Sunday, August 2, 2009

RZO Summerfest

Last weekend RCC and I attended the Rock Zombie Outlaws' Summerfest, sadly the last one to be held at its current location near Arapahoe Road and Parker in the Denver area. In February, we attended RZO's Winterfest with Tinkerbell, RCC's full-sized Chevy rock-crawler, whose transmission seized up just ten minutes off the truck. This time we opted to just take the Jeep and camp overnight.



Since the Jeep is completely stock - he hasn't modified it at all yet - our options were limited as far as obstacles we could attack, but we found a few and had a good time on them. And they say it's not a good day unless you get stuck, which we did beautifully. We had been driving around the property, tackling the obstacles that were doable in the Jeep, and found a creek crossing that looked like it might be tougher than some others we'd done, but still was doable. So off we went, down the slight hill, splashing across the creek, and powering up...powering up...shit...powering ourselves right into the sandy hill across the creek. The sand had looked fairly stable from the opposite side of the creek, but once we hit it, we just buried ourselves. Deep. RCC did such a great job of attempting to power up the hill he buried the front axle in the sand.


We were lucky that another driver saw us and offered to tow us out with his full-sized Chevy Blazer. The problem was that we got bogged down at the first part of a two-part rise; there was an initial hill - where we got stuck - followed by a slight flat space and another hill. The truck hooked us up, but we were so stuck that he couldn't budge us while also trying to tackle the second hill.
We lucked out a second time and another truck who saw our predicament offered to hook onto the Chevy and pull us out in tandem. How's that for being stuck? Our small stock Jeep took a full-sized Chevy Blazer and a Toyota pick-up with a V8 to tow it out.
I had to laugh at a comment I overheard while the two trucks were hooking us up. One of the drivers looked at the other and said, "Beginners." Certainly I am a beginner, but I wasn't the one driving and if they had realized that the driver they were towing out was the owner of the infamous Tinkerbell - even if they don't know her name, they know her - they would have had a whole lot more to say than just "beginners".
We spent a great deal of the day mostly watching. The Zombie Graveyard is always a popular place to congregate and watch carnage (4-wheeler-speak for breaking big expensive stuff). RCC had told me that he wanted to replace his metal cable on his winch with a nylon one, which is much safer. After watching two nylon winch cables break without any injuries to anyone, I think he's getting nylon for Christmas. The metal cables don't rebound as well (or at all) as the nylon ones and the energy has to be transferred somewhere, which usually means that it whips around uncontrolled taking out anything in its path. The nylon cables just drop to the ground, sparing anyone nearby.
We did watch a scary moment when one of the Zombies got stuck in the Graveyard and three people were rocking him side-to-side, hoping that he'd get a bite somewhere on the rocks and be able to drive himself out. He got a bite, alright, and nearly ran over one of the guys helping him out.

video

The bad thing is that once the Zombie broke loose, he then hit a rock with his front passenger tire and knocked his tire off the bead, which started a whole new rescue effort involving a Hi-Lift and a borrowed 37" tire.


I also got to see something I'd never seen before - a Jeep Wrangler doing a one-handed handstand. I have no idea how on earth this driver kept from going ass over teakettle, but he managed. I was a little slow on the trigger for the camera, so the picture is just as he's peaked and started to come back down. His only point of contact with the ground is his front driver's side tire; the front passenger hasn't quite touched down on the rock yet.
The day was amazing even with the intermittant thunder, lightening, and rain. Throughout the day, we'd drive by the bonfire site, where they were building a giant man to set aflame. It was fun to watch the progress throughout the day and I couldn't wait for sundown when they were to fire him up.At sundown, however, lighting the Burning Man proved to be a bit of a challenge. We watched one of the Zombies get a ride up to the top in the bucket of a tractor and dump at least ten gallons of gasoline on him. You would think that would be enough, right? The problem was that even the best laid plans go awry and the person who was to light the Burning Man with the flare gun missed.
M.I.S.S.E.D. Missed. With a flare from a flare gun. Missed.
The flare went skipping along the ground, across the area for the bonfire and ended up in a crowd of people. No one was hurt, but a lot of people were laughing. The second shot also missed, going straight up in the air no where near the Not-Burning Man. Third shot - you gessed it - also skittered through the crowd. Finally, someone took the flare gun away from Sir Miss-The-Sixty-Foot-Pile-Of-Logs-In-Front-Of-Him and shot the tinder at the bottom of the Not-Burning Man's feet at point blank range. It took - sort of - briefly - before the rain won out. In the end the Zombies set up a true fire bucket brigade, with one person holding the gas can, filling up keg cups with gasoline, while others threw the gasoline onto the Sort-Of-Burning Man. Sort-Of-Burning Man eventually became Finally-Burning Man and the wait was worth it, despite the rain pounding away again.


An almost-entirely-sleepless night in a leaky tent ensued, thanks to the Party Brigade in the next campsite. About the time the music would quiet down and I'd fall asleep, I'd be woken up again by the drunks changing CDs and the music blaring again. In the few minutes of sleep I did get, I dreamed of using my new shotgun on their stereo. About four a.m. they thought it would be a good idea to load up into their buggies and race up and down the road leading into the campground. At that time, my short-lived dreams changed to shooting out a tire with the shotgun. Up and at 'em bright and early the next morning (really, what choice did we have), we wandered over to the smoldering bonfire. I decided that the white-hot smoldering coals would be perfect for roasting the marshmallows that we didn't roast the night before, so RCC and I found some sticks and had ourselves roasted marshmallows for breakfast. It's good to be a "grown up" and get to have marshmallows for breakfast!

We spend day two mostly watching - there's just so much going on that it's hard to take it all in - before packing up and heading home. I had a blast, even if I wasn't the one getting the Jeep filthy this time, and am more than a little sad that the RZO crew is losing their land because of some stupid political dispute. The Rock Zombie Outlaws are a great group of people who hosted amazing events that brought people together for good, clean (or maybe not really clean) fun. I'm hoping that they will be able to find new property soon and rumor has it, they are looking hard for a new venue.

1 comment:

Deejo said...

Sorry I missed out. Sounds like a good time. Can't wait for Moab ;)