Wheelin’ for Hope is an annual event hosted by the Woodland Wildfires for the Relay for Life of Nelson County, hosted at Oak Ridge Estate, who use the event as a fundraiser for cancer research. Since the event began they have raised over $120k for cancer research.
The event is held at Oak Ridge Estate, in Nelson County, and is one of only 2 events a year that can grant you access to their over 40 miles of off road trails. The event is limited to 200 vehicles and sells out faster and faster each year. This year, due to this, CORE was not able to be represented at this event as well as we had hoped and have in the past. Along for the ride were:
- Andrew & Cherie Taylor – Silver Xterra
- John ‘J’ Stoll – Red YJ
We all camped all weekend, arriving Friday evening. We chose to go out to dinner Friday night, at Vito’s in nearby Lovingston. Saturday there is always a buzz in the air as 200 vehicles, from trailer queens to fresh off the lot SUV’s gather together and get in groups to be led around on the trails. This year we managed to get into the group of Herb (lead) and Mike (tail gunner) who drive a TJ and a Discovery respectively. They are great! Our group also consisted of numerous JK’s and JKU’s as well as a JLU by a couple out for their first off road outing, and even a lifting CJ!
I won’t give a play by play of the whole weekend, but just will cover the highlights. J had an easier year this year, with new brake lines after they dry rotted through on the trail last year. We did get to winch him up a hill a few feet when he got twisted up in one particularly rough spot though. That being said, most, including me, were entertained and impressed as he got his stock YJ through some non-optional gnarly sections throughout the weekend!
As happened last year we got to watch a two winch recovery of a vehicle that got high centered on the dino egg. There were some big mud holes that appeared to be impassable, despite copious amounts of horsepower, and the water was high at all water crossings which made each more interesting. We also were treated to a new view this year due to some logging happening on the property which gave us a great view across the valley below to the northeast (I think).
But the highlight for me was Saturday night. Saturday night is special because that is where the event really raises money for their cause. They have a raffle that lasts for hours, with donated items from companies, clubs, and individuals, with the proceeds going to the Relay for Life. This year CORE decided to donate a handheld CB radio which was raffled off in memory of Fred Granruth, former CORE member. Here is what they read before raffling off our contribution.
This donation is made by the Capital Off Road Enthusiasts, a Washington DC area club, in memory of Fred Granruth who was an active wheeler and regular participant at Wheelin’ for Hope, until he lost his short fight with brain cancer in April 2017.
It was really nice to see the club come together one more time in memory of Fred, and to do something in his memory to hopefully help someone else down the road. Fred was a great guy, friends with everyone he met, and he will continue to be missed.
Sunday morning, with both vehicles still in driving order we re-joined our group, now missing the JL and CJ among others, and headed out on the trails again. Sunday we would hit CJ5 hill along with some other favorites. We finished up around noon and called it a day. Thanks again Herb and Mike for all your effort to get the group through the trails this year!
Our contribution along with all the others lead to the event to raising $(To Be Announced) this year, for a total of $(To Be Announced) donated to Relay for Life over the years from this event. We can’t wait to come back out next year!
GPS Day One:
GPS Day Two:
Trail report written by Andrew Taylor. Pictures courtesy of Andrew & Cherie.