SCARR – Day Two (Post #478) 4/3/2014

Day Two began with the sun coming up. It was chilly but not crazy cold. I got up and started breakfast for Mr. Fisher and I. Eggs and turkey sausage (fat old guys have to watch their weight), and biscuits. I forgot all about the hash browns. The stove worked great after I got it up to pressure. I heated the biscuits right on the second burner. The honey-butter we bought was delicious.

The first day’s events had a Bill Burke lecture and trail rides. I really wanted to hear Bill Burke so we went straight for the main pavilion and sat in on his class. I could listen to him for days and probably not learn everything I would like to know.

It was really cool that he knew who I was through my posts on and on his Facebook page.

If you don’t know who Bill Burke is check him out. In short he is the foremost expert on vehicle recovery in the United States. I don’t think I understated that. He started in the Army as a vehicle recovery specialist, went on to participate in the legendary Camel Trophy Series in 1991.

Here’s an hour and half long video for you to enjoy.

I learned a lot from this lecture. He didn’t have a syllabus he just started sharing about Land Rovers. He described the inner bits of axles, how the traction control systems work, driving tips and techniques, and basic recovery equipment you should have on your vehicle.

Explaining the safe use of the snatch strap.
Four wheel drive skill. He has it in spades.
Direct and straight to the point.

He answered every question we had. He even looked at our vehicles to discuss recovery points, tires, and basic equipment we should have to get started. It was well worth the time and it could have been twice that long. It was mentioned several times, “If you had told me I would have sat and listened to a guy talk about vehicle recovery for two hours. I would have told you were crazy.” Seriously great stuff, I am now planning on going on one of his Moab trips.

We went back to camp and got a quick-lunch of peanut butter and jelly and chips. We re-hydrated and got ready for some afternoon trail running. We went back to the pavilion and watched as the groups formed up.

We joined the Beginner Group. We intended to take it easy on trails. After all I had never had my Range Rover on “trails”. And we needed to get home, so tearing it up on “Death’s Back Road” (not a real trail) did not appeal to me.

Lucky8 took this picture of our beginner convoy heading out.
Lucky8 took this picture of our beginner convoy heading out.

Lane Collier took us out. We got to test the CB radio and much to my surprise it worked great. I need to put a filter in or wire it differently. When the electric radiator cooling fans come on they create noise in the speaker on the CB. Lane took us down Solihull backwards. We finally made it to the first serious road. For me it was a very steep and rutted track. It was only a 2 diamond track but to me it seemed much more impressive.

Solihull was basically a narrow bad dirt road.
Lane and I look at the trail map.
Lane and I look at the trail map.
My “Oh shit” this is a serious hill look. We later drove up the goat track you can see out my driver’s side window.
This is the hill that impressed me so much.

We sorted out where we were and went on to some more trails. I forget which ones we ran but they were a little tougher than I would have expected my Range Rover to make it up or down.

We had a bit of confusion and didn’t have our transfer case in low or our tires aired down. Once we got the word we didn’t have to use our brakes as much on the descents. Braking can cause front end roll overs. You have to learn to trust the transfer case to slow you down. It took a few hills to trust it, but eventually I got it. And it performed just as it was supposed to, miraculously. I asked Lane after we got back if all those trails were beginner, he smiled a sly smile and said, “Maybe.”

We got off the trails a little early and headed back to the main pavilion. Getting off the trails was a good idea as the storm hit around 4:00pm. It looked worse than it performed. Lots of lightning and wind not much beyond that. Hail came and was blowing nearly straight across. Several stones would hit on the far side of the pavilion and sail all the way through.

Heavy winds, hail, and rain.
Panorama after the rain.
Panorama after the rain.

We ate a great dinner of bar-b-que. Turkey, sausage, brisket, beans, the whole works. Chocolate pecan pie, yes please. We finished up dinner and headed to our camp. It was wet and blustery. The second line of storms and their cells split us and went North and South of us. After the storm blew past we were treated to a complete double rainbow. That was followed by a really pretty sunset.

East Texas sunset.
Cotton balls which mean very unstable air up there.


Double rainbow F.T.W.
Makes me wish I had better photography skills.
Fun with the panorama feature.
Having fun with the panorama feature.

As the posts become available I’ll update links for the other posts.

SCARR – Day One

SCARR – Day Three

SCARR – Day Four

What did we learn from the second day:

  • Aluminum pans do not heat evenly and are hard to cook with.
  • Level your stove or your eggs will run to the low side.
  • Land O’Lakes Honey Butter tastes like icing for biscuits.
  • Low Range is your friend, and your brakes on extreme grades.
  • Trust your truck; it’s much more capable than you are skilled as a novice driver.

I’ll have more posts up next week. This weekend is the Fort Washita Rendezvous (news channel coverage). It’s my favorite event of the year. It’s a good time to hang out with friends and enjoy living history in Oklahoma.

Thanks for reading and Happy Rovering.

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