Safety Clinic

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

Sept 2011 Safety Clinic

Friday, September 16th, 2011:  We arrived on Friday at 9:00AM.  The gate was locked and the code had not yet been changed to 5050.  So I hiked in to see if anyone could open it for us.  After the gate was opened, we unloaded our jeep and tried unsuccessfully to get out of area 5 and into the park because the upper gate still had not been changed either, of course.  So we had to drive to the main gate to request that one of the rangers come and change the codes.  After getting the old code, Robert and I were able to get into the park to pre run the trails to make sure the ravine was behaving this season.  Around 11:15AM we got Ed, Darryl, and Greg to help us set up red trail.  We returned from red trail set up, and had lunch.  After, we got Bob, Jared (Bob’s guest), Rebecca, and Michael (our guests) to help Robert and I set up the blue trail.  When we got back we set up camp and made up the maps for the trail drivers.  By then, it was about time to start cooking dinner.  Around 6 we started getting together for our Friday night potluck.  My sister and her friend realized they had forgotten milk, so they headed into town in their very capable 4x4 Mercedes sedan.  On the way to town their car got a flat tire; and since they were already riding on a spare, they had to get back to camp another way.  Luckily, they were able to hitchhike back to camp because of the kindness of a nice lady in a pickup truck.  We enjoyed a great dinner with an amazing 3 varieties of meatballs, some yummy strawberry shortcake, and Mike’s wonderful cobbler which I vote gets on the dessert menu for next clinic.

Saturday, September 17th, 2011:  Clinic happened, no one died, and nothing blew up.  Dinner was yummy as always.  We were able to get a nice slide show going of the photos taken earlier that day.  We also enjoyed a campfire with several students in attendance.  We finally called it quits at around 2AM when the final 9 of us decided we should probably get to bed.

Sunday, September 18th, 2011:  After “sleeping in” until 8AM thanks to the very boisterous pond fauna and the fact that one has to hike 200 yards to use the restroom, we packed up and took off.  We enjoyed a good breakfast at Jerry’s on the way out of Hollister.

All in all, it seemed to be a very smooth clinic, and Robert and I would like to thank all of those that helped make it so.

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

May Safety Clinic Trip report

I arrived at Camp Area 5 on Friday night and parked next to Tom. V andJim. O.  After Tom and I set up, we met up with CJ and Ellen and we
headed out for a meal over at Grillin' and Chillin'.  I have to say
that it that is a great place to eat.  Good beer and the burgers
rocked.  We headed back and hung out for a bit and turned in.  I slept
in my LJ and I found out that when you're parked at a down hill angle,
your sleeping back tends to slide on the carpet and then one winds up

Next morning started really good, with some coffee and some good eats
and I was pretty surprised how many students were driving in.  After a
while it warmed up and was turning into a really nice/toasty day.  I
made my way down to the Stair Steps and helped out with Brian, Lorrie,
and Greg.  Other than the big hole at the top of the obstacle filled
with water, there were no issues, even CJ made it look easy with a
messed up ankle. It's really cool to see a big smile on the students
face as they make it up.
All in all, good time

Safety Clinic

My wife and I left our house with our 5th wheel around 11:30 and we arrived at our campgrounds around 1. My wife and I was on the way into the campgrounds and just under a tree when we were coming in was a bobcat that sat down and then laid down under that tree as we passed him the bobcat was about 5 to 10 yards away from us so we took his picture them we went on to the campsite and set up. We had our dinner and waited for her nephew Jared Rose to drive up in my Jeep JK. Him and his girlfriend got there about 9 pm. Sometime after we all went to bed. Saturday we got up at 6:30 am so we could eat breakfast and then get ready to get to the clinic. We got to the clinic and found out that they did not get our reservation so we had to fill out the paper work so that we would be able to participate. We were assigned to the yellow group with Jason as the lead and Connie was in the middle and Dennis was the gunner. The first part was the blue trail and we were the ones right behind Jason so when we came up on the different obstacles we were the first one to try. And we did try them all. The one that we really enjoyed was the one where you straddle the ravine and see if you could make it. Jared was driving and we got the front left wheel about 2 feet off the ground and we kept going and got through and after everyone else went trough I decided to drive it again and I think I made it better than my nephew but we think when he went through the guides were trying to decide how to direct us and when I went through they all knew the best way to take me through. Got a few scratches on the fenders and running board but that is nothing as I mentioned to some of the others it a Jeep and that is what I expected to happen.

After the end we went and turned in the radio and also to check out. We were not able to stay for dinner because my wife and Jared’s girlfriend was waiting for us at our campsite. When I got back and started to relax I could not believe how tired I was so I went to bed early that night.

Sunday morning we had breakfast and packed up our 5th wheel and went home.

Jared and I had a great time participating in the Safety Clinic.

Bob Bragg

Safety Clinic

Ashlee & Robert DeeTrip Report Safety Clinic May 14th and May 15th Friday May 14th,

We arrived at the area five camp ground in the Hollister Hills OHV Park around 8PM on Friday night. We parked our jeep and joined the fire circle. Around 10PM we set up our tent and went to bed for the next day.

Saturday May 15th,

We woke up early Saturday morning. We registered for the clinic after eating breakfast. After we got our Jeep inspected for safety, we joined the line for the yellow group. Then we hitched a ride to the classroom with Sherry, and partook in the informative lecture on wheeling. After the class we returned to the campground and ate lunch with the yellow group while getting a brief briefing on the events for the day. Then we aired down our tires before heading out.

Jason Green was our trail lead. We went on a trail first. Afterwards, we returned to camp for the tire placement and hill stations. Then we switched drivers and went on another trail. We stopped at the ravine as part of the red trail, and both of us were able to drive it relatively safely with the help of the spotters (even though I almost ran over Mike). Afterwards we proceeded to the obstacle course and took part in the stair climb hurdle. Then the group split up, half going on to the other obstacle course and half returning to camp. We returned to camp to tear down our tent. We had a great barbeque dinner and even won one of the gift certificates in the raffle. Then we hung out at the fire circle until around 9PM before heading out to go home.

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: 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

Clinic Pre-run

Hey everyone, I just finished my trip report complete with a few photos. you can take a look at

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:



Safety Clinic

When my brother purchased his new jeep (2007 JK Sahara) a few weeks ago, I told him about the Safety Clinic, and that he should go through it. I told him I would go with him and I am glad I did. My dad and brother made the trip down from Pollock Pines on Friday and were raring to go Saturday morning. The trip from San Jose took about an hour and we arrived in Area 5 @ 8:15. After getting registered and aired down, we were shuttled to the classroom a little after 9:00. Kelly and Jason did a great job during the classroom portion of the day. Switching back and forth throughout the course kept things lively and the 2 hours went by quickly while covering a wide variety of 4WD situations.

The demonstration portion was informative also, covering winching, strapping and jacking in various configurations.

After the classroom and demo, we were shuttled back to Area 5 where we took a quick lunch break and then headed to our vehicles for the trail portion of the course. The students were put into 2 different groups, the pirates and the patriots, I was with the patriot group.

Our trail lead was Ellen, mid-gunner was Jim and tail gunner was Tom. Our student vehicles were a Land Cruiser(diesel, f40?), cherokee, JK, and 3 TJ’s. We headed out of Area 5 to the 1st obstacle, “The Ravine”. Jim demonstrated a ravine crossing and Tom demonstrated the ravine run with Jason, Kelly and ?? doing a great job of spotting/guiding. All of the students conquered the obstacle with no problems and the cherokee and Land Cruiser going through twice with double drivers. (Thank you Ira, the pictures look great!)

From there it was off to the obstacle course, on the way over, I was responsible for leading the group off course (slightly) when I couldn’t resist the new water and rock obstacle by the day use area. Fortunately, no one got stuck! At the obstacle course we split into two groups and took turns at the frame twister and stair step. Other than one bent running board and some unwanted mud on Ellen’s jeep all of the vehicles made it through the obstacles. Thanks again to Tom for demonstrating for the group.

After running trails for a while, it was back to Area 5, for backing down a hill, stopping and starting on a hill and the tire placement course.

Then it was time to check out and get ready for dinner. For those of you who stayed, I hope it was a great evening, we had to head back and join the rest of the family so we missed the campfire :(

All in all, a great course and a must do for every 4WD drive owner.

Thanks again Esprit de Four!

Brian Geranen

Safety Clinic

I arrived Friday late afternoon at area five. After I had set up my camper, the folks who had toured the various wineries in the area came back to camp and I joined four members to mark the two trails for the class. Saturday morning I helped to set up the registration site, and made myself useful during registration and vehicle checking. Vehicle checking is a good exercise for newcomers because going along with different members, I learned a lot about the various technical matters. Some examples are:

the right tools for airing down good and bad tow straps where NOT to store equipment

After registration, when the students where in class, I drove up to the demonstration area. Here, I found Jim Hodges attempting to get stuck for the locker demo. He tried various places and, after about half an hour he really got stuck. He tested to get out (with lockers), it worked, and he wanted to go back into the same position. But, whatever he tried, he couldn’t get stuck any more in this spot. So, frustrated he decided to drive to a different location, but he oversaw the sign for the locker demo. He run over it and punctured a charcoal canister that is unfortunately located right under the front bumper on his Chevy. The sign was easily bent back to almost original condition, but the canister spilled charcoal into the landscape. (Doesn’t this have a smell for the cow bell?) Finally, Jim got really stuck, it was about time, because the students were already on the way from the school house.

After the three demos, I went over to the obstacle course and watched at the various places.

In the evening I helped Kathy a little bit when she prepared dinner.

On Sunday, it was pretty much the same for me. Only this time, Jim Hodges couldn’t get stuck at all - whatever he tried. So, Steve Pieraldi took a shot at it and he found the perfect spot right away. However, during the process he transformed his high lift jack into a bent lift jack.

One final note: I had heard some comments about the jet blowers in the bathrooms, I finally found a good use for them. Before driving home I wanted to clean my glasses. Since they are of the plastic variety I did not want to wipe them with a cloth, so, I washed them under the faucet. The jet blower did a perfect job of drying my glasses afterwards.

Safety Clinic

This clinic was a huge success, Linda (wife) did the driving. She did an excellent job as expected. Our daughters had fun too. I enjoyed running around taking pictures. It turned out that it was a good thing that I was on hand to help a new Ford Explorer and Landrover Discovery get through because they had very little ground clearance. The dinner was great. I understand that Amy, Ole, and Jason were responsible for the terrific meal. I hope to be corrected if I left anybody out.

Most of the regulars were there, Jim H., Steve B., Tino?, Chris, Bill F, Dede, Mike G., Amy, Jason, Doug, Darell, Kathy, Ellen, Jay, Joe, Dirk, Phil, John, Sherry, Ole, Jim O. Monica O. and Kelly are the ones I can recall.

On Sunday morning we had a nice little ride to the top of Fremontia and into the Quarry. When we got back the Hummer group gave us lunch. They were very nice. Jim O’Leary gave them a bottle of wine to say thanks.

Safety Clinic

Trip date(s): May 15st to: May 16th Trip Name: 4×4 Safety Clinic

Trip Location: Hollister

Weather Conditions: Sunny and Hot most of the day. Slight wind in the afternoon. On sunday, more of the same, but lotGÇÖs more wind in the end!

Trail Conditions: Dry and sandy. Kind of cold in the morning Saturday but warm in the afternoon. Sunday was hotter, but a little more windy over all.

Who was there with you? LotGÇÖs of people GÇô all great! 


My wife Claudia and I went to Hollister hills working the clinic on Saturday. We did Tire Placement. It was a fun, if not hot time. The students were just great, and the staff was very professional. Claudia had never been to anything like this and really enjoyed this group. She loved the training. Years of informal training made this a real experience for her. And then the afternoon came. 


A rock demo got us started by two great guys and their wild rides. Wow! IT was something. Each bang of the transfer case skid plate or Diff sent chills through the crowd. It was a real treat! The staff was always on hand with helpful and excited input to anyone who was there, and one of the students even pulled out a drum with the phrase, GÇ£I just canGÇÖt take the sound of metal banging anymoreGÇ¥. This brings the phrase to mind, donGÇÖt dry this at home, or anywhere else for that matter, these are trained professionals!


And then came the dinner GÇô wow was that great. Ole and Amy and Jason GÇô what a setup. Not to mention all the others that seemed to be on the trail all day and then have this killer spread ready to go when we all came in! That was just great. After dinner, AND BEFORE THE BEER, and dedicated group asked if my wife and I would like to go on a trail. It would be quick and fun. Kathy got us over the edge and we fired up for the GÇ£Jungle RunGÇ¥.


We exited a trail in to what looked like a simple ravineGǪ3rd in line, and 3 behind when over the radio we hear, GÇ£Lock em upGÇ¥ and if you have a lift, thatGÇÖs better! Claudia asked if that was serious and I told her is was just chatter and you should do that anyway if you want to make it a little better on the trailGǪlittle did I know!!!!!!!


Our little trip in to the jungle was a jeep wide deer trail! This was a scenic tour of a spacious ravine and sheer little walls to climb. And then it got interesting. I tried to scoot right of a tree and slipped the angle. Jason, my wifeGÇÖs new hero jumped right out when I GÇ£calmlyGÇ¥ asked for help and he just told me what to do and I drive right onto a good line. It was after that we started to have some real fun! 


In this section we found out some interesting things about a Jeep Rubicon. One is that it can go places that I would not think of. Two, it can jump on two wheels, pick them, and still go go go! Three, that if you do it right, you can get pick a line, then do a valley, pin apposing wheels and get the front so far up in the air you think it will slid back. Now, when you are just there and you can only see sky, gently GÇô very gently GÇô gas it so the front lowers ever so slowly. You can then pivot over the front until you can see the next valley. Now, that does not mean you should put it down on the line, you can throttle off and let it tilt back until you are sure you want to move and then you throttle up and go all the way over until you sure the from approach angle is clear and power up until you get the next level balance.


Darrell showed us how a Bronco can get stuck and almost tip but still hold it balance. A calm Kathy and he sat by while the expert, Michael, Keith, Ira, and a host of other got him unstuck. That is while tow of us held the handle of his open drivers door down in outrigger fashion!


At this point my wife kindly offered to get my lift, long arm, or anything else I wanted! IT was a great run! 


She is hooked and will be doing the clinic next time! She is looking at parts as I type!


Now GÇô for the cow bellGǪ. All of us who followed on the Jungle run!

Safety Clinic

 I arrived a little after 7am on Saturday. It was a little chilly but warmed up to the mid 70s, I don’t think it could be much better. A little less dust would have been nice. Lots of members were there including: Steve Bartoloei, Tino Campos, Bill Farley, Joe Farley, Dede George, Mike George, Amy Granat, Jason Green, Jim Hodges, Darell Kroeker, Kathy Kroeker, Ellen Layendecker, Dirk Martin, Mike Phorn, John Skier, Jon Skier, Sherry Stortroen, Ole Stortroen, Ira Weiny, Lorrie Weiny, Jim O’Leary, Monica O’Leary and others I can’t remember right now.

The instruction was excellent the trails were not challenging but were fun. Getting to ride in Toby’s Rock Crawler was great. The dinner was very good too. I wanted to stay Sunday but also wanted to see my daughter play Basketball (her team won), so I left just after the Penzgouers (however you spell it) arrived.

Thanks For The Good Time