The Roughwheelers IV Wheel Drive Club
April 1996 - Calico Run

My name is Robert and my handle is Sandman. But lately everybody seems to be calling me Bobbo (Bob - o). Actually, I think my full handle is Bobbo, Bobbo, Bobbo... Ba, Ba, Ba, Bobbo (sung to "Strangers in the Night"). Anyway, this trip report is suppose to be about the Roughwheelers April trip to Calico. I met up with Diane in Victorville and immediately head- ed to the Ralphs on Palmdale Blvd. I had forgotten ALL of the cold stuff. You see, I messed with my routine. I did some early packing Thursday night and put the ice chest in the truck. I don't know why, just to get it out of the way, I guess. Well, I normally put it in the kitchen, and trip over it all Friday night, until I remember to pack it. I guess I had been on the highway about an hour and a half when I happened to think about something that was suppose to be in the ice chest. Uhhgg! Well, anyway, this is suppose to be about the run, so never mind all that last stuff. So I met up with Diane, did some shopping, and then parked at the Taco Bell. We were waiting for my cousin Alan (from North Carolina, in town for a few days). He use to go fourwheeling with the club (as a designated guest) a few years ago, but then moved back east. But there I go again, getting off track. Let's see... Calico, that's right.

Well, the three of us (an F250, a CJ7 and a rental car) made our way towards camp. After we came over the hill that you climb going out of Barstow, I heard Keith jabbering on the CB. Well, I must have talked to him for another twenty minutes until we got to camp. He did a fine job of guiding us in, which is good cause I hadn't been to this camp before and he had moved it from where Bob's hand drawn map had said it would be (which, by the way was drawn "Not Even To Scale!"). I turned toward a camper, figuring that surely this was camp and Keith got on the CB and said I'd made a wrong turn. I had the feeling like we were being watched. I started to turn around, and Keith said to hold on a minute. Right after that he came walking up, right out of the dark. No jeep or nothin'. How does he do that? He told us to follow the signs into camp (including one "Bobbo, Bobbo" sign). In camp we found a few early Roughwheelers (don't these people have jobs?). Hector and Ginny, Steve and Carol, and Victor were there. I'm not exactly sure cause it was dark, and everybody else showed up soon after. The next group (the main group) blew into camp with the wind (I should write for a living). Bob was leading, with Bob (another one) and his son, Andy and Dave, with his mighty Montero. And yes, the wind! If I forgot to mention the wind, I would have felt like I'd blown it.

The next morning, the Gear Grinders ground into camp, we mounted up and away we went. Many people "commented" on the weather from the night before, but Saturday's weather was great. Sunny, scattered high clouds and a light breeze. We went up and down and here and there. I didnít really pay too much attention because I was still suffering from the effects of too much stress at work. Fourwheeling is one of the best cures for job related stress (I won't comment on the other "best cure") but it does take awhile for the "cure" to work. My head went from a dull aching to sort of a gelatinous state. When the stress was finally gone, I realized that I had driven up some ridiculous stretch of "Jeep Only" trail. The smart ones either had the right Jeep for the job (OK, Hector... Landcruiser), or had gone around. Let me paint you a picture: 1984 F250 with 35" tires, ONE locker in the rear, and all my stuff in the back under my nice, NOT damaged shell. I figure that I'm about 2000 pounds heavier than the average Jeep. And what was my attitude? I'm here to go FOUR-WHEELIN'! Considering that I had just put on one of my two spare tires, youíd think that I'd play it a little safer. Well, all I can say is that with a audience of about 30 strangers, several Roughwheelers and a few Gear Grinders, I did finally make it up the tough spot... UNDER MY OWN POWER. No straps. And there's no truth to the rumor that Hector was backing down to get me (or that I put a big dent in the side of the truck!?). Well, that's what four-wheelin's all about right? RIGHT? Anyway, one or two other people made it up the rock chute, but they were too boring to mention here. With the hard part behind us, we continued on... to the hard part. Some of us did better than others. Some showed skill. Some showed bravado (I just like using that word). Others managed to stay out of trouble. All I can say is that no exhaust systems were left out there. No major body damage was done. No Montero's were left out there (although, there was some discussion). There was one camera that may have been left behind. I won't mention any names but anyone finding a camera should immediately call Bob Hughes. But you didn't hear it from me. Just before five o'clock, you could hear the word "camp" being muttered up and down the line. Put the fork in us, we're done. Returning to camp, we took stock. Two flats, a few dents, a smashed and leaky pumpkin cover... We'd had a hard day. That meant only one thing... Tequila! (By the way, we usually celebrate a "good" day with... Tequila!) Lets just say that it was a good campfire. Lots of anti-stress medicine was admin-istered. Now donít get me wrong, nobody in our club ever drinks more Tequila than is necessary (Necessary?), and I donít want to start any rumors, but Steve had to be "put" to bed, Andy looked "beat" the next day, and people were taking pictures of Dave the next morning. We also found out that, like Bob, you ain't never seen Carol drunk. Although she did keep saying that she was going to do some sort of "dance". Also, I can't let Saturday night go by without mentioning my original idea for doing this trip report. I brought my laptop to the campfire with the intention of having "everybody" write the trip report. Well I typed what was said, and that trip report may or may not appear elsewhere in this news-letter, depending on what our editor deems suitable. All I can say is that Carol thought it was hys-terical when she read it back, but she had been drinking, although she wasn't drunk, but she had had much more than Steve, who was passed out in the Blazer, but you've never seen Carol drunk. I should also mention that my laptop smells of campfire as I'm sitting here typing this. Does anyone know how to get smoke out of a keyboard? Well, anyhow, we parked my truck and Joe's truck in front of the fire as a wind block and had a real good time.

Sunday morning, Rooster showed up (for his butt whipping?) and we were heading for the Calico Ghost town. But wait... That camera's still missing. A small group was thrown together to rerun the trail to the point where the camera might be. The ground rules were as such: this would be a quick run, no stopping for stuck vehicles, no waiting for any reason. Diane and I wanted to go, but of course, we were two minutes late. We caught up with the group (which was moving pretty fast) and began searching for a camera. We reran almost the entire previous dayís run by about 11:30, with no luck. It was kind'a fun seeing just how fast we could do the trail, but I do believe it was a bit rough on my truck. The end of the trail dumped us out right next to Calico, so without even slowing down to unlock the hubs, we drove into the ghost town. Some of our group were already there, looking around. Some people were doing some serious shopping, but I won't mention any names because Ginny would get mad at me. But enough of all the tourist junk, we're here to throw some horse shoes. Bob had brought in a ringer in the form of his brother-in-law and we got to meet his two sisters. His sisters seemed like nice enough people even if they did claim to be related to Bob. Well, some of us threw, and some of us watched. Victor seemed to be throwing a lot of ringers but overall the games seemed to last an awful long time. Could it be that there was too much anti-stress medication last night? After a couple of hours (one or two games) it was time for pizza. We pooled our money and ordered something like $80 worth of pizza and it wasn't too bad, but then after all, you know what they say about pizza... When it's good, it's good. When it's bad, it's still pretty good. Afterwards, a few of us stopped for ice cream. It's a little known fact that like tequila, pizza and ice cream are loaded with anti-stress vitamins and some of us needed more anti-stress vitamins. Tomorrow would be a work day after all. After a few more hours of horse shoes (one or two more games) it was getting time to be home. Several different groups left at their own times, but we all seemed to wind up in the same traffic jam in Barstow, so we all regrouped and headed down the "secret" back road to Victorville. Thatís where I said good bye and headed south, to San Diego, at warp speed.

I'll see you all next month at Hi Desert for some more stress relieving activities.

no wait... Bobbo