2017 Windrock, TN
October 5-7, 2017
Following write-up by Lee Tompkins:
We stayed in one of the new Windrock Park Cabins. It was number 805A, one side of a duplex less than ¼ mile from the General Store. It sleeps 8; and has one bedroom with a queen bed, one bedroom with two beds with a queen on the bottom and a twin on the top. It had all the amenities and a great back porch with a grill, picnic table, 2 rocking chairs, and a swing which Carl and Anna monopolized.
The weather was great. Sunny and clear all weekend, with temperatures in the low to mid 80’s during the day and down to the mid to upper 60’s at night. It did make the trails dusty because it had not rained in a couple of weeks.
Above is the website link if you want to check out all the facilities and the trails. We ran mostly the Blue and Black Diamond trails. On Thursday after everyone arrived we ran trails 22, 26, 27. On Friday we ran trails 2, 16, 13, 43, 42, 49, and 6. That was about 8.5 hours and a real blast. I will let others discuss the Saturday riding; I had to leave early and will cover that adventure later.
Meals at the cabin
We ate all breakfasts and Dinners at the cabin; with lunches on the trails.
Thursday, we took trails 22, 27, 26 and then into camp. Great food that night. Bob made chili and cornbread topped that off.
Friday, we took trails 2, 16 (black diamond), 13,43,42,49 (black diamond), 6 (black diamond), then G6, G5, G2, and then P1 back into camp. Trail 16 was a great ride and everyone made it up the right bypass with no help or winching; except me. For some reason my lockers would not engage and I had to wench p the last20 yards. By the time we got to trail 49 and 6, my steering was actin up and I had to make many backups to get around the switchbacks. It was really bad by the time we go back to camp. Luckily, I had a holt of professional help and I just was to gofer. We mutually agreed that it was probably the power steering pump and Bob and I went to town to get one. We got back and Jesse and Carl began to remove the old pump and replace the new one; it went very well and fast, probably because there was no interference from having to read those pesky directions. Once that was straightened out. Great cook out of burgers and brats provided by Carl and Anna and cooked up by Jesse. Then beer and conversation until late.
Saturday, I got up early to do some school work but had to go to the Windrock campground for WIFI, since the cell service in the cabin was very poor. Before I even go to the road up to the campground, I could not steer much at all. I limped back to the cabin and we made some adjustment and headed up to the trailhead; but not before a great oatmeal breakfast from Carl. When we got there, I could not turn and Jesse, Carl, and I worked on it some more with no luck. I decided to limp home and not hold up the group, so I will let the others talk about the Saturday ride.
I do have a great story on the trip back home. I was able to ride on the road as long as I did not have to steer too much to the right or left. I was at mile marker 391 on I40, just a bit north of Knoxville. I was in the right lane doing 55 with the cruise control on. Suddenly the left front tire blew out and I turned left through the traffic and softly rolled in the 4-foot barrier between the east and west lanes. After I got over not being rear ended while crossing the lanes and the fact that I could not get out because the door was up against the barrier; I tried to make a call to TDOT while hoping none of the 100 mph drives in the left lane clipped me. I looked up and there was a TDOT truck behind me and the driver asked if I was OK; I asked him how he managed to here at this time and he said he saw it all on the cameras. Anyway, he went back and stopped all three lanes of traffic so I could go to the right shoulder. He helped me get the tired changed and got me back on the road. Other than that, it was uneventful.
At this time, I am still working on the steering and locker issue; but we give an update when I find out what caused the issues.
Following comments by Jesse Higgins:
Overall, I thought the trip went really well. We had a small group but that allowed us to cover a lot of trails throughout the day.
Saturday, we ran the loop you had suggested. It was fun and we all completed it no problem. The weight ran trails 41a and 41b. These trails looked like they hadn’t been ridden in a while. The entrances were over grown. Carl and I got a good workout by walking/running parts of the trail before we took our vehicles down. Trail 41b had a big drop and some really steep hill climbs. I was super impressed by the capability of Bob’s JK that handled it no problem. This is also the same trail were Carl said he broke his hub and drained his battery. It was a time-consuming recovery out of the trail but we all learned a lot and still had fun.
Following comments by Bob Thibodeau:
We also ran 35 and 36. 35 was nothing special but 36 had some challenging rock climbs. There was a group in front of us which slowed us down as they took a long time to climb some of the challenging parts of the trail. We had no issues, Carl was leading and blew threw them I think with the hopes of getting a hint to the other group to move it along. Jessie made them look easy and while I had a spot or 2 where I needed a slightly different line, got through them just fine. 41b and 41a were fun and a challenge due to the drop and hill inclines.
Who said JK stood for Just Kidding?
Thanks to Jessie for the tarp. While I still got very wet coming home at least I had some shelter from the rain. Flooded the floorboards and ended up frying the Kenwood and the Pioneer and needed to work on the CB to save it.
Hindsight says don’t mount a radio under the passenger’s seat if there is a chance of getting caught in the remnants of a hurricane.
Following comments by Anna Ellsworth:
Windrock is a large, fun park with something for everyone. Lee did a fantastic job organizing the rides and the accommodations – the cabin was beautiful and clean and we hit a little of each type of trail. Although, I have been in the club only a short while I have been exposed to different types of trails each trip and learned something new every time. I look forward to many more trips, experiences and learning opportunities.
Thank you, Lee, for doing such a wonderful job!