Flatlanders Jeep Club Meeting, 11 January 1998 near Manhattan, KS

The January Flatlanders meeting began with a second round of officer nominations and voting on those nominations. Doug Knox is the new club president, and Faye Arp is still the secretary. Nick Falcetto suggested printing up a bunch of plastic license plate frames that read “If You Can Read This / Roll Me Over” (upside down, of course) to be sold by the club for US$7.50 to generate revenue.

Icy hill

About a dozen of us headed out to the ORV area after the meeting. It had snowed on and off for a couple weeks. There wasn’t much accumulation on the ground, but since the temps had never surpassed freezing, all the white stuff had a hefty layer of ice covering it. As we headed up the first big hill, choosing a line that had traction for both wheels was critical. Several people had trouble near the top of the hill. Two of us, Ben “Obi-Wan” Hollingsworth and newcomer Ernie Scheir were able to climb most of the way up, but then lost traction a mere 10 feet from level ground. The scary part was sliding back down the hill at an angle with all four tires locked up. Fortunately, we were close enough to the top to allow the use of a yank strap instead of a winch. Doug pulled Ernie up, while Fireball pulled Obi-Wan to safety.

Slippery hill

There were a couple other spots along the route that required repeated runs to slide up and over the top of small hills, but nobody else ever got stuck. Doug (our fearless trail leader) attempted to run up one steep hill (this photo was taken the previous month at the same hill), got about a third of the way up, and then slid backwards to the bottom of the hill. His tires finally got enough traction to stop him five feet before hitting a tree just past the turn in the trail. Needless to say, we opted to take an easier route along the valley floor.

Hard Luck Trophy presentation

Since nobody managed to break anything again this month, Obi-Wan’s and Ernie’s poor traction on the first hill earned them each a share of 1998’s first Hard Luck Trophy. It was arbitrarily decided that Ben would be the keeper of the trophy for the month.

Since the day’s wheeling time was shorter than normal (I believe John reported 2.6 miles in 1.5 hours), most of us headed to Riley for dinner at the Calico Kitchen before heading home.

For those keeping score at home, my York-based on-board air compressor worked flawlessly with the new air chuck. It filled my 225/75R15 tires from 15 to 28 psi in about 15 seconds each.

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