OH totally rocking! We had a great time and are definitely considering doing this trip next year. We made the trip in two days from Atlanta. Stayed in Shreveport KOA at the 600 mile mark and drove the remainder of the trip on the second day for a total of 1033 miles. It was unseasonably and bitterly cold our first night there and on top of that a state-wide fire ban. We huddled around the few propane heaters that smart people brought with them. The brand new Walmart in town was already selling spring stuff, so no option for us to buy a heater while we were there. We just bundled up and sipped whiskey to fend off the cold. Everybody was still up pretty late just catching up and meeting new faces.
First day of wheeling (Friday AM), we hit the "Cotton Bales" trail with a handful of H1, H2 and H3's which was a bit annoying. The Alpha had very little problems but the H2 and H3 kept getting hung up. One H1 SUT broke a CV or tie rod. Katemcy is kind of like a mini Moab, with lots of rock but the elevation changes are not as severe. The rock is a kind of pink granite but it's really rough and craggy, not smooth like most granite or sandstone around here. We went up lots of V-notches and over big boulders. Plenty to do for all experience levels. We had a few stock FJ's and then some crazy barely Toyota buggies with 2 ton axles and long travel suspension. There was big contingency from the Cottonland Cruisers, a few folks from VA and Roger Theurer (Tellico Rob couldn't make it) was there from Chattanooga. Overall, they had 100 drivers registered. The iron butt award was given to a WTOEC member who drove his FJ45 from southern California 1400+ miles one way.
Friday night was the big party. The catered BBQ was awesome and then Cowboy raced through the raffle at breakneck speed. They had A LOT to give away. Metal Tech was the primary sponsor of the event and also gave away tube doors for a 40. They also handed out pint glasses to all attendees. This time the logo was printed in white so that you could see it when the glass is full of Shiner, which was running constantly from the kegs provided by LSLC. We had a real Texas music from the John D. Hale band playing all night, interspersed with some local participation (Bodean does a mean version of Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road").
Saturday we got rolling again and decided to do the Waterfall trail, one of the most varied terrain we conquered. Lots of steep walls, v-grooves, stepped descents and one big descent that puts you uncomfortably off camber. The trail's namesake obstacle is a 5 foot waterfall drop that can be travelled either going up or down it. Our route had us going down it. Cat drove and I hung on. Garrett from the trail team was spotting us and we did it pretty cleanly. It was a bit bumpy but we never felt in danger. I don't have any pictures of our rig doing this, but a couple of other folks got pics and the trail team videotaped the obstacle.
We got back to camp around 2pm and had lunch and taking a much needed rest from all the bouncing around on the trail. Then we headed out again to do the Aggie Highway loop. This trail was a bit tamer but had some really good optional obstacles along the way. Some nice ravine crossings and a couple of good wall climbs made for an entertaining ride.
One of the coolest schwag items came from the trail team in the form of a chrome and enamel grill badge. It's pretty slick and anyone driving an FJ that shows up to one of their events should be able to swipe one.
We had plenty of sunny weather this day and warmed up from a chilly 30-something morning to the 70's by lunchtime.
More pics...The great thing about Katemcy Rocks is that it doesn't have any trail restrictions. If you want to try something, then you can go for it. Just don't run over any cows or any plant life (mostly scrub and cactus, but important in preventing major erosion) and don't go out on the trail alone are pretty much the only ground rules. They have a trail map sort of... a big 4x8 sheet of plywood that has the map painted on it - no xeroxed copies to take with you, so it can be tricky if you lose your sense of direction easily. Most of our trail rides were led by someone who either worked for the Kruse family or was a veteran.