I had been looking forward to this for awhile. Being from Tulsa, I get to run in Disney a lot, so a river run is always a welcome change. I headed to OKC on Friday to spend the night at my parents' to alleviate the need to get up before the roosters on Sat to get from Broken Arrow to Noble in time.
We got up and were surprised to be greeted with a mild temp that was a stark contrast to the temps we are usually still dodging by sunset. We pulled into Noble with time to spare and plenty of time to eat breakfast. I, Todd Baker, Jim Baker, Jeremy Crouch and Mike (I can't even start to try and spell his last name) were sitting there and a few had beat us and the rest trickled in. We saw Christine and her crew, Shane, Mike and Rick all show up. After we finished we retired outside to wait on a few more arrivals to show up.
Jim and I were talking over breakfast wondering about Todd Wasson and what had become of the little yellow Nissan after he submarined it last year. About that time he drove up with a blue CJ in tow and we were all pleasantly reaquainted. Robert Jones arrived as well as a couple of others I never really met outright and didn't get a good grasp on names of.
We left out for the short trip to the launching pad on the edge of town. Upon arrival, we all who needed to unload did so, aired down and lined up. We had the driver's meeting, which was short and sweet and to the point. We did ascertain airhorns were acceptable today. Phew, I was worried about that one! We headed into the river and began what was going to be a very pleasant and fun afternoon. Almost immediately, I ended up behind Jim and inadvertently relocated about 20-30 gallons of water into his seat with him. This was quite possibly the highlight of the afternoon, for me anyway. Jeremy was laughing as well. Well, needless to say the next mile or so were spent looking over our shoulders waiting for retaliation that never really came. Todd Wasson was also in on it, so it became an ongoing thing until we found out Todd broke a tranny and engine mount, but he soldiered on, not about to let a couple minor issues such as this get in the way of a good wheelin' trip. We tried assorted climbs down the river and water crossings and found a couple of mud holes, but nothing really serious. We stopped at the RR bridge and did a little rock crawling, which was fun, but nothing too extreme. Alex and Robert made short work of it in the Suzuki's, and I didn't have much trouble, but Christine's 4Runner had a few problems with wheelbase and relocated rocks due to the aforementioned vehicles. After crawling around on this and going up and down, we headed on.
This was a fun run as there was really nothing really serious to tackle, but enough to keep us interested and just play. Every now and again it is fun to get back to basics and remember why most of us have these, for days like this. We got down to the road and Alex had carb issues and had to give one of the Zuk's a break for the rest of the day, but loaded up with others and continued on. I agree, wheelin as a passenger is still a lot better than no wheelin at all!!! When we stopped to turn around, we found a small mudhole that was no challenge but wet enough to be a lot of fun in 2 wheel drive. there were 3-4 of us who made a pass through it and were not afraid of a little extra clean up time.
We turned around and headed back for a return trip up the river, and hear comes Robert in the OkieZuk buzzing by with Jim right on his 6:00!!! I was sure I couldn't run them down, but I wasn't about to be left behind and needless to say the race...if you will... was on!!! We were running back up the river in 3&4 gears ahead of the rest and making sure to avoid other traffic. Well, the water crossings take on a whole new aspect at speed as do smaller little bumps that earlier offered nothing in the way of challenge. We had to stop a couple of times and relocate the cooler and toolbox back to their respective locations. Well, we would run a bit and rest a bit. Justin was with us a large part of the time, but a dislodged tailpipe eventually forced him to take it a bit easier, but I will say he ran with us for a good while and I was surprised!!!
After we ran passed the trail to take us out of the river bed, we found our way out. We were far enough passed it, that when we got back to it, everyone else had caught up, left the river bed and most were waiting on us. In case you hear missed over shot a little bit, or just a short distance... it was about 1/2 - 3/4 or a mile at least as Jim and Robert were not in sight when I turned around. A round of good byes and a few volunteers to do this and we were loaded and on our way. The carnage was very minimal, but the fun was off the scale and I look forward to next year!!!
PS We got lucky in that the heat decided not to really set in until we were leaving!!!!!!!!!!!!