Molina Ghost Run

Fighting for Clear Creek

Hello Esprit de Four,Some members/prospective members attended the Public Comments on the Clear Creek Closure last night.

Bill Farley Ole & Sherry Stortroen Jim O'leary Jason Green Richard Beard

Chris Mains Coby ???? (I apologize if others attended and we didn't see you)

This meeting was an opportunity for the public to make a comment about the park closure. Keep in mind, although the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) was in attendance, they were clear that what was said last night had no bearing on their decision. Essentially it was more or less a government process that they had to follow. However, it was certainly a good opportunity for many of us to show up, and demonstrate that there is a force behind our cause. It was also a good opportunity for me/us to hear the arguments against the closure and include these in the comments we make.

For us to be effective, we must make a written comment, whether it be via snail mail or e-mail.

Not only do I encourage you, I am asking you, to take time out and send in a comment, even if at this point your are only asking for an extension on the comment period, which currently has a deadline of March 5, 2010. (You can use the argument that it took the EPA, 19 + months to come out with a report, why should we have such a short period to make comments)

-> For those never having been to Clear Creek - I am one of those. You may be asking, or reasoning to yourself, it's not familiar to me, it doesn't affect me. The truth is, it does. If we don't stand together in support of our sport and our activity when we can, soon, we will stand alone and it will be easier for them to knock us down. They will come to your park next! Furthermore, you may have not used it in the past, but wouldn't you want the opportunity to have to use it in the future?

Here are some of the arguments I heard last night - I didn't write them down so it's coming off of memory: 1. The asbestos found at Clear Creek is not the industrial type that leads to health issues, the EPA has bastardized/generalized them into one category and made the wrong presumption. 2. The presumptions and or assertions of the EPA's report are based on questionable data, and there should be more time to allow an independent organization to conduct their on research. While that is being conducted, the park should be kept open. It's been open for the history of the country, why now the urgency to close it - keep it open, until facts are agreed upon.

....Others whom were in attendance, please add other things you heard, so that our membership can leverage that. You do not have to include everything in your comment, but please include something. Here's the BLM's website:

You can also find the DEIS at the bottom of this page:

You can send your comments to:

Mail: Bureau of Land Management Attn: CCMA RMP/EIS 20 Hamilton Court Hollister, CA 95023


Fax: (831) 630-5055 Attn: CCMA RMP/EIS

For everyone, please make your comment, and if you do nothing, else, please support the organizations that are fighting this fight on our behalf: (Donate or become a member)

Friends of Clear Creek Management Area - Blue Ribbon Coalition - Facebook Group -

I apologize if this e-mail got a little long, but I hope you all understand the magnitude of what action and inaction on your part means! The government, it's entities should work for you and me, not against us. Remember these few numbers, 15% of all house holds are OHV users, in any election there is only 50% of the population that votes, by my calculations, that means we are 30% of the voting population. Now I'm not a union leader and I'm not telling you how to vote, but if you feel like you're alone, you're not.

Kindest Regards, Michael Phorn President, Esprit de Four

P.S. Please feel free to add, and forward this to all your friends & aquaintances, we must spread the message and keep up the fight and bring it to them (even though, they should be working for us)

Molina Ghost Run

With very little sleep on Friday night after rolling in and setting up late in the campground, Joe and I were lucky enough to meet up with John R. and family, and Denny & Co. in the morning. Then Denny had a great idea - he gave us each an FRS radio to keep in touch with each other throughout the run. That one stroke of luck turned out to be the best idea. Thanks to the radios, we were able to stay with each other, while everyone else on that run got lost! As bizarre as that sounds, it seems that a large group of vehicles lost the trail, and returned to camp early, while Joe and I, John and Denny were able to follow the Westside Wheelers through the whole trail, including an area called the “Pichacho Loop”, a very rocky, narrow, fun climb.

John is right - the Westside Wheelers out of Coalinga were a great group, and thanks to them, we had a great time.

Good wheelin’, good company, and good weather - great weekend!


Molina Ghost Run

Saturday morning Joe S., Amy, Denny and I got in line for the first group out. The run started off slow. The first delay was when I realized that my truck didn’t have 4 wheel drive. The vacuum line to the front axle came off. This delay allowed Denny to catch up since he stopped to air down. For the next 1/2 hour we drove 4 minutes waited 6. Drove 4 waited 6. During one of the waiting periods I noticed my truck overheating. I pulled out of the way to let it cool down and check it. It was then I notice some one broken down on the long up hill section. We that person was cleared another person broke on the hill. The hour of wait allowed my truck to cool down. We then went another 100 yards and stopped. Yes some else and broken on the hill. Once he was towed off the hill the rest of us went up with out any problems. I was still having over heating problems so we stopped at the mud pit and I swapped over flow bottles. The traffic had spread out by know so it was a fast going down the back side of the hill. Once at the bottom I stayed to the easy rote due to the overheating problems and Denny and Joe continued with the small group through the very hard sections.

While there were no major problems in our small group other people did have theirs. Friday afternoon someone was out playing and rolled 6 times. The person was air lifted out.I heard that he was back the nest day. Toward the end of the day we came upon a Scout that was just put back onto its wheels. He had caught a ditch one side and did a easy roll over. Everyone was fine and after a little work he was on his way. After we got back to camp we heard another scout had rolled on Goat mountain. The worst part was nobody had seat belts on. No major injuries but a lot of bruises. The last roll over came on the RTI ramp.

That is about it for the Molina Trip. I would like to give a big thanks to the West Side 4 wheel club from Coalinga. They were the trail leaders in our group. One of their members stayed with me the whole time with my over heat problems. They even took Denny and Joe on one of the hardest climbs out at Clear creek.

Molina Ghost Run

The Molina trip consisted of Brian, Eric and myself from ED4. The day started off at 7am. We had planned on doing all the hard routes and expected a long day. We only had one long wait in morning and we were moving at a good pace. I then made the dumb comment of ” This day is going nice. We have had no problems”. A couple hours later we were doing the one last hard trail. Some people were stop on the trail so we turned off our engines and waited. When it was time to go my truck would not start. There was a group of 5 rigs behind me. Since the trail was very narrow no one could get by. The guys came and helped me try to figure out why it wasn’t starting. Turned out the fuel pump wasn’t working. We move the Cherokee forward to a clearing to let people by while trying to figure out the problem. The 6 guys stayed to help. One more thing. While in camp I met a person with a modified XJ and he had joined us for the day. By a stoke of luck the only other XJ on the run was with me. That allowed me to swap electrical components to narrow the problem down. Still could not get the pump running. It was then one of the people I just met pulled out a inline fuel pump for a Ford. My XJ has the pump in the gas tank. As a last ditch effort I pulled out the fuel filter and put the Ford pump there. The pump was wired to one of my fog light relays so I could turn it on and off from the cab. Presto, the truck ran.

I asked the guy how much for the pump. He said keep the pump when your done so you can help someone else. This was my fist major problem at a Cal 4 Wheel event and it was nice to see how helpful strangers are.

PS . I am still trying to figure out the problem.

Molina Ghost Run

Well El Jepo Negro survived another trail… Molina was great, the trail that is. Friday found us frantically, as always, trying to get out of town. Alicia had similar problems with getting away from work and we met up in Morgan Hill.

The drive down was uneventfull even though dark. The event was FULL this year. Although Lorrie and I have not been before I could tell that this was unusually crowded. The camping area was full and shortly after we arived they were turning people away. We had towed down but the Dodge with just the shell was able to sqeeze by back to a quite place for the two nights camping.

THANKS go to Joe Farley and Denny for saving some room for straglers such as ourselves even though we did not answer his email.

5am, yessss 5am! we were up and lined up at the front of the line. Ron Fox was no 1 followed by Alicia, another Jeep, Lorrie and I, and then Denny behind. Joe and Bill Farley were just a few vehicles back with some of Joe’s friends.

All told I think ED4 members in attendance were:

Alicia Wilson Ron Fox Joe Farley Bill Farley Denny (last name? sorry) Brian Ryder Lorrie and Ira (us!) Correct me if I am wrong and missed anyone. I did not mean to. We started up the hill at 7am. Not far up Denny had some trouble with his fuel system. At first we thought he was out of fuel. I walked back with some of Alicias extra fuel to help out. But turns out it must have been vapor lock or air getting sucked into the line. Just priming the fuel line up to the pump and it ran the rest of the day fine. Lorrie, Alicia, and Brian went on ahead as Denny and I trouble shot his fuel system. As always I learned some more tricks from a more experienced driver, thanks Denny. The trails were apparently different this year in that there was not just one loop. The “mud pit” was a central place where “sub-runs” started and looped back to. Because of this people were spread out and in my opinion seemed to work well. We really did not have to wait in line much and Denny was able to catch back up to the group and I rejoined Lorrie in our Jeep. One drawback is that I don’t think we did all of the runs which were available. But oh well. After Denny caught back up we stopped at the mud pit for an early lunch.

We did an easy loop which presented some slipery mud and nice senery. And ended back at the “pit”. Shortly after we went on a more advanced loop. Bill and Denny remarked after the first few “obstacles” that this was much easier than past years since it was dry. Apparently the mud caused much more excitement before.

This run took us through 2 rock gardens which provided for the highlights of the trip. The first was not that bad but I took a bad line which required me to lock up both the front and rear to get out. The Jeep is going to need some maintenance! Can’t wait to get my 4:1 kit in!

The second caused much more excitement. The top of which was where the action was… First Joe Farley knocked a valve stem off and had to replace a tire. Shortly after Brian Ryder got wedged in some rocks and, from what I am told, did a spectacular wheely while getting tugged out. Sorry Brian Lorrie missed the moment. I know that camera should have done everything for her. She did however get my slow crawl out of the small hole which tried to swallow my left rear tire. This action caused my right front tire to be about 2-3 feet in the air. This made for some great excitement. I did not actually feel all that scared… Could I be getting more confident? Probably just more stupid!

From here on in we had a pretty uneventfull trip back to camp. Everyone else got through the rock gardens pretty unscathed. Lorrie thought Denny put on the next best show with high off camber situations.

Once back in camp we relaxed a bit. There was an RTI ramp and for $5 each I talked Alicia into checking out our flexibility. I was right about 600 which is what I figured. Most of us were just looking for a benchmark out of curiousity.

Diner was served at 6. It was really good. Considering there was like 600 people there I think they did a good job. Later Alicia, Lorrie, and I braved the cold to listen to the raffle. Other ED4 members camped out farther away from the fire but we wanted to try and keep warm. I don’t know if anything was won or not, although Joe and Bill Farley were up getting something at least one time…

Sunday we drove home and I got the pictures up… Have fun: