been a long time since I could remember seeing such anticipation and
enthusiasm for a club run. Many
of us had visited the Katemcy Rocks website and had seen some of what this
relatively new off-road area had to offer.
All I know is that I was looking to forward it, and from the amount
of email traffic on the SHR Topica list, I wasn’t the only one!
headed west early in order to stop in Boerne to visit Val Minozevski, who
was to be one of the trail leaders for our run.
Val is a San Antonio Jeep Exclusive member who I first met years
ago at Fort Hood. He owns
several auto repair shops called 2 Fat Guys Goodyear.
After a tour of his Boerne shop and a late lunch, we loaded up
Val’s newest acquisition, a flatbed Toyota with a Chevy drivetrain,
(dubbed the “Toylet”) and headed north towards Mason.
fueling up in Mason, we ran into SHR members David Warner and James
Lynaugh. We also met Shain
Chapman, an organizer of Katemcy Rocks who had originally planned to be
out of town for the weekend. Instead,
he would be out in the morning to lead trails.
headed to the park and began unloading our trucks. In just a short time, Steve & Beth Snyder showed up and
unloaded as well. Even before
we had time to air down, Val was headed to the trail, eager to try out his
new ride and trying to get used to the auto tranny in his Toylet
(pronounced “toy-lay”). Once
we got to the rocks, we aired down and headed for some water and large
rocks. It didn’t take long
for me to get my rear diff caught on a large boulder and, while trying to
back off it, we heard the all to familiar metallic sound of a right front
axle u-joint breaking. After
winching my CJ7 off the rock, we headed back to camp for repairs, as it
was getting dark already anyway. Many
thanks to Jose Conde & David Warner for holding the lantern while I
disassembled everything to remove the damaged axle which, of course, had
spread the ears significantly, requiring cutting them off to remove the
axle through the knuckle. Once that was done, we called it night with plans to finish
in the morning light.
this time, other SHR members had shown up, including Todd Nelson, Seth
Bothner, Jose Conde, Bob Fleming and others.
Todd & Seth lit a smoker and cooked up all sorts of things,
including the sausage I had brought.
then headed up the rocks to the Rat hole, where you could still see glass
from John Nagy’s Jeep that had rolled over backwards the weekend before.
The trick here was to maintain just a little momentum without
loosing traction while climbing the short, steep hill.
We only had one vehicle start to hop, but Val quickly stopped the
driver from making an expensive mistake.
there we started to head towards Baby Huey’s Crack. Unfortunately, Karl
Pretzer discovered his steering box was nearly ripped off the frame of his
Scout. Thanks to James
Carpenter’s on-board welder and Terry Estes’ welding skills, it was
fixed fairly quickly. Both
Mike Green and James made it up without too much problem, except James
bent the front drag link on “Hooptee”, his ‘used to be a Scout”.
Terry broke a hub on the approach, & wisely took the bypass.
While the vehicles were being repaired, a TJ broke an axle u-joint
playing on the rocks.
That was soon fixed and we continued on towards an obstacle attempted only by Steve Turney and Mike Green. It was awesome to watch as Steve nearly made it, but had to take the strap near the end. Mike, with his larger 42” tires, made it unassisted. Everyone gave suggestions about what Mike should name the obstacle; we found out later it was High 5 Hill.
was the big crack on the Waterfall trail.
Steve Turney put on an articulation show that was deemed
”unnatural” by those watching. Unfortunately,
Karl decided he had to do the crack as well and ended up breaking the
right mount for his tie rod, most likely stressed when the gear let loose.
Most of us took the bypass while he performed a “temporary
repair” to get his Scout off the trail.
finished the waterfall at the end of the trail with no problem, and we
headed for the Wall. Karl
& family headed back to camp while we all took our shots at it. Everyone, except me that is, made it up.
My heavy CJ7 wanted to keep lifting off the front tires no matter
which line I tried. The last
“strike” was close, with the front left tire 18” in the air
(according to Val). I stayed
true to my “3 strikes, you’re out rule” and took the bypass.
and Steve still hadn’t had enough and Val showed them a very steep
climb, as yet unnamed. Val
Steve took the easier line on the left side.
Mike, with his longer 110” wheelbase and 10 to 1 low range,
became the first to crawl up the near vertical wall.
The only word I can use to describe it is “awesome”!
The climb has 2 large rocks at the top and after a few names were
bandied about, Mike was asked his middle name, “Eugene”.
A comment was made about “Eugene the Jeep”, but I think it was
Steve who came up with the name that stuck…Eugene’s Balls.
Everyone then returned to
camp. Some loaded up and
headed home and others lit the grills for another night of good food and
conversation while Val and I headed out to get his Toylet.
Using two large ratchet straps to secure the axle, we made it back
without a problem.
I spoke to had a great time and is looking forward to our next trip to
Katemcy. Many thanks to Steve
Snyder for setting this one up. Hey
Steve, I heard about the rollover. Need
any help fixing the damage?