Trip Report: Hollister Hills SVRA
McCray Road obstacle course grand opening
Saturday Nov 17th 2012
Trip report by Paul Wubbels
Members attending: Rick, Paul, Brian, Robin, Eli, Ron & Rosalinda, Brad
Guests: Howard, David Eiffert & family, Mark and Adam, Jesse and Jared Bishop, Gary Flint, Jeremy & friends
Robin, Eli and Ron & Rosalinda met at Safeway at 8am (Robin was on time!) and Eli jumped in with Robin so he wouldn't have to wash his jeep later.
Made it to the old obstacle course around 9:30am and met up with Rick, Paul and Brian. Ron, Rosalinda and Robin scouted the course and evaluated the options for the upcoming LOS event. It will be challenging! Rick, Paul, Brian and Eli went on up to the new course where they ran into Brad, Mark and Adam, Jesse and Jared Bishop, and about a hundred other spectators and rigs checking out the new course.
Robin drove his GMC and Ron his Chevy up the access road which winds its way around and over the new obstacle course. It looked like a ride at Disneyland with some of the rigs looking pretty Goofy and one was downright Mickey Mouse! Also the rain was pouring off and on the whole day which made the obstacles and the road wet and slippery like the log ride.
Ron found out the hard way just how slippery it was when his truck slid into another parked vehicle while attempting to go around it. No major damage was done, and though he had left his info for the missing driver - the rangers that witnessed the whole thing told him to remove his info and that they had told the driver not to park there and he 'assumed the risk of damage' for ignoring their advice. Well Ron was pretty much stuck against that truck so Robin jumped in and directed other vehicles to stay clear and commandeered a nearby Bronco with a winch to pull Ron's truck away and helped him get out of that slippery spot. Once Robin and Ron got their trucks down the road and well out of the way - it was time to check out the course and start handing out flyers for the LOS event. Rosalinda grabbed the flyers and went to work passing them out letting people know about the Kid's Toy drive and food drive.
We also ran into a few more friends and guests from previous club meetings including Gary Flint and his wife, also Jeff W.'s nephew Jeremy and his friends.
While Robin and Eli scouted out the lower end of the course, they found Howard and a friend down at the first obstacle which we will now nickname "The Gatekeeper" as it was pretty much as hard or harder than the original one at the Rubicon. Howard's Bronco had the power and ability to crawl over the tallest rocks, but somehow the short wheelbase and turning radius worked against him in this section and it took a bunch of rock stacking and finally a winch line to get him up and over the big rock in the middle.
By the time Howard had reached the end of this section, Rick and Paul had their rigs in line to attempt the same route. Well Rick took some interesting lines through the section which resulted in a flop on the side but that didn't stop the old trusty flat fender from making it out of that hellhole. Paul had some front axle issues from earlier in the day when he had broke is driver's side locking hub which made it a little tougher for him in this rocky section. Using Rick's jeep as a winch point, Paul was able to pull himself up and out of the tough part and with a few more words of encouragement was through the end of the section.
The rest of the afternoon was spent watching the many different buggies and rigs make their way through the various sections of the new course. This is truly an amazing piece of work created by volunteers and the Hollister Hills IHV staff! The long trail is broken into different sections of variying difficulty and allows many drivers to enter and exit the course from many different spots along the road. They have also put a few picnic tables and lots of spectator areas along the route so you could basically stay up there and play the whole day. All they need is a spot to park our campers and we would be all set for a weekend of gnarly rock crawling!
By Pau Wubbels