June 8-9, 1997 - Big Lick Mountain
This was the 15th outing (I think --we stopped counting) for the Pennsylvania (NORTHEAST) Hummers.
We were off to the Appalachian trail areas for an outing and sleep over. We
met at a local restaurant. It wasn't hard to see it was a Hummer meeting
site, but this time Ray brought his recently reassembled military
Humvee-complete with helmet top, deep-fording kit (intake and exhaust
above roof+ pressurized diff..etc.). It also had a machine gun turret and 50-mm machine gun up there, with propane tank which allowed for simulation
rapid machine gun fire.
This was 1 of 11 acquired this way, as we were told.
After spending an hour getting the lowdown on the vehicle and waiting for
stragglers, we were off to some trails. We first proceeded to gas up.
At the station was a flatbed with 3 Humvees exactly like RAYS. We thought this
was planned, but it was just coincidental. Our notorious trail leader
(Hal) led us to the first trail (it seems he doesn't always know exactly where
we are going, but we trust him). We headed through some snug trails (no one
with skins yet out here) and then through some square water aqueducts,
several of them and they were somewhat long (not for claustrophobic
types-like being in a big MRI). That took us to a long creek for an hour
(started to think I was in a boat).
Finally Hal got us to some land. There we had lunch and an in-field
WHEEL CLINIC Marathon. Ron Papaleo gave us a wheel to tear down in the field
-- (Ron you are a brave and trusting soul). "Almost everything you
wanted to know about Hummer wheels, but didn't know who to ask". Between all of
us we passed on some helpful info.
We started out the session talking about CTIS disconnects prior to
removing the wheel from the vehicle. I then read the PRIMATE RUNFLAT REMOVAL
TECHNIQUE posting-(that was bad luck). Hal fired up his invertor and
pulled out the electric impact gun. I put on vinyl gloves. We opened
up our mystery 2-piece wheel (You never know exactly what combo is inside
these things) to find a solid one-piece molded beadlock/runflat (the
hardest runflat to get out). Then I whipped out the come-a-long to
compress the runflat--all of a sudden everyone started getting away (in
fear of their lives). Pretty easy getting it out, ok getting it back
into a brand new GSA-(harder with a new tire). I devised a small strap to
release the come-a-long slowly by racheting down - didn't work and it quickly
released. I counted my fingers at that point. I was a might bit sweaty
(we couldn't find a open shady area as I requested) and had runflat
grease all over me (that stuff is a thick, sticky goo and stinks). We then
realized (thanks Dave Rossi) that the GSA solid block pattern had to go
on the outside (the tire was so new it had that white powder on it and the
word "outside" was hard to see-my glasses were foggy by that time).
Well, If one didn't understand what was going on the first time, they had
another shot at it. The group thinned for a while as I repeated the
process--have to say it went quicker the second time around. By the time
I got the runflat in the GSA, I was soaking wet. Anyhow, all for the
We then proceeded on, having to modify some trails
as going along climbing up the mountain to the campsite. We had picked
up some food and found a 3/8 easy out, to remove a CTIS valve that
snapped off at the hub of Bills wheel, the tubing was intact so the tire did not air
down. Once at the campsite we tried to remove the brass shaft. No luck.
We discussed future sites for the Pa events and possibly creating an obstacle course
in New Morgan.
The next morning we were off to the coal pits, down 300 ft of elevation
of trails. First Bill's slide, then Hal's slide.