Hopewell Heritage- 2001 4x4 Blast

by Don and Amy

Our trail leader was the ex-Marine Allen Applewood, a seasoned tail gunner but first time leader. It took about 25 minutes to get to the trailhead and would have taken less if Allen hadn't missed the turn. He said he would never live it down! We had our driver's meeting on one of several Indian burial mounds. The scenic overlook was beautiful and we learned that Hopewell is the name of an ancient tribe.

Hamer and Jenny Tate were our tail gunners. The plan was to leave Jenny's Jeep and the two of them would ride in Hamer's. That plan quickly changed, however, since Hamer's Jeep broke down. So, Jenny had her first solo as tail gunner. Allen and Hamer did a super job of talking us through the more challenging obstacles and Jenny did an excellent job of tail gunning. Whenever we were not moving she was asking us what the hold-up was.

We started with 15 Jeeps. By the end of the day there were 11 Jeeps, but the same number of people. We were nearly at seating capacity! Two Jeeps were down temporarily, one with a flat tire and the other with a rear axle problem. Other problems were rear drive shaft, an axle problem and an oil pump.

A 'pond' was being built in one area. We had to leave two Jeeps there; a TJ and a CJ. (They were good company for each other). This was my favorite site. We climbed a gradual but impressive hill and then came back down on a very steep hill back into the pond area, which was actually a mud pit! One TJ didn't have enough speed or tires to get through the mud and was strapped out by "Large" who was driving a '95 Cherokee. That silenced the person who was badmouthing Cherokees.

The trail was a good blend of just about everything. We were impressed, as always, with what a Jeep can do. Extremely steep declines and inclines, just squeaking between 2 trees, walking through mud, rocks, gullies, and strolling over fallen trees. We drove in beautiful rocky river beds, crossed them and came back again.

We had a great time and plan to return in May for the next event. This is the first time we attended anything other than a Jamboree and were very satisfied. Two Rivers Jeep Club proved, without a doubt, that a "Jeep" organization and funding is simply not necessary. You don't have to dish out exorbitant fees to have a great time and meet a lot of new friends.

Well done….and THANKS!!! ~

Created: 10/11/01