Welcome to OCC's Website
- Written by Bryan Folts
2017-03-18&19 Trail Report: Off-Camber Crawlers Colossal Canines Members Only Run
Chip Woods, 04 TJ
Ryan Connor & family, Buggy
Jeff Eppolite, Beta TJ
Mike Anderson, 00 Wrangler
Bryan Folts, 87 Wrangler (trail leader both days)
Joe Edwards & Shannon, 14 JK
Paul Neubert, 93 Explorer
Edward Salas, 05 TJ
DK Stewart, the wet chef
Arrival at The Cove Campgrounds and finding the campsite and tables covered in a bit of snow.
Joe and Shannon, Jeff, and I set up tents while Ed and Chip shared a cabin. After eating and keeping warm during a light rain under the First-Up tarp with the big Heater Buddy (thanks Alan!), Chip started a fire. While sitting around the campfire that evening it lightly sleeted/snowed/rained off and on. That night was cold, windy, and rainy, but everyone got some sleep.
We got off to a late start Saturday morning. It took a while for everyone to arrive and prepare their vehicles. At 10 AM we all lined up and headed towards the trails. The plan was to head down Wahoo and Trickle first. Wahoo was mostly uneventful except for a slight tug given to Joe near the end of the trail. While headed down Middle Road towards Trickle we changed plans.
- Written by Alan Staiman
Report written by Alan Staiman
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.
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 & Teah puppy - 2014 Rubicon X
Jeff B - 20?/Toyota Pickup
Steven B - 20?? Toyota Pickup
Robert M. - 2015 JKU Built up with lots of shiny bits.
- Written by Alan Staiman
Report written by Alan Staimen - event date Apr 22, 2017:
Bald Knob / Big Levels trails
The plan for the day was to run 3 groups. One with the Rangers to put up new signage and replace one that had been knocked down.
A second group would run the (partially paved) Coal road and clean up trash along it. DJ and his wife went with this group.
The third group would start at the top of Big Levels (FR 162) and clean up trash progressing down the trail.
My team started on trash cleanup at the top. We had 6 vehicles and our lead driver who works for Overland Experts (OHV training) provided us with some long range radios for good communications.
The weather alternated between, heavy rain and light rain with heavy fog.
We let the Forest ranger team pass by us then we started our cleanups.
My team would spread out every 1/2 mile or so and each of use would get out and do 1/4 mile trash cleanup in each direction.
Most of what we found were beer cans and bottles. The trail had looked pretty clean back on New Years day and it was still in good shape today.
My group got about 1/2 way down the trail when I met up with a Jeep Patriot driver. I pulled off the trail and made space for him to let another group pass us. He had just bought the Jeep and was out to see what the trail was like. I gave him some trail info and a VA4WDA brocure and sent him on his way.
Several vehicles gatherd at the large camp area for a lunch stop. We heard some air leak sounds form one jeep. We found a slow leak had gotten a bit faster around a nail.. but nothing too bad. He later plugged the tire back at camp. The last bit of the ride was in pretty heavy rain. We passed the group coming up so most of the cleanup was already done.
I had a pretty full bag of beer cans. We came to the challenge section of the trail. The lead jeep and the other with the tire leak bypassed and I lead one other jeep on this trail. Nice, bumpy, some rocks and very slippery drops but no issues and in a short time we were back on the Coal road.
Back at camp we filled up 2 dumpsters full of trash.
VA4WDA provided dinner and we had a big fire in the Picnic shelter fireplace.
Due to continuing rain most of the groups headed home that night. The cleanup may have been cold and really wet but it was still fun and we did good work in the forest.
Alan Staiman & Teah 2014 JKR
Doyle K, Stewart JKU
Natalie Stewart JKU
Brad Boyd (VA4WDA) TJ
Jesse Sheneirla Old beat up TJ
Sandy S. Dodge Pickup.
+ many others
Database: VA4WDA Earth Day Trail Cleanup April 22-23 2017
Groups in attendance:
Blue Ridge 4 wheelers
- Written by Alan Staiman
Report Written by Alan Staiman
VA4WDA Members Only Run at Gore:
So a quick wrap up on my 4-wheeling weekend. Friday started off nasty and rainy so I just went to work and decided to leave Saturday morning.
Got to The cove, got the Jeep out of the trailer and got signed up just in time for a driver meeting. I joined a group of 3 other Jeep CJs (2 Cj7 and 1 CJ8)!!. We led a 9 rig ride to V trail..and got stopped due to another group already being there with a broken down vehicle. I then led us over to a connector that let us onto some good trails called Six A and Horseshoe. We came down after a lot of good rock crawling and decided to take a break for lunch.
It had been raining all morning and I got tired of the rain falling on on me over the side of the top. So I cut up some cardboard and installed rain gutters on the Jeep. So of course it didn't rain the rest of the day.
We met up again and headed out to try and do a connector Trail across Death Valley and make it up to Upper Road. The plan was to then go upper road to Castle from Castle to Trickle.. Up Trickle then Up Wahoo and that should have been a good day. So of course reality started to intervene. The trail turned out to be a little bit harder than we expected and we broke the drive shaft in the Cherokee. We got him turned around three of the CJs went on and I said I will meet you with the rest of the group. After we got the Cherokee down. well we ran into the Toyota which is broken down on the first Trail. We helped him get his spindle and axle back together so he could drive down to main camp. We left the Cherokee in camp and then the rest of the group started out running down Middle Road getting towards Trickle. At that point we saw the other group early going up Wahoo because well it had been a while. I stopped to take a look at one really deep hole that should have been a nice drive and drive out but now had about 8 feet of water in it. I went to start up my Jeep after that stop and well that was it.. the starter on my CJ7 died. I was able to bump start it and then back it up to a spot on the hill and pulled off to the side. I grab Teah Puppy and hopped into a Ford pickup truck running a nice so Mustang 5.0 V8 and I was going to ride trickle with him. That was not to be as his engine decided it was no longer going to run at all. We tried everything..It had spark, it had fuel pressure, It just was not going to run so we turned him around and started to tow him back out. I bump started my... Jeep knowing that I could not stall it at all for the rest of the uphill run out. I ran in 4 low and second gear to keep the rpms up. I overheated but not too badly and finally got to the main road. We all made down and got to dinner only 30 mins late. I drove the Jeep into the trailer and that was it for my weekend.
We all got to the Bar-B-Q dinner provided by VA4WDA and had a good meal. I decided there was no reason to stay so I headed home.
The weather was not overly nice on Saturday but it did make for more challenging wheeling.
I had a great time, got to see a lot of old friends and best of all go wheeling in a group where the CJ's outnumbered any other model of jeep! (Not since the late 90s had I been on that kind of a trail ride :).
- Written by Ed Clark
- Written by Mike Ball
Report - written by Mike Ball:
This is an event to support the Relay for Life of Nelson. This event raised $25,000 to help end cancer.
The weekend turn out to be a fantastic weekend for wheeling weather wise. The attendees added to in to make for a great weekend out on the trails.
Saturday morning we all met up at the staging area. The group is led by Mike Ball and Andrew Harvin, who have been wheeling together and guiding as a team for over 5 years. We love to wheel and work to keep things fun, challenging and enjoyable for everyone.
The group started to line up early and hit our 20 rig limit with a little over flow very quickly. We have about 50% as OCC members usually, and at least 75% overall that wheel with us every event. Both the Spring Wheeling for Hope and the fall Virginia 4 Wheel Drive annual ride.
The drivers meeting was done by Chris Boucher and Tim Burnett. The usual t-shirts and other stuff was given away. Then we lined up to leave staging.
Our first trail of the day was Chapel Trail. We staged out 1st. We headed to the first obstacle and had a great time playing on the rocks. This is a rock garden that actually changes every time someone goes through it so very rarely is it the same line.
We next went to Bob’s Creek. We had many who took on the lower rock climb but only a few that took on the V-Notch climb. Only a couple who did the v-notch climb had to be winched due to Chris Stewart’s expert spotting.
We did however before we left had to deal with a battery issue in Dave Vickery’s rig. Took us about 20 minutes to figure out what the issue was and a trail fix to get everyone moving again. He wheeled the rest of the day but did not stick around Sunday as he had to drive back to Jersey and did not want to risk further issues. We did arrange to get parts in from Fredericksburg to provide a better fix for his trip home.
Skinny Rock Trail
Z Ditch finished the day. It however was not an easy trail as there was a least a foot of water and lots of mud in the ditch. Everyone made it with a correct line and some skinny peddle. That was the end of our day however as it was past 4:00pm and we wanted everyone back to the campground for the cookout and raffle.
Sunday morning we met up at staging again and after the drivers meeting we headed off to Variety Mills. Everyone crossed the creek and headed for the obstacle. I was pulling tail gunner duty and after crossing the creek found a tree that was dead and leaning a bit too much for my comfort. So the decision was made to take it down while others played on the obstacle. Drew, myself and a couple of others made quick work of that.
After everyone completed their attempts on the obstacle we headed off to Findlay Ridge, now I am not a big fan of the first part of the ridge and we were somewhat pressed for time to get in more trails/obstacles. We decided to take the bail out from Findlay Ridge in reverse up the long hill climb. We proceeded to the next rock garden/uphill climb before heading to Turtle Rock and the long very steep downhill to the Off-Camber loop (we bypassed this one today) as time dictated we needed to get to CJ5 Hill so we could get the folks that needed to leave by 12:00 noon out to the main road. This did not work out as planned as there ended up being a group in front of us that was dealing with a Land Rover that broken an axle and had a wheel come off while doing CJ5 Hill. We decided to break for lunch while we waited. They eventually got the rig out of the way and everyone made it across and up CJ5 Hill.
Once we got to the main road Mike and several others bailed to head home due to other commitments.
Drew continued on with the group and went to??
Drew: The rest of the group, 15 strong at this point ran Quarry Trail, we took roughly half of the group down the hard side of the fingers at the top. The main rocks a little better than half climbed or attempted to climb. We passed on the upper rocks as well as Egg Rock on the way out, due to time. Harvin popped a cap on a u-joint just before the last creek crossing, and broke the joint when he dropped into the creek. Knowing that he would not be able to pull the shafts in the creek (safely or without flooding the axle housing) he made the climb out and up the hill climb on the other side, tearing the ears on the long side both on the inner and outer shafts. We got the shafts pulled at the trail head since it was flatter and we could let the rest of the group go on their way. (Big thanks to Rick, Chris, and Grant for the pit crew help) 4 hours later when Harvin was taking the girls back he lost the motor in the car to a recall that seized the crank. He was lucky enough that it was covered at no charge. The LJ has the stock shafts back in it, waiting on the RCVs/Free Spin kit to arrive. The Kia has its new motor in it.
Andrew Harvin (Trail Guide) + Corinne & Carlyn
Jim Jones + Luke - 2013 JKUR
CJ Johnson + Nick - 2013 JKUR
John H arvin - 2006 LJ
Chris Stewart + Danielle - 2010 JKUR
Grant S + Rachel I & Wyatt F - 2013 JKU
Hinmaton H + Sam T - 2015 JKU
Curtis H + Gary W 2008 JK
Robert H + Johnny F 1998 TJ
Stuart T + Gary - 04 LJ Wrangler
Craig R - 04 LJ
Adam H + Fiono & Gideon - 97 TJ
Eric K - 04 TJ
Rick Vergot - 03 TJ
Carla Vergot - 15 JK
Mitch C - 15 JKU
D.K. Stewart + Natalie, Rachel & Violet - 16 JKUR
Kieran M + Christi B - 2004 LJ
Morton St. H - 2003 TJ
Jim M + Jack - 2005 LJ
Mike Ball - TJ
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