Hummer X Club
Three Day So Cal January Run
January 27-29, 2007
Friday night, since folks were in from as far away as the San Diego area and San Jose, it was decided to do an easy night run out to the Old Dutch Cleanser Mines. Odd and fascinating in the daylight, the mines are positively eerie at night! It was an easy trail, and the sightseeing was enjoyed by all.
Saturday's run in and around Red Rock State Park had trails that were technical, difficult in spots, produced some minor carnage, and was about as much fun as you can have on four wheels. It started out in the very aptly named Nightmare Gulch. Overzealous in their original attack, two rigs required winching off of boulders in the first half mile of trail. Between the deep sand, the loose rocks, enormous boulders, off camber hills, a deep and thick mud pit, crumbling stone stairs, and several spots on a Jeep trail that were barely wide enough for the H2s, spotting was required every 100 feet or so. Literally dozens of other off-roaders who were familiar with Nightmare Gulch, but not with Hummers, had warned against the attempt. They were proven wrong. After many hours, as the skies darkened and a light rain began to fall, the small string of Hummers reached the far end of Nightmare Gulch.
Now it was on to the Creepy Crossover, which would take them over and down into Last Chance Canyon. The group split up into two pairs. Leery of the slick ground in the steady drizzle, two of the H2s took the easier route. One H2 and the H3 braved the Creepy Crossover - which ends on a slick chunk of red rock at a 38 degree downslope, into a narrow gully, then up an equally steep but much shorter side and into Last Chance. Each group made it unscathed and regrouped. Then they turned right to tackle Last Chance Canyon and try to make it out before dark.
After Nightmare, Last Chance seemed unusually tame. The rocks were smaller, the strewn boulders fewer and farther between, and the increased width made it seem like a four lane highway. But just up the canyon, some Boy Scouts were not finding it so easy.
They had started out on a hike they had been told was about eight miles. They had been hiking for nearly twenty and there were miles left to go. The soft sand that the Hummers were appreciating was straining their knees and ankles to the limit. Most were too exhausted to continue hiking. With the temperature in the low 40s and slated to go down to freezing, the situation was taking a serious turn. Fortuitously, the Scouts sent out a small party and they found the Hummer X Club!
The only question the HXC members asked was, "Can you show us where they are?"
One rig would stayed put with two adults to watch over all of the kids and pets. The other three, with room now for the Scouts who had stayed behind, went to find them. Within minutes, two of the Scout Masters were taking their first rides in Hummers as they flew back up over the rocks and through the sand. For the one HXC member left to hold down the fort, it seemed like forever until his CB finally crackled with the wonderful words, "We have the Scouts!"
The trip back was filled with whoops and hoots and hollers from boys that, just moments before, were exhausted, defeated and scared. The Scout Masters held on with white knuckles and breathed sighs of relief in between a torrent of "Thank yous" as the three rigs bounced down the canyon for the benefit of the boys. Dry, warm, and off-roading in Hummers, they positively sprang back to life and agreed that the whole experience had been worth it! Even a blown tire and a quick emergency tire-change in the rain didn=t dampen their newfound spirits.
It was an experience that gave a whole new perspective to one of the HXCs dearest principles - that no one is left behind.
Sunday=s scheduled run up Rowher Flats was almost a bust. Those traveling from far off places were understandably tired and headed home. But a new member in a beautiful lifted Jeep joined two of the local H2s and made the run a success. It was a bit wet and the hills were slippery, but they traversed the trail without incident.