Day 238 – King of the Hammers T-0 Race Day

The King of the Hammers Race Day finally arrived, early morning saw the wind gusting to 30 mph; temperatures around 30 degrees.  One hundred twenty-nine drivers took the green flag to begin the race; 28 drivers completed it. One hundred sixty-five miles in the hardest off-road rock race in the world.  Trails with names like Chocolate Thunder, Backdoor, Resolution, Wrecking Ball, Boulderdash, Claw Hammer, Outer Limits, Aftershock, and Elvis.   The first driver to complete the race was Randy Slawson in the Bomber chassis in just over seven hours.  Another 20 drivers finished in the next seven hours with the last seven coming in after that.  Most racers who finished were in their cars for more than 12 hours.

My Rich is generally referred to as Big Rich in the off-road community; his job was to own Chocolate Thunder.  He and his crew ran that trail to ensure there was no bottleneck on that trail.  The boys owned it.

The reason he is called Big is because his son is called Lil’ Rich.  Lil’ lives in Alaska now, but came down this week to work the race.  The trail he owned was Backdoor.  He and the San Diego Jeep club made all the recoveries on that trail.  Lots of compliments flowed their way for the job well done.

Today was the day we had all been working for all week, it ended up being a huge, expansive show.  An incredible event all around, we all had a blast.  Kudos to the Ultra4 crew Shannon, Chris B. and Dave.  Big kudos to their volunteer staff, too numerous to count, but particularly Shawn B., Shon W. and Roxy (at least from my perspective).  I loved working with Lujan all week long and am thankful I got to be a part of it.

Particular thanks to “our” drivers – those of you that regularly compete in Dirt Riot with us, we thank you for the efforts that were put forth in being here and competing.  There are so many that I want to thank personally and list here, but I’m so afraid of leaving someone out.  Love you guys, thanks for making us proud.



Day 272 – Wheelin’ California

johnson valleyJust two days ago we were north of the Phoenix area wheelin’ some virgin ground for a race course, today we spent the day in the California desert wheelin’ some space that is very well known.  Johnson Valley lies east of LA, between 29 Palms and Apple Valley, there is a nice little mountain range with a dry lake bed on it.  It is used primarily by people on motorized vehicles of some sort.  We saw everything today from motorcycles and ATV’s to 650 hp buggies out there.

We played in the sand a little bit with some guys that are testing their vehicles for the big event coming up next month.  The King of the Hammers is a race that happens every February.  It is an Ultra4 event, so we know a ton of people participating, from the promoter to some of the UTV stock guys and a lot of folks in between.  This is the race all aspire to be in.  We will be out there camped on the lake bed for a couple of weeks ourselves.  It’s a great time to spend time with friends from all over the country and to get acquainted with new ones.

Today was purely a social call, we were a little afraid of breaking the Jeep today, so we didn’t play on the rocks.  It just didn’t make sense with our next destination.  We are headed out on a Mexican Riviera cruise for the next week and didn’t want to miss the boat.  My goal is to write every day we are away, but not post until we get to port.  My Mexican Tel-Cel card will work there, and is so easy, even I can do it.  Besides, there will be too much to do to worry about posting too!  Have an awesome week everyone, bon voyage.

Day 335 – Taking Stock

Years ago,  I taught a goal setting class for the US Jaycees at one of their many conventions.  I had gone to Reno with my friend, Brent and we stayed at what is now the Grand Sierra.  I don’t remember what Brent was teaching, but I remember my experience.  I’ve had a lot of great experiences at the Grand Sierra, in all of its previous forms, the most recent being two years ago when we were there for the Stampede.  There are so many people to thank for the massive hangover I endured.  Let me start with Barbara, it was with her that I got up at 4 in the morning to go be part of a Balloon Chase Team, that will be a story to tell someday; follow that with Lil’ Rich and Josh and Dave and everyone else that was involved in putting on and racing the Ultra4 race  we went to right from the Balloon race, and Bob and Paula who interrupted our nap so we could be at the bar first.  Paula posted on FB the other day “Here’s to Alcohol, because no great story ever started with a Salad.”  I think that describes that weekend to a T.  There are others who contributed to the worst hangover ever, but I’m sure that was only because they were mixing my shots.  That was one of those epic weekends that everyone still talks about, apparently mine wasn’t the only Worst of the bunch.

But I digress, I wanted to talk about goal setting.  When I taught the class, I taught that it was important for them to be written, attainable and measureable – WAM.  There are a lot of acronyms that people use to describe goal setting, but WAM is my favorite.  In this case, I’ve written down my goals – see What’s It All About – and I’ve even published them so I get to be accountable too (this is important to me).  It’s like being on a diet but not telling anyone, so when you order dessert your friends won’t call you out on it.  My goals are also attainable, at least I think so – if I can’t do it, I’m not yet ready to admit defeat.  The most important part of goal setting, in my book, at least, is that goals are measurable, that may be the bean counter in me.  I set all my goals up to be measured, so let’s take stock.

One-twelfth of my birthday year is done =   8.33% = if 50 items on the list, then 4.17 need to be complete.


  1. Call 50 friends – 2 done; short by 2.17
  2. Make and send 50 cards – 2 done, short by 2.17
  3. Fold 50*20 origami cranes – 0 done, short by 4.17 *50
  4. Watch 50 classic movies – 1 done, short by 3.17
  5. Read 50 books – 5 done, goal met
  6. Take 50*7 pictures – 50*3.5 done, goal met
  7. Write 50*7 blogs – 27 done, goal met
  8. Visit 50 new places – 4 done, goal met
  9. Do 50 new things – 3 done, short by 1.17
  10. Write 50 chapters – 4+ done, goal met


It’s very satisfying to see what has been done and know that of my ten goals, I’m really on track with half of them.  I just need to get working on the others to keep them all up to par.  So looking forward to everything I get to do these next 30 days.