AZVJC 2002 Crown King Anniversary Run

The club ran its annual anniversary run on Saturday, August 17.  I have no idea of the actual number of Jeeps that attended.  There were over 100 signed up on the club’s web site.  All I know is that there were a heck of a lot of Jeeps on the trail!

I volunteered to lead the 2nd group, which left the air down spot at 6:30 AM.  We would be 30 minutes behind group #1 and 1 hour ahead of group #3.  Another group came up through Turkey Creek and that last group coming up the Lake Pleasant trail departed at noon. 

I only took a couple of pictures since we were determined to not get bunched up on the handful of obstacles that allowed the more adventuresome a chance to try their off-road skills.  For some on the run, this was their very first time with the club.  For others, it was their first anniversary run (I missed last year’s). 

I arrived at the air down spot in time to catch the first group, just before they left. 

Here is some of the folks that were in group #2.  I took this about 10 minutes before we were ready to head out.  Several more vehicles arrived after this was taken.  I was glad to see my old friends and many new faces on the run.

Now, what made this entire run just a bit different than any other Jeep run I had ran was our “Eye-in-the-Sky” member, Mike Connor (aka, Uncle Mike).  Mike had contacted me a day or two ahead of time and told me he would not be able to make the run on Saturday….BUT….he was going to try to fly over the first leg of the trail just after we left at 6:30 AM.  Mike is a ham radio operator, as am I, so we used our 2 meter FM radios to coordinate the air to ground picture taking.  The above picture was taken a few miles north of Lake Pleasant and prior to us getting off the gravel road and onto the trail going to Crown King.  Too cool, Mike!

Mike made several passes on our group. He caught some of us sitting still while we waited on the status of vehicle with a flat tire.  You can tell we aren’t moving….there is NO dust!

OK….here I am giving the “Hey Mike….I’m down here” signal as he buzzes the group yet another time.  I’ve taken lots of pics of my Jeep and but have never had one snapped from a low flying aircraft.

Here is one of group #2 at “The Ledge”.  I believe I caught Brad Taylor here in his stock YJ when he got a little hung up on the ledge.  He got unstuck when a couple of the other members managed to jump on his bumper a few times and get the tires hooked back up with the ground. 

I want to say thanks to all that helped make the run a success.  Everyone was on their good behavior (and I’m sure for some, that was quite an effort!  LOL)  But really, it was a great family run.  I look forward to seeing many of you on the trail again and hope you can make next year’s anniversary run.  I’ll sure try to be there!