Mountain Work Run
by Michael Ecord
Work Run began
under a partly cloudy sky and the hint of rain to the north. As I headed
towards Splendora to meet the other members that wanted to convoy to
Gilmer, I wonder what type of turnout we would have over Superbowl
weekend. But I had not been
off road for two months, except for one failed attempt at the last work
run and I was determined to have some fun regardless of the Superbowl or
rain. Well, I was the last to arrive in Splendora.
Ken Womack along with Buddy & Darren Overstreet were waiting
with Dan Neuss and Ray Barth.
helped attached my tow bar to the jeep and quickly connected it up to
Ray’s truck. The drive to
Gilmer was a relatively uneventful trip except Ken once again questioned
every ones speedometer J and Buddy had some CB problems.
We all kept an eye on the potentially threatening clouds. The
clouds seemed to break up as we reached Gilmer.
group decided to meet at BMRA to have a short run before dark. Dan, Ray,
and I stopped at the Ramada to drop our Gear off before heading to BMRA.
Ken, Buddy and Darren headed on to BMRA to set up their camp before
we arrived. The weather was
great for 4wheeling, partly cloudy and cool.
After all the jeeps were ready we hit the trails.
I took a moment out to show Dan and Ray the top of the Houston
trail is a short loop that has a rock ledge that must be conquered to exit
the trail with out taking the by pass.
This trail is only one of three 4Diamond trails at BMRA right now.
There are several spots where other 4’s can be built and of
course a by pass can be put around all tough obstacles.
Twilight was approaching so we decide to try a couple of trails
“Noname” was the first trail we hit. This trail was made with a
bulldozer. It is a short loop
with some nice climbs. The
climbs are smooth and only rated a 2 on a 1 to 4 scale.
It appears these climbs will become more difficult with time and
wet conditions. The exit of this trail points you south towards JP’s
Expressway is another bulldozer made trail.
It is a fun trail that weaves through the forest with some nice
climbs and a mild off camber turn. The
expressway climbs out of the forest and ends near the beginning of
trail was the third run of the evening.
This is another trail full of assents and dissents along with a
couple of off camber turns. There
is a chance to find a little mud and water with a short drop into a creek
bed. All three of these trails are enjoyable and we ran them each twice
before the weekend was over.
The last trail of the evening was one known as Fun
Country is one of the first trails that were built on the property.
It is a tight, twisting trail with several routes to choose from.
Buddy Overstreet took the lead on this trail after I chose the
easier of the two routes on the first climb.
Near the end of this trail there are a couple of tight turns that
gave the CJ’s a little problem. As
dark fell, we almost missed the last climb because so many people were
taking the by pass. I had to back down the by-pass to attempt the rocks on the
other route. Dan was first in
line and decided to take the bypass after getting caught on the rock
ledge. In Dan’s behalf, it
was about dark on a trail he didn’t know.
Having been down this trail before I drove over the ledge.
Ken was the last out and we all decided it was dinnertime.
We agreed to meet at the camp around 9 am Saturday morning.
morning we headed out to do a little trail maintenance and run Spider
Ravine & Venom. The first
incident of the day happened at the fork to Venom.
A 4-wheeler from Dallas had asked to run trails with us.
Little did any of us imagine how short of a run it would be.
When making the turn to Venom his CJ’s steering box ripped from
the frame. Despite attempt to
use the winch cable to hold his gearbox to the frame, it took a good hour
to get him to the top of the trail and on a dirt road.
This PR on our part has four more people signing up
for the Texas Trail Rides. Not
to be completely out done, I decided to rearrange my front bumper on a
rock while finishing Venom Loop.
decided to pass after the new bodywork. The rest of the Bunch was game,
and all gave it a valiant try. But
each had to be winched or strapped. Take
a look at the pictures, some of the jeeps wound up in interesting
back to the office for some a good barbeque lunch.
On the way we met Swede and Doug.
They had lunch with us before we all hit the trail again. Swede brought his jeep but had to put it back on the trailer,
his trans-mission mount was broke. We
spent the rest of the day familiarizing ourselves with the other trails
and the property.
did decide to give the Houston trail another try sense I winched out of it
last time. I led the group
with Dan, Ken, Buddy and Darren following in that order.
I chose a different line this time and made it with little
difficulty. Every one
followed the same line and with a little spotting help from Ray, we all
drove out of the Houston trail.
However, it was not long before I managed to get myself in a little
spot. I popped a bead on a
creek crossing that is not even part of the BMRA trail system.
to Doug, there is plenty of photographic evidence.
I can honestly say I have never popped a bead in a bigger mess.
Notice the bent bumper and fender compliments of The Venom Loop.
It is real nice to have friends with air tools.
(Thanks, Dan) The winch cable is supporting the jeep while I jacked it up.
With everyone’s help, we were back on the road in no time.
Dan, Swede and Doug had to go back to Houston so we saw them off
and headed back out to the trails. This time we headed to the southeast
end of the property. There
are some interesting trails in this area including a deceiving ravine.
This ravine swallowed Ken, Darren, & myself.
I am proud to say my “car” made it further then the CJ7
with a 360 and boggers. J
We drove about 90% of the trails on the BMRA property.
There is a lot done, but we still have a lot to do.
This is a great place with something for everyone and any type of
vehicle. Come join us for the next run.
You will have fun.
- Michael Ecord