2006 4X4 BLAST
Pittsfield, Illinois

Bats and a lack of that which sucks the fun out of Jeeping

How nice it was to attend an event that was not clouded with issues and politics. Not that there weren't any behind the scenes, but no longer being a board member meant I was able to sit back, watch the show, go wheeling and just have fun.

The 2006 4X4 BLAST had the least number of Jeeps of any of the public events hosted by the Two Rivers Jeep Club. That meant there was probably not as much money generated for local donations but what it did mean was there were fewer Jeeps on the trails, shorter lines for the food, plenty of places to park the jeep and your rear-end plus a greater chance to win one of the prizes at the raffle.

Our small group  - Team Plesko Off-Road Rescue and Recovery was responsible for Vehicle Tech Check so we got to meet just about everybody at the event. I had the pleasure of being Master of Ceremonies for the evening activities and thoroughly enjoyed roasting anyone unfortunate to be brought to my attention.

On Friday about a dozen Jeeps in our group tackled the Smacker Trail ably led by Brian (I can go anywhere that you can't in my little old CJ5) Baker and his partner in crime Frank Smith. It really didn't matter where we went we would have had just as much fun. Brian ripped on me all day telling me what a lousy driver I was and that a station wagon with bald tires filled with nuns had made every hill that I didn't the day before.


Bats hanging outside my motel room at the Motel Pike



The newest Team Plesko member a.k.a. "Bat Man Jeff Vickery" (nothing to do with the aforementioned bats) finding out how many plugs it takes to fill a one inch gash in his tire. Nothing like a lot of advisers all telling you something different.












Frank Smith - Landowner and Trail Guide











Brad (Troublemaker) Schultz in trouble according to his wife Dana because she was convinced they were going over. Brad just laughed and tried to get Old Blue even higher. Here Frank Smith debates the best course of action.








Brad gets it higher, Dana is cussing and Brian Baker now takes a look. The final decision was lunch and they would figure it out later.




Saturday was spent with Pokey and Billy Walston on Pokey's Run. Billy tore up his rear end and spent a few hours welding the spider gears into a Lincoln locker before rejoining the activities. Pokey's Run is one of the best trails in Pike County. If it is wet it rapidly becomes one of the toughest trails with dozens of hills to climb, steep drop offs, off camber sections, creeks and probably the most miles of trail of all of the trails offered at the event. I had a blister on my hand from spinning the wheel so much by the end of the day.


Pokey "borrowing" my Willys to go play


Tanker Schultz is all smiles after narrowly missing a tree but granddaughter Cheyenne is looking in absolute disbelief.


                   Jim Catt thinking of Jasmine                                                  Rick Culberson showing his best side, guiding or just trying to hitch a ride.


The Schultz's - Dana, Ariel, Brad and Cheyenne

Team Plesko Off-Road Rescue and Recovery were in fine form for the weekend. Tanker donated two remote control Jeeps which added $330.00 to the weekend's charity donation kitty. Team leader Jim (No-Show) Plesko was absent again still fixing his kitchen and Jeff Dieken was also missed. I once had a boil on my butt that I missed as well come to think of it but it was a good miss.  Still maybe they can get permission from their wives next year to come out to play.  Good company, good wheeling, no club politics, no issues, just good fun that made for a great weekend.


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