VA4WDA Fall Run

Rides at Oak Ridge are always a blast and this years annual Fall Run hosted by the Virginia Four Wheel Drive Association was no different. Because of the competitive nature of getting tickets only two CORE vehicles made it to the event this year:

  • Andrew & Cherie Taylor – Silver Nissan Xterra Pro-4X
  • Sergey Revashev & Ilya Aluker – White Jeep Wrangler JKUR

We also met up with friends Phillip in his lifted Toyota Tundra and ‘J’ in his Jurassic Park Wrangler although through some confusion ‘J’ ended up in a different group. The event started on a high note at the morning drivers’ meeting with Sergey winning a free ticket to attend next years event! We also got a variety of shirts, hats, koozies and more as they were tossed into the crowd. We joined group 7 and headed off to enjoy the over 40 miles of trails.

Our group was typical in a lot of ways since this event has a tendency to draw out a variety of interesting vehicles. The group was mostly comprised of Jeeps and Toyotas including a sweet flat fender Jeep, an FJ40, a Gladiator, a Tundra, XJ’s, JK’s, a Tacoma, a ’91 Toyota pickup, and of course our lone Nissan at the event.

Not sure what I need to say about the day wheeling other than we had great guides and the clear skies with 75F weather couldn’t have been better. We had very few folks get hung up on obstacles and for the most part the group made it through unscathed. One noteworthy exception was our flat fender Jeep which was limping along by the time we got to CJ-5 hill, always a crowd favorite obstacle. The flat fender was banged up with limited steering and brakes by that point and so made it into the water with the plan to winch it up the other side. It was hooked to the little ’91 Toyota pickup once it was part way up and caused some excitement as the Toyota dramatically tipped toward the hill. But everyone made it through unscathed and the Jeep headed back to camp midday.

Friday night Cherie and I ventured out to Mountain Mama’s for dinner. A local establishment centered around surf and turf options. Cherie and I were not disappointed with every part of our meal being fantastic including the Oreo cream desserts.

Day two brought another drivers meeting, this time with donated breakfast biscuit sandwiches from the Chicken Coop Restaurant in Lovingston. Cherie and I contributed some money in exchange for 3 breakfast biscuits. The one I heated under the hood for a mid-morning snack really hit the spot!

Our group headed off to tackle more trails. I won’t name all the obstacles but our group had a lot of fun on many named rock piles on Saturday. The ’91 Toyota lost steering part way through the day when the drag link came unbolted from the passenger side steering knuckle! After trying to re-attach it we decided to abandon it for the rest of the day. A little later Phillip realized he had blown a CV joint and so also pulled to the side as we headed into our last trail of the day. Not shocking he had it repaired before Cherie and I made it back to camp. Highlights from our circle of friends including Phillip again one-shotting CJ-5 Hill making it look easy and also Phillip and Sergey going up the hard side of 3 sisters which was a first!

Sergey and Ilya decided to call it a day and head home after we completed our day on the trails. Phillip, Cherie and I all packed up our camps quickly before the evening dinner and raffle with plans to head out after the raffle. And the 3-hour raffle was exhaustingly full of prizes. Unfortunately for our small group huddled under Phillip’s pop-up, including ‘J’, the only prize we would see was when Phillip’s son won an R/C Bronco in the kids raffle at the beginning. With prizes including 10 sets of tires and 5 ARB fridges on the line we were a little disappointed that no one in our small group won anything this year.

The evening was not a total bust however. The catered dinner really was pretty spectacular. And we were all treated to a Starlink train around 9pm which was a rare sight. Also VA4WDA President Jesse Schneirla added some humor to the night as he gave away a variety of humorously named fitness DVDs to winners throughout the night. The association was also able to donate a large food and monetary gift to the local food pantry, partially through donations from the association and partially from the association itself. And of course we were under the stars on a perfect night, reflecting on two great days on the trails, surrounded by friends, supporting an organization that continues to fight for our access to recreational opportunities throughout the region.

Photo Album: 09/15/23 VA4WDA Fall Run

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Pictures contributed by Andrew and Cherie Taylor, Phillip Bartley, and Sergey Revashev. Video contributed by Andrew and Cherie Taylor. GPS track provided by Andrew Taylor.

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