Safety Clinic

September 2009 Ed4 4wd Clinic @ Hollister: I Arrived at the Area five gate Friday around 12:00pm. Overshot the turn off by 20 feet while watching some wild turkeys. I had no idea how far it might be to a turn around and there was no traffic so....Thus begin my first attempt to back up a flat towed jeep. I managed to get-er-done but had a strange feeling that the turkeys that started this were somewhere near laughing like hell.

I was the third outfit in camp so had plenty of spots to pick from. Parked, unhooked the jeep and settled in. The weather was a warm and the pesky little flies were out in out full force.

Ole, who had been there for awhile, had made arrangements, with a park official, to tour the new not-yet-open 4wd area east of area 5. I was invited to tag along between the Park Range Rover and Ole's jeep. This was the first time in the dirt for my newly acquired Jeep but, I figured I should be able to follow a Range Rover with stock tires, most anywhere. As it turns out the new obstacle course is fairly tame even by my standards, at least when dry, but, still fun to drive. They have built a camp spot on top of one of the hills that has a great view of the valley to the east and the Tres Pinos area. It would be a great spot for the Friday nite pot luck/camp fires in the future.

Friday nites campfire and pot luck was fun as usual. A couple of the students, who arrived early joined the fire circle and wine fest.

Saturday started out with the vehicle inspections. Being a part of that crew is a great way to meet new four wheelers and encouage them to join ED4.

After the chalk talk at the schoolhouse we I headed for the obstacle course and the Star Step area. I was stationed at the top of the stair step to help people negotiate the right turn without tearing a fender off. This was a perfect place to observe the various styles of driving up a slippery rock infested hill while feeling the stare from the audience below on the back of your neck. It seems the resulting adrenalin rush can turn even the most timid person into a "make it or break it monster". The amount of air under the front tires, that was achieved in some cases, was amazing. Of course this can only lead to trouble, which it did in the case of one gentleman who littered the hill with driveline parts. On the upside his wife probably hasn't had that good a laugh in some time. She wouldn't leave the poor guy alone. They both had their own jeeps and the frosting on the cake came when she then proceeded to navigate the hill with no trouble at all. Had a great time and learned a lot about using "finesse and consistant acceleration to climb a hill" just by watching others.

A great event and looking forward to the next...but not the pesky flies.