Off we go again

 Collect the coach which has been made roadworthy, after the blow out, on Wednesday and
loading begins for a mid morning departure on Thursday with a simple 450 mile run to Walmart at
Durango Colorado. All the usual last minute things to get including a propane tank for Brenda’s
new “smoker” as she is planning brisket for the “Bring Something Bar-B-Q” on Saturday night.

A hassle free run to Walmart and take on fuel and settle down for the night which is surprizingly
cold. Midway through the night Brenda decides the newborn puppies need some heat and the
generator is back on line and stays that way until dawn. Walking the dogs I notice I now have a
large red sheet under the wipers which is a “Stop & Desist” notice from the City of Durango to tell
me that overnighting at Walmart infringes some city code.

Still a lot of snow at Wolf Creek

A pretty drive through Pagosa Springs then up the mountain to the Ski area at Wolf Creek and
still a lot of snow. Down the other side and the babbling brook is now full white water rafting and
on we go. Approaching Poncha Springs the instruments go haywire, lights flash, captions come on
and the generator quits!!! Needless to say the crew are less than amused as the generator has
just been serviced and now won’t stay on with yet more mystery fault codes from our nice friends
at Cummins. More phone calls and once again nothing we can do. Two failures in less than ten
months, this is getting beyond a joke.

Rally-Cross with the 60′ rig Tucker Ranch

Arrive at Tucker Ranch and remembering the drive in from last year decide to pop the TAG axle for
the ultra tight turns on the dirt road. The first right hander is the sharpest and we get round that
with a “Clang” but then cover the next mile or so without incident and soon we are on the top and
into our reserved berth next to Ed and Evelyn. On the walk round the V nose of the trailer touched
the ladder during the 90 turn and has bent it and sprung the bolts! I’m not a happy camper!!

If only we had POWER!

When some sort of normality returns I venture out with Ed to view all his hard work and take a
look at the Saturday sections and loop. Nicely planned, nothing dangerous, but plenty of traps to
take marks. Later we look at the Sunday route which has a couple that can go either way and
some that are just technical with some very tight turns….. which they seem to like up here?

The evening slides into the Peacock’s new RV for chili as it’s dammed chilly outside! Bed with no
power or heating and all the dogs and puppies join us in the “den” to survive the night.

Saturday and it’s warmer outside than in and this rough camping is becoming a bit like
“Survivor Man” and tempers are a little frayed surrounded by ammenities that won’t work without
generator power. I think I need to shake a Cummins engineer warmly by the throat!…….but we
do have gas and of course the other LP for the smoker so we can boil water and get some life
saving coffee going.

Temperatures are a little warmer today and the trial gets under way with 1 & 2 riders starting on
Wehling Falls right by the start. This is/was a beautiful water feature designed and built by Mike
Wehling and today it’s free of water but the rocks make a super section and the Tucker family use
this as a practice section on a regular basis.

No 4 liners at the trial so 1 & 2 men take on the challenge while 3 and the PI group go to Section
1. the 2 line rides around a couple of turns and then enters the main pool area before climbing the
steep and awkward waterfall between the big rocks. 1 liners go into the pool, over some rocks,
around the fir tree and up the waterfalls higher up. Young Linderman, riding the Ossa, gets away
with a clean followed by father Dave, who came off the first rock badly with a dab but then bounced
over the tape for a “5” on the very first section! I guess this got his “proverbial” together as he
went on to win the class with a total loss of 8 for the day!

Ryan Lindeman shows how on the 1 line at 8

Father Dave after his awful “5” doing better on the second loop

Entering the lower pool of “Wehling Falls”

Up the steps from the lower pool

I have a good trouble free ride for the clean and off down the path to section 1. A couple of turns
in wash sand with loose rocks before a squirt up the hill in the loose rubble to a turn at the top
before the exit. An extra turn at the bottom gives a cleaner line up the hill and I use this one for
the clean.

The Tucker family are checking 2 and 3 after a pleasant single track loop ride. Section 2 starts
simply with an uphill into a left and then right in loose dirt before an uphill into a rock track with
a left 90. Any error on the right turn is going to get you into trouble. Once on the path a couple
of rock steps to a left turn exit. 3 is just round the corner and after the opening right turn into the
downhill, a series of up and over rocks before a right, left, right series of turns between some big
rocks. Clean both of these and on to 4 down by the house.

Enter, then over a crazy paving rock path before entering a bowl with multiple choices of lines to
get out and to the next downhill hazard. The straight ahead looks easy enough but could have
problems turning on the top. The natural line in the groove looks doable but it’s very loose at the
top and any screw up with power is going to cost the unlucky. I see Rick Armstrong struggle on
this one and I take it a little tighter and the Cub makes nothing of it.

Still clean and now a super loop section uphill reminiscent of Scotland (without the water) and
away to 5 with a series of uphill turns before a meander through some rocks and the downhill
run to the exit. Another zero and away to 6 which is a variation of last year. The 2 line is last years
1 with a steep uphill into a right left before a ridge between some rocks and a round the tree exit.
A bit of clutch work (all new to me!) and off to 7 to complete the loop.

7 has to be the hardest of the day with a tricky turn at the bottom of the hill followed by a jink
around some rocks into an uphill blast in loose rocks, round the tree and a wriggle through some
footrest high rocks to the exit. The bottom turn goes well and I’m in perfect position for the rest
and complete the first loop clean.

Mike keeps the front down on 8

Bob Strohman getting it right on 8

Stop and watch the fun on Section 8 and then out for loop 2. Things are cutting up a bit on some
of the loose areas so take a bit more care and don’t get caught out by rolling stray rocks. Through
the first 5 without any problems but a little too fast on the entry to 6 puts me in an awkward
position, and although I fought it all the way I just could not get back in the comfort zone and
ended up with a dab!

Over to 7 and catch up with the Greeves duo of Mike and Dave who are now sharing as the
battery powered Greeves has run out of juice. The bottom corner is still “doable” despite more
rocks having been rotovated and some portions of the uphill are looking a bit tatty. Clean the
lower turn and loft my way through the jink and all set until a roller takes me for another dab!

The waterfall goes well so 2 loops complete and a score of 2. Plenty of time so a leisurely last
loop and as always in these conditions walk them all just in case. Section 2, first turn needs to
be tighter, no problems on 3, stay on line for that first turn on 4. Section 5 no change, and now
try and resolve what went wrong on 6. Better speed this time and a comfortable clean. Section 7
has cut up badly and new rocks are appearing in all sorts of places. Some have made the 3 line
more like a 1 line and I see Jim Solomon take a crunching 5 on the turn. Fred and Bob from
Wyoming get it just right on the 2 line and Bob is still smarting from a feet up stationary “5” on 6.
I get it right and no rolling rocks this time so just the waterfall section to complete the event. Back
to 8 and through for the clean and a 2 point total for the day.

Bill Anderson takes a dab on 8

Len Sims on his way to 3rd place  MC exp

Bailey, on home ground, making everything look easy!

Stay around 8 as Brenda is taking shots of all, while cooking the Brisket, which smells great. I see
Dan Straka riding 8 and as he drops into the lower pool his front wheel lodges in some rocks as
he looks to line up for the big step. A very sad 5!

Dan “just before….”

Scores are coming in and in the Team competition, something new for this event, my team looks
fairly invincible with team leader Bailey Tucker on Zero, me on 2, and just waiting on Hugh
Campbell to finish. Hugh finishes on a good score of 11, I believe, which wraps up the Team prize.

A winning team, Hugh, Bailey and yours truly

Bailey Tucker is thinking about doing more of the Vintage stuff in the future, and if he rides MC
Expert I think he would be very difficult to beat! Young Ryan Linderman is looking like he means
business after switching to the Ossa, fantastic to see so many young men on old bikes. Of course
there are still some pretty impressive rides from older gentlemen on old machines too, Mike had a
clean day in Prem Lightweight, Fred and Bob rode MC Int well, and a 6 rider field in MC Exp was
good to see.

A good fire and much talking over brisket, burgers and dogs ….. always amazing what a good
meal can be had if everybody brings something. The fire pit was especially welcome for those of
us without heat! More fun tomorrow.

Tony Down  with a Cold Wife, and 9 dogs!

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