Rally By The Numbers
55 Trucks (this is huge)
$3456.00 in Collections
$200 in Total Red Cross Donations. (this includes the club match)
Club Retained Income $706 (Just enough to buy a large Canopy Tent)
Fall Rally Recap
Once again from a "Presidential" Perspective:
Let me start off by saying that I am incredibly STOKED as to how the Rally turned out. Time is so valuable that it's sometimes not easy to just let go of all the responsibilities, and get out into the woods for a little down and dirty four wheel action. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, the trails were unbelievable, the campground workable and the camaraderie just plain terrific. I even got to participate in the Raffle/BBQ this year. Also, a very important thing to note; we did NOT have ANY issues with any person or truck. The Forest Rangers had no issues. That makes the officer's job a whole lot easier. For that I thank each and every one of you!
I pulled into the campgrounds around noon on Thursday, just behind Jonathan in his rolling palace. Merv (with sheep in tow), Jim Cartier, Chris, Trish and their significant others were already there, much to my delight. Gordo, Diana and Jasper arrived at about 3:30 with his Dad's travel trailer (can I get a H*LL Yeah!!). Camping will never be the same. I see an RV on the horizon. My wife is not high maintenance by any means, but now that she's had a taste of trailer camping, I don't think I'll need the tent any more. Sean, how much does the club have in the bank? ;)
Sean Heisler, Chris and Jen Hougland, their daughter Katie and Camp Dunn-Did-R (Dave and Hillary Squire) arrived later that afternoon. Camp Gidd-R-Dunn rolled in with their highly modified rigs a little later than expected. James, the Forward Control is just plain BAD!! Jake, how high can you go? Kaz and Austin, please put some doors on that thing. Everyone set up camp, secured additional camp sites with items of substance and went about discussing when we're going on the first trail ride of the Rally.
Warm-up trail anyone? Around 9:00 or so, we "lined em up". We had 8 trucks, not bad for a Thursday considering the Rally doesn't officially kick off until Friday. Those that have been to Richloam with us before know the warm-up trail is nasty. It has mud…thick mud and door handle deep (DHD) water. Since it's the closet trail to camp, it's a great place to start. Trish (Jim Cartier's daughter) got the best driving award on this night. She has a Series II (??) and slung that thing around like no tomorrow. It took us a few hours to reach the end and we called it a night. We got back to camp around 12:30 or so...
Friday morning arrived much too quick. Adam and his new $800 eBay Golden Hippo arrived. Other arrivals included Michael Lokey (Premier Sponsor) and Josh Kline with his insanely lifted Disco that I had to trailer home. Doug and Juliet from Bradenton in their Classic, Dave, Tiffany and their girls, Bronco Jimmy, and Rene, (aka Roaming Rover) in his cherry P38. Rene, I'm waiting for my copy of the FLRC hitch hikers guide:, which is due out on a bookshelf near you soon. Actually Rene got her dirty for the first time. Can I get a YEEEE HAWWWW!!!
Friday about mid afternoon we hit the Warm-Up trail. I used the go arounds the whole weekend due to my TBox making all kinds of racket(and no Chris, I still have not broken it…YET!!). However, I could not pass up a few great holes. The warm up trail was getting all chewed up at this point and becoming very challenging. Trish's Series (Benji) had a couple minor issues that her Dad had to deal with, but nothing he couldn't handle. We had our mandatory Drivers meeting around 8:30 PM. Forest Ranger George (great guy) joined us. Gordo did an excellent job laying out our expectations and the Forestry's requirements. After that…Night Run BABY!!!
Gordo led the advanced run, and Jonathan led the beginner/intermediate run. I joined Jonathan. We did a small safety/recovery meeting and headed for Forest Road #4. It turned out to be a fantastic trail and everyone had great fun. Gordo and Jonathan went through earlier and cleaned it all out so it was pretty well manicured and scratch free. We then pulled over to wait for Gordo to drop off a D90 that wanted to join our group. The D90 joined the beginner/intermediate group and I went with the advanced group (later that stock D90 did all that the advanced folks could do including door-handle-deep!). As usual, the trails were plain AWESOME. It was a relatively early night as far as night runs go. We got back to camp around 1:30.
Again, the mornings come very quickly at the Rally's, and Saturday was no exception. We opened the registration booth, and actually got people out on the trails close to 11:00. I rode with the Uni-Moggers, and let me tell you they are extremely capable. We had two Jeeps run into some day ending issues and had to get them back to the hard pan. One of the Uni's pulled both of them back through the nasty holes without any hesitation or issues. I was very impressed with their capabilities.
Former President Dave Souza down from Rhode Island (A BIG SHOUT OUT) joined us on the trail while we were getting the Jeeps out. It was nice to see Dave and I am glad he made it for the show. We headed down the trail and boy was it a good one, water hole after water hole. (One of the best pictures I have is my brother and I doing the go around, getting stuck, and sitting in DHD water.) I couldn't even imagine what the main hole would have been like that day. We come up to it and decide to let the Uni-Mogs go first….cause we smart!! Them darn Uni's made it look really easy. So I decide why not? I'll go for it! My wife was not too happy, as this was about the same time during the Spring Rally that I made a similar decision. That decision is why we missed the raffle and BBQ. Anyway. I take a high line, and splash!! Window deep……..putt…..putt....putt….gurgle….gurgle.…YEEE HAWW!! I'm going to make the BBQ. Gordo, Dave and the other Rovers make it through including the stock D90, no one gets stuck and we are all good to go. It was about 3:30 and I figured it was a good time for me to head back to camp.
Mudd-Dawg and I go get the BBQ from MC Chef. Enough to serve about 100 people and boy was it delicious. After dinner we made some club announcements. Gordo, Sean and I were voted in for another year. Thank you guys, we will work hard for the club. Tej (aka Taint) has decided to step down. We appreciate everything that Tej has done and he will be sorely missed. Tej was very instrumental in the development of the club By-Laws and without him we could not have put them together. Next time y'all see him give him a big shout out as he deserves it. Another announcement was the club Med-Kits have been purchased and were on hand at the Rally. These are your kits, if you have a scheduled trail run and would like to use one, either contact Gordo or myself. We can ship them to you. They are your kits, please use them.
The raffle was great! We had a Super winch EP 9.0, Custom Bumper (recycled from Spring Rally), Rovertym 3inch Springs, multiple Tanos Boxes, Safari Guard Trailing Arms, and Recovery Points. The items listed above alone cost over $2200 retail. We had a lot of other great items as well. Newcomers Pete and Sara won the winch. Clive won the bumper. Josh and Jonathan won the other main prizes.
We then "lined em up" for the traditional Saturday Night Run. After a few Rally's, one quickly learns that the Saturday Night Run is not just a hardcore run, it is an insane run. Those that have been around a while usually do not go on Saturday Nights. Well this Saturday would stay with tradition. I did not attend (cause I a smart brother), but I heard it was crazy!
Fenceline anyone? We ran Fenceline at the last rally and had to send out a search party for three members. I have personally done Fenceline many times and the closest I came to flipping my lid was on this trail. Check out the banner on the homepage. See my truck, it almost went. My rear driver's tire was about 3 feet off the ground. Anyway, "heavy on the skinny pedal" Josh Kline decides to go dead middle down the nastiest hole in Richloam. He hydro locked that joker and broke the starter housing. I will give him credit for two things: First, he did a back flip off the roof rack (boy I'd like to have seen that). Second, he did a crocodile hunter Steve Irwin under water swim to his recovery point. We'll give you a shout out for the back flip and crocodile hunter impersonation, but we should probably take it back for hydro locking your junk. Needless to say, that was the end of the Saturday Night Run. A word to the wise, do not go out on Saturdays, at least not with Josh:. Just Joking Josh, we love you and someone has to try the craziness and boy am I glad it wasn't me that night:!!
Sunday morning was pretty much clean up, pack up and say goodbye to all the old friends we have come to know and love, and to the new ones we have made along the way.
I would like to thank the following people for all their help. Gordo, we're like brothers and without you, I wouldn't own a Rover. You buying that POS Series many years ago got both of us into this wonderful group of friends. I appreciate you like no other. You put the trails together and ask anyone, they were awesome! Jonathan, the website is your baby, and it's one of the best. You are always there when I need advice and I can always count on you for your sincere opinion. Thanks for being a friend. Sean, you are the money man and the point of reason. You keep it real. Without your laid back demeanor, I would be a basket case. Thanks for all your hard work so many years in a row. Tej, thanks for your help with the By-laws and giving the club a reason to use the word TAINT. Even though you are stepping down as Secretary, you better still go wheelin' with us.
As many may have noticed, there was not a designated Rally Master. It was done by a committee. A huge thank you goes out to Adam, Tony, Rene, Dave, Hillary, Tiffany and Dave for helping make the Rally go so smoothly. Next time you see one of these folks on the trail, please give them big H*ELL YEAH as it was their rally and they pulled it off.
It will never be as organized as we hope, but you guys sure did make it as close as possible. I thank each and every one of you for contributing to the success of this Rally.
Also, let's not forget the sponsors. They put all those goodies on the table. I estimate that we had over $3000 in raffle items. The next time you buy something, please try to buy from a sponsor. Let's not forget them. They are as follows: Lokey Adventure Center (Premier Sponsor), Red-Rhino, Rovertym, Safari Gard, DAP, Hougland Rovers and Exotics, British 4X4, Rovers North, Atlantic British, Expedition Exchange, Great Basin Rovers, Headliner Express, and Land Rover South Pointe. Go spend some money with these guys!!
I am personally going to buy a new Range Rover Sport from South Pointe, and have Michael Lokey put some Rovertym suspension under it with a Safari Gard Brush Bar and DAP heavy duty steering rods. When that's done, I am going to get a Superwinch from Jason at Red-Rhino and have Chris Hougland mount it along with 3 inch Spring Spacers. I'll then drive to British 4x4 and have James and Jake put a 3 inch body lift on it, some Great Basin Axels and 4.11's with 40 inch Swampers. I am then going to go wheeling with them in Osceola and test out all my gear at the "Car Wash" where I am going to rip the headliner and call Bill at Headliner Express. He'll be there in 20 minutes to fix it in his Uni-Mog. On my way home, I'll call Expedition Exchange and order a few Pelican Cases. My next call will be to Rovers North and get a light kit for the bumper. After that I'll call Atlantic British and get a skid plate and some steel wheels. By the time I get home, I'll be a broke BEATCH and my wife will send me packing. I'll turn around; head back to Osceola and camp out in Kaz's yard until spring. Then we'll all get together and have another blow out Rally where my wife will show up with her three Swedish friends and tell me how much THEY miss me. Wait a minute…wrong story!! Y'all know where I'm going with all this. Buy from the sponsors. Spend your money with them and when you do, tell them Mike sent you!
Finally, I appreciate you all for coming to the rally and hope you had a great time. I look forward to the spring. Until then, wheel hard, but in the right places.