Ghost Run, Clear Creek, CA
Molina Ghost run is the second of five major California Association
of 4WD Clubs runs held each the year. The crown jewel of these
event's being Sierra Trek. All five CA4WDC Association runs
are fund-raising events to assist with the Association's struggles
to keep California trails open and available to off-road enthusiasts.
this trail is not known to be difficult, it does provide a means
of testing improvements that may have been accomplished over
the winter break. The trail head is "Clear Creek," a managed
BLM area, 30 miles northwest of Coalinga. The trail used travels
over "Goat Mountain," from the bottom of one side up and over
to the bottom of the other side. This year's Molina Ghost Run
had over two hundred rigs running on a single Saturday.
arrived late Friday night to base camp where a friend and a
member of the trail committee had saved us a spot for the weekend.
Saturday morning would come early for us as we would be part
of the first wave of locked and loaded vehicles. The CA4WDC
trail committee had setup two trails, "HARD" for those having
lockers, and "EASY" for those not having lockers. During the
first year for our attendance to the Molina Ghost run we were
part of the "EASY" trail run. This year Jim and I got to test
modifications made to our rigs on the "HARD" trail.
morning, 6:00am and the lineup for the first wave had already
started to form. We were running a little late and still needed
to pass the safety inspection before we are allowed to join
the first wave.
6:30am we had completed safety checks, packed our coolers full
of food and drinks and were lined up and ready to go.
7:30am we had arrived at the trailhead at the base of "Goat
Mountain." With a quick splash, we crossed a small stream
and started our ascent upward, winding through thick brush and
trees. The climb up the dirt trail was fairly steep at times,
but within the first hour we had reached the first plateau without
any problems. From the first plateau we could see back into
several surrounding valleys and several local lakes and reservoirs.
proceeded to the first check point and a fork in the trail where
"EASY" and "HARD" took their own paths. Our first challenge
was a short hill-climb over lose dirt and rocks. This worked
out well, as we got to start off easily and progress to more
difficult challenges as the day continued.
took our time and checked out our new modifications. We both
passed with flying colors and proceeded to a very special section
of the trail. For those rigs with nice paint jobs this next
section was to be their worst nightmare. There was no bypass
and there is one guaranteed result when complete; Molina pinstriping.
Molina pinstriping is the result of over-grown brush and trees
applied equally to both sides of your rig. Once beyond the thick
brush cover you surfaced to an amazing 360 degree view of California's