5 Madhatters and 4 guests made camp at Utica reservoir. The camp grounds have changed a bit but we had plenty of camping space and were lucky enough to find ample parking for vehicles and trailers.
The weather was a bit cooler than normal for this time of year; pleasant enough, just a bit on the cool side.
On Friday evening after all had arrived and settled their campsites, we all sat around our camp fire overlooking the lake and reminisced about old T.V. programs. Of particular interest was the fact that the younger attendees have never had the pleasure of watching some of those great shows that filled our childhood years. Gunsmoke, Bananza, Dragnet, F-Troop, Hogan’s Heroes had real entertainment quality as opposed to the current fair of “Reality Programming.” Each to their own!
Saturday morning after a restful nights sleep and a hearty breakfast we set out on the trail. Slick Rock trail is a very scenic and fairly easy trail with a few exceptions. It is a great trail to run and practice your technique while not becoming overly stressed – well there are those two exceptions. The first is the gate keeper. It looks worse than it really is. If this is not your usual fare, pay close attention to your spotters. With spotting help from other team members, everyone in the group made it through with hardly a large bang.
Once we were all through, it was a nice and easy ride until we get to our next exception – the slick rock slab. Cortney has become quite the driver and was telling us all how easily she was going to make this climb look. Some go to the left some the middle and some try right. Safety is of prime concern in this sport, don’t be afraid to ask for a spotter. I was the first to head up and chose left in climbing slick rock.
When it was Courtney’s turn to head up, she made it look easy.
After we stopped on the slabs for a lunch break, Scout took the lead. About 10 minutes later we heard a loud “POP”. When I walked up to Scout’s vehicle, this is the sight I was greeted with.
No doubt that evil forces had sent this wooden-ninja rig assassin after Scout. Luckily for Scout and unfortunaletly for the wooden assassin, Scout’s super senses alerted him to the present danger and he stopped in his tracks minimizing rig damage. While no direct measurements of the offending log were taken at the time of the incident, those that witnessed this carnage had lengths of the log from 3FT to 12FT!
Upon further inspection it was revealed that the offending wood had broken his shock and dislodged his rear spring from its perch. A little high lift jack help get it out, remove the broken shock and re-seat the spring, we were on our way.
Fortunately, Scout runs airbags in his springs, they were not harmed in this incident and proved helpful in getting him home safely. Breaking something is always a painful occurrence but those of us that do this regularly look forward to having an excuse to buy new parts for our rigs. It is truly a labor of love.
We all made it back to camp for a cold beverage and a well deserved rest. A few of us tried our luck at fishing Utica ( which they don’t stock ) without success.
As evening progressed, each went to their respective camps to make dinner. Dustin, our newest Madhatter family member was caught eating Lucky Charms and hence forth shall have the CB handle of “Lucky Charm”.
***** NOTE – Dustin, you are going to have some one-on-one training with El’ Presidente’. The first lesson will cover beans, eat them hot , eat them cold, eat them 3 days old. El’ Presidente’ is the master! Lesson two will be on making rock soup. We will bring the rocks. You will need to bring the other ingredient
a case two cases of beer. *****
Our frequent guest Art treated us to some outstanding sausage lasagna that had been given to him by a friend to feed his chickens – “hmmm”. Art displayed a logic and kindness that makes him fit right in with the Madhatters – “If it is good enough for my chickens, It’s good enough for my friends”. Makes sense to me.
***** Note – Now I know why everything tastes like chicken! *****
After a great dinner we were treated with a special desert cooked up by Chris Gould’s father Jim – a dutch oven apple cobbler. It was heavenly and quickly devoured by all around the fire pit. After desert, we gathered around the fire pit enjoyed each others company and played the name game. If you have to ask all I can say is join us at the next fire pit.