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Calico Halloween Run October 28-30th 2011

Infectious Represented out in Calico during the weekend.

Early arrivals showed up Thursday and also had a night run on Friday night. Rgacord(roger) established a camp for everyone and flew the banner. 

Me, Becca, and the kiddos showed up late Friday night and were entertained with stories of the night run and a great campfire atmosphere. CrazySammy(Josh) came over from the fire and helped us set up camp in the dark.

Saturday morning started with everyone cooking and some recovering from Friday nights festivities.

Brad, Tilly, Bobbed Burb, and one other showed up early Saturday morning in anticipation of running Scrambler Canyon and gatekeeper.

After Breakfast everyone started prepping their equipment for the days runs. A last minute trip was made to barstow by crazysammi and rgacord to find all important bolts for leaf spring shackles.

The scrambler group left out first while the rest waited for Rgacord to get his rig ready to roll.

With the later than usual start we headed out to Doran Canyon to start the day. While on the bypass to the start of the trail we got a call that a jeep was broke in gatekeeper needing a 1310 u-joint. Lucky for them I happened to have two in my jeep. A quick run down to gatekeeper and the Jk had much needed parts. 

There was a slight traffic jam(ok it was the 405 at rush hour) at the start of Doran. Once our group got rolling we started moving well. Even pickted up two tag along samuris....(saw so many samuries this weekend we almost thought it was a national event for them) lol.

In total when our full group with additions was on the trail we had 14 rigs. Everyone made it through Doran a couple needed assitance at the larger waterfall. GJ should have some good video of that spot. It was dugout/washout enought that before I took the jeep up i let the kiddos out then on the way up got some decent air time going over.

In the next section of shelfs and stepups one the tag along sami's broke a rear axle. Luckily the group was at the end of the trail.

It was getting late in the day so the decision was made to not go to wallstreet, but to head down odessa.

Another goal was to get the 2wd sami back to camp.

There was a slight miscommunication and the tag a longs were separated from the main group. Infectious waited and GJ and Josh went back to bring them up to us.

At this point the group split, directions were given to the 2wd sami and a couple others to an easier route to return to camp.

The main group went down Odessa with no issues, did see some entertainment as a stock landrover attempted to climb a waterfall.

With all back at camp on Saturday night. Meats, pasta's , coleslaws, corn, chips, cakes, and cupcakes came out for the potluck. Some of the kids got in costumes and started being crazy kids around camp. Everyone ate their fill with plenty of leftovers.

After dinner most of the group went to watch some carnage at night on Gatekeeper while a party was also going strong back at camp. A pig of Lenghtwise was out and a flask showed itself. 

Sunday morning everyone was feeling the night before. Most everyone packed up. Breakfast was at Peggy Sue's Diner and was decent. After Peggy Sue's everyone got themselves on the road for their trips home.

Me, Becca, and the kiddos, headed to the Ghost town to let the kids have a bit of fun. It wasnt as good of a show as last year, maybe the economy affected them too?

Well thats the short version of the events. Thanks to all who came and had a good time We look forward to making this a annual trip every year, hopefully we can get more infectious crew out there.

Written by: Matt, a.k.a: Lake_v2



We ran over a period of 2 days with 2 JKs, 2 TJs, 1 LJ, 1 XJ, and 2 FJ Cruisers. The ladies and newbies were eager to hit the 4x4 park and show their stuff.

The Infectious ladies were very impressive both in the practice area and on the trails. Harry (bigdogg) showed some impressive flex in the sluice box, but the highlight of the day was Mrs. Desertdog and Mrs. TJer running the sluice box like a couple of pros. The only thing worse than your wife doing damage to your Jeep, is your wife doing damage to your Jeep and you forgetting to film it! Besides the practice area, the ladies ran the Tejon/Sterling trails and the Pronghorn/Powerline Trails. They took every opportunity to blast through the deep mud pits and crawl the numerous off-camber hills.

For dinner, we had burgers and tri-tip with all the fix'ins, followed by beer, smores, and great conversation around the warm fire.

On day 2, bigdogg, desert dog, mickey, TJer, and Robert made a run up to BC109. The heavy rains this year have really torn apart this trail; what was once a pretty easy trail, is now a difficult and very challenging trail. JUST THE WAY WE LIKE IT! Everyone in today's group had at least 35" tires and at least one locker, so we were prepared to have some fun and take some nastier lines. There was lots of scraping, scratching, clunking and crashing, but no real damage other than a couple of popped tire beads. Flying through the wet river bed below the trail was a blast.

The camp site was perfect. Special thanks go out to Peter Jones, specialist for the California Department of Parks and Recreation, for helping us set up this trip. The park staff was great, the fire department even enjoyed watching us run the sluice box.

Chris & Windy R

12/20/2009 Freeway Ridge

This was my first run with Infectious Off-Road, and definitely will not be my last. This run included many more variables than I had originally anticipated; a good mix of Rock, loose dirt, deep mud, tire swallowing ruts, and a couple feet of snow at the higher elevations.

We met at the Hwy 178 Chevron at 8:00 am in cold and very foggy conditions and headed up the canyon before 8:30. As we got closer to the intersection of Hwy 178 and Marimonte, you could barely see through the fog an outline of what appeared to be an odd assortment of Christmas lights topped off by a precariously placed Christmas tree, all adorning some sort of vehicle. Could it be that Santa’s sleigh has landed in Bakersfield a week early? No, it was Scott waiting with his fully decorated JK. The drive to the trailhead was uneventful and the fog cleared at the mouth of the canyon.

At the trail head, we stopped to air-down and disconnect. I aired down to 20 pounds and was ready to go. I ended up being the 3rd vehicle to go up (behind two other JKs). As we got to gatekeeper, the two JKs in front of me just climbed through like it was no big deal. Having no spotter or familiarity with this trail, I just copied their lines, locked up my rear, and rolled on through. Other than a couple of seconds with a tire in the air, My JK went through relatively easy. After going through gatekeeper, I had a blast walking down the hill to watch the other Jeeps go through.

As we meandered up the rutted trail towards higher elevations, the air cooled considerably and patches of snow began to appear. I was following Scott’s wife through this section, and she took every opportunity to try many of the “bonus” obstacles along the trail. It was on one of these bonus obstacles (the one where you climb the two rocks with the v-notch in the middle) that I landed on my passenger side Smittybuilt rocker bar and crushed it. Then, I tore a weld off of it sliding off the rock. Luckily, there was no body damage done to my Jeep. The next purchase for my Jeep will definitely be a set of good rock sliders.

At about this point, we get a call on the CB from Henry. His 87 Suburban is stuck down on Gatekeeper and needs some help. Once Henry is up to the group and gives his beast a good looking-over, we are back in action again.

As the elevation increased so did the snow-pack, to the point where we were driving on a snow / mud mix. This is where I found out that my 33” Mickey Thompsons suck in the snow; they were sliding downhill on snowy off camber sections. In one section, my Jeep began to slide completely off the trail. Every time I gave a little gas, it would slide sideways further down. This is where I put my ego away, and let the red TJ behind me help. We rigged up my snatch strap to my rear D-ring and he yanked me back onto the trail. By day’s end, just about everyone in the group was pulled backward, forward, or sideways at least once.

When rounding out of one snowy bend, you could hear the sound of an engine reving at high RPMs in the distance. One look up the hill ahead revealed Larry stuck near the top trying to power his way over the crest. I have heard some call this “piston Hill”, and I think others call it something else. All I know is that it was normally a mediocre obstacle for a well built rig, but today this hill was at its worst. At the base, muddy ruts 3-feet deep running along both sides of the middle must be avoided. In the middle is a bottomless mud pit with a stream running through it, mottled with deep patches of snow. Halfway up, the trail forks right and left. To the right, one encountered deep mud, big rocks, deep snow, and flowing water. To the left was Deep Ruts, very narrow off camber turns, and steep slippery rocks to navigate.  Did I mention that the hill is pretty steep too? A couple of the first rigs to go up were able to power their way through with a lot of RPMs, effort, and attempts. But then the hill got bad and most of the group would need some sort of recovery gear to get through this section. Henry powered his beast halfway up the right fork when a loud “BANG” was heard. It turns out that that’s the sound a locker makes when it grenades. It took 2 jeeps rigged in tandem pulling with doubled straps to get that trail beast to the top.  

Then the mostly muddy trail gradually turned into a pure snow trail. My tires had some trouble getting up the steep snowy hills, but Jesse helped me lower my tires to just under 10 pounds. This helped considerably, but my Mickey Thompsons still had the tendency to slide when I got on top of hard packed snow. Luckily, while some of the other rigs were struggling, my locker made things pretty easy from that point on.

The snow got pretty deep, and we had to cross a couple of good-sized fallen trees. The Big Suburban pushed through the deep snow effortlessly. We probably used every piece of recovery equipment we had on this trip in some creative way and it took a great deal of teamwork to get everyone home.

One lesson I learned about snow is that you need a lead driver that can drive straight because everyone else is forced to drive in their tracks. Beyond this point, it got pretty interesting and fun, but I’ll honor the fact that sometimes what happens on Freeway Ridge, Stays on Freeway Ridge.

I made it back to Bakersfield at 7:00 pm, making this a full 11-hour adventure.

Trail Damage seen: 1 broken locker, 1 damaged locker, 1 broken gear?, 1 broken winch, 1 damaged quarter panel, 2 tires, 1 damaged rear bumper, 1 damaged wheel, 1 broken nerf bar, 1 power steering pump?


Chris & Windy R



12/29/2006 Calico New Years Trip
1/7/2007 Dome Springs Trail 109
1/14/2007 Freeway Ridge/ Black Gulch Ice Run

Well, it’s about that time again, welcome to the second edition of Infectious Off-Road’s newsletter.  I was busy last week and was unable to get anything together after the Dome Springs Run, which was an absolute blast, thanks to all the great guys up in Frazier Park 4X4 for a really fun run!  Since the last (and first) newsletter we have been on two runs and a full fledged weekend trip with the Bakersfield Trailblazers.

Founding Members G.J., Robert, his beautiful wife Kelley and I all went on the annual New Years Calico Trip with the Trailblazers.  For those of you not familiar with Calico, there is a small ghost town just east of Barstow off Ft. Irwin Rd. on the way to Vegas.  There are numerous trails near an OHV campground that the Trailblazers have made their annual New Years Mecca.  We arrived at the campground on Friday, December 29, 2006 with enough day light to set up camp and do some exploratory off-roading of the trails in the area, and I got to drive!!! We camped out that night in the bus after meeting and greeting several old and new friends in the Trailblazers.  Early the next morning Robert was up doing some last minute wrenching on his vehicle and then he and G.J. took off their tops (I know what you’re thinking, no they weren’t mud wrestling!) and doors in preparation for the run that morning.  We ended up going with the moderate group on the Odessa Trail, however prior to starting; we all trekked over to Gate Keeper to observe some of the guaranteed body damage that the difficult run offered.  Odessa was a good trail even though we ended up getting separated from the rest of the Trailblazers and wound up doing our own run after lunch.  We also ended up rescuing a guy who had the misfortune of hanging up his buggy in Gate Keeper (gotta love those foot pedal rear winches, eh Robert!!). That night after the trail, there was a raffle and both G.J. and Robert won items in the raffle (yeah guys!).  The guys had also attempted to organize an Infectious Off-Road night run over Odessa.  This ended up being a bust because, by the time the raffle was over, everyone was either too drunk or too cold to go (guess which one I was).  The next day it was G.J.’s turn for last minute wrenching (dang spacers on dang skid plate) and this time we all opted to go on the difficult trail of Upper Duran with a bypass around Gate Keeper.  This trail was spectacular and well worth going on again and again.  Even though I didn’t get to drive, we all had a great time on this trail and there are talks of planning on Infectious Off-Road trip over there soon.  The end of the day found us heading back to Bakersfield to ring in the New Years due to various obligations that members had in town the next day.

As I mentioned prior, we ended up going on the Domes Springs Trail #109 with the Frazier Park club for the first run of the New Year on Sunday, 1/7/07.  Our group for this run consisted of Brian, Jessica, Katie, Robert, Henry, G.J., Jennifer, Jeremy from the Trailblazers, his father in law Greg also a Trailblazer and me of course with six rigs.  We all met up in the dirt lot across from the AM/PM at Panama/99 and headed up the Grapevine.  After a short drive we found ourselves at the trailhead, however Brian Colazzo and the Frazier Park group has already departed.  We caught up with them at the first major obstacle in the creek bed and ended up in the back of the pack.  There was an eclectic assortment of vehicles in this group with everything from a late model full size Dodge Ram, to an old school International Flatbed, to the standard lifted TJ.  We had a great time crawling rocks with these guys and hope to get together with them again soon.  After completing the creek bed trail, we (with the addition of our newest member Ryan) all decided to go try the Hungry Valley Rock Pile.  Unfortunately on the way to the rock pile Ryan’s XJ had mechanical problems and had to wait for AAA to come tow him home.  Brian attempted the rock pile and had issues getting high centered on absolutely every rock in the pile.  By the time Brian succeeded in getting unstuck, it was too dark (and cold) to do much more, so we turned around and headed back, finding Ryan where we left him.  Apparently AAA doesn’t go off the Freeway along that stretch of the Grapevine unless it’s a gas station, so Robert towed Ryan back to the gas station.

Last, but definitely least, we had our second snow run up Freeway Ridge this past Sunday, 1/14/07, or rather, it would have been a snow run if the weather had cooperated. We met at the usual spot, the Chevron on Hwy 178/Kern Canyon, and for once, Henry was not the last person there!  The group roster for this run consisted of Brian, Henry, Chris, G.J., Kevin and Doug, Ryan and friend, Jennifer and I with seven rigs.  We even ended up getting an early start, heading up the canyon by 0930hrs.  I had a blast on this run because Brian was nice enough to let me drive for the majority of the trail.  Brian was also the only one who ended up having damage on this run, and no, I didn’t cause it, unless you count possibly running over his Oakleys as my fault, but really, anyone could have done it, can’t prove it was me.  Chris actually made it past Broken Axle Hill this time, however once we got up Sand Hill we realized that to avoid potentially serious damage (there wasn’t much snow until the top, but what us up there would’ve caused some slippery downhill into Evans Flat), we would have to turn around and go out Black Gulch Trail.  At this point Chris had to turn around and go back to get in town in time for a hockey game (some peoples priorities are all messed up, sheesh).  Robert tried to lose his dogs, Ponch and Lucy, when we stopped at the top of Broken Axle Hill, who were then banished to the Jeep for the remainder of the trail, and G.J. got stuck in the ditch that Brian fell into on our last snow run.  All in all it was a great day, ending up with a Mexican feast at El Chile Verde in Rosedale.

We are trying to put something together for the coming weekend, but there are no definite plans at this time.  Check with G.J., Robert, Brian or post a message on the forum at if you’re interested in any of our future runs, or have information that you would like to share with the group.  Thanks!


12/17/2006 Freeway Ridge/Black Gulch Snow Run

Greetings from the first (not even slightly) official newsletter for Infectious Off-Road, the club has been up and running for several weeks now with several runs under our belt.  Though, sometimes, I wonder if we shouldn't change the name of the club to Freeway Ridge Off-Road, or some other variation.  We had our first official snow run this past Sunday, 12/17/06, and the turn out was outstanding.  I'm sorry, I never got an official count and was far too busy greeting some old friends and meeting some new ones that I never got to say Hi and welcome everyone.  We ended up having such a great turn out that we decided to split up into two groups at Chevron, with the first group starting about 45 minutes prior to the second group (thanks Henry).  The day was amazing and I believe we ultimately had several groups that split and reformed and split and reformed again, depending on which trails the individuals wanted to take, with only a few casualties who ended up turning around and heading back down, you know who you are, we missed you and we hope you make it out again soon.  The group we ended up in are all very experienced with the Freeway Ridge and we ended up going on Black Gulch Trail so that we wouldn't have to bust thru the gates on Rancheria coming back down.  At Bradshaw Creek we stopped and had a quick lunch, as we had just finished a long detour at Broken Axle Hill.  At the split on Black Gulch the boys were feeling frisky and decided to get a little sideways and sent me out ahead to film, which seemed to be a precursor for the rest of the day.  We stopped for several picture and filming opportunities and G.J. is currently working on getting them in a workable media format for your viewing pleasure.  On a previous outing thru Black Gulch we had found a trail that goes off and up to the right, sorry don't have a name for it yet, even though there were no tire tracks, we decided to forge ahead and cut our own trail.  With Brian leading we were able to witness some amazing scenery and do some gnarly off-roading.  I believe we all got to see what Christmas was really about up in those hills, and we had a great time doing it, and I know for a fact, there is a very definite possibility that we will be out there again real soon.  Hope to see you there.  By the way Brian, the Jeep is supposed to stay, rubber side down. 

Ruth  a.k.a. The Midget.

PS. If you have your own story of this trip e-mail it to me and I will send it on to everyone else!