We (Paula and Joe) headed over to Winchel's at about 7:45AM and met up with Fearless and Rhonda, Cutri, Steve and Carol, Montego, Rooster, Ed and Mary, Victor, and Keith. We waited around until about 8:05 to make sure everyone who was going to be there, was there. Lion even showed up to see us off.

So we jumped on the 405N with Fearless at point and Rooster bringing up the rear of our 9 vehicle caravan. Somewhere around LAX someone asked Fearless who was going to do the trip report. Before we knew what happen and before we could talk our way out of it, we were nominated and stuck with this damned report (and we're not even official members yet). On Highway14 it was fun to watch Steve and Montego in their 4 bangers hold up traffic going up hill. Steve and Carol even broke out the oars to help out their progress. Everyone also watched the 4 bangers race down hill in preparation for the next uphill. All of us were also wondering why Cutri was driving one lane over from the rest of us. Later we found out that he was taking video while he was driving.

We reached the Pines Cafe at about 9:15AM. Fidget, her son Sean and Robert, Craig and Sarah, Gary and his girlfriend Kathy, Wayne, Todd, and Hector who had already eaten and was ready to go as soon as some us had breakfast. At about 9:55 we were all full and ready for a day of wheel'en. We headed off to the Little Rock Recreation Area and Santiago Canyon. After a $4.75 entry fee and air'en down everyone was on the trail by 10:15.

We hit the trail 15 vehicles strong. 1 Montero, 1 Toyota P/U, 1 Land Cruiser and 12 assorted Jeeps. It turned out to be a beautiful day. 85 degrees, not a cloud in the sky and a nice breeze through the canyon.

The trail started off with some light rock crawling, a 30 degree sidehill, and very little dirt. The line came to a stop 15 minutes after we got started. Being towards the back of the line, I waited 5 minutes before going up front to see what was holding us up. I discovered Fearless having trouble with a 30 yard. twisty, inclined section of large boulders and loose rock. With a lot of spotting and rock piling everyone made it through in about 2 hours. In this section I christened the Toyota with it's first dents. Montego had a little trouble getting through, but with a couple of tugs from Ed he made it. Also christening their vehicles on maiden voyages were Steve and Carol with their new Wrangler and Wayne with his CJ-5. They were lucky enough to make it through unscathed. Paula had fun jumping in and out of the truck whenever a photo opportunity would arise, so I thought. The truth of the matter was that when she got scared it was an excuse to get out. We hit one more section that required spotting assistance before breaking for lunch. While all of us were getting our lunch together, Hector and One-eyed Jack took off to help Ginny get ready for the feast.

While we were all packing up after lunch, Paula and our cinematographer for the day, Robert took off on foot, ahead of the caravan, in preparation for some more footage. Later on at Hector and Ginny's we all found out how great of a job he did with the camera. As for Cutri's video, he'll do great as soon as he stops making us dizzy.

After lunch, it was pretty much easy going the rest of the way with some light crawling and narrow spots, but nothing out of the ordinary. We did find Hector's dune flag laying in the middle of the trail as proof of his earlier passing. When the trail ended and everyone was air'en up, we heard a familiar voice coming over the CB. It was Lion. Within a few minutes he was in line and ready for the trek to the party. At this point we thought the days adventure was over, we were wrong. Craig and Sarah pulled off the highway due to "loss of oil pressure". So they hooked their CJ up to Rooster's Wrangler and traveled under Wrangler power the last couple of miles to Hector's house.

Once we got to Hector and Ginny's house, Craig figured out that the sending unit for his gauge was bad. Everyone sat around the TV to watch the videos. Afterwards everyone enjoyed the spread that our hosts put out for us, some BS about past experiences, the days events, and future plans, and a few beers. It was a good day to be a Roughwheeler.

Joe and Paula Carmean