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Rowher Flats Run

Location

Date: 
Saturday, February 3, 2018
Type:
Club Run
Leader(s): 
Bob Boltner
Rating (min):
1+
Rating (max):
3

Body

This is a great day run for all abilities. We love this place for its ease of access and lower difficulty level. It also makes for a great day to get out in our rigs and shake the winter out. We highly recommend this run for beginners and perspective members.

Event Reports

Rowher Flats 2/03/2018

Submitted by Bob Boltner on Mon, 02/05/2018 - 20:34
Run: 
Rowher Flats Run
Feb 3, 2018 Rowher Flats Run We met at the Porter Ranch Park N Ride at around 08:00 for an 08:30 departure. We had a large group of enthusiastic wheelers to include 14 Vehicles and the following 22 awesome people. Bob Boltner Gary Martin Dwayne Wilson Ric Freymond John Labbett Mike & Terri Sidlinger Tim Ragan Roman & Cecily Cooper Fred Peterson Steve Sacks and his lovely wife {I’m Sorry I forgot your name} Kenny Lombino & Alexa Johnson Skip Perkins Avi & Ofek Angel Zeph Yerushalmi & his daughters Roni & Michal We had our safety meeting and departed for the trailhead just a bit after 8:30. We arrived at the trailhead about 09:30 and aired down. Prior to starting the trail I told the story of the St. Francis dam. How that the dam once stood about a mile from the trailhead and how at 11:58pm on March 12th, 1928 the dam failed flooding the canyon where we stood as well as Santa Clarita, Fillmore, Bardsdale and Santa Paula, killing nearly 500 people. I thought it as an interesting bit of history. Our planned route was the 6N21 Drinkwater Flats trail, to House Trail, to the Deer trail, to the 6N18 Del Sir Trail. A decent down the 6N19 Querry Road to Bouquet Canyon. West on Bouquet Canyon to the Big Oak Lodge for Lunch. After lunch it was east on Bouquet Canyon to the 6N08 Rowher trail all the way to the Rowher Flats staging area to end the run. At the trailhead the weather was beautiful. Big Blue sky’s and forecast temperature of 80 degrees. This run began with a nice climb, allowing some in the group to put their rigs in low range for the first time. We did a poll during the day and the low mileage rigs had 1,000 and 3,000 miles and the more mature rigs had over 150,000 miles up to over 200,000 miles. We had six 4 door JK’s on this trip. A new record for OTR. Its fun to see the faces of new wheelers discover what their rigs can actually do. It brings back good memories of my first runs with OTR and how excited I was. But truth be told I still get excited wheeling with OTR. We meandered up and down the hills, eventually reaching the top of the Del Sir trail. While on top of this ridge I gave a small class on ham radio repeaters and about why and how we use them. I hope I didn’t confuse you all more than before I gave the class. If I did maybe this video will explain it better. How a repeater works https://youtu.be/FJFeY0jZymA We proceeded to Querry road and down to Bouquet Canyon road. We headed west to the Big oak Lodge for lunch, arriving at 12:30. When we arrived we should have suspected something wasn’t right, as there were no vehicles in the parking lot. We entered and all sat at several long tables. The drink service took about 45 minutes. Then the food orders were taken with the orders items coming out 1 or 2 every 10 minutes, you do the math for 20 people. It was agony. We were repeatedly told that the establishment was under new ownership. They apologized, but it was just painful. We left there at 2:00 for the second half of the run. So sorry to all, I had heard good things about this place, I guess the reviews were old. At this point due to the excessive length of time it took for lunch, several of the group had to cut their run short. We lost Avi and his son, Zeph and his daughters, The Sacks and John Labbett. The remainder of the group proceeded east up Bouquet Canyon to Bouquet Lake to the 6N08 trailhead. This trail starts right away with a rather steep climb that can be quite exciting for a new wheeler as well as for some experienced wheelers. Not bad if you are steady on the throttle and keep your wheels on the trail. As we approached the top of the hill I was in the lead and there are two Line’s. The trails splits for a bit, one line slightly higher than the other (there is a reason why I mention this) for the last 100 meters the trail splits again. The right line has a bit of a ledge and the left a smaller ledge. There was a vehicle on the left line coming down so I went right for the harder line and cleared the ledge. I moved up a bit to guide Kenny up. As I cleared the top, there were two young guys alone in a red 4door JK half way down the left line and they had themselves in a bit of a pickle. They got their JK nearly to the point of rolling by just choosing the wrong line. The right rear wheel was about 3 feet in the air with one of the guys hanging on to the right rear corner for dear life trying to keep their rig upright. They politely asked (no pleaded) for help. Ric & I pretty quickly coaxed them to backup to get their wheels straight, then forward on a better line and correctly on the trail and down safely. “Don’t wheel alone!” Kenny got to the right ledge and it was time for him to learned the art of the bump. While I was out of my rig helping Kenny there was a radio call that I missed. It was “WE HAVE A ROLLOVER”. I got Kenny up the ledge and looked down the hill for the next vehicle and I saw in disbelief a vehicle on its side. I quickly discovered that everyone was safe and that it was Roman & Cecily Cooper in their Purple CJ( So glad you both had your harnesses on}. They were on the higher side of the trail and turned across the hill to the lower side of the trail and exceeded their CG limits. The OTR crew sprung into action and the group quickly formulated a recovery plan and it was executed safely and promptly. In just a few minutes the Purple CJ was back on its wheels and the engine fired right up. Gotta love those tough old jeeps, they take licking and keep on ticking. The best part was that the Coopers were all smiles and laughs. What a great husband/wife team. We all mounted up and moved forward to the Rowher Flats staging area. One last 10-100 break at the bathroom, then to the paved road to air up. The sun was now dipping to the horizon and we finished just before dark. We all aired up, said our fair-wells and headed for home. It was another great trip with a great group of OTR family and friends with lots of twists and turns, Literally. Thank you all for attending this run. It was another great day on the trail. Bob Boltner