"Some things in here don't react too well to mud pits"

mud track

Daktoberfest 2002  - Saturday Oct. 19th

Report and video stills by "Terrible Tom" Stack

Daktoberfest 2002 Video Clips Page

mud track

Well, it seems that yet another Daktoberfest has passed into the history books. Once again the number of people who would attend Daktoberfest dwindled as it approached. Virtually everyone who expressed a desire to attend, had to cancel.
However, I wasn't going to be stopped by my falling apart truck...  and arranged the rental of a 2002 Dodge Intrepid. (I LOVE that car)  The attendees are as follows:

Jon Steiger, Ed McCarrick  Jason & Norah Bleazard, Tom Stack, and Bob Tom

I arrived at Jon's barn at about 11pm EST - the 515 mile drive was about  9 hours 30 mins. There was an open invitation for Friday if anyone wanted to arrive early. Jason and Norah had already left for their motel room by the time I arrived, having completed the installation of the new cat-back exhaust on Jason's Gen II earlier that evening. (It's loud ain't it Ed? hehe!)

Saturday morning at about 9am, I was greeted by the sound of Bob Tom's exhaust, and I dragged myself out of my sleeping bag. The rest of the morning consisted of everyone sitting around and scowling at the sound of heavy rain pour pelting the barn roof.

After I closed the weather.com web browser window, around noon, the rain finally lifted. We took a quick ride down to the sub shop for lunch, enjoyed 15 minutes of sunshine while we ate at the barn, then figured we may as well hit the trails. Our goal for the day was to reach the upper waterfall, then to just play it by ear from there.

Waiting around for the rain to go away! I wonder how well the front wheel drive would have worked in the pit, heh heh.


Bob Tom's truck, my rented Intrepid, and Jason backing out of the barn after putting on the Swampers.


The rainfall from morning made for some very muddy trails Woohoo!  

Jon and I are in the Ram, with Ed and Bob in the middle with Ed's Quad Cab, and Jason and Norah picking up the rear in Jason's Dak. We figured it was best to keep Ed's Quad in the middle so if he got stuck, he could be pulled out. No one got stuck this trip.

Jon and I start our run down mud lane. He starts out in 2wd and manages to get down a good distance before the tires lose traction (2nd pic). He shifts into 4wd. We fell into the nice big hole that Andy had dug out at the BBQ this July, bringing me to eye level with Ed! (4th pic) Jon regains traction after a moment or two and we power through the rest of mud lane. [Video Clip]



Jason takes on mud lane next. Having witnessed the Ram falling into the deep ruts, Jason decides to demonstrate driver skill over brute power. He modulates the throttle, picks the best line and churns through. [Video Clip]


Ed points out that Jason missed the hole! Ed then proceeds to drive directly into the hole, coming off the mud lane bypass, after having declared it "not Quad Cab territory". [Video Clip]


We then headed down Washout Hill into the river and up to the falls. The morning rain had also created fast moving rapids. The water level was up maybe a foot or so higher than normal. The water was not very deep, but the fact that it was moving fast made it look worse than it was.  


Jon and I went down first, followed by Jason and Norah. Despite trying to keep Ed in the middle in case he got stuck, some how he and Bob ended up coming down last.  

Jason and Ed sat at the bottom of Washout Hill for a moments in what looked like a "you go first!" --  "no you go first!" kind of routine.  Ed eventually dipped his tire in the water to see how cold it was, and pushed across the stream first. Jason and Norah follow. [Video Clip]


Jon and I then drive on, and park at the edge of the water fall with Ed parking next to the Ram. This took up all the space that was available in front of the falls. Jason hides in the trees, does a 14 point turn around giving his GPS a nervous twitch, and parks on the side. We spend a few minutes looking at the falls and the water. Jon and Ed explain that there is a deep hole under the water to the left... while Ed illustrates the water level! [Video Clip]


After a while of being unable to hear much over the water flowing we turn the trucks around and head back up Washout Hill, through Mud Lane again, and get lost in the Steiger Turnpike. We get our bearings, Ed backs into a tree while turning around, and we decide to head over to The Pit "just to see what it looks like"... bad idea...

We arrive at The Pit, and sit there for a minute wondering what's next. I try a couple times to coax Ed into taking the Quad Cab for "just one run". All he says is "no" multiple times and makes funny faces. Jon swings the Ram around to the left side and prepares to make a run through. Ed in the mean time, is doing doughnuts on the other side. Unfortunately I did not get any video of this!! Sorry Adam!

From the inside of the Ram, the view of The Pit is good. I remember thinking to myself before we dove in "gee this doesn't look as bad this time". The Pit was very alive my friends. It was laying in wait for the poor unsuspecting Ram.  

The tall grass gave the illusion that The Pit was not as full of water compared to the level in July. I don't know if the morning rain fall contributed or not, as I did not see what it looked like the night before. I will assume that it did contributed to the water level.  It definitely had more water in it than it appeared.


Jon started in and remarked as to how sloppy The Pit was. The Ram almost made it out, but became stuck, and sinking to the left.  Jon put the gas down and only succeeded in digging the truck in deeper. (That is mud up in the air on the right side of pic 2 above)

He backed the truck up and made another attempt at a greater speed this time. Remember how I said the truck was sinking in the mud to the left? The left fender, behind the head light, is where the cool air duct picks up fresh air for the engine.  Jon forgot to remove the connecting duct that goes from the air hat to the pick up, as he always does. When he backed up and came forward under full throttle, the truck hit the hole he had just dug, and it sunk into the water. This caused the pick up tube to suck in mass quantities of water, not air. The engine hydrolocked instantly. Jon tried twice to start it up... but it only went "clunk"... and wouldn't even turn over. [Video Clip]



About now, Bob stops filming for fear that Jon might order the destruction of any evidence that this event happened -  heheh.  Ed tries to pull the Ram out of The Pit but only gets his shoes muddy.  Um Ed... why not try to pull Jon out with your TRUCK instead? hehehehe  -  Ed figures this out eventually, and brings the Quad Cab around.  He is unable to get enough traction to yank the very stuck 5000+ lb. truck out of the mud.


Jon manages to get the winch cable attached to his forward anchor point out in the field and winches his disabled 4x4 up and out of the pit.  After the Ram was out far enough I hopped out and started filming, unafraid of the consequences heh.  I knew I had to get *some* footage of this, sorry Jon! [Video Clip]


Once the Ram was up on level ground Jon took the air hat and intake tube off and had his fears confirmed.  In the 3rd pic above, I circled in red, the water that was spilling out when Jon disconnected the intake tube from the air hat. You can also see how much water was in the air hat. The filter was completely soaked.  Below you can see the flooded TB.


The Ram was then hooked up to Ed's truck, and towed back up to the barn.  "Whew, there's some clutch!"  Jon's father  assisted us in bringing the Ram into the barn by pulling it with the ATV.  In the process he did a quad burn out on the barn floor. (heh Smoke 'em if ya got 'em!)  Once inside the barn, 14 - 16 oz's of muddy water was sucked out of several of the engine's cylinders.  A couple were dry - but one was full up to the plug hole.  One of the plugs broke off when Jon tried to get it out. Leaving the electrode and the plug threads in the drivers side head.  


We ordered a pizza that night.... "K" as in King... "I" as in..... nevermind... the guy who took the order got fired... heheh

With the aid of a couple cans of grape soda, Ed gave us some examples of how he has conversations with his trucks exhaust. (sending me into a laughing fit)  I think I worried Norah when my face turned bright red from being unable to stop laughing. (Shut up Ed!) heheheh Jon made it worse when he dug up this insanity test web site.  

Despite low turn out, being rained out in the AM, and Jon's truck taking a swim... I think everyone had a good time.  I know I sure did.  Well worth the 1029 mile weekend trip!  Now... lets see - how many days are left until July 2003?

On my way home Sunday morning... the sun came out heading west.  In my side view mirror, I captured the dark clouds and skies over the Forestville area just as I was leaving....... leaving The Pit.....  I could have sworn I heard dark, evil laughter as I drove away....


"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of Mud Pits..."