One Passenger's Eye View
April 5th Disney Run
by Naomi Jones
Our engines roar to life as we begin our day of fun.
It's the Trailchaser's Disney run.
With Phil Bargman's '76 FJ 40 Land Cruiser in the lead and
Robert "Zukiman" Jones' '94 Suzuki Samurai bringing up the rear,
Each vehicle is equipped with trail-ready gear
Anxious to begin wheeling, we head toward Rock Garden-
A place where most all our rigs have been.
Ken and Mary Alice Moore are here in their '93 Toyota with straight
Axle conversion, and also here are David and Kristen Burkett in their '92 YJ.
The Rock Garden is a fun place to play.
I think as we climb a rock ledge, "I should have stayed home and rested."
Our Sami's been roll over tested.
Crawling around we see Kenneth Myer here with Jamie in a red '84 Toyota,
And Brandon Brown with passenger Steve Luton in a red '97 TJ.
From good adventure it's hard to stay away.
Climbing this ledge, Robert is feeling particularly bold.
Oh, my goodness! Where's my hand hold?
Wheeling around in an '81 Toyota Pickup is Rob Young with passenger
Kyle Mattox. Billie and Janita Young are here in their '91 Jeep YJ.
Janita videotapes the rock crawling play.
A few people give our "wheel of fortune" a spin,
Though there are no vowels to buy or money to win.
Riding in our Sami with Robert and myself are our grandsons,
Bobby and Andy Dobbs. They survived a roll over on our last trip and took it pretty well.
If they are anxious today, I can't tell.
Phil Bargman makes a good attempt at climbing the Grand Staircase.
He needs a longer wheel base.
Dennis Robertson is here in his '85 Toyota, with passenger Bobby Scott.
Tommy Holsen and navigator Steve Bitler are here in a '95 TJ.
Several groups are playing on the rocks today.
Some rigs are crawing over ledges that look pretty rough.
Cameras click as they show their stuff.
We crawl over to Trent Brennen in his red '87 Sami, and as we move on,
We see Tony McCall and passenger Jimmy Weatherford in Tony's long wheel base Sami.
The dirt trails are more fun for me.
We cross over a stream and make a long climb, steep as can be .
Then the trail is shaped like a V.
Ahead of us, Tyler Beavers has a rotated axle tube on his '95 YJ that has to be fixed.
A bit of welding and he can be back out on the trail
And ready for wheeling without fail.
Robby Printup and Darrin Oberg are in Robby's Sami.
"Take it easy, Robby."
The 88 1/2 Sami is having radiator problems. On up ahead, Aaron Keith drives his
CJ7 with open front diff up a steep, rocky hill.
Will he make it? You bet he will.
This trail we're parked off camber with one side tipped up in the air.
"Hey, Aaron. How's it feel up there?"
"Feels pretty good." Aaron Keith and passenger Derrick Sumper are from Perry. Barry
Brisco, also from Perry, is riding with Phil Bargman. For lunch we meet at PJ's Corner Grill.
There's lots of wheeling to do still.
From the front of our rig we hear a popping and banging sound.
A broken front shock mount we found.
Our grandsons are loads of fun on a wheeling trip. As we splash through the water and bounce
Over rocks, our four-year-old instructs me, "It's okay Mema, now don't be scared. Hang on tight."
I smile. We're having fun alright.
At Little Blue I lose my courage and say, "Let me out, please."
Then Robert goes up it with ease.
Here from Blackwell are Darry Smith and passenger Aron Ottosen in a '75 CJ5, and Tony
Vowl and passenger Rusty Wolf in a '73 CJ5.
Each runs 33" tires on his CJ5.
Though Bad Apple and Oklahoma Green don't look real trail-tough,
They do some pretty extreme stuff.
Cliff Wilkins in a '53 CJ2A (Bad Apple), and Ken Levings in a '46 CJ2A (Oklahoma Green)
Are from Blackwell also.
Before we quit for the day, we have one more place to go.
Over the rocks, our little caravan starts to creep and crawl.
Now it's on to the waterfall.
No one has any success here, although David Burkett, Robert, Aaron Keith, and Phil Bargman
All put forth a gallant effort. Regardless of such a good display,
Conquering this challenge will just have to wait until another day.
The oldest member of our group today is nearly seventy,
And the youngest is only three.
Off-roading is fun at any age.
This is just one passenger's eye view.
I'm ready to go again. How about you?