Ken Tells His Tale From Katemcy Rocks!    
By Ken Womack

The Southern High Roller’s had their October Club Run at an OHV park near Mason TX this past weekend, and it was a HOOT!  Not just the ‘wheelin’, but everything, the convoy, the cabin on Lindsay Ranch, the food, the friends.  It was a weekend of perfect weather, and we were all ready for some challenging 4-wheelin’ in a new and different place.  Katemcy Rocks gave us all we wanted. 

There were 20+ SHR members plus family members and guests, plus folks from Austin, San Antonio and many other spots in Texas.  KR! is a privately owned and operated ranch that has just recently opened as an OHV Park.  We were invited to this run along with others for one last run before hunting season.  We were all glad we were.  

Most of us left Friday at various times of the day to reach Katemcy by Friday night.  Our little caravan met and left from Sam’s at I-10 and Hwy.  6.  Here we would meet up with Swede, Michael Ecord, Doug Chartier, Matt Nuebert, John and Deloris Wilson, Lee Miller and myself, Ken Womack.  Lee Miller would be riding shotgun with me on this run, as he is “Jeepless” for now anyway.  Doug used his truck and trailer to pull Michael Ecord’s Jeep.

Michael and Doug had an idea that they would buy community food for the weekend and we would split up the cost amongst ourselves.  This was a great idea, as we ate like Kings, had plenty, and even come home with extra food! More on that later…. 

Our convoy had us taking one lunch break and a gas stop before arriving at the Lindsay Ranch about 5:00pm.  Here we met our hosts for our excellent Ranch weekend right on the edge of the Hill Country and West Texas.  They led us through about 4 cattle gates and about 2 miles of rough ranch road.  It was well worth it as we were way off the highway; so far, it was silent at night, with little light pollution and some of the cleanest air I have experienced since my last trip west. 

We unloaded, our 4x4s, the food and our gear.  There would be 8 of us staying at the cabin.  We really got out money’s worth and more.  You would have had to be there to appreciate it fully.  Michael got us a fire going, while we prepared the steaks, salad and beans, for our first feast of the weekend.  It was awesome and tasty.  No one went to bed hungry or even close!

All pitched in to help clean up, tote things, cook and whatever needed to be done.  Then we sat back to enjoy the stars, some adult beverages and friends new and old.  Matt Neubert and Nathan Hayden were new to the club as guests, (who may have joined, I’m not sure).  Matt had his Blue ’98 Dodge truck, and Nathan has a ’90 Wrangler YJ. 

The next morning we cooked and ate breakfast and headed out to the park, where we meet the rest of the ‘Rollers and all the kind folks from other clubs as well as our trail leaders.  We split up into 3 groups: easy, medium and hard.  33-inch tires and below were the easy, 35 and 36’s the next, and 37’s and up the hard.  Lockers, winches and lift helped define the groups, too.  Ray Karrick was our trail leader, and he was very good, patient, and capable.  He did his best to get everyone through, and with as little body damage as possible.  We went down the ranch road to the trail start. 

It was a massive area of rock, imbedded to the earth, with some loose, huge boulders strewn around here and there.  We started through crevices, cracks and chutes and climbed ledges and walls galore.  There were challenges one after another, with some being a little extreme if your tires were small or you had no lockers.  Most of the serious obstacles had an alternate route, while the ones that did not, had Ray getting all of us over them without too much drama.  But these trails were challenging.  Also they all seemed to have a counterpart in a famous part of Utah—Moab, that is.  Obstacles like the Dump Bump, The Wedgie, The Crack, and The Wall, The Waterfall Trail.  These were very similar to Moab, and it was much closer!  I didn’t write down all the

names of obstacles, but they were all fun.  Just before lunch a CJ-7 broke a front axle U-joint and attempted to make the repair, but the box of U-joints was minus the clips.  Michael Ecord donated his out of his spare front axles, but the Jeep’s axle’s ears were bent too badly.  He removed the broke axle to run 3-wheeled.  After lunch we finished the trail down some steep boulder crawl to pull out of that area and into the next one.

We saw a couple of snakes along the trail, one eating a frog, and one sitting in the pond lookin’ at us while we drove by.  We then lined up for the next leg of the trail and series of rock climbs up ledges and through crevices and a wall or two.  Up we went over ledges and steps until we got to The Wall. 

We also had a brand spankin’ new Rubicon TJ on the trail with us!  It was a pretty blue color and was an awesome machine right out of the box.  It had stock 31’s, so he was draggin’ much of the way, but still made everything he tried, with the excellent spotting from our trail leader. 

At an obstacle called The Wall, Ray made 3 attempts before scramblin’ up.  A black TJ made several attempts, but kept draggin’ its bumper, Swede and most others took the bypass.  This wall of granite is slightly off-camber with a steep abrupt climb with loose rock at the bottom; it’s tough and slick.  Michael Ecord wanted a shot at it, and hit it once, then again, and nearly made it before sliding sideways and tipping over on the passenger side. 

The rock is very un-forgiving.  We all ran over to help in case of injury.  Lee grabbed Suzy (Doug’s dog), and lifted her out to safety.  Michael had already climbed out, and Doug was ok, but in an uncomfortable position as you might imagine.  I got a strap and shackle out and Ray positioned his Jeep on the hill above to pull Michael’s Jeep back on all four’s.  A Samurai’s winch cable steadied the Jeep down to level ground.  Doug got out to stretch out.  Michael’s windshield was cracked, frame bent and also had some quarter panel damage, but it could have been much worse.  Expect to see Michael’s Jeep back in good order soon. 

After The Wall, we had another giant crack to go through, here I cut a sidewall in the right front tire; we changed it quickly.  The trail was awesome and the scenery pretty.  Although there was a rollover and some broken parts, nobody was injured and all was fixable.  We left for the camp and staging area, thanked our trail leader and aired up and visited.  It was a great run overall.  

Our group decided not to run Sunday, sleep in or return home early, as did Swede and Matt.  Michael, Doug, Nathan, Lee, Tom and myself, slept in a little.  Doug got up to cook another masterpiece of a breakfast.  After the cleanup, we rested momentarily and decided to hop in our rigs to look for some topaz nearby.  We didn’t find any, but had fun anyway.  We loaded up and left the ranch to leave about 1:00pm.  

Many thanks to Doug and Michael for the thought of renting the cabin and buying the food at Sam’s.  It was a great idea, and one that saved us all some money.  We probably ate a tastier meal and had more.  The cookout experience under the stars was really special; similar to an Old West Chuckwagon dinner, but better.  Doug is an excellent cook and we really just assisted him in the cooking department.  He was really enjoying it I think.  I can say that this was one of my favorite 4-wheelin’ trips in a long time.  The ranch experience, the trails and the camaraderie were great! Thanks to all involved and I hope we get to do this again sometime!    

Ken Womack…