Thanks to Sammy for his writeup about our Shoe Creek run on February 7th, 2004. If anyone has pictures or anything else to contribute to this, send them to me at webmaster at midatlanticjeepers dot com.
No! Wait! That's how it ended!!!!
Well. For those of you who didn't make the Shoe Creek trip this weekend, you definitely missed an adventure. We made it to the trail head at about 11 am, aired down, and started up. Everything was going great. The obstacles were fun. The trail was a bit icy in places and sometimes took a run or two extra to make it through. But by the time we made it to the top where the Appalachian trail crosses, I think everyone had had a good time.
That's when it began. Once you're at the top there, you have to go down to get to the top parking lot. Apparently, other jeeps must have come through there a few days earlier because there were some nice size ruts in the snow that had since frozen solid. Don, being the brave leader, went first, and it was a sight to see. Think olympic luge, better yet, skelton. You know, where you go down head first. He made it down ok, but we learned a lesson or two from it. The rest of us didn't have to experience it the same way Don did (thankfully!).
All of us finally made it down to the top lot and thought to ourselves, "Well, this has been a great trip. That last part was a little dicey, but it's done and we're almost out." That's about when another CJ came up the forest road that leads out and gave us the good news. "The road out is solid ice. Three other trucks were headed down, and one slid part of the way off. The other two are blocking the road, trying to get it. You can't go out that way."
That was about 4pm. Oh yeah, and we had to get back up the hill we just slid down. So, we started back up. Don, still being the fearless leader, headed back up. He made it as far as he could and started winching. He was still at least 3 pulls from the top. Also, about then, a few snowflakes started falling (see, it's getting stormy). Don settled the jeep in for a lot of winching, and everyone still at the bottom pooled together all of the tow straps, tree savers, and shackles that could be found and put them in the next jeep. After that, the jeeps started heading up the hill one by one. A few made it, most required pulling.
Somewhere along the way, a search and rescue guy showed up from the Shoe creek side. Apparently, he had been dispatched from a call about the guys stuck on the forest road side. I'm guessing they must have sent one SAR person up each side. Whatever the reason, I think all of us felt a little better knowing that they even existed.
By then it was dark (see I told you it was dark AND stormy), and the last jeep made it up at about 7 pm. We still had a long way to go to get down and by now, Don had had enough of this leadin' stuff. He decided to tail gun on the way out. So, we started down the trail, avoiding the obstacles this time. We drove by the house up there, which had its lights on, and I don't think anyone drove by without thinking "I bet it's warm in there!" But, we plodded on. After a while though, we thought we'd lost Don and Pete. I figured that they must have stopped at the house to grab a beer and warm up. They finally caught up and Pete claims that it was "his low first gear" that made him so slow. Me, I'm still thinking that they must have stopped.
At about 9pm, we finally made it off the trail. Everyone started reconnecting and thinking about dinner. So, we headed over to Lovingston Cafe. It closes at 9 on Saturdays in case anyone needed to know. So, we headed over to Vito's. We finally had a good warm dinner, watched Women's Skelton on the TV, and thought "Don could have beat them."
Everyone finally headed home at about 10:30, and I'm sure everyone was glad to see their warm beds.
Leave it to MAJ to turn a normal Saturday into an adventure!