Another Lousy Day of Trail Building

Pittsfield, Illinois

by Graham McNeill

There is nothing worse than being woken up by the sound of a motel wake up phone, except maybe having to go shovel down some "all-you-can-eat-for-five-bucks" pancakes, eggs, toast, potatoes, sausage, gravy, bacon, cereal, juice and coffee at the local meeting point of the Two Rivers Jeep Club – the Pittsfield VFW Hall.

There were around 30 people also helping to empty the pans full of food, enjoying good conversation that was mostly limited to words of less than 2 syllables. Way too early to be trying out the big words!! Turkey hunting season was in full swing so trails were limited but enough were found to keep everyone busy. Prior to departure the club director's held the fastest board meeting in history. Most everyone didn’t even have time to bitch it was so fast.

Just three members of Team Plesko signed up for Pokey’s run, but by the time we reached the trail head there were eight Jeeps. Trail Leader Rick Culberson sent us up the first hill before we realized it wasn’t part of the trail. He was checking to see who was awake. We were after reaching the top covered in mud while he and the rest of the Jeeps took the marked trail.  We tried to pay attention from then on. 

Rick Culberson’s lead Jeep TJ with some of the crew parked at an area called the Hilton. I must remember to ask why it’s called that one day

It seemed Rick just liked to get others in trouble. He was like a grade school kid that had a rotten joke played on him. He was darn sure that he was going to play the same rotten trick on someone else before he was happy. By the end of the day he was happy!!

Jeff Dieken and I tried to climb a moss covered ledge to no avail. Rick would get us half way up, tell us we were good and stuck, and then ask why we couldn’t get any further.

Jeff Dieken - TJ

Jeff’s rear wheels are well and truly stuck in holes. Even his 35” Boggers, ARB’s and Ford 9’s were of little use here.

Willys MB - Pokey's Trail

Same spot but from a different view. It doesn’t look like much but it never does when looking at pictures after the fact. Rick, while spotting claimed he lost sight of the Jeep in the foliage!

Pokey’s is a 3 rated trail that keeps moving well. It starts off easy and gradually builds as the day goes on. Jeff’s TJ’s steering box finally succumbed to the 35” Boggers so he was given the obligatory 15 minutes to order a new AGR unit, get it delivered and installed. He failed, so we left him to rot at the trail head.  We were forced to have fun until about 5:00 pm when Rick realized he had better get home to accompany his wife to a wedding or never go Jeeping again. There were quite a few nice obstacles and a few play areas on the trail. There are plenty of long muddy hills so it is quite a challenge if you don’t have a rear locker or mud terrains.

Dave Lehmann XJ 

 Dave Lehmann and his XJ had to work very hard with his all-terrains but he never gave up. 

Larry (Tank) Schultz finding out that that when his YJ got tippy, it would be a good time to take a nap and think about the roots in the bank gouging his myriad of decals.

The actual trail building itself was limited to clearing some overhanging tree branches. This back breaking, deeply intensive work was performed by our leader while we all watched and criticized.

I wouldn’t want anyone to think that we didn’t do any work on this lousy 70 degree, cloudless day. I love work -  I can watch others do it all day long.

I felt really guilty for having left the wife and kids at home to do laundry, shopping, and go to soccer games but after about 3 seconds I was able to overcome the guilt. We got cleaned up after this rotten day of wheeling fun, cruised over to Tom Womble’s Farm for the Trail Builders Appreciation party to watch others chow down on cheeseburgers cooked by Tim Miller. We would have stayed and had some more lousy fun on Sunday but we decided to go rescue Jeff who was still wandering Pike County trying to manhandle his TJ back to Mt. Sterling for repairs.

Back home I was hoping the wife was convinced that we were forced to go trail building, do our duty for club and country, and that we really would have rather stayed home with her.


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