SFWDA Dixie Run   10/98

By Rob Klinger (Carolina Trailblazers)

The Dixie Run was awesome, for the second year in a row.  I had more fun this
year though; I guess it was because I rode some more trails that I didn't last
year.  This year, I didn't ride any trails I did last year, except one, trial
5 and the Hard Water Crossing, which myself, a couple of others and Gunner
Byrd and his bad ass cj-8 rode on Friday.  That is a must to try.  It was a
lot of fun.  A few guys there were flipping out because they caught a glimpse
of my 3/4 elliptical suspension at work.  Saturday morning we got up early and
went ot meet out ride at 8am at McNabb campground but nobody was there (from
out group).  We were about 15min. early so I didn't think we missed them.
Waited around for a while then decided to catch them in case they left early.
I rode out to trail 2 and met up with some guys.  They wern't in our group but
decided to run with them anyway because they were doing the same route of
trails:  2-4, 4-11, 11-3, 3-4, 4-6.  Trail 2 was fun.  Rode it last year,
well, just the Rock Garden part of it.  Trial 4 wasn't hard.  When we got to
trail 11, that is where the real fun started.  Some tough parts with lots of
large offset rocks and loose dirt on very steep hills.  Guardrail was fun.
Very tricky too.  You've got to be careful that you don't work your way
towards the guardrail when you are on the rocks because there are some bad
holes in the rock and can cause you to roll.  I saw it happen to a flattie.
Instead of taking chances, I decided to winch the rest of the way up the rock.
The trail wasn't bad till Helicopter Pad.  I decided to take the bypass around
it.  If anyone knows about Helicopter Pad, it is nothing to take less than
seriously.  I would have had to try it if I had know that the bypass was
closed.  Someone had moved the trees and rocks that blocked it.  I had never
been there before, I didn't know.  Oh well.  I got to see a couple of hybrids
tackle the Pad with ease.  There were too many people coming up Schoolbus hill
and the rest ot 11, so we decided to turn around and go back down 11 and head
to Slickrock on trail 9. We finally got to trail 4 and there was a big traffic
jam, just because of a little obsticle that wasn't really that hard.  Fain's
Ford I think it was.  I've done it before, so it wasn't that bad.  Finally to
trail 8 then quickly to trail 9.  Most Difficult was marked on the trail head.
Trail 11 was marked the same but not too hard, but this needs to be like Most
Most Difficult, especially wet.  The ruts were tricky, sepecially with a short
wheelbase cj-5.  After the ruts was a long line of about 40 trucks waiting for
Slickrock.  I found some people I know from Hickory (my hometown) and they had
been there since about noon, it was now 4pm and they had not yet tried the
rock yet.  After a while of hanging around and taking some cool photos and
watching some people break stuff, I decided to turn around and head back to
camp so I wouldn't be late for dinner or the raffle.  I left about 7pm, near
dark.  I decided to take trail 4 to 6 to the state line then back to camp
instead of 4 to 5 because of an apparent traffic jam at the Hard water
crossing.  I heard on the radio that it was over an hour wait to get across.
Trail 6 was fun.  I had done it already but not at night.  It was a little
tricky.  I finally got to use the Explorer Pro Comp lights I won from
Rockcrawler.  We got back to camp around 9pm, I think.  Dinner was over and
they had already started the raffle.  We ended up going home with nothing but
a BFG huggie and a shirt.  Oh well.  I had fun.  I was hungry as well as my
passenger, so we rode out to the BP in Tellico Plains and got some food.
Thank God it was open 24 hours.  We headed back to camp and got to sleep
around 1am.  Got up about 9am and started to pack up and load my Jeep on the
trailer.  Got out of town about noon and in Newport, TN, the trailering
vehicle broke down.  We replaced the fuel pump and it woked for about 5 miles,
then it broke down for good.  We ended up taking my Jeep into town and arrived
at Advance Auto at 6:02pm, damn 2 minutes too late.  The stupid lady wouldn't
let us in to get the part.  We were 14 hours (speeding)from home.  Oh well,
she won't have a job anymore.  My friend with me (the one trailering my Jeep)
knows the district manager of the Advance Auto Parts stores or something like
that.  I don't really remember what he said about it.  Oh well.  We rode back
to his truck and put it up on the trailer and I ended up trailering it to
Hickory, NC.  Think about it, a CJ-5 trailering a 78 Cherokee Chief Widetrac.
It was kind of funny looking and very dangerous.  Going down the mountain
scared the s@#t out of me.  We finally made it back to Hickory.  We dropped
off his Jeep at his house and then we were off to Greenville, NC.  We had to
be in Greenville by 9am Monday because my friend with me had to be in court
for a car accident he was in.  We were in Raleigh at 8am and never made it
back till 11am Monday morning.  Mike called the DA in Greenville and got a
continuance, so he turned out ok.  What a trip, but I'd do it again anyday. 
I've got pics and more stories I'm puting up on my page.  Check some more this
week for the pics.  Cool ones of a Guardrail rollover victim and the Pad and
lots of Slickrock.  Check out my page soon.

Rob Klinger
Carolina Trailblazers
Jeeper Rob 's Home Page