I think I have removed all the sand and dirt from this past weekend fabulous Hi Desert Round-Up, enough to see the screen to write this week’s update. Other than the less than spectacular wind that made its presence known Friday through Sunday, gusting upwards of what felt like 70mph, the overall event was awesome, and we had a great turnout!
I don’t have the exact numbers yet, but the last I heard, registration was up to 220 something and had record turnouts for the runs on Saturday and an even better turnout, well, let’s say income from the games on Sunday. Most clubs that volunteered to do games on Sunday decided that dealing with the wind sucked and chose to donate money to Cal4Wheel instead, which financially worked out better and everyone went out and had fun in the desert 'til 3PM when the kids’ games started. Tony Pellegrino from Genright decided to host an impromptu run called “Follow me through the desert, if you can” where his selling point was this run starts at a 1 and will work up to a 10 or more depending on who’s left – best run description of the year. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend Tony’s run, but I heard it was awesome. Thank you very much Tony for all your continued support over the years — it means much more than I can ever convey.
Speaking of runs, we had some really great luck and not so much great luck. Friday afternoon as I was hoping Russ Chung would be there to lead the Friday evening run, didn’t make it and I ended up leading the run. There were 20 something vehicles signed up and when I left, there were counts of 46 or more on the run. Let me start off by saying I don’t care for night runs, especially when I have all the extra lights on my Jeep off and only had headlights, not to mention, the trail I took, I thought was different than what Russ and I pre-ran since I downloaded some files to my GPS from the Infamous Jesse May, well, it was the same trail and in my opinion, a little too rough for a night run, with a slew of first timers. There is a lot to learn from this and the most important: keep the person behind you in the mirror. I cannot stress this enough. Pretty sure we got everyone out of there that night and thank you to all the members of my run who helped get everyone back on track and had a great evening. Saturday runs suffered from the same thing, keeping the person in your mirror issues but other than that, it seemed like everyone had a great time. Thank you very much to all my trail leaders, you know who you are.
I can’t thank all of you that donated prizes for the raffle Sunday evening for both the kids and adult raffle. Those of you who put on events will understand that as of late, it’s hard getting raffle items and you are always concerned about having enough. Luckily this year we had great support from Tierra Del Sol, High Desert 4-Wheelers, Desert Burros, The Hemet Jeep Club, Drifters, Dirt Devils, Roughwheelers, and many others. From both Keith Graham and I, thank you!
Speaking of going above and beyond, I want to say a special thanks to Karen Lykins and Sandy Graham who did registration this year (and every year) – these two ladies are superstars, and they need to be thanked publically – not to mention that Karen and Jim Lykins moved to Oregon this past year and made the 1070-ish mile trek, one way to make sure no one screwed it up.
Speaking of traveling to help this great association, I can’t not mention and thank the Rochas from Kingsburg 4WD Club for bringing down the Win-A-Jeep this year and dealing with our crappy weather over the weekend. Thank you very much!
Keith Graham, this year’s event chairman, did a fantastic job and I wanted to thank him publicly as well. For those of you that don’t know, Keith had a scary accident slipping in the back of his truck a few months ago and the prognosis at the time wasn’t good. Luckily, Keith is doing a ton better now and even lost his voice by the end of the event (some great things do happen).
Like any event, it’s all run by volunteers and if you have a suggestion on how we can improve, please let us know. We are compiling a list of things we know can be improved and will start working on those immediately so next year is better than the last.
I think the big winners were all the kids. They all had a great time at the games on Sunday and even better time for the kids’ raffle. HDR has and will always be a family event and when I saw two trucks during the adult raffle with their headlights on so the kids could play at the onsite playground, I knew I’m with the right people.
Thank you very much to the gracious support from everyone at the Slash X Café. They have been supporting Cal4wheel for years and please, if you’re in the area, go support them!
In closing this update, I am getting ready for the board of directors’ meeting next week at our illustrious office in Sacramento and looking forward to the great forward progression we have and continue to work more efficiently and more effectively. I am working on seeing more clubs in the central and north, so I’ll be in contact soon to come see you at your club meeting!
‘Til the next update…