2003 Spring Tellico Run

April 11-13, 2003

Written by: Scott Roberts

 

Friday April 11, 2003

Attendees:
Scott Roberts, TJ, 35” MTR’s
Greg Mattern, TJ, 35” MTR’s
Craig Scibetta, Rubicon, 33” MTR’s
Michael Care, Four Runner, 35” ProComp AT’s
Frank, Four Runner, 35” MTR’s
Patrick, Full-Size Blazer, 40” Gumbo Mudders
Todd Roberts- Along for the ride
John Herr- Along for the ride

Weather- Foggy, about 45 degrees, light drizzle.

Friday got off to a slow start.  We did not get onto the trails until 10:30.  We had planned on going to Lower 2.  However, with the rain all week before and the rain falling that day we decided to go on the lighter side and hit SlickRock.  We started out on Trail 4 and headed toward Fain’s Ford.  Trail 4 had a couple of good spots due to the rain.  There is a good ledge on the exit of Fain’s Ford but it is was no match for the vehicles that we had in our group that day.  We ate lunch at the creek crossing because we knew that it would be a long afternoon on Slick Rock. 

 After lunch, we turned onto Trail 8.  This trail is not that hard, but it is tight.  Then, we turned up Trail 9 and headed towards SlickRock.  At SlickRock there was a good steady stream coming down the entire obstacle of rocks.  Everybody had to winch at one point, except Michael Care and Frank in their sweet Four Runner’s.  He was able to get up the entire obstacle with no assistance.  Everyone thinks that once you are over the infamous “Slick Rock” that the trail is easy riding there after.  That is not the case now.  At the top of the trail just, before Trail 8 there is a very technical section that has been washed out from the rain and the flow of 4 wheel drive vehicles.  All of the trucks required assistance to get through this section.  It is very tight in this part of the trail.  There are walls on each side of the trail about seven feet tall.  Kevin was driving Michael’s truck and wanted to see how close he could get the Four Runner to the wall.  He ended up putting a dent the driver side door.  (Nothing a small hammer cannot fix.)  It was about 7:30 by the time that everyone got up the obstacle and onto Trail 8. 

 We were all very tired and hungry.  We went down trail 8 to Trail 4.  We crossed Fain’s Ford once more and then hopped onto trail 5.  Trail 5 slowed us down.  We got to a mud pit that gave everyone trouble.  The mud pit had a large mound in the middle that would hit the rear transfer case and/or rear differential.  Michael Care and Patrick did not require assistance.  Everyone else needed a little tug with the tow strap.  We crossed the creek crossing and put the vehicles in two-wheel drive for the way out.  Everyone is very hungry at this time. Frank and Patrick went back to their camping spot and the rest of us headed out of the park.

On trail 5, (the gravel part) I decided (unintentionally) to test the suspension of my jeep by jumping it two feet in the air.  Driving fast and hitting smoothly slopped ‘speed bumps’ do not mix.  The jeep survived with no ill effects.  (That I know of.)

 

We headed to the Mexican Restaurant in Murphy.  The food was good but there is something wrong with a Mexican restaurant that does not serve margaritas or coronas.  After dinner, everyone went back to their cabins for some shuteye.

 

Saturday April 12, 2003

Attendees:
Scott Roberts, TJ, 35” MTR’s
Greg Mattern, TJ, 35” MTR’s
Craig Scibetta, Rubicon, 33” MTR’s
Michael Care, Four Runner, 35” ProComp AT’s
Frank, Four Runner, 35” MTR’s
Patrick- Along for the ride
Todd Roberts- Along for the ride
John Herr- Along for the ride

 

Weather- Much nicer.  Sun shining- in the morning it was about 55 degrees and it got up to 70 degrees in the afternoon.

Saturday started a little earlier.  Patrick decided to leave his Full-Size Blazer at the campground because we were hitting Trail 2.  No front locker and a heavy vehicle do not mix well with Lower 2. Everyone met up at the intersection of Trail 1 and Trail 2 at 9:30. 

Lower 2 has difficult obstacles from start to finish.  The Finish line is VERY Difficult.  We got up to the Rock Garden and it took some effort for everyone to get up.  However, everyone was able to get up the obstacle without winching.  We then got to the start of the “hard part”.  Some of the rocks come up to the hood of vehicles and some of the holes swallowed our 35” tires.  Everyone had to winch at some point.  A couple of the vehicles did not have winches so we had to utilize snatch blocks and such to give them assistance.

It was around 2:00 when everyone made it to the top.  We ate some lunch and walked back down to Lower 2 to see the next group of vehicles come up.  There was a group of 4 Samuri’s and a home brew full size vehicle with a jeep body.  Two Samuri’s broke- one burfield and the other a motor mount.  The other two Sami’s made it up without winching but, with a lot banging.  The home brew truck broke down before it got to the difficult part of the trail.  We decided to head on back to the cabin at this point.

At the Tellico Cabins, there is a Rock Garden.  We had a couple of hours to kill so we decided to try it.  I went up and got hung up on my rear diff.  At this time, John noticed that my front passenger brake line was leaking at the caliper.  We winched my jeep up the garden and parked it.  We tightened the bolt and the leak stopped.  Greg went up the Garden and got hung at the same spot as me and had to winch to get his rear diff free.  Craig went up the Garden with out having to winch.  It took some time but we were able to get the Jeep up the garden with out having to pull line.  Good job Craig for awesome driving and Greg for spotting.

We decided that it was time for some grub.  We washed up and headed into town to air up the jeeps and get some dinner.  Myself and John, got finished early airing up the tires so we decided to go to downtown Murphy and “Cruise” the strip for a couple of laps.  It is funny to see what kids do on a Saturday night in small towns.

We ended up at a Japanese restaurant for dinner.  The building was an old Hardee’s so a couple of us were a little tentative about eating there.  We wanted some good food, not fast food.  Nevertheless, the dinner turned out to be good.  The chef put on the usual ‘Kanki’ show.  Kevin told old ‘towing’ (wrecker service) stories.  Craig put down 4 pitchers of Tea.  Greg talked about his two sons.  It was fun to unwind and talk about the past two days of wheeling.

All in all this trip was a lot of fun with no major breakage.  I would definitely recommend Lower 2 if you have a highly modified vehicle.  I like it more than Guardrail because you do not feel like you are going to fall off the mountain and die when you are traversing the obstacles.  Tellico is a lot of fun.  There is something for everyone.

Can’t wait to do it again,

Scott