Thursday pm, Cliff Wilkins (aka Bad Apple) along with grandson Tanner Wilkins, his buddy, Kyle Wilson and I (Oklahoma Green) arrived at Clayton Country Inn. We unloaded the flat fenders, dropped the tops and went into the Clayton Country Inn for a great dinner.
Friday am. Breakfast at the Bull Dog Cafe, fueled up, iced down several bottles of water, tick spray, sunscreen and we headed North to Freilings Off Road area.
Visited with Weldon while airing down, on the back 40 & took the 1st right to Jo Jo's Yo-Yo. A short way down the by pass was a large gully. It didn't take long to decide that it was too deep and wide for our 33x1250 tires. Torrential rain had done a number on this trail. Made a hard left thru the trees and connected with the Yo-Yo. crawled thru the creek bed up to the main road.
Turned right on back 40 again. Heading for the Stair Case, & the Limp Pine area. Topped the hill above Freilings Stair Case and there was a miniature Grand Canyon wash out across the road at the foot of the Stair Case. Down to the bottom of the Stair Case and left into the creek crossing. (Some one had already cut a new crossing across the creek.) Continued on. Had a great trail running day. Trails Like Limp Pine, Limp Pine Extra (Skull and Cross Bones) Creek Trails, Orange Trail, Red Trail, Turtle Hump, Double Bead, TSOB, Trail Above TSOB, Hoegarden and etc. Wish all of the Trailchasers could have been with us.
Hungry and tired we headed for home base. When we arrived, Tony Vowel (aka Rattle Trap) in a red CJ-5 had arrived. Tom Shankles came by camp, introduced himself and we visited for an hour or so. H drives a nice well equipped red CJ-5. Time to pig out on food and war stories again. Great dinner.
Saturday 6:30am, Bull Dog cafe. No 4 wheelers except us. By the time we finished eating some of the Trailchasers drifted in. Visited in the parking lot a few minutes. Met trip leader Mike and Saundra (nice red CJ7), Don Fitzpatric, son Conner, & his buddy, Dallas, Donald Weiser (aka Cowboy) in a sharp blue Toy tube buggy. Donald's brother, David was ridding shot gun and taking video. Jason McClary, (Black Chevy pickup) and Chris in a cool white Samurai. Chris and a rider also, but I didn't get his name. Trail leader Mike informed us that Green Acres was to be play day.
9 of us arrived at Green Acres pay box. ($20.00/vehicle) at 9:00am. The 1st obstacle was Black Sheep Blvd. and 8 Points. ( 8 Points is the bypass for Black Sheep.) Cowboy and Chris made Black Sheep look easy. The rest of us took 8 Points. Then it happened. Big bad broke bug strikes. That familiar gun shot sound, a broken axle u-joint. The black Chevy pickup broke on the 1st ledge. Don (in Christine's Toy) stayed behind and spent most of the day getting him out and back to Slim's Shop for repairs.
Mike told us he would show us some caves when we reached the top of the mountain. Onward and upward the group went. Woops ! Trail bug bit again. A bead popped off Cowboy’s tire. Mike tuned back down hill and aired it up with his air tank. Next was Upper Cake Walk. Don and Chris made short work of this trail and made it look good. Bad Apple, Rattle Trap & Oklahoma Green wiggled, wallowed & had to work at it though. Mike thought we should exit the area by going down “Walk in the Park”. Not good, Boy, what a ride down hill. I think it was the third obstacle where Mike got rock bit again. A large rock at a steep off camber drop off with a tree on your right rear corner. The tree kept you from turning over The rock under the driver’s side frame rolled up like a bowling ball. It lifted the left rear tire air borne. Much higher than the one in Wet-n-Wild. I thought they were going to roll, but the trail angel was with them and they landed on all four. I believe Saundra could have touched the ground. And this is where the fun began.(boy we had already had a boat load of fun). The caves, where are the caves??? With Mike and Saundra and Cowboy in the lead, we were off. Couldn't find the caves and looking for the loop road back down to Walters Mule Road. They made a left on a nice looking road and up the hill we went. Whoa!! What's this? Towers. We were on Flag Pole Mountain Road. Lost?? Yep. Mike and Cowboy get their heads together & devise the next plan. Cowboy has a GPS that shows a trail down the backside of the mountain & after about 5 miles would bring us out South of Clayton on State Hwy 2. Lost?? Yep!! Now Cowboy is in the lead with Mike and the rest of us in hot pursuit. Are we having fun yet? The CB comes alive and Mike & Saundra has named this trail, QUOTE: “THE JUNGLE TRAIL”. It didn't take long to see how they got the name. No one had driven this trail in years. The trail would vanish for several yards at a time. The trees were so thick and tall you couldn't see. Rocks, trees and creek all the way down. Then we broke out into a clearing after we crossed a nice creek where an old abandoned trailer house stood. Saundra told us to look on the driver’s side at some strange looking plants. They were strange. Long stems with lots of little bitty leaves. I wonder?? Well we didn’t stop to investigate. (FEAR) We continued on and 3 very large dogs decided we weren’t welcome in their neck of the woods and put the big time chase on us. Petal to the metal and we finally reached the highway south of Clayton. Thank goodness. I’m still wondering how Cowboy found his way out on that trail. It’s a whole lot of fun being lost with him. Try it some time. We all thanked him and headed back to Green Acres. Once there Mike led us into Wet-n-Wild. This creek had lots of water running in it. We were Just a few yards into the trail and its starts to sprinkle rain. Mike, “Get ‘r’ Done” trip leader gets rock bit big time. Right front tire with major air and rear tires spinning freely in hub deep water. Tom Shankles jumps in the knee deep water and pulls winch line. Tom said his waterproof boots worked fine. They just weren’t tall enough. Cowboy gets in a & takes a look at the situation. Boy this trail is a challenge for these little ole 33” tires. Finally we crawl out of Wet-n-Wild and 4 of us drop in the creek across the road on a trail named Jeff’s Ledges . This creek is tougher than Wet-n- wild. We travel past the foot of Black Sheep and 8 Points to the intersection of Walter’s Mule road. We looked up to the right and there was the water fall obstacle. Cowboy made it look like a piece of cake. Oklahoma green had to winch. By this time it was getting late. Time to shower, some still had wet feet and we’re hungry. Gosh, what a great 4 wheeling day. Several of us met at the restaurant and had a delicious Saturday evening meal. Yep more war stories.
Sunday am. Bull dog breakfast, war stories, fuel, ice water, camaraderie and we’re ready again. Mike had us stage at the same area as yesterday and its off to Ed’s 4 wheel area. Stop and pay Jess $15 bucks, fill out the paper work and over to the Upper Power line trail. About a third of the way up the first mountain, the CB broke the morning silence informing us that there was a rig overheating at the back of the group. Waited till it cooled down and continued up the rock sluice and over to the 2nd canyon. Rattle Trap came on the CB and asked who is leaving the trail of oil? This time broke bug hit Tom’s CJ-5 oil line. Good ole Don Fitzpatrick to the rescue again. Couple of burned fingers, a new 1/8”copper Farrell and we are rolling again. This area is getting tougher. Trail washed out and 2 rock ledges at the top. Every body boogies up ok and we hit Wildwood acres road looking for Rock Creek down hill. The torrential rains done a number on this trail also. The 1st ledge drop off will get your attention. Just past the steep rock sluice area the broke bug bit again. This time it was a large tree across the road and Tom popped out the upper and lower ball joints on the right steering yoke. Don Fitzpatrick to the rescue. High lift Jack, tire off, bottle jack, long bar, big hammer, tire on, couple of cold waters and it’s “Willie Nelson” time again. “ON THE ROAD AGAIN”. Hey look!! It’s 3 Stage. Saundra believes she will watch and take pictures as we all go up. Nice ride up the mountain till that big bad trail bug struck again. Mike poked a hole in the left rear tire about 50 yards from the wall. More ice water, a lot of a sympathy, 4 or 5 tire plugs and it’s was play time on the Wall. 4 or 5 of us made the loop over and around the wall.
By this time it was around 1:00pm and time to head for the house. We told each other how much fun we had and how good it was to meet every one. We need to do this more often. All agreed it was one of the best 4 wheeling weekends we have had. Some of us were grumbling about the long trip home and Mike and Saundra said it was only a couple of hours to their lake home on Texhoma and they would go home mid week. Down the upper part of Valentine to the logging road and back to Clayton.
I’m very grateful for the opportunity to meet our trail leaders Mike and Saundra Jones and all of the Trailchasers. The time was brief and I’ll never forget those who attended or this great weekend.