11th Annual Chili Poker Run

My wife and I were invited to ride along with the Phoenix based Creepy Crawlers 4WD Club on their annual chili poker run.  It was held in Black Canyon City, Arizona, this year.  The trail ride was great (although we drew some pretty bad poker hands), and no one suffered any major damage or breakdowns.  There was a little bit of body work done on a new truck, an over-active CJ radiator, and a slashed side-wall on the same truck that had the body damage.

Here are a few pictures from the trail ride that consisted of about 43 vehicles (yes, almost all of them were Jeeps!). 

The group paused in the bottom of a canyon, near a small creek, while we waited for a radiator repair.

If you have never 4-wheeled in Arizona, you need to give it a try.  Even though the country is very scenic, it is also very unforgiving.  A couple of Jeeps work there way up the trail ahead of us.

This is a very rare site.  This deformity on a Saguaro cactus is not commonly seen.

Dropping down into a dry wash, almost literally!  This one was a bit tricky, as you had to manage a left turn part way down the bank and then a tight right while your front bumper was trying to rearrange the real estate.

We had one creek crossing.  Here I am picking my way over the rocks.  Not much water, plenty of rocks!

Same creek, different Jeep, and an inexperienced driver that discovered that open diffs and a heavy foot do not make a good combination for a creek crossing.
Many thanks to Joe and Joyce, who invited us out for the trail ride and the chili feed that followed.  We had a great time and look forward to doing it again next year!
A close-up of the above photo.  Luckily he parked it there instead of on the oil pan!