Lawrence (a.k.a. Swamp Rat).
“He could not go forward or backward. His right rear tire was in the air at least a foot.”
- Swamp Rat- Leader Jeep TJ
- Ryan- Passenger/Guest with Swamp Rat
- Rat Boy- Member Chevrolet S10
- Amy-Passenger/Guest with Rat Boy
- Bob Jaeger-Guest Ford Ranger
- Plum Butt-Guest Unimog
- Bill and Deb Haegele Both Members Ford Expedition
- Betsy and Oliver Guests of the Haegeles/Honorary Members
- Toyota Ryan- Guest Toyota 4Runner
- Toyota Bob- Guest Toyota Range Rover
Myself and Ryan arrived at the CVS in Centreville around 0830 hours. Then Mike and Amy showed up followed by Bob Jaeger. A brief wait ensued and Bill and Deb Haegele showed up. At 0930 hours we left the CVS parking lot with me in the lead. We stopped along the way at a gas station/McDonalds to await the arrival of someone named Chad. Some of us filled up our tanks while the rest got food and had a potty break. After waiting around 20 minutes or so and we had not seen Chad or heard from him, we assumed it was safe to leave. We arrived shortly after in Wolfstown Va. and met up with Mitch (Plumbutt) and proceeded to head into RWMA. From there we went to the Conway River Trail.
Bill and Deb let the dawgs out to bathe in the river as they were hot. During this time we heard a call on the CB for CORE. It was Toyota Ryan and Toyota Bob. We all had a brief discussion on the legalities of the Conway River Trail and the general consensus was that it was a legal trail. Time for Bill to get the dawgs out of the river. Oliver came to him but he had to go into the river to get Betsy. As Bill entered the river Betsy went to the opposite side of the river and there was Bill trapesing into the river after her and almost fell and busted his buttocks. Finally he got her into the truck and off we proceeded.
The first river crossing was not really a problem for anyone. A short while later Mike (Ratboy) was heard on the CB asking me to stop the line as he had a bolt on his front skid plate come out and not it was hanging. A quick fix with a piece of rope and we were on our way. Then we come up on the second river crossing. Hmmmmmm looks a little more difficult than the first due to a big root in the middle of the bank where you have to enter and also due to rocks with a big one on the left hand side that could pose for possible damage to vehicles. I went first and had no problems. Bill and Deb was next and next and I had to spot them over as the expedition is just so big. Got them across and then came Mitch. He had no problems what so ever. Then came Bob and Ryan in there toyotas also with no problems. That left Ratboy and Bob with his Ranger. They were leery of crossing but I thought we could get them across. So Ratboy started and barely scraped his front skid plate on the rock entering the crossing. At this time we have him in the creek when he got hung up in a hole. After much spotting and stacking of rocks we got him up the hill. Next was Bob. He had about 2 inches height on Mike and was doing good but then he got into the same hole as Mike. Bob got too close to the rock that was on the left hand side and got a dent in the bottom of his rocker panel but managed to get across the crossing.
Once we were all out it was found that Ratboy had broken his left rear shock mount. So he and I proceeded to take the shock off. At this time we decided to break for lunch.
During lunch we heard someone yelling for me on the radio. It was Todd Fischer (a local guy who knows RWMA and only lives a mile from the exit of the trail). Todd and his 2 boys were in his CJ and coming up the trail towards us from the opposite way. Introductions were made, lunch finished and a discussion on what lies up ahead ensued. The decision was made to leave Rat Boys S10 behind. Ratboy then rode with Mitch while his passenger Amy rode with Toyota Bob. We headed up to River crossing number 3. Had to spot Bill and Bob in one place but no problems there. Got to number 3 crossing and Todd was hung up on the other side on the exit of it. Out came his ratchet strap and he was up and out in a matter of minutes. Next was me. I had some trouble getting up on the first attempt so I backed down and made it on the next attempt. Next was Mitch who walked up like it was a cake walk in his Mog. Then came the exciting part. Toyota Bob came up and got his drivers tire about 2 feet in the air and when it came down he bounced to the right. Not a good thing. He ran over a tree that Todd and some others had cut from across the exit and just put it to the side. Good thing they did cause if it would not have been there I am sure Bob would have went over the side and back down into the river on his side. Next was his son Ryan and he had no problems.
By this time it was 1630 hours and Bill and Bob opted not to even try this. Good choice on their parts. Everyone but Bill and Bob decided to go on and then come back. Bob, Bill and Deb would wait till 1730 hours and then head back the way we had come in. We went ahead and worked our way thru a serious rock garden and then to the last river crossing. Todd came out on the other side and put on a show that scared me. The best way I can describe it is that he had tires bouncing in the air all over the place and then he hit a rock that must have weighed around 1000 pounds if not more. He actually moved it a little bit. I then came across and my diff got high centered on a rock and to Mitchs delight I got strapped up the hill.
Mitch came next with once again no problems and also to the delight of some locals who had gathered at the stream. They had a cabin right there and were preparing to go horseback riding. Everyone else made it across with no problems.
Toyota Bob and Ryan decided to go back. Mitch, Mike, Ryan Amy and Myself headed back. We arrived back and met with everyone else. Mitch has serious problems here and after much manuevering, digging, stacking of rocks and pulling and tugging on the mog with my jeep we came to the conclusion we had no choice but for Mitch to go back to creek crossing number 4 and work his way back to us. We got back to creek crossing number 2 and picked up Mikes S10. I spotted Mike and Bob back across with no problems.
By this time it was dark. Bill started across and got hung up on his control arm bracket. He could not go forward or backward. His right rear tire was in the air at least a foot. We decided to hi lift his rearend of the truck enuff to get his control arm bracket up enuff for him to pull forward and get it over the rock. During this time I fell in the creek and was wet all the way up to my knees and let me tell you with both boots full of water it was cold. I also pulled something in my lower back trying to put a rock under bills right rear tire. Finally we are out as the hi lift did the trick. Make it back across creek crossing 1 with no problems and went in search of a place to eat.
We met Mitch coming back up the main road of RWMA. We had Supper at a local Pizza place and finally got back on the road at about 2245 hours. All in all I think it was a good day of wheeling and hope everyone had fun.
Trail report written by Jamey Lawrence