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Johnson Valley - 2002 Thanksgiving Run


We wrapped up Sledge and headed back to camp to start dinner.  On the way, Robert and I noticed a clunking noise coming from the rear passenger side of the TJ.  Robert decided to slow down (the noise was in sync with the suspension cycling) and check it out once we made camp.  Upon arrival, he pulled the tire and found a little Sledge souvenir wedged in between the disc caliper, the spring, and the shock.  Garry took a look at it and commented that he had not met anyone up here that actually carried their own stacking rocks with them on the trail.  We all got a laugh out of that one. 



Garry fired up the propane turkey cooker and I pour in about 6 gallons of peanut oil.  Once the magic temperature was reached, Robert carefully lowered the turkey into the the pot of boiling oil.  He got volunteered for this job since he had done one more turkey frying episode than the rest of us had done (which was zero!). 


Just a mere 40 minutes later, the turkey was pulled from the fryer and Robert carved the bird into manly sized chunks.  We had mashed potatoes, white pepper gravy, yams, and some cranberries to go with it.  Not bad for a few Jeepers celebrating Thanksgiving in the middle of Johnson Valley. 


The guys are loading up their plates while I take a few pictures for this write-up.  No one walked away hungry that evening, for sure!  Robert made a trip or two back to the pan that had the turkey in it.  I had never eaten a fried turkey and let me tell you, it was delicious!


To wrap up the evening, Jack brought out the TV/VCR and we watched the 2002 Top Truck Challenge video.  After that, I loaded the week's trail pictures onto my laptop and we were able to see those (some of which are in this trail report).

Friday morning arrived and Robert and I packed up and headed for home.  Jack and Garry were going to stay another day or two and do some wheelin'.  I heard on the radio, later that day, that they may have gotten some rain.  Not a big problem for them since I was the only one in a tent (you know, those things that rarely stay dry in a good rain storm.)

The drive home was uneventful and I ran in and out of the rain up to the Arizona border.  Later that evening, the rain got to Phoenix and we had a very nice soaking.

A VERY big thanks goes out to Garry for spotting my newbie butt over the trails.  Thanks also to Blaine for getting my parts to me even though he was not able to attend this year's outing.  It was my first time wheelin' with Sergey and Jeff and I truly enjoyed the time we spent on the trail together.  As for Axle Jack, I look forward to catching him again (I am sure I will) and Jack, maybe I'll even break down and pick up a set of those fancy, shmancy u-joints you make!  Robert and I have been wheelin' together since 2000, when we did our first trip in Death Valley together.  Since then, we have done a couple of memorable trails in Arizona, the Rubicon, and now Johnson Valley.  It is always a pleasure to run a trail with you.

I look forward to next year's Turkey Day at the Hammers!  Until then.....

Remember to TREADLightly!


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