I met up with Clint at his place around 6:15am Saturday. We then met up
with Stacy, Manny, Nik, and Dana at Stacy’s place, and headed out for
Brookshire to pick up Larry and his Bronco. The caravan included Stacy
and Larry (pulling Larry’s Bronco), Clint and I (pulling my TJ), Dana in
her H2 (pulling her TJ), Manny in his TJ Sahara, and Nik in his newly
purchased Rubi (only 4 weeks old). We continued on to just outside San
Antonio, where we met up with Shane Hill (TX4WD Fratt Chapter, Oakey.net)
who guided us up to Cline Ranch in Lakehills, TX.
About 10 minutes away from
the Ranch, the skies opened up, and poured down quite a bit of rain. When
we finally got there, Brad Cline (property owner) met us at the gate and
let us in. While we were unloading, some Bronco guys (and girl) from Lone
Star Bronco’s showed up, and doubled our size. After a waiver signing, we
were on our way through the property, with Stacy riding in Larry’s Bronco,
Clint in Nik’s Rubi (Clint was to assist Nik, as this was his first time
wheelin’), Dana in her TJ with her dog Cody, Manny in his Sahara, Shane in
“Oakey” with Brad Cline, and me in my TJ, along with others in their
It took me some time to soak in the scenery. Having wheeled only in
East Texas, it was a pleasant change of landscape. Dry creek beds,
granite slates, loose rocks, dry waterfalls, and thick brush were just
some of the challenges that awaited us.
The ranch is set up with
one main trail that runs around the property, with various obstacles and
bypasses along the way. The Fratt Chapter of TX4WD and their volunteers
had been doing a great job in clearing and creating trails and
After rounding a narrow, slick pass, we came up to an un-named trail.
It is not yet named because no one has made it up all the way. The first
to make it up will get to name the trail. The first third of the climb
isn’t so bad, but going into the second third yields loose rock and
gravel, and because of the heavy rains earlier, it was very slick.
After several failed attempts, we headed further down the trail to try
The entrance provided a
tight right turn, into an un-nerving off-camber position. This was the
most off-cambered experience I have gone through, looking at a slated
granite rock bottom to my right, and nothing but sky on the left. It made
me really appreciate front lockers, as only my driver tire was on the
ground for a while. After making it through, we continued on to the next
stop, which was a dry waterfall of about 3 feet, with slated ledges. Here
is where we got to see one of the Broncos lay itself over and blow a
With the help of a winch,
ratchet strap, air compressor, and a lot of sweat, Landis and Sally (Lone
Star Broncos) was up and ready for more. Of course, it took so much air
to seat and inflate the tire, that Larry’s compressor got hot enough to
blow the line with a loud pop and hiss. After re-grouping, we went to the
next obstacle, which was only a hop, skip, and jump away. Apparently, the
“regulars” that visit the park often, stated that normally, most all the
rigs can make it up the obstacles without problem, but because of the
brief rain we got, most everyone had to get winched up at each obstacle.
This next obstacle was no
different. As easy as it looked, it was difficult to get any traction.
Here is also where Manny kissed a tree with his Sahara rocker accents, and
where Nik put his first noticeable rock damage on his 4 week old Rubi (it
was his driver’s side rear bumper end that suffered the impact while
backing up—which reminds me… Nik, if you still want my old bumper end to
replace yours, let me know). The next obstacle involved more winching,
and at one point, two TJs as anchor points to a YJ winching up a Bronco.
Since time was running
out, the group split up, and our group decided to go to the top of the
hill to get a view of Medina Lake.
Needless to say, it was a
spectacular view from the top. I was able to snap a few photos and then
it was time to head back down and load up. It was after 7pm before our
rigs were loaded onto the trailer for the trip back home. On the way
back, our caravan stopped for fuel and food. Then, right before getting
back to Houston, Clint’s trailer had a tire issue, so we pulled into a
picnic area, unloaded my TJ to lighten the load, and removed the problem
trailer tire. From there, I drove my TJ the rest of the way, and Clint
was able to pull the trailer back home without incident.
Overall, I had a blast on
the day run. It was refreshing to have a change of pace and to go
somewhere different for wheelin’. I would like to say thanks to Brad
Cline and his family for allowing us to explore and enjoy their property.
I know I look forward to our next visit to Cline Ranch.
OTHER PICTURES FROM THE DAY: