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Rzeppa
09-29-2006, 07:38 PM
Okay, Matt and Ken have been out there, what's the scoop? Photos? Real time report?

treerootCO
09-29-2006, 08:13 PM
Okay, Matt and Ken have been out there, what's the scoop? Photos? Real time report?


If I had to guess I would say it is relatively flat and somewhat nasty. :D

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:22 AM
I have learned that riding to an event has two great benefits: one, your truck is safe at home. two, you have a lot of time in the car to type on the laptop, while the memories are still fresh. Hope you have a full cup of coffee and enjoy the following... :cheers:


Months ago the wife and I set our calendars for the last weekend in September to go to Moab with some friends. Take our 13-month-old son, some bikes, the camper… do the family thing in the desert one last time before winter. Then two weeks beforehand the wife’s best friend backs out, can’t get the time off. So now the trip is reduced to just us, and driving 6 hours with the kid to a place with no bathroom suddenly doesn’t sound that appealing to the wife anymore. So in my best attempt at putting her needs first, I suggest “you know if you really don’t want to go camping, I could drive out with Ken to Flat Nasty in Missouri… I do already have those days off.” Without much discussion, the time away was approved, and the wheels were in motion. Road trip!!!

Arrived at Romer’s house only about an hour late, was tough saying goodbye to the wife and son. But they are wonderful at supporting me and my Cruiser-centric needs, and know I’ll be safe and will return soon with many stories to tell. I mean, how could I pass up a road trip with my buddy Ken, and attend a TLCA event I know absolutely nothing about? This was truly an opportunity, and I’m especially excited since the only TLCA even I’ve know is Cruise Moab I’m hoping to learn a few things as well, and meet some new folks from the boards.

I didn’t bring much with me- some clothes, my sleeping bag, a pillow.. even forgot my MP3 player. Didn’t matter at all since Ken had thought of everything. As long as I pull my wallet out every 250 miles or so he assured me I wouldn’t be hungry or thirsty all week.. sounded like a fair deal to me so away we go. As I write this it’s 10:05 PM Mountain time, we’re still in Colorado almost to the Kansas border, we figure we’ll be there around noon tomorrow if we stay on pace.


Wednesday started with the surreal feeling of having stayed up all night. Despite a few naps in the car, we were both feeling pretty wired and a little out of it as we sat in a Jefferson City diner for a quick breakfast. Two more hours and we’d be at Flat Nasty, so the attitude of “lets just get there” presided over any other conversation or idea of side trip. As we gassed up for the 6th time of the journey (I was wrong before, more like 150 miles per tank) we set down the rolling hills of central Missouri.

There is a different road naming scheme here than we’re used to. We left the 72’s and 19’s then found our way to “K” road, then “ZZ,” making sure we didn’t take a wrong turn on “Z” or “B” or any other letter in between. But the directions provided by Tornado Alley were perfect, and we found Flat Nasty at about 11:00 local time. We’re greeted at the top by Sheila, who is the camp owner along with husband Rob. She has us sign their waiver form, hands us a couple trail maps, then sends us down the hill. The trails are rated like a ski area: greens, yellows, & blacks (blues are ATV-only).. all spread across this 850 acre parcel with a camp site smack dab in the middle. Man this is cool. One the way down to camp we meet Ron who’s driving back up to the front in one of his trail rigs, a built-up Mini truck.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:22 AM
What a beautiful country- thick, full trees with leaves of every shade of green and yellow, few orange. I’m sure in another two weeks these trees will be all orange and red. The camp site is about one mile down a dirt road, in this enormous grass valley near a creek bed. Perfectly level, we could have 10 soccer games down here simultaneously. “Camp anywhere” is shouted to us as we creep around the grassy field, and we’re greeted by our new neighbor for the weekend, Eric Christensen.

After we got the camper set up, most things settled, and a tour of Rob from Kansas City’s camper/bus creation, we decided a good nap was the best way to start the afternoon. Great choice, one of those naps where you just shut your eyes for a minute and a half hour goes by. Perfect, then it was back up to Salem for some last minute supplies and to reach cell service so we could check in with the family at home. This was truly “roughing it” no cell service, no power & water hookups, no WiFi… compelling us to rely on our batteries, generators, and portable hot water shower like the early pioneers did.

On our way back out of the camp site we ran into (almost literally) the FJ Cruiser team, who were making their way down to set up. Awesome, were hoping they’d be here early, as we are both looking forward to catching up with our buddy Robbie. Salem is about 20 minutes from camp (nearest civilization) and after a few quick errands we were back down in the valley.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:22 AM
Later that evening Robbie led a quick “creek run” then took us on the #2 pretzel loop, consisting of just his FJ and Ken’s LX450. There is a drainage ditch that runs behind the camping area, actually rated “yellow” on the trail map. Hopping in a truck with Robbie was worth the 14 hour drive in itself, as we talked the whole time about just about everything, did our best to catch up as much as we could. And his line selection (both driving and spotting) never disappoint, as both are equally impressive and made a very fun evening run. He let me drive the FJ most of the time which was a lot of fun, particularly on some of the harder lines where the A-Trac kicks in and gives you an almost “all locked” sense of capability, without losing any handling ability. In it the simplest explanation, the A-Trac activates the brake of whatever tire is spinning, thus forcing the other tires to get it going. It sounds like the ABS it coming on, but you get used to the sound very quick as you start aiming for larger obstacles.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:22 AM
Wednesday night was a fairly typical “first night” at the event. There are probably 25 folks in attendance, and everyone did their best to mill about, introduce themselves, offer refreshments, and share stories into the evening. The stars that were visible once all the lights went out were absolutely incredible. Our camp was joined by Alan Loshbaugh, Craig the Pirate, a brief appearance by Kowboy, and ¾ of the FJ Cruiser team Robbie, Rod and Garret throughout the evening.

The evening was fairly mellow, and by 11:00 most everyone had found their sleeping bag. The clear night clouded up, and by 2:00 am it was pouring rain, a rain that lasted long into the next day. Glad we remembered to roll up the windows, and the Romer camper proved to be 100% leak free.

Thursday started out very wet, it rained off and on until about 11:00. some folks went wheeling on some short runs near the camp, I caught a ride with some Great Lakes 4Wheeler guys from Michigan, rode with John in a green 40 that had coils & a 4-link in back, leafs up front. Definitely a budget-mobile, but John knew it well and knew how to drive it. The other guy on the run was Dar, and he had an impressively built red 40. We made it about 10 feet up the trail from the valley in which we were all camped when the first obstacle revealed to Dar that his right front tire wasn’t turning. About 15 minutes later he had the hub swapped with an older one and all was well. This was “15 road,” one of the “black rated” trails, and by this time I was pretty eager to ride along on a more difficult run and meet some new folks.

The obstacles really don’t look that bad- in Colorado or Utah just about any of our trucks could walk right up this stuff, but the loose gravel and endless supply of thick black dirt made for very poor traction (especially after a few new inches of rain) but the 36” Boggers eventually prevailed and we made it up the hill & back down to camp in about 20 minutes.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:23 AM
This is a really cool place to camp, as there are runs that exit from just about all sides of this valley, that take anywhere from 10 minutes to 4 hours to complete. Fun to start a run at 11:00, and make it back in time for the 12:00 driver meeting.

The noon driver meeting started at about 12:30, and lasted for about 15 minutes. A very brief welcome & thank you was conducted by Mike Costello, also Eric Christensen said a few words as well. The message was very simple: have fun, don’t go out alone, ask for help if you need it. After the meeting we all signed the FJ Cruiser waivers, the TLCA waivers, and purchased some additional raffle tickets. With all the business out of the way, we ready for some wheeling.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:23 AM
Hill & Gully

It’s always fun to finally meet old friends from the forums & lists for the first time, and it seemed appropriate that Ken & I lead a wagon run, inviting all the wagons plus anyone else who wanted to tag along. On the run was Romer in his LX, Tim A (Tarbe) is a nicely built FZJ, Buck (Buckru) in his unlocked FZJ, Nick Stone in a stock FJ60, and Robbie & Garret in a blue FJ Cruiser. We decided to run “Hill & Gully,” which is the longest “green” run. Robbie encouraged everyone who wanted to to drive the FJ, so being without a truck meant when I got kicked out of the FJ I got to drive just about everyone else’s rig while they took their turn, something I enjoyed very much. If you count moving Eric Christensen’s 40 under a canopy to get it out of the rain earlier in the morning, that day I drove a 40, a 60, a ‘94 80, a ‘97 80 (get to count those separate since they have different dashboards & trannys) and an FJ Cruiser.

The run itself was without any major incidents, a lot of steep ups & downs, loose dirt, and tight trees. These trails are all cut much narrower than what we’re used to, and the trees that line the runs come into play more than the rocks & roots beneath. We had to make 3 or 4 multi-point turns, and on the last descent back down to the main road Tarbe slid off the trail and had to be winched sideways using the FJ and a snatch block. He tried to take a corner wide (to avoid a tree) then got on the loose stuff and it was all over. We hooked the strap to his Hanna slider which did the job quite well, and Robbie turned the effort into a quick recovery lesson which everyone enjoyed very much.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:29 AM
15 Road

After a sandwich back at the camper, Ken wanted to run something else, and try something harder. I suggested he take a look at the “15 road” I ran earlier that morning in with the Michigan boys, figuring once we got past the first obstacle the rest of the run didn’t seem that bad. We walked over, he decided to give it a go and went back to get the truck. Tarbe and Buck were also interested, but wanted to see Ken do it first.

With a few attempts, a few well-placed rocks, every button pushed, knob twisted, and a healthy dose of skinny pedal Ken was up & over the first obstacle. But much to our dismay, the battle had just begun. The loose rock provided no traction, and the AT tires filled up quick and ended up doing a lot more digging than biting. After about 20 attempts and roughly 20’ of progress, we decide the best course of action was to get out the winch (there are plenty of trees, btw). The hill climb is about 300’s long, and we made the next 280’ under winch assist, right up until the final rock of the run (literally) at which point the M12K was nearing the end of its third full pull and had enough. With the only other option running back down to camp to bring in another vehicle from the top, Ken decided to just go for it and got past the final rock.

The rock was about 2’ high and occupied the left half of the trail, forcing the truck into, you guessed it, a tree on the right edge of the road. In hindsight, we could have stacked rocks opposite the rock that would have allowed the truck to remain more level and away from the tree, but no one had that thought at the time and Ken was in full “just get me the hell out of here” mode so up the rock and into the tree he went. He caught a nice scrape on the RR quarter panel, small dent on the back door, and also lost the front section of the fender flare. Other damage from the run (not the final rock though) was the exhaust pipe was completely crunched near the cats where it crosses under the frame, and almost completely closed in the back where it had been pinched under the rear bumper. Though the exhaust damage was mostly done in the creek bed the night before, we just added to it on this run tonight.

The last picture shows the tree that took out the right side. This was attempt 1, we ended up stacking rocks on the outside of the big rock to get the front diff to not hit (it's spinning free in the pic)

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:30 AM
Back at camp I was felling like a total chump for suggesting we try that road in the first place, and did my best to remove door panels to attempt to “pop out” the dents as best I could (and I couldn’t, BTW,) remove the dangling flare, and stay out of Ken’s way for a while. But all was well, and Ken took the high road and accepted full responsibility for the decision to run the trail, plus we know a great body repair guy back in Denver. The damage earned Ken quite a bit of attention that evening, and Rob from Kansas City was equipped with a sawzall, welder, and flex-tube and offered to repair the damaged section of tail pipe that night at camp. Ken took him up on the offer while I erected the shower tent and hooked up the hot water, and a few beers and a warm shower later the smiles were back on everyone’s faces.

Matt Farr showed up this evening as well, and was about 3 stories and 6 beers behind the rest of us, but did his best to catch up. He crashed in the Romer camper that night (and the next) and enjoyed meeting all the other TLCA folk in attendance. He also pulled up in his dad’s Jeep wrangler, and caught a nice dose of comments from everyone in the valley. By this point the camp area had close to 40 “trail ready” Toyotas, some tow vehicles, campers, tents, trailers, and was filling in nicely.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:36 AM
20 road

Our run on Friday was “20 road” which was the other long “green” run we hadn’t run yet. Romer again took the lead, and tended to aim right on all of the tight squeeze lines. We had about 12 trucks, including a private-owned FJ, two other FJ’s that were part of the Trail team, also Tarbe again, Buck, Jason (Moj), Brian Swearingen (Woody), Casey Campbell in his FZJ, a couple 40’s, a 60, and a few others I’m not remembering. This run proved to be even tighter than anything we’d done previously, and within the first mile we found ourselves approaching an off-camber corner that requires you to barely miss a tree on both sides. “You want a spot Ken?”
“No, I got it..” 3, 2, 1, bang! Aw crap.. Ken caught the top of the passenger door and rain gutter on a tree when the truck leaned more than expected, and smacked the top of the passenger door with a tree, which proceeded to slide across the rest of the rain gutter on that side as we passed.. Crap.. the phrase “man, Oleg’s going to love you” was heard more than a couple times this day, and we had to pound up on the rain gutter to get the PS door to close without smashing the gasket.

Also on this run another dent to the RR quarter panel mysteriously appeared just before the tail light, making the right side of Ken’s pretty LX look very much like a trail rig. I didn’t do any driving, but spent most of the day running outside, spotting the first half or so of the vehicles through the tight spots, Robbie spotting the latter half (which included the FJ’s). Everyone at camp who earlier told us “you’re going to be out there all day with that many trucks on 20” were pretty impressed that we were back in time for a late lunch, in time for some of us to take another run..

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:36 AM
5 Road

For the second run, Robbie wanted to do one of the “yellow” runs to give the Toyota camera crew some new footage, also wanted to keep it small so he & I in the FJ led Ken & Matt in Ken’s LX, and Woody, Moj, and Trainrech in Woody’s FZJ up to do road #5. Before we headed to the trail, Robbie needed to drop one of the camera guys up at a hardcore section to film some of the big guys, and both of them ended up staying up there. So whatever, we didn’t have the camera crew but ran the trail anyway, that’s why we’re here.

I drove the FJ out to the start of the trail, then down a fairly tight descent into another creek bed, where we proceeded to run up the dry creek. This trail was again tight, but this time a dirt bank also came into play, in addition to all the trees and rocks beneath. About midway on the trail, road #11 started off to the left, a nearly impossible hill climb. Local shops have put a “bounty” on this trail, anyone who does it gets a mess of prizes, including a free winch. The “easy button” on the left was absolutely priceless, I’m sure everyone got a picture the only one I took was from far away but you can see it on the tee to the left. We didn’t try it though, but pushed the button anyway.

Matt Farr took over driving the FJ about a third the way through for the middle portion of the trail, and did well with Robbie doing all of the spotting. I again took to walking, occasionally spotting Woody and Ken as needed. The run got progressively harder the further up the run we got, with the hardest obstacles just at the end. I drove Ken’s LX for some of the latter part of the trail, but got out before the final big obstacles. We thought we were going to be late for dinner, but as luck would have it the catering was running on the same pace as the rest of the event, and we had an hour or so to kill back at camp before the feed line started up. By now there much have been close to 100 people down here, and the camp sites stretched for about a quarter mile lining both sides of this big valley.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:36 AM
We liked road #5 the best. The obstacles were a little harder than the stuff on the green trails, but there weren't as many tight turns through the trees.

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:50 AM
The BBQ was pretty good, smoked Turkey & Pork, with beans, rolls, lemonade. They didn’t have any provisions for tables, chairs, or rain shelter, but no one seemed to mind and made do just fine. And the skies were clear so they got lucky with the weather as well. The raffle didn’t start until after dark, and everyone used camping lights and head lamps to check their numbers while Kowboy yelled out the tickets. They kept the pace moving very quick, you only got about 10 seconds to shout out you’re a winner before they’d burn the ticket and move on. It started with every kid getting a remote-controlled RC car. I won a couple prizes, mostly random car care products & t-shirts, the grand prize was a set of Pit Bull Grappler tires (33 12.50 16) and a Ramsey winch. Don’t remember who won those though, wasn’t me. Saddest part of the evening was Jason (Moj) had the first winning ticket for the tires, but he didn’t speak up in time (he had several sets of tickets to sort through) and by the time he realized it they’d already drawn another one. Here is a picture of the raffle…

nakman
10-01-2006, 11:52 AM
After the raffle we spent more time talking to Robbie back in the warm camper (oh, it got down to about 40 degrees or less every night, was quite cold), then we went down and shared a couple more stories with the Houston guys Tarbe and Buckru.. really great guys I hope they make it to Moab next spring.

Saturday the TLCA officers cooked breakfast, consisting of the basics eggs, sausage, bacon, and pancakes. We only got eggs, others only got pancakes, some got meat.. the production line couldn’t keep up with the eaters but it was a fine breakfast in any case. Then we tore down our camp and loaded up, followed by a very lazy morning talking to Woody who was repairing a brake light and Casey Campbell about which 80’s he should sell and which 80 he should keep. We hit the road by about 1:00, and hoped to be back in Denver by 03:00. Ken did most the driving on the way back, leaving me a lot of time to type up my report here..

I only drove for one tank of gas and got pulled over in Kansas for speeding, about 60 miles from Colorado. Cop said he clocked me at 89 then again at 84, but NFW it was more like 79 per our GPS & cruise control, but whatever it was a 70mph limit so I was going too fast. He let us go with a warning though, was actually a pretty nice guy, and it’s a great feeling to not have anything to hide or worry about when you see the lights in your mirror.

Got back to Romer’s at 2:40, I got home by about 3:20 then hopped in the shower. Thanks again Ken for an awesome time, I will certainly never forget it. Hope you all enjoyed the trip report, if you made it this far thanks for sticking with it!

bh4rnnr
10-01-2006, 12:50 PM
Looks like you guys had a great time, nice report Tim:thumb: :beer: .

Romer
10-01-2006, 05:37 PM
It was an awesome event and I had a great time and made lots of new friends. I used Tim, and my pictures and Tim's video and edited a 20 minuted DVD. Even an MPG file is 11MB so I guess it is too big to upload. I'll be bringing a copy to the meeting for Tim and Matt if any one wants to see it.

Convert
10-01-2006, 05:52 PM
Nice write up Tim , Looks like you guys had fun

wesintl
10-01-2006, 06:28 PM
Thanks Tim, For 15min I thought I was there with you guys :thumb:

nakman
10-01-2006, 07:13 PM
For 15min I thought I was there with you guys

Cool, thanks, that's what I was hoping for. And I wish y'all could have been there, you would have loved it. We should go back next year as a club for sure, but maybe trailer some 40's next time, this place does not like the wagons. :beer2:

Convert
10-01-2006, 07:46 PM
this place does not like the wagons.
Noticed that:lmao:

Romer
10-01-2006, 09:00 PM
I created a new user name on Comcast and was able to create some storage space to put the following file:

http://home.comcast.net/~klromer/Flat_Nasty.wmv

It's a lower resolution windoes media file of the DVD I made.

Let me know if the link works for others

Set the rsolution on your media player (Right click) to 100%

Rezarf
10-01-2006, 09:06 PM
Thanks Ken!

Link works fine, sorry to see your new tattoo :eek:

Drew

nakman
10-01-2006, 10:36 PM
Wow, great video!!! very well done, sir. :beer2:

Romer
10-01-2006, 10:38 PM
Wow, great video!!! very well done, sir. :beer2:

Well, it had to go along with your most excllent write-up.

I recommend Tim for a road trip buddy any day:thumb:

60wag
10-02-2006, 07:43 AM
Sounds like a great roadtrip with some great wheelin. Ken - don't be too quick to fix the body damage. It gives the Lexus character :)

Rzeppa
10-02-2006, 01:02 PM
Awesome trip report Tim! Thanks for sharing that!

Uncle Ben
10-02-2006, 01:13 PM
Wonderful report Tim, thank you! While my wife and I had a really awesome anniversary weekend I still am very jealous of the Flat Nasty weekend. Ken, sorry about the trail beauty marks, that sucks! Guess your gonna have to make a choice about which is more tollerable, noisier aggressive tires and trail bragging rights or quiet AT's and the satisfaction of knowing your sending Olegs kids through college! Everything is a trade off! Congradulations on the trip you will never forget!:thumb: :cheers:

Rezarf
10-02-2006, 02:20 PM
Fellas-

That is one crazy school bus man! Thanks for the tour fellas great video, was the Trail Team "officially" there? I know I saw Robbie and a FJC.

Man, I really don't miss the trails down south, we have the coolest wheeling ever out here in Colorad!

Drew

Romer
10-02-2006, 02:31 PM
The trail team was there.

I'll ponder your advice Kevin. Thanks for the input.

wesintl
10-02-2006, 02:44 PM
I'd be happy to come by and remove the rest of the fender flares for you :rip:

Seriously, I like the 80 ( I mean lexus 450) with no flares. "When" I get my 80 (yeah right ;) ) that's the first thing to come off.

Gotta appreciate colorado and utah wheelin:birf: :lol: BTDT in a wagon

sleeoffroad
10-03-2006, 08:57 AM
Damn, the ShortBus is starting to look good compared to the clubs beat up 80's. :D

Romer
10-03-2006, 09:05 AM
I'd be happy to come by and remove the rest of the fender flares for you :rip:

Seriously, I like the 80 ( I mean lexus 450) with no flares. "When" I get my 80 (yeah right ;) ) that's the first thing to come off.

Gotta appreciate colorado and utah wheelin:birf: :lol: BTDT in a wagon

Actually, Tim and I were thinking the cladding saved some body damage on quite a few trucks last week. Even the Fender flares.

This is one of woodys pictures that illustrate just how tight it was

http://gallery.ih8mud.com/albums/2006-09-29_TAC-FlatNasty/normal_TAC-FlatNasty025.jpg

nakman
10-03-2006, 09:29 AM
Yes, we had those flares & body cladding dodads pressed up against several rocks & trees, and I am certain had they not been there there would have been quite a bit more body damage.

Christo, you would have had a blast out there in the Shortbus.. check out pics of the hardcore sections, there's a link in the trip report on ih8mud. Looks like the Michigan guys made it up the waterfall climb, and at least took a shot at the Bounty climb, not sure if they made it though.