We had a great event! People started rolling in Friday morning and a few stragglers were still coming in around dark on Saturday. It's humbling that some people will drive almost 3 hours to hang out with this group for a couple hours even when there isn't any 'wheeling involved.
This year's event had a new angle to it - two work days thrown in with the usual party happenings - and I think it was pretty damn successful. Friday's mission was to attack the need for firewood at the barn. Kenny and his brother-in-law, John, had a massive stack of logs already waiting on us, and John ventured out into the woods on his tractor and dragged back another 12 or so. They were all between 24-30+ inches in diameter. Some of us made short logs out of the long logs while more of us handled the splitting and stacking duties. Wet wood is damned heavy and we all felt it in the morning but A LOT of progress was made. Lots of sweat flowed as it was the first 80* day of the year. People filtered in and set up camp throughout the process lending a hand when needed. There was even an emergency underground water line repair before dinner. Jonathan J and I prepped the pig after dinner while the kids all came by to inspect it. Gathering around the firepit that night was quiet and relaxing...and almost unnecessary since the temps only got down to the low 50's! Shaun kept the fire going, as usual, and most of us turned in far earlier than normal.
Saturday started early for Eric F, Meatball and myself. We got the cooker smoking, threw on the pig and started our breakfast while more people began arriving and staging for the trail workday. I'm happy to say that there were only 3 people left at the barn when our crew hit the road for URE and those people were needed for party functions. A big ONSC thanks goes out to every man, woman and child who took to the woods to get dirty working on our only public trail system. I think I heard that there were about 50 people on the workday.
More progress was made on the wood pile while the URE crew was busy. Daytime arrivals that didn't make the URE crew call chipped in. We stopped when we realized there was no more dry storage space left. John told us he's never had that much wood ready to go so we called it quits and enjoyed a frosty beverage.
The trail crew came back in stages and other people continued to arrive. It was great to see so many new faces and trucks and to watch them as they tried to put names/vehicles/MUD names together! That's hard to do in a club with over 90 members. There was only one truck that broke anything while working but it got repaired in short order with spare parts it already carried. This should be a reminder to know your weakest link and prepare accordingly.
It was really cool to see the new guys' rigs and the new rigs of some old guys. Shandor and John R both had new 60's to show off, and Eric F had his new rooftop tent to break in. I admit that I didn't really get to see most of the cool new stuff. I think I did get to talk to everybody who attended, though.
Raffle winners were Eric Rymer (of course) for the Trasharoo and Brain Keefer for the Land Cruiser Parts and Consulting gift card.
Lots of other cool things probably happened, and lots of great stories were probably swapped, but I'll let other folks relay those items because I missed a lot of it due to dinner prep duties.
Additional big thanks go out to: Kenny and Lydia for the location; Eric J and Darin for working with the forest service to enable the work day; Eric R, Cirbo and others for Sunday breakfast duties; everybody for cleaning; Jonathan J and Alex for pig help; everybody who made food or brought supplies; Allen for handling the raffle sales; everybody who helped with the wood. I'd also like to thank Derek for introducing some of us to one of the worst beers I've ever had - Habanero Sculpin...please don't do that to us again. I can see @CharlestonG8R doing that, but it was a surprise coming from you.
EDIT: BOD election results were in! Johnny remains el jefe, I retain Secretary/TLCA Rep, and Eric Forrest is the new Membership Coordinator. Thanks to all who ran and all who voted. Let's do it again next year!
Hard to top what's already been said but man I love this club. You will never in your life find a better collection of people. It's truly a wonderful family....slightly dysfunctional at times but man I don't know what I would do without you guys.
So That's to Kenny, Lydia and John Whitney for allowing us to use this amazing property. Thanks for allowing us to use the lower room to stay as it worked out perfectly. I never thought you could fit a 6'3 300lb dude and 130lb great dane in the twin bed spot, but it happened Saturday night. But by the time we crashed I didn't care one bit. lol. #fatballs.
Johnny, Shaun, Sean, Alex, Eric F, John V and Sarah (hope I didn't miss any) thanks for all the help cutting the wood. Many large logs got put in their place. Sarah, much appreciated the gatorade and the snack while working.
Thanks to all those that came out and pitched in for the workday. That was a lot of guardrail and we all worked well to get the job done. Definitely a different feeling tugging those up the backside of Daniel for sure. Great work everyone.
Big thank you John V for getting up at 5:30 to start that pig and all the attention put into it. another stellar meal. Everyone that brought something did a phenomenal job. I don't think there was a thing I didn't enjoy. After two days of hitting it hard that meal made it all worth it.
As always the fire side fun is amazing.
Sarah, I really didn't know this was possibly but I thank you for the laugh.
Holy wow the things I learned by the fire once there were just a few of us left..... #fatballs, #fatballspartdeux, Squaty potty....
At the end of the day, thank each of you for all that you do to make the club great. The activity level of a group of folks brought together by a vehicle is incredible. To have this kind of turnout when there it technically no wheeling really is a testament to how much we all truly enjoy each others company. Cannot wait to do it again.
Without sounding like a broken record year over year, I've got to start out with the thanks, and since John V beat me to it, I'll echo what he said:
Thank you Kenny and Lydia, as well as John W, for allowing us to use the barn!! I'm glad we were able to get so much wood cut. Unfortunately the shower enclosure wasn't in the cards for this weekend, although we sure could have used it. We'll get it done, hopefully this year. @alk747triodad don't forget to get me that address!!
Thank you to @JohnVee for cooking the pig!! It was delicious as always
Thank you to @Fort Knox for administering the raffle!! Congrats to @erymer for winning the trasharoo and congrats to @GarnerFJ40 for winning the $250 gift certificate
Congrats to the winners of the 2016 BOD election!! Together we'll be able to continue improvement in the club and maintain the family-like atmosphere we've always had.
Now, for the workdays. First up, the wood cutting. None of us could make it Thursday night, so we all got there Friday AM and cutting commenced at roughly 11am. By noon, we had sweat through our shirts. We got through an estimated 14 logs in good time and the splitting crew made quick work of it. For those who were following the chain discussions in the canceled barn work party thread, I tried out a yellow chain for the first time on my MS290 and HOLY CRAP was it awesome. Instead of having to push and rock the saw to get through a log with the green chain, the yellow chain RIPPED through the log. I had to hold up on the saw to get it to cut straight and not bog down. Very impressive. I'm only buying yellow chains from here on out.
Saturday morning was awesome. We met at the Dutch John parking lot at ~9am and had a HUGE turnout!! The goals were to get all of the rail and posts off of *that one section of Rocky Mountain Loop* and staged up on the back side of Daniel, and then to pull the rest of the posts from the Dutch John parking lot up to the back side of Daniel. It was a lot of work, but since we had so many people, we got it all done. As everyone heard, I fried another rear driveshaft and rear output yoke on my transfer case, but had all the parts, so it only took 30 min to change everything out. After the fix, we went up to *that one section of Rocky Mountain Loop* to take some pictures and play one last time.
Saturday night was epic, as always. The pot-luck was a roaring success and we have leftovers for days. Thank you to everyone who brought food!!
Now for the pictures. Workday:
POP goes the driveshaft. My right foot was a little too liberal with the torque application:
I had a terrific time meeting all the members and trying to match spouses, vehicles and screen names with everyone. I gave up trying to remember whose children and dogs belonged to who. I really appreciate the warm welcome I received and how comfortable I felt around you guys. Everyone was super friendly and made the long drive there and back worthwhile. I look forward to future events and once I get "Ichiban" more complete I want to get it good and dirty.
Always a great time with this bunch. There is no better group of folks to hang out with. My only regret from this weekend was not being able to get there earlier and stay longer, so that should pretty much sum it up.