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MNToyx4's Club @ "Kemper Open"...

MNToyx4's Club @  "Kemper Open"..." title="MNToyx4's Club @  "Kemper Open"...Tom could not get on the same flight with me so he arrived an hour earlier, he and Kristie met me at 10:30, we than proceeded to her apt. and sat up til 2:30 looking at my new TT, drinking beer and talking. Greg arrived way too early the next morning, and we, proceeded to go to see his and Jen's new house, and to pick up the Hornet, really nice house, huge detached garage,heated, and fully equipped, plus a nice unfinished basement. Kristie had to workand was going to drive up later and meet us.

After a pleasant drive
of a couple of hours we arrived at the cabin which is in Danbury, Wisconsin, on Ham Lake. On the way there we stopped to check into our hotel, and picked up Keith one of the Minn Toy 4X4 members along with his FJ55....plus a big load of firewood for the campfire. My first taste of sno-wheelin' was getting the 55 up a hill covered with 3 ft of the stuff to the pile of wood, interesting stuff, you floor it, go about 5 ft into the drift, back up and repeat. Arrived at the cabin, and opened it up and built a fire in the stove, Tom and I walked gingerly out onto the frozen lake to take some pix, kind of scary for we that have always been taught never to walk on ice...
After a while the cell began to ring
with lost club members trying to find the place, and one by one they arrived. All of us planned on meeting at a really classic bar that Greg was raised in, the owner remembered him as a child coming in and drinking beer. Funny thing, Tom ordered one mixed drink and 2 beers , the owner said $4.50, and Tom said, "No I'm getting all 3, she smiled and replied, honey that is for all 3."I guess we had somewhere around 16-20 people that came up Friday evening and hung out with. Tm and Steve bennet's son, got into a shot contest which just about wasted the both of them, shared some Shiner with the locals, and headed out for a night run close to midnite. This was not a good idea, got several rigs buried, and ended up winching backwards back to solid ground. Headed to the cabin for more fun around the campfire. We could not get Tom to leave so around 2 or 3 Kristie and I left his ass at the cabin with the rest of the kids.
We were scheduled to be on the parking lot at 9
ready to leave, but i woke with my right eye swelled shut and a pounding headache, it took the old bod a few minutes to get rolling, but we were soon on the wa yto the trailhead, notable rigs were. Hornet, several mini's including Jen, Steve Bennets 62, a Sprungover 350 powered 60, one 55 another stock 40, a couple of 4 runners, one IFS PU, and 3 Jeeps including one wild man, you guys just think I'm nuts... When we headed out to the trailhead, I was riding in the SO'd 60 still trying to recover from the nite before. Greg was leading, followed by a long line of capable rigs. We turned off the hi way down a blacktop, about 3 or 4 miles more and we stopped, locked the hubs and part of our group turned to the left down a hard trail, the sounds of the Wild Man bouncing the rev-limiter was only a hint of things to come.
The rest of us proceeded down the road
a ways and took a hard right, it soon became evident to the locals that the snow was deeper than they had ever seen here. The lead vehicle had to break the crust and forge onward a few feet at a time, and rigs such as the stock FJ40 with 31" tires had a miserable time of it, the diffs and springs were dragging and sticking him often. All of us were amazed at the FJ55 which seemed to conquer anything he tried, don't know if it was a weight + wheelbase thing or what, 33" 12.50 tires were the only addition to this rig. Several small hills and a couple of streams to cross, one of which we broke thru the ice added to the excitement.
About 2 hrs into the run
the members of the other group caught up with us, seems as if they quit when the Big Bad Jeep with the Crazy man piloting it shelled the outer axle joint, taking the Detroit out with it. By then we realized we were not going to make the entire length anywhere near dark, so the next question is where and how do you turn this many rigs around, if you can't get of the "road". Finally a wide spot allowed us all to turn around and pass each other to point all the rigs in the right direction, going out over the packed tracks was a breeze and soon we were on our way to the "Gravel Pit", rather than go into detail, I'll just wait and let you watch the video, To preview, Greg buried the Hornet, (Butch style) then Steve Bennet tried the same spot and buried the 62, the SO'd 60 tried 40 times to climb a nasty little hill, and the crazy Jeeper showed us how to make horsepower and lack of brains overcome no FWD and make a rig plane out like a boat over the snow..
Later that evening we went back to the Ham Lake Bar
for a great catered dinner and watched TP's Mexico video along with the video shot that day, we all stayed at the bar swapping lies and head slaps til 10. Then we went to the casino, (we were on and idian reservation) where the only winners were Kristie (953 nickles) and TP who made about $70 on the blackjack tables. A good nites sleep followed by meeting the guys for breakfast, and we said our goodby's and headed back to the city. What a great time with a great bunch of guys and gals. If you have the chance to go and wheel with Greg and the club don't pass it up!!!

Copyright ©2001 Butch Baker
Power Steering Box from an IHC scout on an FJ40...
This is a good tight shot of the power steering box from an IHC scout, on an FJ40. I know it has been discussed on Info-Exchange (BBS) but many of you have never seen it.