Nissan Offroad Association of the Southeast
NOAS 2006 first annual members only River Rock run.
It all started with one… Nate showed up Thursday afternoon. He promptly met Steve, the owner of River Rock. From that point on he knew this was a cool place. Steve was more than hospitable and offered free rein of the facilities which included a full repair shop, bathhouse with hot water showers and real toilets, bunk house that sleeps 4-8 depending on how cozy you want to get just incase the weather got nasty, electric outlets near all the camp sites and miles of trails.
Nate was expecting more people to show up Thursday afternoon, but a few phone calls, and he realized that he was going to be solo for most of the night as Patrick had detreaded yet another Hiteck retread on his 05 Frontier on the way up and the Kelly's were making a pit stop in SC to hit up some adult entertainment for the night.
Between the time he got off the phone and the time Patrick got there, Nate had managed to, set up camp, get his truck stuck in a nearby rocky creek bed, start a kicking fire and work his way to good buzz. Patrick and Jaime arrived at about midnight and set up camp and Patrick started working on his own stash of cold ones.
The next morning the sun was out, the sky was blue and Nate, Patrick and Jaime head off for an "easy" run. A few miles into the trail the went to look at a nasty hill climb. They both decided they would try it. Nate went first. Try after try he just couldn't make it up. Patrick decided that his 05 Frontier with mud tires and 2.5" SL would save it for another year. Nate backed out. A few minutes later Nate's brakes went out on him and they called it a day…or so they thought. Steven, Ricardo, the Kelly's, Sean showed up throughout the afternoon and after some steering fixes on Sean's X, setting up camp, and putting a vice grip in Nate's rear brake line they were off. Nate baited Kelly into trying the hill climb he was unable to make. Long story short….Kelly was unable to make it as well due to a pretty heated clutch, electrical fire and broken CV….but he did manage to back out of it with numerous tries and a near roll…lucky he has a welded front. As the group continued down the trail they came to another less nasty, but still scary hill climb. Nate went up no problem. Patrick made it with use of the skinny pedal. Ricardo made it scaring everyone with his use of the skinny pedal, getting his X pretty tippy and breaking a motor mount, Kelly made it after a few good tries and Steven made it look like it was easy with the Smurf. Sean wussed out cause "he had an oil leak"…BAAAAAH
It was off to camp. We heading to the camp to weld Ricardo's motor mount so he could make it the rest of the weekend. A few decided to go check out the other side of the park and get Patrick's frontier high centered on a pebble. We pulled him off and really headed back to camp. Everyone was settling in when the rock pile started taunting us….well Steven at least. He was off in a jiffy to conquer it. He started on a little pile, but got high centered. Then he went to a line that Kelly had made with some finesse and Nate had made almost the whole way up before backing off. He made it up, but then how to get back down???….this is where things got interesting. He flexed his front springs on a rock so much that his front drive shaft popped apart. We managed to get it back in, but then he was still perched on this rock. Nate was able to easily pull it out with a tow strap and Steve was free….lots of funny moments happened during this 2 hour night wheeling with the moon shining bright…but you had to be there to get them.
That night it was another bout of fire side lies, learning Spanish sayings and kicking back on grandpa's cough medicine. Everyone was in bed early…and I mean relatively early compared to other runs. That night the storms came in and soaked everything. Some took shelter in the before mentioned bunk house, and others took shelter in there trucks. Patrick and Jaime and Nate stuck it out in their tents. Not quite sure when Evan rolled in, but he was there in the morning sleeping in his Xterra. Due to the rain, people started rolling out of bed later than normal. Nate and Patrick headed to town to pick up the brake parts for Nate's truck Patrick had ordered the night before while in town grocery shopping. An hours worth of work in the wonderful shop at River Rock and we were on our way to the trails again.
We decided to hit one of the longer trails there. River Rock is not like a Coal Creek or URE where you have to drive miles and miles to hit the good stuff. It's all good stuff and it's packed in a much smaller package of a park. The Saturday run offered a new set of challenges with the rain. We were all pretty soaked, but worked our way through ditches, over rocks, through a quagmire of a swamp….towed Ricardo's X up and out a few times as he was the only one running AT tires….but all in all it was a great day.
After the day run, we all made dinner of steak, ribs, chicken, dogs and other random stuff. A few of the owners friends stopped by and took us to RAT HOLE. Steve was the only one with the truck that could make it up. With a winch winch here and rock stacked there he made it up with minor body damage. Nate and Patrick wanted to try a slightly difficult line and Patrick managed to get his 05 Frontier pretty tippy and his wife stated "that was better than sex"….we think Patrick is doing something wrong then. Nate tried to make it up a rocky ledge and managed to explode a hub…so his weekend was over….but not until he backed into a muddy mess and had to get pulled out for lack of 4wd. The others were off playing on random trails or back cooking ribs and drinking cold ones.
The fire side chat that night was filled with laughter and good times. The small group really bonded and got to run some great trails. We were all sad to have to pack up the next day partly because we were really tired from staying up until 4 am, but also because we had all agreed that this was one of the best weekend wheeling trips we had ever been on despite the few breakages and the rain.
River Rock will see NOAS again….that I can promise. We hope that next time we see more members on the trails and around the fire.
The pictures from the run can be viewed in the gallery.