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Gorman, California - Nov. 3, 2002
What a day! Weather was awesome, people were great....another class event hosted by the Hummer Club. Earlier that morning I met with the Woodland Hills group at Starbucks coffee...where about 4-5 H1 owners stood with their mouths open while H2 after H2 showed up. Suffice it to say...their club will never be the same: IT'S H2 TIME, BABY! There were 4 red's, 3 oranges and 1 black...no other colors. We filled an area of the parking lot and drew attention from the entire mall, people coming up to ask what was happening.
We took off as a group and moved nicely in formation on the freeway. Rumors of the H1's slowness were quickly confirmed. Sorry H1er's....but your just slow. Actually.....maybe we were just anxious and couldn't stand to move at only 60mph. We arrived and found the other Hummer-pack poised and ready for action. After club introductions and a rundown of the days agenda, we were off to tool around a 3-course area. There was the side-incline, the mud-pit, the stair-climb with random rocks and the frame-bender (staggered mounds/dips). The side-slope was surprisingly steep and interesting; it felt like we were about 60 degrees sideways despite it being much less. I'm glad I did it...now I know what my H2 is capable of. Note: the H1's did this right next to us...but their rear-ends sorta slipped sideways a bit, while the H2's did not....not sure why, but I suspect our lighter weight and the edges of the B.F's made the difference?
There were more H2's then H1's, but everybody got along; the H1 guys would say that the H2 is a very capable vehicle, an outstanding value and certainly better then other SUV's. We would say the H1 was impressive, had huge clearance and certainly capable of certain things that no other vehicle could do. It was one big family....a very good feeling! (that we should all promote).
After playing around the group ate lunch and had a raffle. We then split into two groups: one for the Jeep/Miller trail that was announced to mean definite brush damage to any vehicle, and another group that was supposed to putz around the hills. The group divided, each driver measuring how much adventure they were willing to engage. All the trasher H1's and a few brave H2's went to the hardcore trail, while the rest of us chose the intermediate stuff.
My group played follow-the-H1 through foothills and amuck....doing things that I would not have done unless I saw other H2's in front of me already doing it. Then we come to this hill...which from the distance looks to become vertical. I saw the lead H1 start up the hill and begin contemplating my best excuse for going home early. The lead H1 gets about 2/3'rds up the hill and starts turning heavy dust (as in....Thank God!). He tries a few more times and then backs down the hill. At this point the whole posse has stopped and people are standing around watching. I found out that at each hill has a 'round-about', which is another term for chicken-out road which leads around the hill... which 3 other H2's have headed. So I head over there and park.
After 3 H1's and 2 H2's try for about 1/2 hour, only one individual makes it up this nasty hill: Dave Vowell...who has HUGE aggressive tires with big knobs and lots of experience. Not long after this hill the day came to a halt; word from the radio tells us that an H1 has flipped over!
From this point everybody went off and discovered more of the park on their own. I took myself around the parks various trails and had a blast. I found a brother H2 up on a hill using his compressor to fill the tire of a downed Range Rover. We explored some trails and found all the intermediate-level trails a snap! I REALLY got a great feel for my rig. If anyone is ever in the area...let me know...I'll gladly take you out!
(Click on any photo for a larger version)
Vehicles lined up to do the hill with the staircase, some side-slope and other various obstacles
Mud-pit (this is where alternators got hit)