We got up early. Bob had a conference call at 8 AM our time. I walked Auggie while Bob had his call. We did our usual routine and got ready to leave for the W. E. Rock event starting at 10:00 just outside of the town of Glencoe. We drove 11 miles to the Cedar Canyon Ranch where the event was being held.
We paid our $15 each to get in, parked in the field, and walked to where the action was taking place. The courses were set up in the ravine by the river bed and there were lots of trees to provide shade. Thank goodness! It was 94 with 50% humidity, so the heat index was 101. We brought our chairs and a cooler with LOTS OF WATER and snacks to sustain us. Competitors build these amazing machines to drive over the most extreme obstacles. We saw maneuvers that we never thought possible. There was lots of action and suspense as we watched these talented drivers maneuver up, over, and around the rocks. They were conquering boulders, steep climbs, rock ledges, and massive drops, all trying to avoid the strategically placed cones. Once on the course, the driver and spotter have 10 minutes to navigate 3-4 gates without hitting the cones and have as few backups as possible. Each cone hit or backup add points to their score and the driver with the lowest amount of points wins.
Many of the vehicles defied gravity.
There were times when gravity won and they tipped over. When they called “rescue”, other people came to help with their Jeeps or vehicles that were not competing, to winch them out.
There was a young girl, probably high school age, that competed by driving on the “C” course–the Sportsman Class which is milder. The Sportsman class allows the average trail rider to come out and try their hand at competition without having to meet all the build requirements for their vehicles, but still meet the safety standards.
The “A” course is for professionals. There are 6 classes of vehicles depending on the modifications. Each competitor completes 4 courses on Saturday and 4 on Sunday. The best professionals will move on to the “Shootout” course on Sunday afternoon. Each team consists of the car, the driver, and the spotter who directs the driver where to go. The spotter is definitely the key to a successful run. The courses are designed to challenge the driver and the spotter.
This cedar stump kept getting in the way of all the driver’s on this course and getting their vehicles hung up. There were some very creative ways to get the vehicles off of the stump in time to complete the course.
Some vehicles did get damaged with a couple broken power trains and a blown motor.
This young man, age 9, has been competing for the last 3 years with his dad as his spotter. It’s a family affair! He started out by going backwards down the course and then back up again. He was amazing!
We drank a lot of water and spent most of our time in the shade going from course to course to watch the competitors. Time went by quickly and before we knew it, the competition for today was over. We left around 1:00 and couldn’t wait to get into the Jeep’s AC.
We had a good time and enjoyed ourselves. The people were friendly and were very willing to share their knowledge of the sport with us. We learned a lot!
Back at the campground, we chilled out. All that heat and fresh air really wore us out. We had dinner and Auggie got his walk after it started to cool off a bit. We had a great time at Cedar Canyon!