Gilmer Trail ReportDate: 2001, Mar 12
Author: Joe White
Thanksgiving weekend there was a gathering at the Texas Motorized Trails
Commision Barnwell Mtn. facility in Gilmer, Tx. The run was sponsored by
the 4x2 Pre-Runner club but the majority of the vehicles there were 4 and
2WD Isuzu's. Bill Parks and his 1999 4x4 Amigo came in from Mississippi,
Derek Gomez brought his 99 2WD Amigo from Dallas and Tone Monday (99
Vehicross) and myself (99 Amigo 2WD) came up from Austin, also attending
was David Morrison from the Tx4x4 club (85 Toyota 4Runner and Chad
Presley (2WD Toyota Tacoma Pre-runner). Chad and David were camping out,
rest of us crashed at Derek's grandfathers house in town. David and Chad
went on a couple of night runs Friday while the rest of us chose to enjoy
some cold beers.
Saturday AM we started off with the easy trails. At one point we came to
an intersection and I (leading at time) put it up to a vote which
way...after some silence one of David's kids picked right :) Come to find
out after a while going downhill that this was a dead-end. Derek got in a
gully and got stuck going downhill...Chad tried to turn around mid-hill and
his a/t treads lost the battle to the mud. So after David strapped Chad up
and Bill (4x4 Isuzu) strapped Derek down the 3 of us got turned around to
attempt the climb. Using my patented "just keep your foot in it" approach I
successfully made it up the hill..next came Bill and finally Derek who
needed another quick strap.
In the afternoon Tone (Isuzu 4x4 Vehicross) dared me to go down a rather
steep hill. Heh..no need to ak me twice. At the bottom we found some very
nice trails that we enjoyed for a while. Problem was we couldn't find a
trail out of the valley that the 2WD's could accomplish. Finally we picked
the easiest route and all 3 of us 2WD's ended up taking the strap from
David to reach the top.
Sunday we were down to 4, 2 4x4's and 2 4x2's. We started off on a couple
scenic easy trails. Next we thought we would take 1 more short trail before
a planned noon departure home. After sending David ahead to scout we took a
very interesting downhill descent. Evidently we were in a new area of the
park because there was little in the way of signs. The trails we found were
extremely enjoyable, everything from wild off-camber areas to a nice water
crossing to some good climbs. Chad and I ended up needing 1 more strap on a
steep ravine crossing and Bill needed 1 when he slipped his right side into
a gully and high-centered. Finally after being lost but not caring we
found our way out and headed back to camp to help pack up. After watching
David tackle the big hills up front and using his CO2 tank to air up Bill
headed to Mississippi and Cahd, David and I headed south-west to Austin.
I was extremely pleased with how the weekend went. Barnwell has an
excellent assortment of trails for all to tackle. I personally thought the
4x2's did admirably and though we took a few straps that was mostly because
we didn't shy at tackling any trails and our 4x4 brethren were not shy to
offer a hand when needed. We could have easily passed on just a couple of
trails and not gotten stuck at all.
David was the one attendee I didn't previosuley know and I was honored to
have met him. A combination of a wonderfull machine and extremely talented
driver gave me a sense of never worrying what I was getting myself into.
Not once the whole weekend did he ever seem to grow tired of lending
someone a tow. I look forward to wheeling with David again soon.
And now for the pics:
Here are Tone's:
www.texasmotorizedtrails.com(website for the Texas Motorized Trail
Commision and Barnwell Mtn)
http://prerunner.20m.com/ (4x2 nationwide club)