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General Articles - Trip Reports

20th Annual Dixie Run

Article written by Adventure Bob

Date Added: 10/15/2006

Wheeling in the woods of Tellico.

We were invited to the 20th annual Southern Four Wheel Drive Association's Dixie Run. Not sure what to expect, we packed some gear and headed off to Tellico to see what wheeling on this end of America was all about. The SFWDA holds this event as their year end rally and fund raiser for land management activities. This allows them to make a positive contribution to the ecosystem while keeping the land open to recreational use.

We were welcomed to the event by our host Jay Bird, "The Ice Cream Man." He?s famous for loading his ARB cooler with ice cream and taking it out on the trails. Jay filled us in on the major events and itinerary for the weekend, but before he where to head for the vendors' run, Jay had a question that would resonate with me for the entire weekend. "Bob, where?s your winch?"
We headed out on the vendor's run with members from several clubs. Notice the old iron? These guys wheeled the crap out of their two classic rigs. We were certainly impressed. During the safety brief before the runs, the question haunted me a second time. "Bob, where's your winch?"
Never shying away from a single obstacle, this classic Willys led most of the trail. Its working PTO winch came in handy a couple times.
The rain during the vendors' run made trails super slick. "Like greased owl poop on a doorknob" was the sentiment of the day as everyone spun and slipped on what appeared to be easy obstacles. Thankfully I was at least smart enough to keep the top on and the rear windows in.
On the second day, I was conned into the rock crawl. The rules were simple: stay in bounds, and run the course down and back as quick as you can. The 3 classes were divided as follows: 37" tires and below, 37? and above, and buggies. I did OK? until I got hung up and the question of the weekend was asked yet again. "Bob, where's your winch?" Luckily my rent-a-spotter and I managed to heave and shove the Turtle free, and I finished under my own power.
The same could not be said for the majority of the contestants. In the non-buggy classes, major carnage eliminated over half of each field. Broken axles, broken steering, blown radiators, and an engine failure or two were the order of the day.
In the buggy class, the Rancho guys let the Extreme Ridge Runners Club President drive their buggy through the course. He made it look easy and took the win. Rancho donated the prize back to the raffle.
Day three was the main vendors? show, activities for the kids, and the raffle. You can see the vendors show article here. We were impressed with all the kids activities scheduled throughout the day. It was truly a family event.
They had a remote control rockcrawl as well as a small version of Grave Digger that the kids could wheel. After a day of light wheeling, the Grave Digger was auctioned off to one lucky tyke.
We enjoyed an excellent dinner put on by the Rock Solid Jeep Club and beagn jockeying for the best postions to watch the auction. One thing is certain, the SFWDA sure knows how to eat!
Finally the event everyone had been waiting for, the raffle, began. Gary Enterline of BFG led the BFG Team in donating a very large check to the President of the SFWDA, Jay Bird.
The culmination of a lot of hard work Rocky Top Trial Riders was when the rock buggy they made was awarded to one lucky winner. Young Bennet Overly took about 40 trips around the campsite in his new custom rockcrawler; we actually thought he might sleep in it.

Final Thoughts

The event was great! We met a terrific bunch of people who like to have a good time and are working hard to keep the trails open. All told, there were over 650 adults and 75 kids registered, over 22 thousand raffle tickets sold, and over 400 ice creams given away by the Ice Cream Man. This was a well managed event and a great experience.
We're looking forward to the next SFWDA event!

Our Thank You's!

We'd like to thank The Ice Cream Man for inviting us down and making sure we were well taken care of.

We'd also like to thank the all the clubs for all the work they did to make this a great event:
Cumberland Offroad ? Trail assignments and tech inspection
Georgia Bounty Runners 4WD Club ? Registration
Off Camber 4WD Club ? Kids Games
Rock Solid Jeep Club ? Saturday Night Dinner
Rocky Top Trail Riders ? Buggy build and give away
Extreme Ridge Runners ? Rock Crawl

We had a great time!

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