Monday, August 23, 2010

CalROCS Season Finale Leaves The Crowds Happy.

CalROCS 2010 championship proved to be more than exciting with all the teams fighting to keep up the points and standings throughout the whole weekend and the crowds that showed up to see the carnage were impressed. 

Teams from as far as Canada and Virginia came out to test their skills and try their luck at the season finale at the beautiful Donner Ski Ranch in sunny California. 

Justin Hall from Team Rockhard showed up in his new Unlimited Class buggy and showed off his driving skills while his dad took on the challenge of hopping around the course spotting his son on some amazing drops and crevices that were a part of the bonus lines.

Good job Justin for taking first place in the Unlimited Class!  A great win considering it was only his third  time driving the new rig. 

Be sure and check back for the dates for the 2011 season of CalROCS! 

Monday, August 16, 2010

A Close Call On The Freeway!

The event Sierra Trek held at Meadow Lake near Truckee CA was awesome!   After packing everything up and making our way down the hill we ran into trouble. The trailer hitch broke off somehow when we were doing about 65 down I-80. I just happened to look in the rear view mirror to see something shiny bounce down the freeway and almost hit the semi truck that was following us. It didn’t register in my head what could have come out of the trailer that was shiny like chrome. I was just about to say “pull over” when the trailer came off the Jeep and swung around to the driver side and into the traffic on the side of us. The safety chain held and before I knew it the Jeep swung hard to the right hand side of the freeway, luckily there was a big emergency lane and then a wide shoulder area. We hit the dirt, went up the bank slightly and couldn’t stop; we lost control and started spinning down the freeway.

We couldn’t see anything but a big dust cloud that we kept rotating through. We got pelted with pebbles and waves of dirt. I thought for sure we were going to get rammed by the semi truck as all I could hear was the screeching of brakes and skidding on the pavement, it was a really ugly sound. All I could do was hold on and wait for the hit. We had no idea where we were stopped as the dust and dirt hung in the air for what seemed like forever. Finally I realized we were on the right shoulder. We did two full turns and ended up facing traffic when we finally got stopped. I didn’t worry about rolling so much as I did by the thought of getting plowed by the semi truck! I would have taken a direct hit.

Amazingly the Jeep stayed upright but the trailer ended up jackknifed on its side and stuck up under the back bumper. I thought for sure that all the stuff in the trailer was going to be all over the freeway and even if that were the case I really didn’t care. The only thing that came out of the trailer was the five gallon water can! That was a heck of a pack job!

The truck pulled over with one other car and they came running up to see if we were okay. The truck driver was amazed that we didn’t get killed as he watched the whole thing happening. He gave Del and I a high five and told Del he had amazing driving skills to have kept us upright and out of the main traffic which is what saved our lives. The CHP finally showed up about a half an hour later and I overheard one say “I see we have a lucky one here”.

Some acquaintances from another club were coming down the highway returning from the same event we were at and immediately pulled in to help get the trailer upright. They just happened to have a spare tow bar for a trailer and stripped the old bent parts off and replaced them with their stuff. They even had a spare ball hitch but it was too small so we broke out the on board Ready Welder and they put a weld inside the hitch to make it fit and viola we were on our way within about 45 mins. They even took the time to pull over with us at the next exit to check if everything was working okay with the “trail fix” that they did. The off road community is really a great network of people that go over and beyond the call of duty to help a friend or acquaintance in need.

We were both covered in dirt and dust in places that I’m not sure how it even got there and we later discovered there were pebbles in our seats from all the debris flying through the air when we were spinning through the dirt. Whew, that was a close call and we were very, very lucky. It was also a reminder to check your vehicle and equipment before hitting the road.