Wheelin' In The Country

July 5, 2003

Wheelin' In The Country Off Road Park hosted a 3 day weekend ride from July 4 through July 6 this year.  Although I am currently without a vehicle, I made plans to borrow my cousin's Jeep for a day of riding (the Jeep is a CJ7 with 258, T176, D300, Scout D44 axles, Detroit lockers, 4.88 gears, a rear Warn full floater kit, 38x12.50 Super Swamper TSL's, a Warn winch, and a full cage).

I was very excited for more than one reason.  It was my first time back on the trails of Tennessee in months, and I was happy to be behind the wheel.  On top of that, this was to be my daughter Grace's first trail ride.  At just over 2 years old, I felt she should be ready for the jarring and bumps you have to take when on the trail.

We arrived at WITC on Saturday morning around 10 to see plenty of campers, Jeeps, cab trucks, rail buggies, bikes, and quads... the place was BUSY!  We parked the tow rigs, and started to unload.  Just to let you know, I was about to trail ride in a Jeep that had been sitting for months, and I had only driven it up on the trailer before.  As you can guess, it took some getting used to.

As we were getting ready to ride - the first potential problem showed up.  All of a sudden Grace refused to get into the Jeep.  Crying and everything - this was not looking good.  My wife and her friend managed to coax her into the Jeep, but she was NOT a happy camper.  This being her first ride, I was not wanting to force her to ride, so there was a possibility we would be heading home.  Fortunately, just a little time in the seat was all she needed - and within minutes was giggling and saying "go, go, go!" as we went up and down the hills...  Whew!

We took our time riding around, with a borrowed Jeep I really had no desire to test it's limits.  We drove around some, taking some of the easier trails and just enjoying the nice overcast morning.

We spent some time at Cherokee Hill, watching several vehicles try - only to be denied.  Breakage was common.  I could not believe how much worse the Hill had gotten since I had tried it back last fall in my 83 Toyota

By 2pm Gracie was worn out, and both my wife and myself were pretty zapped from the heat.  We decided to head back to the trailer and load up - not wanting to push our luck with Gracie's first trip.  I think it worked - she slept the whole drive back to the house, and when we drive to a friend's house later that night for diner in the Jeep - she was more than happy to ride again.

Unfortunately - my digital camera batteries died on me early in the day - but here are few pictures and a video clip I managed to get - enjoy!

witc070503-1.jpg (155039 bytes) witc070503-2.jpg (154675 bytes) witc070503-3.jpg (154351 bytes) witc070503-4.jpg (146602 bytes)

witc070503-1v.mpg (655kb, 29 sec. long) "The Beast" is all over Cherokee Hill... and I mean ALL over it!


This page last modified 07/10/03

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