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Old 07-09-2019, 02:53 PM
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Default Long Distance Run 2019

This years summer long distance trip brought us to Alabama and Tennessee. We visited Morris Offroad Park, Choccolocco and WindRock.

attendees: myself (Steve Moritz), John Kelly, Erin Kelly , Nick DeSimone, Josh Felts, Danny Conti (along with his parents) and some dewalt visitors from Nick at Windrock.

John drove down on Wednesday to visit with Erin in Alabama before everyone got down there. Danny drove to Ashville to pick up his parents and do some last minute wrenching with his dad (u-joints and shocks). Steve, Josh and Nick all drove down together on Thursday.

Morris mountain at 8am was the plan. after John made everyone late we got on the trail around 9. not too bad for the first day. Morris is a fairly small property but we found ourselves on the first named obstacles pretty quickly off the trail. de-stabilizer and v-notch were fun to play on. Nick was the only one to make it up v-notch in his new to him TJ (formerly Tom's). Danny had just installed all new steering components; from the pump to hydro assist. after the first obstacles his steering decided to give up the ghost. after a bit of troubleshooting we got him off the trail and back to the parking lot where he discovered it was a bad pump (about a total of 60 minutes run time on it).

While Danny spent the next few hours running into town to get his steering sorted out; the rest of us continued to play around. we had lunch back at parking lot hoping to catch a glimpse of Danny working, to no avail. Back on the trails we headed across the sketchy bridge of doom and played on the other side of the park. Josh slashed a tire at some point and we slapped on his good spare. We found some fun hill climbs and rocks to play on. eventually catching up with Danny to round out the day. back at the parking lot we got to catch up with the land owner Randy Morris and talk about various topics. (no stickers for John though)

back to the hotel and out to an old train station for dinner. good drinks, mediocre food.

Day two brought us to Choccolocco mountain where we immediately found evidence of a former long distance trip on the mailbox. someone stuck a HRC sticker on the mailbox which was fun to see.

Choccolocco is no joke, the place is large and the obstacles are larger. the trail riding opportunities are plentiful. we went to check out some of the well known obstacles you can see on youtube. They were fun to see and I even tried going up the waterfall, but to no avail. we ran a lot of the park checking out obstacles and looking for decent trails to try. There is plenty of insane obstacles so we spent a good amount of time looking for only slightly insane obstacles. Josh slashed another tire and headed back to the parking lot with Nick to swap his last good spare tire onto a rim. myself, John and Danny found some more fun. at some point it also rained on us which made the trails even more difficult.

At the end of the day we packed up and made the drive to Windrock to be ready for day 3 of wheeling. we arrived around midnight and stayed up talking with Nicks buddies for a little while.

Day 3 was at Windrock where Nick's friend was going to bring his H3 hummer on the trails but got scared when he saw our rigs. all his buddies found seats in our rigs.

If you've never been to windrock you need to ASAP. Having only one day at the park is not even close to enough time. you can spend a solid three days there and not see everything. Anyway, on the first trail of the day Josh spit out a u-joint strap and cap. we were able to straighten the strap and replace the u-joint after a little futzing around got him back up and running. we hit a few good trails and did lots of trail running bumping along type stuff. by 6pm almost everyone had enough of the heat and dust and we decided to call it quits to head back to the hotel. we had dinner at a sweet little spot on the river and enjoyed our last night.

The drive home was fairly uneventful in trailering terms. only issue along the way was a flat tire on Johns trailer on 81. got it swapped out and back on the road quickly. we stopped in Charlottesville to get it swapped out as we all had different bolt patterns and none of our spares world work for John. John is gong to need to swap out his trailer axle before using it again. evidently on the drive down in Virginia he hit a pothole and bent his axle housing outside the leaf spring. drove the rest of the way down and all the way back without blowing out that tire.

All in all it was an excellent trip.

next time we think we should stay onsite in cabins wherever possible to cut down on the driving time between park, hotel and restaurants. We will maximize our drinking/eating time and hopefully have a more relaxing trip. it was pretty hectic for 5 days.

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