HOT RODS.....NO, THAT’S HOT ROCKS AT ROBBERS CAVE
The word “hot” doesn’t even begin to describe how it felt to us out among the rocks and a few trees at the Robbers Cave Run on Saturday the 23rd of July. We met around 8:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the swimming pool and the little lake across the road from the Robbers Cave State Park Cabins and camping area. A few people came in that morning and had to unload their rigs from their trailers. We had 10 rigs in all. Our leader for the day was Tony Scalf in his Scout and David Loessin was the tail gunner in his Toyota truck. All the others in the middle were: Tom and Jan Malone in their Bronco II; Tom Gray in his very tall F150 pickup; Terri Chancey from Tulsa in her Toyota pick up with the big Chevy motor; Alex and Gerri Flatt from Paoli, Ok in their Samurai that they bought from Christine Foster; Wayne Watts, his son Jerry and grandson Jerry Jr. from Paris, Texas in their Jeep Cherokee; Christine Foster and Don Huddleston with his son, Connor and his nephew, Dallas in Christine’s Toyota Truck; and Kerry and Rachael Cannaday with their son in their almost new Forerunner. Did I mention that it was hot? We got around to leaving at about 9:15 and entered the trail at Donahoe Stone. Tony had his GPS with him and David had a topographical map. But, you know, maps aren’t always right. We hunted for a while to find the road that would take us to the waterfall over by Kinta, but it just wasn’t there. So we just headed over to where the large rocks used to be. It sure did look different than the last time I saw it. Mr. Donahoe had bulldozed some of the big rocks down, so we mostly had a field of rocks to play on. And play we did. Did I mention that it was hot? We were driving all over that field of rocks and grass. You had better go slowly because sometimes the rocks were hidden in the grass and you got a big surprise. There was a place with mostly rocks with no grass. We tried our hand at getting stuck on a few of those rocks. One time we were trying an obstacle and decided that it was much too narrow for our rig to go through so, we four wheeled backwards for a while to get out of that spot. Don had a good time driving Christine’s Toyota in that rock bed and his son and nephew were having a lot of fun too. Tom was trying a spot across the field and his tire slipped off the rock and he got high centered. He tried for a while to get unstuck, but it wasn’t going to happen. Don Huddleston went over there and Tom attached his winch to Don’s truck and finally got his differential off that nasty old rock. David Loessin drove Christine and me in his air conditioned truck over to where Tom was stuck. Did I mention that it was hot? Don and Tom were working on the Bronco. I guess that the winch was sparking. They finally figured out that the bottom two bolts that hold the winch onto the car were very loose and they are also grounding points. They just tightened the bolts really good and fixed that problem. It was time to leave the rock field and try to find what we called the bowl. The bowl has one very steep incline of nothing but loose dirt. David Loessin, Tom Malone, Alex Flatt and Wayne Watts made it up that obstacle. Christine Foster, Don Huddleston and the two boys must have gotten hungry. They parked the Toyota under a tree and ate their lunch while watching the rest of us play. Did I mention that it was hot? After playing in the bowl we decided to go find a nice place with maybe some shade to eat our lunch. On our way in search of shade, we came upon some “strange mud.” It was like potters clay. It was gray on top almost like concrete and the under side was the regular red mud. Tony was the leader so he was the first to encounter the “strange mud.” Tony almost got stuck, but was finally able to power his way out of it. Everyone struggled to make it and did, except Terry Chancey. David Loessin finally had to pull her Toyota out of that nasty stuff. With everyone safely out of the clutches of that “strange mud” we could go on in our quest for shade. Somewhere along the way Terri’s Toyota truck developed a carb problem. Her Chevy motor was refusing to run. She had to drive with one foot on the brake while giving the car a lot of gas with her other foot. After having problems the rest of the day, she vowed to get a kit to change her Toyota over to fuel injected by our next run in August to Disney. We’re done with the mud and are still searching for shade for lunch. Tony took us to a spot that is usually shady, but they must have cut down some trees besides moving the rocks. We just couldn’t find much shade. Did I mention it was hot? We decided to go down a ways to find the creek. Well, the creek didn’t have any water in it and there was no shade there either. It was getting late and some of us were getting hungry so we just decided to find the first shade we came to and stop to eat. Most of us huddled around a tree with a little shade. We put up a few chairs and put out a blanket and shared the shade. At least we were close enough to visit with each other. We drank water and pop, shared watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes and cookies and had a nice warm lunch. It was nice to be in some shade. But, we couldn’t stay there forever. Did I mention that it was hot? There were more roads ahead of us and obstacles to find. Some how, we ended up going through that “strange mud” again. We had stirred it up some, so it was a little more difficult. Terri decided to use that big Chevy motor and gun it through the mud. She made it through this time. But Kerry Cannaday in the Forerunner got real stuck. Tony had to pull him out of that mess. I think the mud wanted a victim, but we were able to get away and conquer the “strange mud”. We got back to the bowl and played a little while there again. But something happened to the steep incline while we were gone. It changed and got very loose. David and Tom made it up after a few tries, but the rest couldn’t make it. It could be that the heat was taking its toll on us. Oh, did I mention that it was hot? Tom Gray in the F150 had one of those push button thermometers that told you the temperature of the outside air. He told us that it was fluctuating between 103 and 107 degrees since before lunch. When we heard that, it made us even hotter than we already felt. Tony started to feel light headed and we were all drained. It was about 3:00, so we decided to call it a day and head on back to the parking lot. After getting to the parking lot, Christine decided to just load up and head on back to Oklahoma City. We drove on over to the camp site where most of the group was staying. The ones that had camped the night before, decided it was just too hot to stay outside another night. So everyone started putting their tents away and loading up there cars to head on home. While they were packing up, it actually rained on us about 10 drops. I think that Tom and I were the only smart ones in the group. We had a motel room Friday and Saturday night with an air conditioner. Did I mention that it was hot? Since everyone was leaving, we went back to our cool room, got cleaned up and then went out for dinner. Oh, by the way, after we came out of the motel and were going to dinner, the temperature was about 85 degrees. Some kind of cold front had gone through with those 10 drops of rain. While we were looking for a restaurant, we ran into Tony, David and Terri putting gas in their cars. They had just finished eating and were about to go on home. We had a nice Pizza Hut dinner and headed on home the next morning. We had a good time despite the weather. Tom liked it because he was able to do that extremely steep spot at the bowl. The last time we were there, we had two of our grandchildren with us and almost turned over at that spot. We had to be winched up the obstacle. If you look at the Trailchasers web site under Members Rides and then click on Ford, you will see a picture of us about to roll over at that very spot. This goes to show you that four wheelers can have fun no matter what. Did I mention that it was hot?