The Run began was organized because a Caving friend of mine from Richmond got his Toyota Pickup lifted and on new tires and wanted to take it out.

 

Vehicle list:

Alan Staiman 2014 Rubicon X & Teah puppy

Jeff Benford 20?? Toyota Pickup

Steven Biggers 20?? Toyota Pickup

Robert M. 2015 JKU Built up with lots of shiny bits.

 

We met up in Harrisonburg and after a short bit of chatting hit the road.

Steven had wheel with me in the past, Jeff had gone out with Steven, but this was Rob's first trip wheeling.

I handed out several FRS radios so we could all talk and keep track of each other.

The run out 33 to Dunkle hollow went fine.  We started to run  into a lot of traffic once we went down onto the dirt roads.   I had opened the 'Sun Roof' on my JK,, and eas enjoying the sunny warm day.  My brain went on hiatus when we came to the first stream crossing.  I hit it really fast, had water splash up onto my hood and as if in slow motion.. "OH SH*&" I watched it slide up the hood to the windscreen .. and right into the open top of the Jeep!!  Ok i Was soaked, the jeep was wet and Teah was unhappy..

We quickly stopped so I could dry the jeep and also air down.  I explained why we air down to Jeff and Rob and then proceed to get my Quad-Flater out and air all 4 down at once. 

 

We made our way up the road and then turned south to Flagpole Knob.   We met a group of 10 Jeeps from a Virginia Beach club there.  We all chatted and had some lunch  & I put the drone up for some pics as the other group headed out.

We had fun on the rocky downhill & uphill sections (so much so that we all ran them twice).  We then worked our way back north to Meadow Knob and on to Stone House.  We stopped there for some pictures then headed to the mud flats (I bypass mud, they all went in).

 

We finally got to the really nice uphill rock section of the trail.  I drove up it with no issues and immediately turned left to go back up again.  Rob followed me and made short work of the rocks. He then turned right drove up and passed another jeep that had stopped at the top.  (ok see what happened yet?  We didn't)

 

Jeff & Steve went up and I did it a second time.. then pulled up to the top of the hill .. and did not see Rob nor his jeep.  (Uh Oh). So now we were wondering where he was. We tried the radios.. nope.. the cell phone.. nope.. Ok so we headed on and down (there is really no way to make a wrong turn here).  No luck, we did not see him.  We were looking off to the side.. Just in case something bad had happened.  After several turns we stopped and made plans.  I would go on forward, Jeff would go back up and Steve would stay in the middle.   Steve would wait for Jeff and I would go to the bottom and see what I could find. About 20 minutes of speedy bouncy road I got cell phone signal.  I texted Rob and a few minutes later he answered.  I had him stop (he was already on paved roads.   I called Jeff (he was high enough to have cell service and radioed Steve.  Ok crises averted I headed down and met Rob.  Jeff & Steve showed up about a half hour later.   

 

Rob had not seen me turn back down and he figured I had kept going and was ahead of him.  We figured he had gone up and parked and was waiting around the corner.   I take 100% responsibility as I had not explained the rules of off roading. Never let the person behind you get out of sight.  Keep in radio contact if you are unsure.

 

All's well that ends well and we had a beautiful day of wheeling.  We all learned a few things and we all will plan another trip this summer.

 

 

Alan Staiman

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