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Bruce Fowler's Visit to the Birthday Party The Heavy Off-road

A short Sunday morning jaunt into the unknown.

Just arriving to the show field with my first mug of coffee, wishing it was my third. When Martin Rothman interrupted my muddled state with a plea to joint them for a short off road trip. After first declining I recanted... thinking what is up with you Bruce? This is a Rover event... What better time to thrash around in the woods? Why wait till all five senses wake up...

So, I said OK, just want to be back for the auction.Oh, no problem I'm told.....Martin jumps in and off we go..... Part way down the trail I realize that it is really hard to see through a painted windscreen, well not going to stop now, will just deal with it.

Before long Martin had us in front of the hydro line trail. This is the trail that a few years back took out my winch propshaft. To this day I can hear that shaft slamming into the chassis at three thousand rpms.

Well we decided to try and get to the first tower.Off I go into the deepest hole within several kilometers. After being winched out of said pit I plunge into the black mud trail. Little over half way through, I needed the help of Mr Koenig to finish the job.Thomas Buijs and his White Disco followed suit, but Thomas's winch wasn't working. I went to the top of the hill parked on a rock and threw down the winch cable. Thomas was pulled through. Next was Francois & Christiane Kirouac's late 2a. We needed both his winch and mine joined together in order to pull them through.Last was Rino Granito and his Range Rover Classic. We all stood on the hill and watched Rino dig an Olympic sized swimming pool. Once the pool was finished I through down the winch line, again a two winch pull was required.Now what to do?Four rovers atop a rock with thick black muck below us in all directions?

A little scouting turns up a woods trail heading in the direction of the Birthday party site.

We decided to give this trail a shot... looked dryer then the hydro line, seemed a bit tight, but we know how to drive right?So Martin and I climb back into Timshel and charge into the woods,bouncing over stumps,logs and dodging large rocks. Stopped at the first sort of clearing to wait for everyone else.

Well there wasn't anyone else. Turns out Thomas's Disco sunk into the forest floor and wouldn't move, Rino was behind him, but no Francois.

We all trudge back and find the late 2a slightly cross treaded in the trail ruts. The front bumped was up against a tree and his rear axle housing was on a stump. What we didn't know at that time was that same stump had previously received a wack from the 2a's tranny brake, shattering it into many unusable pieces.Well winching as out of the question... Pushing, rocking and cussing wasn't about to free that rover from the stump... Highlift anyone? Seems the only highlift was bolted to the back of Timshel, Where was Timshel? Yep, A five minute hike was in store.Francois was back on the trail after many highlift maneuvers.

Now to deal with the Disco, remember Thomas's disco... The one sinking to China while we were playing with the 2a.

Well the good news... it didn't make it to China. The Disco's floor pan was now resting on a large rock that had no intentions of going anywhere. Of course we didn't see this rock till after we tried winching the disco forward. Winching? Not with Thomas's winch... it wasn't working. Not with Timshel's winch, no way to turn Timshel around large stumps and downed trees on both sides of Timshel. Rino's winch, yep Rino's winch, how? Well two snatch blocks and every strap we could lay our hands onto allowed us to run Rino's cable ahead of The disco and back to the disco's front bumper.Managed to pull the Disco ahead by about a yard, then it stopped moving, the Disco that is. Now what? Remember the rock we didn't know about, well we know about it now. Highlift time, or I should say sinking highlift time. Many rocks and logs later we have the disco's axle housing above the rock, winch time, guess what? While jacking the back up the front went even deeper into the floor of the forest. Rino from behind managed to winch the earth plough of a disco ahead from behind just enough to clear the rock.

The disco was still stuck! The rear of the vehicle was free but the front was well planted into the ground. Many high lifts and filling of ruts with rock and logs ensued for the better part of an hour, before Rino could again winch Thomas ahead from behind. This time the Disco bounced out of its nest and moved ahead.

Rino and Francois plodded through the same spot with very little difficulty.

More to follow......

From the July 2001 OVLR Newsletter
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