The 41st Annual Hi Desert Round-Up is in the books and as they say history. Although attendance was down from last year the event made almost the same. Our friend the wind was once again back this year from Wednesday until Saturday when it let up a bit. I have been to this area over a half-dozen times and the wind has blown each time. An old time Lucerne Valley resident once told me that this area is the butt of the desert and I find that I must agree with him.
The best-equipped game was dynamite this year and I must thank Natalie Wriggle for announcing the game again this year; great job Natalie. There were four clubs competing this year. Victor Valley was defending their title and hopefully taking home the one hundred dollar prize donated by Olympic 4x4 Products, with Scouts West, Gad-Zuks, and Gary's Group all trying to take it away. It was nip and tuck for the first couple of questions and then it kind of became a race between Victor Valley and Scouts West. I had told Patty from Victor Valley that they were going down. You have no idea how hard it was for me to eat my words. The final score was Victor valley 37, Scouts 36, Gad-Zuks 20 and I think Gary's Group had 20 also. But to put it all into perspective, Gad-Zuks had only one vehicle. Their other vehicle got lost and ended up in Rialto or Barstow. So we should have been spotted 10 points for that, and since the Samurai's are so small and don't have a lot of room, we should have been spotted another 8 points and that would make Gad-Zuks the winner with 38 points. So all I have to do is convince Patty and the rest of the Victor Valley crew that they actually lost!
We had eight runs available ranging from moderate to 37" tires and lockers front and rear. Our club, Gad-Zuks, came out and ran the club Adopt-A-Trail along with invited guests. There were just the usual problems on the runs with a couple of broken axles and a couple of tip overs but nothing serious, all the reports from the participants were positive as far as the runs. Most all like the runs but hate the area. There were numerous requests to move to another location. Some of the suggestions were to try Cougar Buttes, Slash X, and back to the old location. I discussed moving again with the BLM while they were on site and I was told there would be no problem as long as we stayed with in the open areas and documented the trails. I think moving back to the old location may be the best choice in the fact that we will be able to do the Calico runs and Pumpkin Eater and still be able to go down to the buttes and do the new favorites down there. There are many runs and trails in these areas and we need to offer as many as we can. As well as the new runs, I would also like to see some new games.
This year, Scouts West put on the Wet Lap game and it was the best-wet lap game that we have had in recent memory. There was a line of 15 plus vehicles waiting most of the day. They used a suction mount camera to get the reaction of the contestants, I have seen some of the videos and they are absolutely hilarious to say the least (see the attached links). There were more wet laps in camp this year than any of the previous ten years. But the Scouts West guys think that just because a Scout is larger, the bowl holding the water should be as well; I think the bowl held at least a gallon. There were a few new ideas tried in able to win! One of these ideas came from some of the GenRight crew. Jami Pellegrino and his co-driver Cameron Harris came up with the idea to use Cameron's shirt to soak up the water in the bowl, and at the end wring the water back out of his shirt into the bowl. They got an A for effort but a D.Q. for the game. That kind of "out of the box" thinking may just have a new title: Head of Product Development for GenRight.
Some of the vehicles coming out of the dip in the course had all four wheels in the air. We had a side-by-side go through that looked like it was on a rail. Scouts West has set the bar to a very high level for the wet lap. I wonder how they will be able to top it. But knowing these guys, I'm sure they will.
The High Desert 4 Wheelers brought back their Articulation Ramp again this year. Jim Taylor and Rudy Turk, with help from the club, had things running smoothly as there was a long line waiting. Although there was a wait for all the games, people didn't seem to mind and all seemed happy just to be out doing what they enjoy.
On The Rocks was in charge of the Teeter Totter again this year. OTR has the Teeter Totter event down to a science and vehicles were lined up waiting their turn. This game can be extremely frustrating, but you can't stop trying to conquer it. Usually a person will drive up for the very first time and balance almost perfectly. However, it seems with each subsequent attempt it gets worse.
Hemet Jeep Club once again put on the Turtle Crawl game this year. This year it was a combination game of the Turtle Crawl and the Blind Man's Game. I watched Mike and Bob at the finish line for a while and they would fall asleep for about 15 minutes and wake up just in time for the vehicle to finish. I heard the game got off to a slow start because Shawn couldn't find the start line with the blindfold on. Once it was explained to him that only the participants are supposed to wear the blindfold, the game proceeded without any further incidents.
Sunday evening during the raffle there were several special awards given out to some very deserving people. Mike Kunz from the Bakersfield Trailblazers won the Broken Down on the Trail Gift. This consisted of a hula-hoop for entertainment and a bottle of wine, and a roll of toilet paper (should have given him a Wag Bag). There was some discussion about doing the hula-hoop; I only hope that Mike's life is not dependent on his ability to do the hula-hoop. I must confess that I am very good at the hula-hoop, but choose to do poorly so Mike wouldn't feel bad. But Jim Taylor from High Desert 4 Wheelers thought this was funny so with a little coaxing Jim gave it a try. Let's just say that Jim is never going to be a hula-hoop champ.
As you may remember I wrote about the Ben Dover award in previous articles. Paul Treichel from Scouts West either fell off the RTI ramp or drove off... we aren't sure, but for this Paul was awarded the prestigious Ben Dover award. Ben is a little figure that is bent over and his head goes up his behind, and when you push a button he says, "like you, my problem is obvious." Paul also won a special pair of ladies under wear XXXXXL with Scouts West and the IH logo on the rear. These, no doubt will be Paul's new antenna flag.
The Sheriff collected $120 in fines and Mark St. Peter of the High Desert Crawlers (HDC) won the drawing. Mark donated his half to the save Johnson Valley fund, as did the Sheriff. HDC is a new club being formed in the High Desert. Paul Treichel took the bucket around and we were able to raise nearly $700 for the save Johnson Valley fund. Thanks in part to HDC, Victor Valley, Scouts West, Hemet, Gad-Zuks, and Paul Yoder (Out Four Fun) and others who donated. Again thanks for your donations.
One item that takes away a bit from the event was the fact that when we were cleaning up we found a campfire that was unattended and still burning. Once we extinguished the fire it took about an hour to clean up all the trash. We filled up a whole red onion bag with burnt beer cans and almost another with bottles and trash consisting of a sway bar and links, insulation and other miscellaneous trash. I would assume that these were NOT CA4WDC members. But whoever they are, I hope they don't return to any of our events until they learn how to properly leave a campsite. These persons don't have a clue as to what it takes to keep areas open. I hope they learn soon!
I need to give a big thank you to all the people who stepped up to make this event a successful and fun event. Bakersfield Trail Blazers, especially Matt Woodfin (aka Mr. Meaty) and Mike Kunz, who stepped up and did safety this year ? we couldn't have done it without your help. The whole crew from Scouts West; you guys are great. Victor Valley 4 Wheelers, you all were willing to fill any needed jobs. On The Rocks; thanks to Bill, Mike and all the rest of the club that came out to help with the teeter totter. Guy and Traci Longley put on an awesome raffle and games for the kids. Thanks to Steve Egbert for handling the event registration. And last but not least, High Desert 4 Wheelers for all your work with the RTI ramp and for putting on the best-equipped game. Great job guys!
It was a good event. If we put together an event where everyone has a good time and enjoys themselves, then we consider it a success. If it makes money, then that's icing on the cake. You Can't Put a Price on Fun!