It was a great day for wheeling north Texas as 13 Trailchaser rigs made the club run to Nocona, Texas to the Wheelin' Ranch. Included in the group were the Jeep drivers: Dale & Tanja Williams, Richard Jurey, Don Huddleston, Ron & Nathan Shearon, Chad Williams & Andrew Crabtree, & Leon & Tommy Davis. Suzuki Drivers: Robert & Naomi Jones, Martin & Marty Young, J.J. Daigle, & Chad Boudreaux & Benji Arsalanuvki. Chevy Driver: Greg & Kate Contrearas. Toyota Driver: Christine Foster, Rick & David Mosley & nephew Cody.
The Wheelin' Ranch is located on private property northeast of Nocona. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary cow pasture. But as you get to the actual wheeling area, the land opens up to a variety of trails including deep ravines, sharp, steep incline, large rock piles, and off-camber trails just waiting to toss a vehicle into the nearest tree or rock.
After breakfast at the local DQ, trail leader Robert Jones organized the group, collected money, did a safety check, then got us all started down the trail by about 9:30 am.
The first trail was "The Crack" (rated 6) and I can see why. It is deep, narrow and steep. Some of the group went up, and some took the bypass, but all went down without any problems. Next was Reverse Light Hill (rated 5). All conquered this one without any problem. Then while Robert and some of his Suzuki friends played in a large ravine, Don and Marty slid down "The Twins", which is a pair of trails full of large boulders and loose rock. Then we all made our way to Twisted Sister (rated 4) which gets it's name because it is a deep, narrow, ravine, with sharp deep sides, making passage a challenge. However, we all made it, and Marty showed us how to do it on two wheels - off camber style!
The "Spider Web" is "webby" - and bit our first vehicle of the day. Ron Shearon broke a steering gear box at the entrance of the trail. While he was being towed back to the trail entrance, the group tackled Tornado Alley (rated 3). Dale had to winch Leon up, and "Boudreaux" had a power steering overflow on the hill.
We all stopped for lunch while Ron went and got his truck and trailer and brought it back to the trail head to load his Jeep. This proved to be a problem on the rough terrain, and he dented his truck and trailer getting it back to the Jeep. However, he did get it loaded OK, and he and Nathan finished the day as passengers with other Trailchasers.
We conquered Trails Plywood (rated 3) and Sparky (rated 5). Robert did most of these in two wheel drive, but Chris had some problems, and laid his rig over on a rock climbing Sparky. After a quick winch, he climbed out without a problem. The DiffGetter (rated 3) has some very large rocks, and Don Huddleston lost his brakes on these, giving everyone a fright. Thank goodness he was able to do a quick trail repair and keep on wheeling.
Robert then took us over to a trail named "ToyFreaked". Since it was named after a Toyota, I felt that my Toyota, being the only one in the group, should give it a try. It is steep, and has a ledge at the top, but I made it ok. Yeah!! Of course, all the rest of the group made it ok too, but we won't talk about that!
It was getting late in the day, but we still had a few easy trail to try - those being Hummer 2 and Hummer 3, land Rover and Gecko-Gecko, all rated 3 or 4. These trail are short and easy climbs, with loose rock, and narrow passage between trees,. Then Robert had to try Sparky one more time. This was his downfall, or to put it correctly "it was roll over time". After several attempts on Sparky, he hit it hard, and his right rear tire dug under a large rock, which prevented him from climbing up. Instead, it tossed the "Zuk" over backwards. Richard was a passenger, and thank goodness, no one was hurt.
The group called it a day then, loaded up, and headed back to Oklahoma City; but not before stopping at Chickasha for some of Jake's famous barbeque ribs.
All and all, it was a good trip, and I'm glad I went. The "Wheelin' Ranch" offers a variety of trails, both moderate and hard core, and is close enough to Oklahoma City to make it an easy one day trip.