After 20 years of visiting Hollister, you would think that I would be well educated on the ever-changing conditions out there, but NO!! Originally, I could not attend because I had to work on Saturday, but due to the rain, our tournament was canceled and suddenly I was free. Right on, were going wheeling!! Knowing that we only received a tenth of an inch of rain in SJ, I thought it would be perfect down at Hollister. No dust, just nice "tacky" trails. As I was caravaning down with Tom, Kelly, and Jim, the rain was falling and I knew this was not good. Tom, Jim and I were towing our Jeeps on trailers and when I got to the school house, my fears were confirmed............MUD! Not just any mud, but Hollister Mud. This stuff is evil, greasy, and unpredictable. Against my better judgment, I resisted locking my hubs on my truck and proceeded to the O-Course campground. As I was approaching the campground, my trailer was pushing the ass end of my truck down the hill. I knew if I hit the brakes I would be done, so I gently hit the gas and the trailer straightened out. Tom was following me and he experience the same issue. All I could do was laugh because I knew what to expect that day, we were going to have some fun! I had Darell lock my hubs so I could park without hitting anybody. Yes, it was that slick.
Darell hopped in my Jeep and we began to lead the group on the muddy trails. We had eight Jeeps (Jason-CJ5, CJ-CJ7, Ron-Rubilong, Coby-Rubilong, Chris-Rubicon, Kelly-Rubilong, Tom-CJ7, and Jim-CJ7.) That's right, all Jeeps, so I knew we were in good shape and wouldn't have to break out the tool boxes . The first few trails we hit were fairly friendly until we came to the steep, rocky down hill. Good pucker factor for everyone!
Then we headed over to the ravine and Truck Hill. A few of us cruised up the ravine and CJ got to check out his new suspension. Flexes well! Time for a few photos and then we headed over to the new O-course. This was the first time I had seen it and it was pretty damn cool. Lots of little obstacles and a few nasty ones for the bigger rigs.
Next we went up the trail over to the water tank intersection and I thought we would cruise up the trail right in front of us. WRONG!! I was idling in 1st gear and all four tires were spinning, but we were not moving. Darell and I were amazed that a simple looking trail could be so greasy. Welcome to Hollister mud!! I said the heck with this and backed up and exercised the V-8 a bit. 2nd gear and 5000 RPM, we were moving again, not necessarily straight, but we were making progress. I don't know who was laughing more, me or Darell. Too much fun (for now because mud = hours of cleaning.) No one else wanted to attempt the muddy trail so we headed back down the hill and traveled up a few trails more trails near Sycamore Camp. We found more mud and a slick little hill climb to get back to the main road. Kelly needed a little tug to get to the top safely and Tom was so bored that he drove through the mud backwards.....
By 11:30am, we were all hungry and tired of slipping and sliding everywhere so we stopped for lunch. Many stories were exchanged and everyone was talking about what they wanted/needed to do to their Jeep next. By this time, the rain had stopped for a couple hours and things began to dry out. Darell and Kelly left and the rest of the group headed over to the new O-course to play some more. No such luck, the Syncro de Mayo had the whole thing reserved for their event. It is really amazing what those vehicle can do. Jim drove his Jeep in there and offered to trade, but there were no takers........We headed over to the rock quarry to play and posed for a few cool photos.
It was a great day and Darell mapped out quite a few trails for clinic. I spent about 3 hours 4 wheeling and almost 5 hours cleaning my Jeep. And the whole time I was cursing myself, because I knew better. But, damn we had fun!! I guess the old saying is true "Old enough to know better, but still too young to care" Isn't that a country song? Anyway, thanks Darell for organizing the run.