We left home at around 6:20 to pick up our guests, Ernie and Betty in their stock 94 Wrangler. When we got to Winchell's, Dennis was there, but he was chickening out. He had to move or so he says. Patti and Paul showed up. She was so excited that she was going on her first run in over a year. Pappy and Nancy came along. Then our Fearless leader showed up in some low rider vehicle. He couldn't go either. So, we left at about 8:30 with Steve in the lead. It was a pretty quiet ride out. For one, Patti's CB wasn't working. We finally found a camp site at about 1:00 A.M., and what a perfect spot it was. Soft sand with a stream running in the background.
Saturday was a beautiful sunny day. After looking at the map several times we found the trail. Pappy was saying that after doing the Dusy, this was nothing. Now Ernie would tell it a little bit different. He kept saying to Steve, "You said that this was a freeway?" After lunch, Pappy decided that he wanted to get a wheel up on a tree. No one was even paying much attention to him, not even Nancy who was in the Jeep with him. The next thing we hear is Nancy yelling, "WHAT THE F__K DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?!!
About this time, he is so side-tree that if he would have gone up a smidgen more he was going over. At this time we thought we had finished the trail because we found another sign saying the trail was adopted by two clubs. We went a little farther and found the rest of the trail. Pappy and Steve found some rocks to play on. I made Ernie get in with Steve so he could see what you can actually do in a Jeep. As Steve is climbing up this rock all we could hear was Ernie laughing his head off. We ended up at the only real rocky spot on this trail at about 2:00 P.M. There was another club there that had all ready gone down this spot. Now, I must tell you that most of these vehicles were Toyota trucks, Ford Explorers and the like. They probably took the by-pass, since they were mostly stock vehicles. I was driving at his point as was Nancy. I started up the right side of the tree (which was the harder side, of course) went up it without any problems. I dropped Steve off to help Ernie and continued up to the top of the hill.
When I finally got back down to the beginning, I noticed that Patti was stuck and Ernie was having a hard time going up the other side. So Pappy is now trying to get Patti up while Steve is trying to get Ernie up. Ernie finally gave up and had Steve get in to drive it up this soft spot. Ernie has a 6 cylinder Jeep so I haven't heard anything else but how nice it was driving a Jeep with MORE POWER. Of course the other club was saying that Patti and Ernie were never going to be able to get up this. Nancy came around and we winched Patti up the soft spot. Patti then put her truck in first gear and slid back into the same spot that she was in before. We had to strap her again. Ernie now decided that he could do anything with his Jeep without hurting it too bad, he went up the rocky spot with out any trouble as did Patti. While Patti is trying to get out of her stuck spot, Paul, who wasn't wearing any shoes, stubs his toe. Paul is now called "Raw Meat". We headed out to try and find a camp spot for the night. As we are going down a hill I hear Patti honking her horn. I tell Pappy over the CB that there was no way we could get to her. Well, what happened was, she started to slip down the hill, put on the brakes nothing happened, put on her emergency brake, and she was still sliding. She finally came to a stop near the drop off. After having her first heart attack for the day, we headed to the end of the trail. After we cleaned up a bit at the Kern River, we found another perfect camp spot near the water.
The next morning as we were leaving, Pappy decided that his TESTOSTERONE level was at its highest peak, and drove up the biggest rock in camp to get a picture. As he is getting himself off this rock, Patti decides to get stuck in camp and Steve has to strap her out. Now you would think that would be the end of the strap needing and the rest of the way home would be pretty much noneventful. WRONG! When we reached Hwy 184 and Woodchuck, that is where the train tracks are, the light turns green we go through and Patti doesn't. Steve pulls over and I asked Nancy if it died, she says yes. Pappy starts to go in front of her to put a strap to the truck and pull her to the gas station, when Nancy yells, "A TRAIN IS COMING!!" Paul gets out of the truck, the crossing rail gets stuck on the door. Pappy and Ernie jump out of their Jeeps along with a man in a suit and start pushing Patti out of the way. At this time I am yelling, "GET HER OUT OF THE F___KING TRUCK NOW!!" Then the train comes. Everyone is fine -Pappy says she wasn't even on the tracks. Well, from were I was, it didn't look like she wasn't on the tracks. She calls AAA and they get there in about 20 minutes and loads up the truck and takes them home. They started calling Patti "911". Well we finally got home at about 5:00 or 5:30. Those of you who couldn't go or decided not to go missed out on a nice relaxing run, with a lot of excitement.
Editor's note: we later decided to call Patti "Santa Fe" from now on.