I had heard about the Rocky Mountain IH Rendezvous (RMIHR) from a lot of my friends from Colorado and other areas. When it started looking like my vacation was a little "open" I started making plans to make it to the big IH gathering in Colorado. It turned out the NorthWest Binder Roundup was the following weekend, so I opted to do 'em both and made a roadtrip out of it.
I motored down from Lander, Wyoming with Willy Cunningham and his friend Jake. These photos are from the top of Breckenridge Pass.. which I climbed at the astonishing rate of 10mph.. at least I didn't use 1st gear!
We pulled into Fairplay around 5pm or so on Friday, July 31st. I stopped at the registation desk to let everyone know I had shown up.. and met my friend Theresa inside. I've chatted with Theresa numerous times on the BinderChat and I met her on my business trip to California back in May.
Willy Cunningham and I then motored down to the camping area, driving slowly past Mr. Bill Thebert on our way in.. Bill must've been lost in thought.. he never knew I'd drive right by him and waved. :-)
Willy and I started pitching camp as Jim Shepherd came up to introduce himself and meet the "famous" Tom Mandera. There were more people at Rendezvous that knew about me than I knew about them!
Theresa finally got off duty at the registration booth and came by to visit us, too.
We were also visited by a rather inebriated fellow from Texas.. asking if I'd brung along any reefer, and then trying to give Willy's friend Jake a kiss after bumming some chew from Jake. Things were a little interesting already!
After camp was pitched and some coffee made and a little dinner eaten, the socializing began. I finally had the chance to meet Bill Thebert face to face, along with SO many others! Mark and Kathy Korsten were there from Kansas (more BinderChat regulars). I met Bill's "Significant Other" Jamie. Steve Cavender turned out to be our "neighbor".. who just happened to have a close ratio T19 I was about to buy from him. Later in the evening we wandered around and met the Kansas crew from Just Scout n' Around.. with Rick and Ken Boyer and the renowned Scot Clayton and his war-wagon (Terra w/ 4" suspension lift in a spring-over, and lots and lots of Customizing-by-Scot). We even wandered over to the Texans' camp fire and chatted a while..
While talking with Joe Attardo.. it started to rain. The first of MANY rains. I took the chance to see the interior of Joe's.. ugh.. JEEP Cherokee.. Joe had Durabak'd the entire interior of the Jeep so I had a chance to look it over while we sat out the rain.
I finally crawled into my somewhat-damp sleeping back well after 11pm or midnight..
Saturday was the Big Day for RMIHR with the vehicle lineup, ramp travel, teeter totter, and everything else.
I woke up late.. we ate some cold cereal.. I made some fresh coffee.. from fresh beans that I ground using my electric coffee grinder and 120VAC inverter.. yeah, I caught some grief over that. :-)
I walked around the fairgrounds and spotted several... Scout II Campers! I'd only seen ONE in my life, at the dealership in Belgrade Montana, prior to this day.. so I took some pictures.
I caught a picture of Jamie Crump's new Scout 800B.. imported from
California, and took a picture of it.
Willy and I fired up our 'Binders and headed to the big line-up to take our places and be judged. As I was backing into my spot, trying to get in-line with the others, I started to drive off the back of the dirt bank we were parking along! At first, I was alarmed.. then I thought.. Cool, I can show off my rear articulation! And so it went that every truck after me did the same thing. :-)
Willy's red SSII is on the left, with my grey '77 to it's right, and an unfinished yellow 800 to the right of my Scout. Looking in the background, you can notice that the storm clouds were already brewing.
This ugly creation belongs to Eric Stude. It won Ugly Truck. However, it is a pretty neat rig.. sporting a Navistar 6.9L diesel, a wide T19, dual transfer cases, Dana 60s front and rear.. it's a beast alright!
Bill Thebert's rig, known as Puff stood at the very beginning of the line. Willy and I tried to help Bill get Puff up on these stumps while we were eating breakfast.. our efforts were futile until Bill discovered a bent locking mechanism on one of his new full-floating rear hubs..
While walking up and down the rows of trucks, making our judging choices, I had the chance to meet Joel Brodsky and his girlfriend Stephanie, just arrived from Tucson, AZ in his (soon to be) first place '75 Travelall. Mark Pepe was on hand from AZ as well. So many Digest names!
We were all walking along doing our judging when the rain hit.. and everyone ran for the barn! It was as good a time as any to drool over the vendor displays again.. ScoutPro, Super Scout Specialists, AT Scouts, IH Only.. they were all on-hand as well as others I don't recall the names of.
When the rain stopped we headed back outside for more festivities.. like the Ramp Travel and the Teeter Totter.
I did the Teeter Totter first.. the goal is to drive your Scout up the ramp just far enough to tip it forward, then very quickly back-up, and attempt to balance the Scout on the teeter-totter. Theresa took a good picture.. my balancing act didn't last very long!
I then headed to the Ramp Travel Index. The goal of the Ramp game is to see how far up the ramp you can drive a tire without lifting any of the other 3 tires. A measurement is made and it's pitted against your rig's wheelbase and the degree of the ramp to come up with an "RTI Score" which is in an indication of a truck's "flexi-ness".
I handed Theresa my camera and headed up the ramp for the second time of my life (first time was last year's NorthWest Binder Roundup).
I scored a 630. Or, 63" up a 23 degree ramp with a 100" Wheelbase.
After the Ramp I took the chance to take a very neat looking picture of Mark and Kathy Korsten.
Jeff Ismail of IH Only and the IH desert racing crew put his Terra on the ramp.. first forwards, then backwards..
Darrel Kline finally decided to show up.. he gave some lame excuse about having to work or something.. :-) He pitched camp next to Willy and I.
We had planned on having a "Digest Dinner" on Saturday, but the Jeep Bash was Saturday night.. all day long they'd sold swings with a sledge hammer at a Jeep Grand Wagonneer.. as darkness approached, the Jeep was doused in gasoline, and a flare was auctioned off. Phil Coonrod paid $100 for the chance to set fire to the Jeep. All of the proceeds went to the local fire department.
Darrel and I had some soup and I think some Pork n' Beans for supper.. in the rain.. and I crawled into a very soaked tent.. I *had* pitched camp so the opening of the tent was away from the wind.. of course, that changed after I put the tent up! And it never stopped raining long enough for things to dry out.. oh well..
Sunday morning dawned and we made some vittles.. I think I fried up the eggs I'd brought along that morning..
Sunday was occupied with the RACING. We all wandered around, BS'd, etc for a long while in the morning (those that woke up, anyhow).. Darrel and I bought lunch on-site and conversed with a father and son, Jim and Jimmy Donahue, about Scouts.. and my website! I never thought I'd be famous.. :-)
In the early afternoon, the racing began..
After the racing was over, I got a picture of Jeff Ismail in the barn, on the right..
And then stepped outside to catch Joel Brodsky about to leave..
And at just about the same time, Eldon and Rose McFarling finally showed up!
I also caught a picture of Willy's wife, who'd joined us for the day.. relaxing in Willy's camp chair.. ;-)
Sunday night we cooked up the Deer and Elk steaks I'd brought along on the Cavender's grille.. Bill and Jamie, Mark and Kathy, the McFarlings, myself, Willy, and Darrel (along with the Cavenders) sat and enjoyed the Elk steaks.. Rick Boyer and Scot Clayton even wandered over for a sampling of the vittles! Conversation continued for a while.. and then S'mores at Bill's campfire. Another late-to-bed night after more chatting with Rick and Scot..
As I crawled into my wet tent.. I found a present! Steve and Willy had put a close ratio T19 4spd in my tent, right under my sleeping bag.. Hmm.. no wonder it was a little lumpy.. ;-)
Monday morning was the first day of Trail Rides! I had wanted to make a
trip to Holy Cross City.. and after some talking, Bill Thebert agreed to
lead a "non-sanctioned" run to Holy Cross. Mark and Kathy decided to come
along as well, and we picked up Dan Larson on our way out of town..
Our trip to Holy Cross City got a write-up all to itself.. what a blast! Thanks, Bill.
While I didn't get to talk to Willy again, he did send me pictures of his trip up Twin Cone on Monday..
On Tuesday morning I opted out of trail rides and instead chose to do a little driving.. first I headed off to Littleton, CO to pay a visit to a friend that had moved away from Helena. Heck, she even took me to the Olive Garden for lunch, so it wasn't all-bad! I left Littleton later than I had expected (actually, I had planned on going to Colorado Springs first but I didn't move fast enough in the morning!) I raced through rush-hour traffic from Denver to Colorado Springs and suddenly remembered why I didn't want to live in Denver..
I pulled into Colorado Springs and cruised through town looking for Giddum Up. I had my road atlas, a street address, and my CB Radio. I asked for directions once or three times, and then finally found Stone St.. though I drove right past Giddum Up a few times before I finally found it.. the outside is very non-descript.
The sign said closed at 5pm.. but Rod was still inside and invited me in to buy the windshield wiper I'd broken on Holy Cross, and the clutch bushings I needed to fix a friend's off-road racer home in Montana. I took the opportunity to catch a few photos of the inside of GUS for my webpage..
Back to camp and more late-night chatting and coffee drinking and story swapping.. and it was time for bed. Lucky for me, Darrel offered to let me sleep in his nice, *DRY* tent for the night.. since my things were VERY soaked through.. but, in exchange, I left my flashlight/lantern (by accident)..
The next morning I made my farewells to Bill and Darrel and the others as they left to go wheelin'.. then I made my way to the showers, and let my sleeping bags dry out on top of the Scout while I showered. I then packed up camp (leaving the lantern, of course), visited with the McFarling children for a bit.. then helped out some with some folks from Kansas, trying to change out the input gear on their Dana 300.. and then I stopped to see Eldon and Rose as I left Fairplay, headed towards Moab.
Sadly, I know there was so many other great things that happened at RMIHR.. I regret that I didn't have the time to write my report immediately after the trip.. so many great and fond memories are not quite ready to be brought up at the moment.. but I had an absolutely wonderful time, and it's a definite "must-do" on my list of things to do this coming summer. I hadn't had a better time in years. For those of you thinking of going to RMIHR next summer.. I'll be there. I don't know if that makes you want to come more or less, but.. ;-) I won't be missing it if I can help it!