YO Wheelin' @ the Y.O. Ranch
Well the 2007 Y.O. Wheelin' hosted by one of our favorite venues, The Famed YO Ranch nestled in the Beautiful Texas Hill Country is over. After a month of what seemed like non-stop pounding rains we somehow managed to draw a weekend of nearly flawless weather. Fifty or so Rigs; mostly Jeep, some Samurai, a Hummers even a few Toyota and nearly one hundred Wheelin' Enthusiast gathered together for the Fourth of July weekend run. We had an opportunity to visit with friends we had not seen in a while and the YO Ranch is the perfect place to visit with old and new friends in the lodge, around the pool or any number of great places to relax after a day of wheeling.
Over the weekend I had the good fortune to run into a lot of my Wheelin' buddies one in particular was Doug Witkowski. Over a fantastic Rib Eye Steak Dinner I visited with Doug and his family, Doug's daughter, Sadie, asked me if I ever have other people write the event reviews for JeepTales.com. I told her I am always appreciative when other folks write the reviews because it offers a unique perspective about our weekend of Wheelin' fun. Oh did I mention that Sadie is only 15!
Jeep Trails-A Personal Story
When I was little, I would use our jeep as a jungle gym. I'd climb on the roll bars and use twine to make a huge spider-web. Whenever it was a cool summer day, my brother and I would beg to go for a ride. It never occurred to me that our little cj-5 was meant for more than my personal playscape. I don't remember my dad ever four-wheeling when I was small. I guess he didn't have time. But as I got older, he started looking into different trails.
My first trail was at Inks ranch. Everything seemed to be going fine until we got to the top of a hill. Our oil filter popped and spilled the shiny black substance. Luckily, we were able to patch it with an o-ring and enjoy the rest of the trip. But thanks to our accidental toxic dump, the title Valdez was bestowed on our Jeep. So I survived my first experience of four-wheeling and I was dying for more. My dad, was so happy that I shared his interest, set-up another trek. This time at the YO Ranch.
In the months before our trip, my dad worked feverishly to adjust the jeep and replace old parts. One of these parts included the springs because it needed to hold the weight of the entire family. And due to this slight modification, we nearly ended up in some deep trouble.
The wall is a pretty known spot of four-wheelers of YO. To get to it, you have to drop off a ledge into a small valley. Then you have to make a tight left turn to face the imposing rock wall. My brother and I were getting a little bored from sitting in the line of jeeps so we hopped out and watched the vehicles climb the steep surface. None seemed to have any problems but it took considerable force to get up. As we watched, dad and our little CJ-5 came into view. He saw the near impossible climb in front of him and asked my mom to get out. Good thing he did, because what happened next wasn't something my mom would enjoy.
My dad gunned the engine and tried to pop over like all the other jeeps before him. Unfortunately, the new springs made for holding a family of four were only holding one. The bouncing springs caused the green jeep to rock precariously. He immediately cut the engine and waited for the swaying to stop. When it did, we saw he was balanced on his two back wheels. The front two were hovering in the air. "Can someone grab the front please?" I could hear his voice straining with worry. One of the trail guides climbed over and pressed his weight against the front bumper. It started to lean down slightly but it took another person for the front wheels to touch.
When our Jeep was safely strapped up, I could hear a collective sigh of relief. Subconsciously, everyone had been holding their breath. My dad made it safely to the top and released his tight grip on the steering wheel.
We enjoyed the rest of the weekend, although my dad didn't try to over-exert our little jeep again. I really loved my experience with all the other four-wheelers and trail guides. I now have a great collection of Jeep pictures to show from my exciting trip. And I expect there will be many more to come.
I'll see you in the trail again soon,
If you have pictures or video to share from this event, email info@JeepTales.com and we will send you a link to upload your images.
Podcast (audio files)
A few more photos and a supplemental review from Tank