Bengal & 3 StageMarch 25, 2006
Saturday morning, when we walked out of the motel, there was a touch of frost on the windshield of my jeep, and Christineís 4Runner. We headed for the Bulldog Cafť and there was a room full of Trailchasers ready for a good day of wheeling. After breakfast we divided up into the hardcore group and the moderate group.
Cheryl and I went with the moderate group. David Loessin was the trail leader and he ask me to be the tail gunner. We were to go to Edís place, which included 3 Stage. David said that we were going to do 3 Stage. There were nine vehicles in the moderate group. We got to bottom of 3 Stage and David was the first to go up; then Teri tried in her ChevyToyota combo. Due to the angle of the first stage and her carburetor, she couldnít make it. Several others tried it and made it. Justin even backed up once or twice. Christine tried and couldnít quite get up it; another try or two and think she would have been all right.
Then Jan Malone tried it; I didnít know a little Ford engine could turn so many rpms. The second try she broke the rear axle houseing off of the pumpkin. Cheryl and I followed them out to the highway; they were through wheeling for the day. We got back to the bottom of 3 stages and found out that, while we were gone, Alex had proposed to Geri on his knee. It was quite a surprise to her and I think the rest of the group as well. Several of us took the bypass around the 1st step of 3 Stage and continued on to the 2nd stage. We lost two more vehicles at the start of stage 2. There isnít a go around on the 2nd stage and there were some wild rides going up the 2nd stage, including ours. I was told that I had all four wheels in the air a time or two, but we made it up. By the time we got to top of the 2nd stage, we had two more broke vehicles. Four of the drivers decided that they wanted to go on to the top. They wanted to say that they had done all 3 stages. By the time they got down another vehicle had damage. We started trying to find our way out. Due to newly cut logging roads, there was some confusion on how to get back to the bottom of 3 Stage, where we had left one vehicle. The trail that we took was so steep that one of the vehicles had to be lowered down it on a tow strap because they didnít think their brakes would hold. Yet another vehicle incurred damage on this section. I think every one was very glad to see the road that led back to the charcoal plant. We spent from 9 AM to 4 PM trying to make it up and back down to the main road on 3 stage. Six of the nine vehicles had damage; some of it was major. Needless to say, there wasnít enough of the moderate group left to have a run on Sunday.
Neill Dorsey JUS-A-5