loomed over the trail ominously, like the ornate frame of
an oil painting from the days of yore. Branches and brambles
jutted out, reaching for us longingly as our Jeeps crept steadily
over the roots and stones that lay in our path. The forest
became grim and ghastly, as unseen eyes seemed to peer at
us from the surrounding darkness.
in a heartbeat, our vehicles fell silent, and the woods became
hushed. Out of the darkness, a muffled, sinister voice in
a drawn-out tone beckoned, "Join usssss...."
to a popular and somewhat difficult trail nestled in the woods
called "The Clogger", I think. I recall the name,
vaguely. If thats not its name, its something like that.
a picture of the beginning of "The Clogger". It
proceeds up a wooded valley, winding in and out of trees.
Here you can see a muddy and technical ascent up a small formation
slicks up the rocks really good, so forward progress can be
very difficult at first.
a picture of me ascending a field of small loose rocks, placed
precariously on the hillside. These rocks tend to roll around
underneath you, but fortunately, its not a very muddy section.
If you come here while it's dry, and you're one of the first
few vehicles in line, you'll probably find ample traction.
band of adventurers pressed on, despite the late hours or
our endeavor. Somewhere down the hill behind me on "The
Clogger," I could smell clutch.
Dan at awkwardly high RPMs up "The Clogger." I asked
him as he passed, "What's cookin?," but it was obvious.
Dan's clutch was heating up good, and making the trail ahead
very frustrating. It was no matter. He was nearing the end
where he'd be able to let it sit to cool off.
I both need to replace our clutches before a Tellico trip
next month. At 60,000 miles and a lot of four-wheeling, they're
starting to show signs of wear.
the trail ahead on foot while we wait for Dan's clutch to
At a very
odd hour, on a very odd day, Dan and I tackled "The Clogger"
relatively successfully. I suppose it was nearing midnight
by the time we finished the trail.
the vehicles off, and all of the lights off in the forest,
and listened quietly. Talk about eerie. It's not hard to let
your imagination run wild in the engulfing darkness. It was
roughly 20 minutes and fired the Jeeps up. Dan's clutch had
cooled off sufficiently and he was moving forward with less
all easy-going until we reached the pavement. We drove back
to the Hess station which has free air and made our way back
to Lancaster County. We arrived home at around 2:30 AM.
Shontz is a staff-writer for Rockcrawler.com. Chris has a wonderful
sense of humor and wit. His new wife, Jennifer, is very understanding.