Hollister Hills

Hollister Hills

Trip ReportDecember 4, 2016 Hollister Hills Mike Westley

What began as my asking on the email distribution list if any one wanted to go wheeling at Hollister Hills (HH) on Sunday, December 4 turned into quite a group of about 12 club vehicles. We met at the HH obstacle course bathrooms around 10am and slowly moved toward the obstacle course. While all of us used the time to practice, some more adventurous waded through the muddy water sloughs, and up/over large rockpiles. After moving on to the ravine and playing in and around there we headed up Fremont road, and more up, to the top for a great “view lot” for our lunch break. After lunch we were headed back down toward the quarry for what I thought would be a quick end to the day. But that was not to be. One of our club jeeps negotiating a large rock on the passenger side with the slope falling away to the driver side, sort of “fell over” settling gently onto its driver side. Fortunately the only “body” damage was to the jeep. Being a perspective member I got a great opportunity to see club members come together with gear, winches, and unlimited advice ultimately getting this jeep up, four tires on the ground and drivable to home. I thought this would be a fun run, little did I know I would also get a first hand winch recovery experience. With all up and going, we headed down to air up and home to end great day. Thanks to all club members who welcomed me and helped make this a really fun day. By the way, what is that “cow bell” thing any way? Did anyone earn the “cow bell” today?

Mike Westley Perspective Member

May 2016 Safety Clinic

Trip Report – Safety Clinic May 2016 I attended my first Club Safety Clinic this past weekend and had the time of my life.

Starting out I was way out of my comfort level to say the least. Through the sign-in process, meeting & chatting with club members & other students in my group was wonderful.

We had a very informative class room session with “the pros” of the club. Lots of questions from students that cleared up numerous questions that I had. We then headed back to “base camp” for lunch and then onto the trails. (I had an opportunity to go out on the blue trail Friday while trail bosses placed directional signs for the actual class on Saturday. So I felt very lucky.)

The class and the instructions we received during the clinic are invaluable. I can’t say enough about the club members’ knowledge & experiences.

And of course I had one of the most fun weekends in my life. Looking forward to trying out all my new knowledge.

Prospective Member Arline Abarr

Safety Clinic May 2011

Safety Clinic May 2011Hollister Hills SVRA Everyone was there (pretty much)

I took Friday off so I could enjoy the sunshine and dirt of Hollister before the clinic. I rolled down to Hollister by around 11am. Darell, Robert, Ashley, Brian, and I went out to finish marking the trails in the early afternoon. I jumped in and out of Brian's jeep all day long with out a glitch. Half way through marking, Brian and I switched. He was kind enough to let me drive his jeep and he jumped in and out hammering the markers into the ground.

Friday afternoon, Myself, Gary, Greg, and Brian went the old O course to play around. I needed to see how my new axles, brakes, and suspension was working to make sure no lines were stretched and that everything would checkout for trail leading on Saturday. We had some fun playing around. We got air under all four tires of Brian's jeep. We got Gary hung up on some logs for a good 20min. And I got to stretch my new axles out and make sure 4 wheel drive worked.

Friday night rolled around and I found myself going to Grillin' & Chillin' with Tom, Andy, and Ellen. We had a great dinner. My sober mind realizes I owe them each 2+ dollars for the balance of my bill. (Sorry, by Friday night my math skills weren't working too well).

Saturday clinic started early. Everyone jumped into action and the well oiled machine was moving full steam ahead by 7:30am. I spent the morning doing Safety Inspections and parked my jeep at the front of the Yellow line.

After the students had been shuttled off to the classroom I decided to prep my jeep for the day. As I aired down my driverside front tire I noticed some bolts seemed like they were backed out of my hub. Well, sure enough the entire hub was loose. Upon some disassembly, it was clear that every single bolt in the hub had sheered in half, nothing was holding the hub on. Thankfully, I had a drill and bits, Tom had easy outs, and we got 4 of the 5 broken bolts out of the hub. I even had some WARN hub studs thanks to Jay from a few months earlier. Tom and I swapped in those studs, bolted the hub back together and I was good to go for trail lead all before the students even came back. Little did I know that fixing my jeep might not be such a good idea.

We had a nice lunch and then headed out to the O Course. I was trail lead for the yellow group, a group that besides myself and mid-gunner was completely comprised of Toyotas. I demoed the Frame Twister to the students and then proceeded to park my jeep. Upon parking my jeep I jumped down to jog back to the Obstacle and watch/ take pictures of the students running through it. Well... I didn't make it. As soon as I jumped out of my jeep I landed on the ridge of one of those dried ruts and my ankle rolled over and make a nice 'pop' Needless to say, I crumpled. First aid was not far away, Michael (one of the students) grabbed ice, and I told him where my first aid kit was with my ace bandage. (Good teaching moment as to why we pack first aid kits). I sat for about 20min icing my ankle then decided the show must go on. I tightened my boot tight and led the group over to the stair step.

I led my yellow group for about 2-3 more hours until we came down to Area 5. At that point, my ankle was throbbing and Robert and Ashley had kindly volunteered to bail me out and take over as trail lead.

A huge thank you to Mike Sickles for the Advil (I owe you a new bottle), Darell for the beer, and Jim for the shot of Jameson. The club really came to my aid and even helped me load up my jeep and truck.

I had a great dinner and chatted with folks a bit more. It then became clear to me (finally) that I wasn't going to be jeeping Sunday now that I hurt my ankle. The Advil and alcohol was wearing off and it occurred to me that sleeping in my bed at home was going to be much better then waking up with a stiff ankle at Hollister the next morning. I quickly gathered my things, and left around 8pm.

Sunday at 11am I got an x-ray and the saw the doc. Nothing appears to be broken. She said it looks like I tore a tendon, but probably no surgery. As of today I am slightly walking on it. It is still hugely swollen, nice black, blue, red, purple, green, blue colors. But I should be fine.

"almost" Lastly, I want to say I am very blessed (lucky) to be part of a such an amazing club, with amazing people. Sitting back and watching clinic "happen" is a sight to see. Everybody gives so much, and everything is down with such care and passion. Despite all of the work going on, people were still willing to help me out when needed. My friend Jarrett who came down for the day to be my co-pilot was blown away by effort, organization, and execution of the clinic. He works with a lot of volunteer organizations and was very impressed by the scope of our clinic.

My apologies for hurting myself and not being able to be a better part of the after clinic ED4 hospitality. I would have loved to talk to more of the students and been a part of their checkout process and personally welcomed them to join our club. That said, I know everyone else in the club was able to do that.

I am very lucky to be president of such a great club, you all make it easy.

Thank you, CJ Arnesen

Safety Clinic / May 2011

Hello all, I am Vidas Mickevicius, prospective member of ED4. I am traveling right now, so that only now I have access to my laptop to prepare this report.

I attended with my son Lukas who is 18 and will go to college this fall. We arrived on Friday at 3pm. After dropping off our stuff and airing down at Area 5 we went on some trails: Truck Hill, Fremontia, and White Rock. Then we went back to Area 5, set our tent and joined people around the fire for potlock dinner. It was real fun to meet so many 4wheelers in one place sharing their stories and talking about their rigs. To my surprise, I found so many wine enthusiasts at that dinner - thanks for sharing some really good wines!

I took ED4 Safety Clinic in 2002 and did not intend to take it again. But I learned that my duties (as prospective member) in this Clinic are just to help cleanup after the dinner on Saturday, so that I had full day of Saturday to do something. I talked to my son and we decided that he would take the Clinic. I checked with CJ and he said that registration would start at 8am on Saturday, and that walk-ins were welcome. So I registered my son Lukas for the Clinic. Lukas had experience in driving our TJ with manual in the city and some light offroad, but most of his 4x4 experience was "theoretical" - wheeling on the passenger seat and spoting for me. This Clinic was a real good practical experience for Lukas. Also theoretical part in and around the classroom was very useful and fun - instructors did perfect job keeping us all engaged! All trail guides were very knowledgeable and nice people - and I want to thank them all again. Our group had predominantly Jeeps with manuals! I rode along with my son but allowed him to make decisions on his own. He did well, I think. On staircase he wanted to use lockers and crawl slowly. I convinced him that this was his time of learning how to drive without lockers and become a good Jeep driver. Lukas learned what means the right momentum and spin control while crawling slipery stairs. His first attempt failed but second was perfect. After Saturday dinner and cleanup we left because my son had things to do at home on Sunday. Else we would have stayed another night.

We both had very good time. The trails were fun and not dusty as usual for this time of the year (effect of California cooling - I guess ;-) and weather was perfect. Our only concern was poison oak. Lukas had a bad case of poison oak just prior to this Clinic and he was still on medications. We took extreme precautions not to touch Jeep and wash our hands and faces whenever possible. It helped.

Overall this Clinic was very good. Organization was perfect. I can imagine that distributing 40+ rigs on trails is logistical nightmare, but everything worked like swiss watch. I was very happy that there were so many young people in this Clinic. It is important for our hobby (or passion) to have young people to get involved and help to promote a positive image of 4wheeling. Once again, thanks to all organizers!

See you soon, Vidas

Hollister Hills Roadside Clean up - April 2011

Thank you to everyone who stepped up to join us for the roadside clean up at Hollister Hills this weekend. It was a glorious weekend and we had a strong turn out.

The HHORA meeting went until just before noon and when it let out, the ED4 crew had gathered. There was a slight mix-up with the park staff in that they had apparently just cleaned the roadside the day before. So we reduced the number of road side crew and send ten of the 16 folks into the upper ranch to do some trail clean-up. Josh, Greg, Mike, Tom, Ole and myself attacked the road. Even with them just having cleaned the roadside we still collected 5-6 bags of trash.

BTW, in my estimation the number one item picked up was beer cans/bottles with the second category of fast food wrappers.

After 2 hours we met up back at the HHORA training building and piled up our junk. Great photo opp for the crew. We had bags of garbage, tires, signs and other crap. We ended the day with a legislative update from Jeff on Clear Creek and the offroad trust fund situation.

I appreciate that ED4 stepped up to help out with this clean up. It was great to see such an out pouring of support both from new members and old timers. Multiple drivers shouted out their thanks as they drove past. With all of the battles around offroad access it is important that the offroad community put their best foot forward. Opportunities like this clean-up day help keep us in good standing with the local community.

Thank you to everyone who came out.


David Grubman, Trail Boss Brian McMinn Rick Montez Greg Quintana Joshua Farnsworth Daryl Nelson Micheal Sickels Brian Ryder Connie Wison Tom Vella Ellen Layendecker John Ruiz Michael Cline Loro Paterson Richard Beard Howard Knutson Ole Stortroen Jason Green Jim O’Leary

Mini-trip report for Hollister Hills trip

Mini trip report. I loaded up the trailer last night and headed down to the park this morning for the HHORA meeting and to connect up with Andy.  After I loaded up the trailer I noticed that for some reason one of the trailer tires was rubbing in the fender. So I removed the fender.

Meeting was exceptionally boring and lasted over two hours. By the time I made it into the park, I was not able to find Andy. I tooled around for a couple of hours and packed it up to go home. I LOVE the new setup. It is nice to have a front locker. Park was crowded.

On the way home I got pulled over for speeding. ... then he saw no plates on the trailer...

The officer intended to impound the trailer with the Jeep on it. After I unhooked the trailer and pulled all my tools out of the back of the Jeep the officer realized that they could not put the trailer and the Jeep on a police wrecker and he just gave me the stations and let me take the trailer/Jeep home.

My wife is working on getting plates for the trailer and I picked a nice spot on the trailer for my new cow bell.

Safety Clinic

Trip Report May 13, 14 and 15, 2010 (Safety Clinic and camping with the group) After work on Friday May 13, I traveled to the Area 5 campground in Hollister with my Jeep Liberty. I was all excited and ready for a fun day of being in the countryside, but when I got there, I noticed my left rear tire was lower pressure than it was when I left. It was actually 10 PSI down per the inside tire pressure display!

Upon inspection, I found a nail, cleverly enjoying it's stay in the sidewall of my tire. Since this did not bode well for a 4 wheel drive trip with the tires aired down, it was time to yank out the High Lift jack and jack up the Jeep to change the tire. I chose to first setup my tent and my rollup table.

That first night was fairly quiet and somewhat warm. I got up at 7:00 AM excited and ready to go but it seemed like nearly everyone else was still asleep. The mist/fog in the air was actually quite pretty and made for a nice relaxing morning. After an exciting breakfast of pop tarts, I drove down to register and be inspected. Cj was our trail lead.

After an exciting morning reinforcing most of my previous back country, experience behaviors and strategys in the class room, we returned back to the area 5 ready to move out. We had lunch and then air'd down. It was funny listening to everybody discussing the best way to air down. Seems like there are many different ways and likewise many different opinions and tools. Then we moved out, not to an exciting and challenging obstacle. No we moved around near my tent where "rocks" and very flat "trees" were setup. The purpose was to learn positioning of the Jeep wheels on top of rocks. Apparently the other intent was to MISS the tree but pull up near it. To my surprise I did manage to do that. In some ways I felt sorry for those that didn't do this first but on the other hand it was kind of a let down. The importance of knowing where your bumpers are and where your tires go when turning is of utmost importance but it isn't exactly the most fun!

Next we did the hill climb, which is driving up a hill and apparently changing our mind in mid climb. The result is you stop on the hill, sometimes you turn off the engine. With an automatic, this playing around on the hill was cake. It will be exciting, challenging when I have my other Jeep running with its manual transmission.

There were really 2 highlights of the day. I am not sure exactly which one was my favorite. There were different levels of difficulty in each obstacle. One was the ravine or trench that required you to carefully drive through it, paying very close attention to your guides. What FUN! They were pulling some vehicles out early, if you were not sure that you would make it. Since I was arrogant and I was having way too much fun, i chose to drive the whole way. It ended way too quickly and suddenly I was through. I really wanted to do it again but I couldn't. (Heavy sigh) The secret here is an even consistent foot and a driver that is paying careful attention to only one guide.

The other fun one was the stairstep. It is a good obstacle and a real challenge but here you needed more throttle but you still wanted to be consistent. It seemed so natural to back off the throttle when you were on a step and preparing for the next step. Hearing the tires squeal when you are in a big 4 wheel drive is amusing, if nothing else, since it is not exactly a race car. When I first looked at the height and the number of steps, I was thinking, "Nope. Not going to make this! This darn Jeep Liberty is way too big and heavy, not to mention under-powered with only a 6 cylinder gas engine." But being arrogant and since I was having way too much fun, I tried it anyway. I followed the guide, trying not to run him over too much. Oddly enough before I knew it I was on the top but then I was faced with the real challenge - making that sharp right turn to go back down.

Since I used to always go alone, as we were just wondering around the trails, I realized that one advantage that I always had was not having to wait for others at intersections when the group gets separated. Apparently you can teach this old dog new tricks because I got reasonably good at this after a while.

As I returned back to camp I realized something was wrong with the Liberty. When I put it back into 2 wheel drive, the part time 4 wheel drive light was still on. I had CJ watch me as I accelerated hard to see if 4 wheel drive was really on or just a sensor not right. Not in 4 wheel drive, so safe to drive home. I aired my tires back up at the ranger station. I did not know about checking out. Oops!

Then we had a great barbecue and a lot of good conversation. Later in the evening some of us wandered back and forth between 2 different fires in our camp area. We listened to some music, chatted, enjoyed some adult beverages and relaxed. Perfect end of the perfect day in the countryside.

Sunday morning rolled around and I had to go back to the real world to do some household chores that I had put off. So, I broke up my camp and away I went!

Thanks for a great weekend and a fantastic Saftey Clinic! Michael Sickels

Safety Clinic

Trip Report: Lloyd Ohelo, For my first club event it took me about three days prep, to gather equipment around the house that I might need, an to mount my high jack. left on friday about 12 noon an arrived at area 5 about 2pm, found a cool spot an settled in. As I was getting ready to unload a jeep pulled up and I introduced myself to Ralph an we talked for about an hour discussing the clinic. He drove in from North Bay for his first event, so we had something in common.

John pulled in sometime about 6 something, an we talked about Saturday's events. Then a Bulldog pulled up an introduced herself " Soffie " and Mike at the end of a leash followed by a motorized "Kooler" speeding up to a screaching halt, ( guess what the thing has brakes ), guess who was sitting on it! Anyway to make a long story short I got my "first wine tasting invite", You can bring a bottle of wine they said, or bring 5 dollars "Bar is open". So I guess I owe somebody 5 dollars.

We gathered around the fire, Met Rich the fire god!, Wife Kathy or Cathy, an Cathy or Kathy and Darell an a few other people all tasting the wine so I followed suit. Bedtime was around 10pm.

Wakeup time was 7:30 am for me. Had a great time last night, sure wish I could have slept in but I was ready for vehicle inspection at 8:15am, inspector gave me 20 lbs on all four an Mike shuttled me off to class. In class I learned about the latest in 4wd safety rules, etc.

After class they shuttled us back to camp an we formed 4 groups of about 5-6 vehicles with colored flags, I drew "blue" an Ellen was our leader on the field, She proved to be an excellent leader and teacher too! lots of patients! I enjoyed the day, my favorite's were the staircase and the revine where the last course I got my Ist Boo-Boo, a bent tailpipe fiberglass flare. We were the last group to come in at about 6pm.

Boy was I hungry, the chefs made us an excellent dinner, meat, beans, bread etc!, cake an ice cream, we settled down to some vidio's and saw everyone participating, after that it was back to the fire an wine tasting.

After goodbuys for some on Saturday night after dinner, and Sunday, I left camp around 10am, stopped for lunch in Scotts Valley and got home at exactley 12 noon. Tahnks for a great time edfour. See you all soon!


Safety Clinic

-Trip Report below:

-Photos to follow in a day or two.

-October 16-18th Deer Valley Trip info email to follow in a day or two as well (I have not forgotten, just been working on some details)

Can see trip report here: http://www.cjarnesen.com/ed4/Safety_Clinic_Fall_09.html I added a GPS route of my day at the clinic to the trip report website, it should be downloadable to almost any format. Enjoy!


What a great clinic.

Clinic started on Friday night for me. I spent a few hours getting my Jeep packed and on the trailer, and getting things setup for an early morning departure. My buddy Jono helped me load things up. I woke up Saturday at 5am and was on the road by 545am.

Jono and I pulled into Area 5 about 7:20. and started unloading the jeep and getting ready for the day. Around 7:30 or so I took over my first job, vehicle inspections.

I had a wonderful time checking people in. My most memorable inspection was my first, it was a married couple with an old, '64 CJ5. Long story short, the jeep had been her father's, but he sold it in 2000. He passed away this march, and she tracked down the jeep and bought it back, as a lot of her chilhood memories involved the jeep. This safety clinic was its mainden voyage offroad. I heard it had some trouble with the clutch in the ravine, pretty common problem due to frame flex on those old jeeps.

The rest of the clinic went well. My only trouble was my bumpstops ripping off in the ravine. This problem was temporarily resolved with a spare set I had that somewhat helped (they were only half as long as the ones that were ripped off). With the help of Chris, and Sherry I got my spare bumpstops installed to finish out the day. I've since gone about attempting to resolve this issue. I bought new, stiffer, Bilstein shocks, to help deal with the super soft springs that I have. I bought replacement 4.5" long bumpstops, different material, hopefully will be less prone to tearing, as well as a bit stiffer. I also bought Daystar's EVS foam shock bumpstops that install on to the shock shaft. Lastly I puchased small button bumpstops to install on my shackles to prevent them from completely folding up to hit the frame. They were folding all the way up to the frame bottoming out my springs and jamming things up. So I hope this four fold effort to combat my soft springs will solve my issues, yet still give me a smooth ride, and all my flex. Time will tell, and I'm sure Pismo will quickly show me any leftover issues I may have.

So all in all as trail lead for the yellow group I managed to not get lost despite my many attempts. I think having Jono as my copiot, GPS and Topo software probably helped a bit, oh and Darrel's awesome map.

I had a relaxing evening hanging out telling stories, enjoyed a nice dinner, and a fun slideshow. I want to thank Ira for doing the slideshow, and Jono for taking photos to help out. There was no way I was going to get many good photos while driving.

I decided to pack up camp around 9:15 Saturday night and drive back home. Jono and I had an uneventful drive home. I unloaded the Jeep on Sunday and put everything away. My third timing towing the jeep went very well. I'm very happy to be a part of an awesome group of people that do awesome things. I appreciate as always, all the wonderful knowledge and wisdom that is shared on these outings, and can't wait for the next one.


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.


Safety Clinic

I arrived at Hollister roughly around 7:45 in the am, and while having the top and doors off my jeep was a good idea the day before when it was hot, it was not a good idea at 7am on the freeway at 70mph, at 60 degrees. Yeah it was cold on the way there but luckily after an hour or so after arriving, it warmed up and turned out to be a nice day. I helped shuttling students to and from area 5 to the school house and all of them were very excited. After getting started I headed over to the off-camber/backdown/restart area and directed the students around the trail. All of the students had a big smile on their face when coming up, though I wish I had my camera on me to take some photos of them coming up the hill. It was nice that the groups were well spaced apart, and Brian and John did a great job at getting the students comfortable being off camber. the dinner was great! And thanks to Ollie and everyone else for preparing a great dinner. All in all, it was a great way to spend a Saturday on the trail even though I didn't drive.

Hollister Hills

Hello All,Irene and I arrived in Hollister around 330p on Friday to area 5. I was surprised at how many people were there. we found a campsite, unloaded, set up and then went into town to a Mexican restaurant to enjoy the early evening. Upon returning to area 5, we grabbed our chairs and gathered around the fire. What a beautiful night it was. Stars out like crazy, weather perfect and friends (a little alcohol helped, also!). Saturday morning came up fast and students were arriving early. I was part of the greeting/inspection crew and enjoyed that. Everyone got all the students in there correct groups and the students were off to the schoolhouse for their first lessons of the day. after the schoolhouse, we had lunch and then I was headed to the ravine area with Kelly, Ira and Coby (I think). The students did very well and it was fun to see the expressions on their faces when they made it through. Amazing how much they learned from the lower part to the end of the ravine area. After all the on course training, we got to enjoy a tasty supper of new poatatoes, tri-tip, french bread, beans and salad. After the excellent supper, we got to enjoy a slide show of many of the great photos Ira had taken throughout the event. Thank you ED4 for all you do for the 4 wheeling community to make it better, more enjoyable, safer, and whatnot. Thanks to all the hard working members for all they do at the clinic and everything in between that's not seen. Mike, you deserve a pat on the back (actually, way more than that) for all the organizing and logistics for a successful event. I finally got another overnight trip in and hopefully, become an official member (again!, LOL) next month. looking forward to many more acventures with all of you. Ron

Hollister Hills

Another great outing. No such thing as a bad dayof 'wheeling. Along were Ellen, Brian Ryder, Jim H., Jim O. and Monica, my dad Wayne and me. The day started out with play at the old O course the new O course and the ravine for a warm up. Jim H. made his usual bid for the cowbell at the ravine (we should just give him a lifetime cowbell award). All it took was a small tug from Brian R. to get Jim out.

We got serious about trails from there and took Fremantia and White Rock to the top of Hector Heights. Everyone did great on the steep climb up loose rocks on White Rock.

We set up camp for a real redneck picknick at the lookout. Rolled right into the middle of the other day users already there and pitched a tarp for shade. Home sweet home.

We needed at least one more trial after lunch before calling it a day. I was able to talk everone into tackling the Jungle Trail. The drive up the trail went well without any zealouts trying to take out the walls or trees along the way. Jim and Monica made a beeline for the Sycamore camp to wash off the poison oak that attacked them through their open doors.

We wrapped up the day and said our fairwells with some of the group headed to one of the local wineries for a follow on. Just wanted to say thanks to a great group of 'wheelers who came out to enjoy the day.

Brian McMinn.

Clinic Pre-run

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.



Clinic Pre-run

I will ad some to Darrell's trip report. CJ, Cody and myself and Irene stayed at Hollister after the others headed home. We wanted to do some more wheelin and see how the trails were. We hit a few that were muddy, then some that were perfect. The traction was amazing just after the rain stopped. I tried Truck Hill early in the day, but didn't make it. Later in the day, I saw that some had done it and tried it again. The traction there was excellent and to the the top we went. Somewhere on one of the trails, I lost Cody and CJ. Irene and I headed up to the Lookout, as that's what we had decided to all do. When we got up there, CJ and Cody weren't there, so I lost them by mistake. Sorry guys. I did promote the clinic to a few of the NorCal JK forum members. There were about 15 JK's up there at the time.

We decided to head back down and got to the entrance and CJ was airing up. We talked about how we got separated and everything was good. We had a few laughs and headed our separate ways. As Irene and I headed out through Hollister, I stopped at the car wash to get the mud off the Jeep. I feel sorry for the next guy that had to use that car wash stall, LOL. All in all, a fun day. Thanks darrell for setting this up, Ron & Irene

Clinic Pre-run

Hi all We had our 6 member, Tom V., Jim O., Jason G., Mike C., CJ., and myself. We were also joined by guests, Kelly and son Carter, Cody, Chris and prospective, Ron and Arlene.

We did kind of come to one quick and clear decision. If it has rainded either the day before or during the night, we are not going on any other trails other than Foothill, West trail, Haul Road, Lupine Loop, and Rabbit Road. Trying to negotiate the other trails was almost an impossiblilty. Any trail that had an incline of about 10-15 degre redered your rig motionless going up hill and somewhat uncontrollable going down.

On the trails that we could go on, we all had a fun time. I hope of you had as much fun cleaning your rigs when you got home.

We did get to see quite a treat, around 60-70 VW Syncros were out and about for their annaul Hollister weekend, This is quite a site.

More about this at the general meeting on the 12th


Clinic Pre-run

I arrived at the obstacle course at around 8:45 and met up with ED4 member CJ. He was in the process of preparing his rig for some mud wheeling. I knew it was going to be slick when I slid into my parking space. Anyhow, after reintroducing myself to CJ and meeting his friend Patrick, I went about getting my jeep ready for the day. While this was going on my friend Coby arrived with his Rubicon, Ron and Arlene and Darrell arrived. We had nice lively conversations while we waited for the rest of the members to arrive. Jason Green, Jim O’Leary and Tom arrived and we were ready to wheel. It was slippery, but a whole lot of fun. We had a few minor hill climbs and one real steep descent that is probably not a big deal when it is dry, but put some mud into the mix and it gets a lot more interesting. The park was pretty quiet early on, it seemed like we had the place to ourselves. It seems that most of the people already there were content with doing donuts in the old obstacle course area. It was a mud bog. We played at the ravine for awhile and even that was a new challenge for me with the mud making things quite slick. I really enjoyed the new obstacle course as we all spent a bit of time there playing. I just could not get over that last log obstacle, even with Jim trying to spot for me. Oh well, I will conquer it eventually!

All in all it was a really fun day. I headed home around 1:30 or so knowing that I would have to spend a lot of time cleaning the mud off the jeep.

Clinic Pre-run

Hey everyone, I just finished my trip report complete with a few photos. you can take a look at http://cjarnesen.com/ed4/Hollister_5_2_2009.html

I also have a link to a photo album with high res versions of all the photos I took. (I haven't corrected or cropped anything, sorry) You can go to the album, and click the thumbnail for the photo you want to see, then after its big there is a small blue icon in the lower right corner below the photo, that is a link to the full res 8megapixel image.

photo album link here: http://www.cjarnesen.com/photos/ED4_Hollister_5_2_2009/index.html



Superbowl 4x4

It started out as something else for me... An employee from a partnering company had expressed interest in seeing what wheeling was like.  And before the ED4 emails came out about the Super Bowl Trip, I had agreed to take her to Hollister Hills and meet up with a group she found on the web. 

I picked my passenger up in Mt. View at 7:00am to drive down. It was extremely foggy at that hour and the going was slow. We managed to meet at the supposed prearranged location [Hllister Burger King] only to find 2 vehicles there. The 3rd was somewhere between 280 & Hollister because of meeting place miscommunications. 

During the ride down I had been telling my passenger about ED4 and what a wonderful group it is. How I always feel safe, learn something new and have a great time whatever the event.  I mentioned that if at any time during the outing with her group if I felt like I was in an unsafe situation, I reserved the right to leave. 

We gassed up and headed to HH. Checked in at the Ranger Station and then drove up the road to the gate. I hoped out to lock my hubs and the next thing I know the others had disappeared. I don't know my way around the trails but I did have a map. So we took our time meandering around, talked to some campers on the trail and found our way to the old obstacle course. 

I'm seeing a few red flags so far:  Meeting place miscommunications, no walkie-talkies, no CBs, not watching the rearview mirror for the person behind you in the group traveling from point A to point B. 

I aired down and we wondered over to the obstacle course to see what they were up to. Hmmmm... interesting. 

After the obstacle course they decided to go "run the trails".  Ummm... without a decent map. I was the only person who had brought an official HH map that contained trail names and ratings. One of them had a map printed from the web minus names/ratings. 

I didn't want to get stuck on a black diamond trail with them. At this point I made the decision to jump ship and join the ED4 outing. I invited the others to join me but they declined.  I gave their leader my map and wished them a safe day. 

ED4 Super Bowl Trip: Let the fun begin! I saw Mike/JK when I first got to the area earlier. Now he was joined by Jim & Monica/CJ7, Ellen/YJ, Mike/TJ, Chuck & Linda(?)/Cherokee, Denny/pickup, silver JK & black YJ. Sorry if I missed someone. 

Wagons-Ho to the new obstacle course. The first area made the vehicles look like a roller coaster. I did some of the obstacles that I didn't the last time I went there with ED4. Jim took a line over the felled trees that was close to the root section. Wow! It was an amazing site to see everyone moving smoothly through the various obstacles. It was fluid! My passenger was impressed with it all and having a good time. 

On to the ravine. I like the ravine but still need a spotter. Thanks again Mike/TJ!  And for the cool pictures too! 

Next was the rock quarry. I haven't done all the hills there, but I did try a few new ones. 8-)  As we were leaving, Mike/JK had a start issue. True to ED4 form, members descended like ants ready to discuss/consult/remedy the issue. Eureka! Once started we headed back to the old obstacle area for lunch, snacks and recap stories of the mornings events. Mike/JK departed as we were mounting up for the next excursion. 

Back into the vehicles for a trail run. Ellen led us along a creek. It was a little oozy in areas and after a while we neared a hill. The wet clay was hungry for any non-lockered street-tired vehicles. Ellen was the first up the hill and radioed back that lockers were definitely needed. A few more locked vehicles went up. I stayed back [no lockers] as a black YJ in front of the pickup attempted to conquer the clay monster sans lockers. Once again the skills & efforts of the ED4 gang made sure the vehicle in need was helped. 

Thanks Jim/CJ7 for organizing the run!  My wheeling would have been cut very short and the day not as eventful had you not planned something and been down there at the same time. 

Thanks to the ED4 gang for the camaraderie, shared knowledge and safe assemblages! 


Superbowl 4x4

Thanks to all. Saturday was a fun run for me, mostly because how laid back the group was, no real plan, no real hurry , just a group off wheelers playing around and having fun. Thanks to Connie her friend Barb,Gary,Denis, Ed,Kelly, Kathy and boys,Mike C, Chuck and Linda,Denny,Mike P and Monica. We had 10 rigs in total for the day, out exercising gathering new skills for the season ahead of us. Thanks again to all. Hey! Who paid for the photographer? WOW! Thanks Mike.