Meeting Minutes

The February 23, 2000 meeting was called to order by President, Marty Boetel at 7:12 p.m. followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. New members and guests were welcomed.

Old Business

Treasury Report - Ed reported $2382.50 left in the checking account. We are down to 61 members thus far this year. We ended last year with 87 members.

Newsletter- Mark was unavailable for comment.

Quarterly - Some people feel that Wendy is not doing her job. The problem is trying to be solved. Game and Fish cleanup out near Gold Canyon had a poor turnout. We need to make an effort to help game and fish so that they will be willing to help us. Thank you to all the Lo-Rangers who attended. We had the most members in attendance.

Dates to Remember

August 19, 2000 - Quarterly Meeting - place to be announced.

February 29, 2000 - Martinez Canyon- Scope Field Study

March 3 - 5, 2000 and April 7 - 9 - Game and Fish Cleanup at Gold Canyon Ranch - mile marker 201.

March 4 -5, 2000 - Virtual Jeep Club Sponsored Saguaro Lake Coves Cleanup

April 8-9, 2000 - Game and Fish Outdoor Education at Lake Pleasant

April 27 - 30, 2000 - Land Agency Conference On Saturday, April 29, 2000 Novak will be hosting a clinic on how we can better work with the land agency - Sandee would like to have 2-3 members from each club in attendance. If you would like to volunteer let Marty know.

Show Me Run- send out letter to agencies and invite them on a run - they are thinking about at 3.5 - 5.0 trip near Florence Junction- asking for volunteers.

Sandee is still looking for volunteers for judging at the Rock Crawling Championship.

February run - Mud Springs

10 vehicles in attendance. We picked up a lot of garbage. Fun was had by all. One guest, Paul had some car trouble on the way home.

Intermission- 40/40/20 raffle - $11.00 was won by Becky Babcock

New Business

Rock Crawling Championship- Lo-Rangers hosting a water concession was voted on at the last meeting. We need to have 3 locations to sell water. We need to give 3% of the money collected back to the BLM. Look for signs near Mineral Mountain Rd. March 9th there will be a meeting about RCC. Someone suggested using trashcans with plastic liners for water. We need to set up around 8:45 a.m. We will sell 16 oz. Bottles for a dollar.

Red Creek Trail - FR 18 - There is still talk about closing it down. We need to write to Delvin Lopez and tell him the only action to be taken is to do nothing at all. We want the road open to all. March 2, 2000 is the last day to send in your response and comments.

New Members voted in - Shell Peczynski and Eric?

Meeting adjourned.

Submitted by Becky Babcock

February trip report: Mud Springs

February 18, 2000, by Scott Nixon


Leader Marty Boetel Toyota 4Runner

Babcock family Chevy Blazer

Mike Tutor Ford Bronco

John Tash and son Jeep Cherokee

Scott Nixon Dodge Ram

Bill and Nickie Blanford Suzuki Samuri

Jay Kopycinski Toyota Pickup

Zane Morgan Jeep CJ

Don LeClair and Bill Scheller 4Runner

Paul (guest) Jeep CJ

Wasting no time waiting around for stragglers, we headed out from the meeting spot a little after 9am. A few of the late arrivals never even had to stop, they just slowed down to lets us merge out onto the Beeline. After winding our way up the Beeline a bit, we turned off just after Sycamore creek and pulled over to air down.

Once everyone was aired down and ready to go, we drove through the primitive campground and started up the trail. Soon after we came to several large piles of construction debris left behind by someone too cheap to take it to the dump. Everyone pitched in to pick it up, eventually filling the bed of the Ram. Farther along the trail we found a dozen or so empty beer cans and numerous shell casings, but no more blatant dumping.

About 3 or 4 miles into the trail is the first real obstacle, a long washed out hill covered in large boulders. Last time the club ran this trail it was a 3.5, but recent rains had bumped it up to a good 4.0. Four of the vehicles wisely decided to stay parked at the bottom; their passengers piled into the six vehicles that were pressing on. With a bit of tire spinning, wheel lifting, and boulder kissing, everyone who attempted the hill was on top.

The back side of this hill is a long descent over basketball sized rocks. A few spots gave the full-size vehicles some difficulty, but with a bit of spotting and the proper line, everyone made it down. Jay came real close to rolling his truck on this section; fortunately gravity decided to be kind and he kept the rubber side down. Several more miles of relatively easy road and one rocky wash led us to the cabin for lunch.

After everyone had eaten and checked out the cabin, we loaded up and headed out. One loose hill needed just the right line to avoid putting your passenger side sheet metal into a big rock. The real fun started when we got to the long boulder filled hill. The Blazer needed a rock in just the right place to save the passenger side rocker panel. About the same spot, the Bronco began having fuel delivery problems (either too much or not enough). Zane's CJ struggled a bit to winch the Bronco, but he eventually managed to get it up to level ground where it roared to life. A little further on, Mike heard an expensive sounding pop that turned out to be a broken front axle.

Descending the other side was fairly uneventful, and once everyone was down we loaded up the vehicles that had been left behind and headed for the highway.

We reached the camping spot just about the time the sun was setting. The fun wasn't over for our guest though. A little way down the Beeline one of his front hubs, tire and all, came loose. He was able to get it safely to the side of the road, and the brush fire started by the errant hub burned itself out.

March trip report: AZVJ Coves cleanup

March 4, 2000, by Scott Nixon


Babcock family in their Blazer

Linda Luick in her Jeep Grand Cherokee

Scott Nixon and brother-in-law Ed Grattan in Scott's Dodge Ram

About a zillion other jeeps belonging to members of the Arizona Virtual

Jeep Club.

Pulling into the meeting spot at Butcher Jones I quickly surmised that Charlie and I were going to be the only full-sizes in a sea of CJ's, YJ's and TJ's. A J10 pickup and Linda's GC were the only exceptions. After a quick drivers meeting and distribution of garbage bags thoughtfully donated by Costco, we split up into cove specific groups. Charlie led the way back to cove 4 with my Ram and 3 other Jeeps tagging along.

Stopping occasionally to pick up cans, we wound are way back to camper shell hill. After a brief discussion on whether or not the item for which the location is named was trash or a historical landmark, we picked up a few pieces that had come loose, leaving the majority of the shell behind.

By the time we reached cove 4 for lunch, the large garbage can the Babcock's had brought for aluminum cans was overflowing. After eating we cleaned up the area. Two of the Jeeps called it a day, the rest of us headed for cove 5. Along the way we picked up more cans including a rusty old pull tab Budwiser can and a Coors can that pre-dated even pull tabs. Once at the cove we crawled over the rocks that guard the entrance and spread out to pick up. By then the remaining group decided to call it a day as well. We made good time back to Butcher Jones and deposited our bags near the overflowing dumpster.

March trip report: FR42

March 18, 2000 by Charlie Babcock

1973 Chevy K5 - Charlie, Becky,

Shelby, and Hailey Babcock

1995 Dodge Ram - Scott Nixon

1997 Dodge Ram - Ron, Brenda, and

Maggie (dog) Couch

1998 Toyota Tacoma - Mike Tutor and

Dawn Stocky

The trip leader, Becky, rolled up to the meeting place early in the Black Blazer. It was 8:30 am at the intersection of Horseshoe Dam Rd and Cave Creek Rd sunny, breezy, and temperature in the high 60’s. Soon after Scott showed up in the Red Dodge sporting his new Detroit Locker, Truetrac, and 4.56 gears ready to take on anything. A little after 9:00 am the meeting time, Mike pulled up in his backup 4X4, the Tacoma and Ron roared in with the slightly dented white Ram. Mike left his Bronco at home to give his credit card a rest. He has proven that no factory Dana 44 front axle can handle his driving style.

We took off for the trailhead at 9:20 am we passed a sheriff at the Bartlett Lake parking area looking for missing father and son. When we arrived at the trail, we all aired down and I rolled up the soft-top on the K5. Ron yelled that the Babcock’s were ready for a safari. We took off and cruised through the first part of the trail, which was pretty uneventful. We arrived at a turn, FR1064, and headed down to the lake. Then made a loop and headed back up to FR42. Back on the trail we cruised along slowing down and hitting any twisted spot we could find. The Tacoma was the only vehicle to get a tire off the ground. Next we turned onto FR1065 and headed down to the river. This area has a winding road through dense bushes that breaks out into a rolling sandy beach.

The first hill I came to I decided to give it a little gas, oops, we had 2 or 3 seconds of airtime. Shelby and Hailey laughed and Becky had a funny look on her face. Scott and Mike took it easy, but Ron blasted over the same hill and had the Ram flying.

Back to Trail 42 we went and followed it until we turned and headed down to the river again at the famous sunken Suburban spot. There is a nice mud hole as you first enter the river basin heading towards the river and of course I drove through it. The Blazer slid a little but went through. Next came the Toyota with a little more speed but stuck a third of the way through. Ron lassoed the Tacoma and pulled him out backwards with the Dodge. Mike never to be defeated tried again with more speed and blew right through. The next victim was Scott, he tried the slower approach and buried the Dodge at the halfway point at about 10:30 am. Ron again yanked on the back of Scott’s truck but couldn’t budge it. So the big bad Blazer hooks on to the front of the Dodge and tries to pull it out forward, not!

By this time it was hard to see Scott’s front tow hooks. I flipped the K5 around about a 100’ out and brought the 12K winch to bear down on that stuck truck. Something was going to move. The Blazer was slowly dragged towards the Dodge. Ron blasted through the side of the mud puddle and hooked up behind the K5. Now the Warn winch dragged both of us towards the Ram, but Scott was moving a little bit. While Scott got out and started digging Mike hooked his winch up to the other tow hook on the Dodge. The red Dodge slowly started to move out of the muck, while the other three vehicles were slowly being dragged towards him. The poor little Tacoma reminded me of a dog fighting it’s owner’s leash. During the pull I felt and heard a loud snap from my cable. Later we found out that the tow hook on Scott’s Dodge that I was pulling on broke one of it’s two bolts holding it on. Luckily it’s a GM tow hook and didn’t break or come off completely!

Once the Dodge was out we drove over to the river and I proceeded across in the Blazer. The kids and Becky had bailed when Scott got stuck and headed over to do some serious rock tossing and a little fishing. Brenda, Dawn, and Maggie soon joined the kids at the water. Shelby is becoming the master caster with Mickey Mouse fishing pole. The Verde River is pretty low, maybe 2’ deep. The far bank was steep, 4’-5’ high and sandy. The Blazer cruised on up with a little speed plowing through the sand with the winch. Mike followed close behind with a little more speed. The two Dodge’s decided to recuperate from the mud pull and stay on the shore.

We drove back across the river and headed for Trail 42. Everybody took the shallower path that Ron took the first time to get back. No, I have to prove the Blazer can make it through where the Dodge can’t. So I drove back through Scott’s tracks with a little speed and wham, I’m stuck. I tried cranking the wheels back and forth, forward and reverse, nothing worked. I even tried high speed, which just threw a bunch of mud on the hood. Mike hadn’t crossed yet so he blasts through right next to us in the shallower area spraying mud at the trip leader in the passenger seat. If looks could kill Mike wouldn’t be alive right now. The mud was almost to the top of my 35" driver’s side rear tire. The front passenger side tire almost got out. Ron walked up to my winch and grabbed the hook without getting muddy. He hooked it up to his Dodge and Mike hooked his winch cable up to my frame. In a couple of minutes we had the Blazer out again and we were rolling back towards Trail 42. It was about 11:45 am.

We played around on the twisty hills and arrived at the steep moguled out down hill trough. I eased the K5 down and parked it opting not to go back up since I went up it the weekend before with an Intel group. Scott came down sliding a little and crawled right back up, got to love that Detroit. Mike came down sliding a little and showing off with a rear tire way in the air. He made it up with only one stop that a little tire speed cured. Ron came down with a little sliding but kept every tire in contact just like the first Dodge. Going back up the master of open front and rear driving almost met his match. Ron’s truck has an unlimited slip rear. We don’t call him Bonsai Ron for nothing. He made it up just fine. Down they came again with only Mike attempting the totally washed out bypass. Now he knows why everyone else came back down the easy way.

The next turn down to the water we took to "the lunch spot" a small drop off into the river, arriving at 12:30 pm. We sat there and ate our lunches in the near 80-degree weather and watched the kids and dog play in the water. Maggie was terrified by a tumbleweed in the river, so Scott entertained us by throwing it at the pitbull. When Ron tossed a rock into the water near the dog it would jump clear out of the water in terror. We returned to Trail 42 and continued on our way, Ron showing off his driving skills and getting his Dodge up anywhere the locked vehicles went. Mike also showed everyone that a near stock vehicle with small All-Terrain’s can follow the big trucks.

We drove up all the moguled out up hills and turned at FR532 to arrive at Indian Springs. The big boulder there seems to have been buried in dirt. We drove past a bunch of Jeeps near the water and crossed it to an island in the river. We parked there for a rest about 2:00 pm and the kids got right into the water to cool off. They talked me into joining them, so I went in without my boots and cut my feet. We were off again and headed for pavement on FR532.

On the way we found a small hill to play on. Everyone made it up and there was a 2 wheel drive path back down. Just before we got to FR19 (pavement) we stopped at a play area with a long steep moguled path that we all made it up. Then we played on a short hill with three very steep loose paths up (ATV/motorcycle trails). Ron tried the middle path for a long time and finally gave up. Ron got in the K5 and I went up the middle no problem. The right path I got stuck a foot from the top and finally bumped it over. The left was a very loose off camber path that with a little speed I got up. Mike tried the middle, the steepest, and couldn’t make it. Then he drove right up the right side, the most moguled, with no problem. Scott tried the middle couldn’t make it, so he drove up the right side easily. He then returned to the middle and tried for a long time until he made it with a whoop. Mike returned to the middle and made it up with unrelenting effort. Only the Blazer took the loose off camber left path.

The girls stood and admired (or were they laughing at us?) the men’s many brave attempts at the obstacles. Becky and the girls cleaned up other people’s garbage at every stop we made. We decided to call it quits and headed for pavement at about 4:00 pm. With the club being ~85% Jeeps, I can’t believe not a single one was on the club run. You missed a fun run.

Editors Corner

Reading this newsletter you may have noticed two things. One, it's a bit late; and two, I'm not the Editor you voted for. As is sometimes the case with organizations, volunteer or otherwise, things don't always go as planned. I realize not everyone can make it to the meetings, and not everyone has access to an email account. This leaves the monthly newsletter as the only mechanism by which a lot of members learn about upcoming activities. This is certainly something we will be discussing at the next meeting, but rest assured someone will be sending a newsletter to you from now on.

Pruning down the address list to remove members who did not renew for this year, I was a bit saddened to see quite a few names I recognized were no longer present. Although some ebb and flow in membership is expected, my hope is that it is due to circumstances beyond our control rather than the club failing to meet the reasonable expectations of its members. Always keep in mind that the club doesn't belong to the officers or to the members who've been in it the longest, it belongs to everyone. If you don't like the way things are going make your voice heard; those who can't make meetings or who shy away from public speaking should always feel free to contact the officers privately to make their concerns known.

On a related note, both the newsletter and web page should be viewed as club wide resources. Coming up with a fresh newsletter or dynamic web page month after month can become a daunting task without input from other members. Trip reports, pictures, jokes, technical articles, anything even remotely related to four wheeling is fair game. As some one once said, "We are all a part of this Lets make it as good as possible."

Scott Nixon,

(hopefully temporary) Editor

New Meeting Spot:

Our next meeting will be March 29, 7:00 at Peter Piper Pizza 3029 N Alma School Rd # 114 Chandler, AZ 85224-1465 (602)-838-6880.

This means NO MORE COVER CHARGES to attended meetings.

Apologies to those who were turned away at our last place, due to the size of the club it took a bit to find somewhere we would all fit. Look for a map elsewhere in this issue.

Calendar of Events

March 29: Club meeting at Peter Piper Pizza, Alma School and Elliot in Chandler.

April 23: Show-me-run for attendees of the Land Use Conference. Looking for volunteers to take passengers on a 3.5-4.0 run, probably out near Florence Junction.

Trip leader is Sandee McCullen.

April 26: Club meeting at Peter Piper Pizza, Alma School and Elliot in Chandler.

May 20-21: Red Creek FR18. Meet at intersection of Cave Creek and Bartlett Dam Road at 9am. Trail condition is currently unknown, look for more details after pre-run.

Trail leader is Scott Nixon.

May 31: Club meeting at Peter Piper Pizza, Alma School and Elliot in Chandler.

June 17-18: Run to Cherry Creek. Details to follow. Trip leader is John Tash.

June 28: Club meeting at Peter Piper Pizza, Alma School and Elliot in Chandler.

Joke of the Month

Ole and Sven decided to emigrate to the U.S. The immigration officer asked Ole what his job skills were, to determine if he would be a useful U.S.citizen. Ole said he was a diesel fitter. The officer said this was great; Ole would be a great asset to the U.S. and approved his immigration papers.

Then the officer asked Sven what his job skills were. Sven replied that he was a specialist at sewing the cotton crotches in ladies' underpanties. The officer said that in the U.S. we have machines to do that, and he denied Sven's immigration.

Well, Sven was quite mad, and after he and Ole talked it over between them, Sven went back to the immigration officer and said, "Hey, Mister Officer, I don't get it. I vorked next to Ole every day at da same factory. So vhy he gets in the U. S. and I don't?"

When the officer said it was because the U.S. could always use a good diesel fitter,

Sven replied, "Yaawh, but at da factory I sewed da crotches in da panties, den I handed dem to Ole. He put dem on his head and said "Yaawh, diesel fit her"