UNIMOG Colorado
Rocky Mountain Moggers
RMM Trip Report

MogFest98 in Big Bear, California

October 9th, 10th & 11th, 1998

This Rocky Mountain Mogger made the 1000-mile (one-way) road trip to MogFest98, held near Big Bear, California, in the San Bernadino Mountains. Thanks to Alan Draper, Christopher White, and Klaus and Karin Schambeck for putting it all together.

After about 26 hours on the road, I arrived about 7pm Friday night. The now famous Gulash was already on the stove. It was a delicious feast, and we all had a good time finally being able to put a face to all of those names we've been seeing on the Unimog mailing lists.

The campground was at about 6500 feet, so the temperatures dropped pretty quickly after the sun went down. We had a great camp fire, and many Mogging stories were shared around the fire.

After a clear starry night, we had breakfast and got ready for the day's trail rides. There was a ridge behind the campground, and we picked one of the steep rocky roads up to the top of the ridge. We stopped in the pine woods for lunch. Then we took another trail down the other side of the ridge into Big Bear City. Through some missed communications, a couple of Mogs got lost in town, and the rest of us continued on up towards the John Bull trail.

When we arrived near the beginning of the trail, some folks decided to head back to camp to be sure to meet the dinner that was to arrive there. The rest of us decided to tackle the John Bull trail. It is a very steep, rocky, winding rock trail, with many large boulders in the trail. Some of the places I suspect a small 4x4 would be able to skirt around the boulders, but the Unimogs had no choice but to actually drive over the boulders. I ended up in the lead, and about half way up, we ran into 3 other trucks coming down the trail. Fortunately, there was enough room for them to pull aside, and let our fleet of trucks go by. After we reached the top, Tim managed to tear the sidewall out of a tire, so we stopped for a tire change. He pulled out the air wrench, plugged it in to the under-hood compressor on his Toyota, and made quick work of it. The only other damage for the day was the rear view mirror I broke off of my Unimog. Thanks to Tim for repairing that as well...

We continued on down the road, over many drop-off shelves, and large boulders in the road, as well as some obstacles created by trees that were close together. By the time we got back to town, it was dark. We stopped for fuel, and then tackled the paved 8000 foot pass over to camp. The catered dinner was excellent, and we were glad to park the Unimogs, chow down, and sit and rest around the fire again.

After a quiet night, we got up to another delicious meal provided by the kind Austrian caterer. There were eggs with cheese, sausage, bacon, danish and juice. He enjoyed seeing all of the Unimogs. After breakfast, most of the group headed out to Sledgehammer. Since it is a long drive to get there, some of us opted to do another trail ride near by. We found another trail up the ridge behind camp, but it was steeper and narrower than the one from the day before. I managed to rip the drip-rail off the side of my VLF. We eventually made it to the top of the ridge, and had lunch in the shade of the VLF. Then we played a little bit on a steep hillside before heading along the ridge to find another road back down to camp. The group that went to Sledgehammer didn't make it back to camp until after dark. I'm waiting to see the videos of that trip !!

Monday saw the rest of the folks who hadn't already left packing up and heading out. I left about 10am, and after another 26 hours of driving, arrived at home. The only trouble I had out of my Unimog in 2105 miles of driving was when it quit while climbing the Eisenhour Tunnel approach at the continental divide. It turned out to be the points. Filing them fixed the problem, and got me home.

-Ron DePugh

Attendees : Vehicle(s):
Brad Beesley 404.1 Dry Chemical truck
Bill Caid & Kathy U1300 & 411
Riley Carsey 411
Nate Cervantes 404.1 VLF
Dave Chick Ford Bronco
Dave Clark & Melissa  
Ron DePugh 404.1 VLF
Lee Downer Suzuki Samarai
Alan Draper Jeep CJ-3B
Jack & Jon Easby 404.1 Swiss
Dan Johnson  
Eric Johnson  
Ken Josten Jeep CJ-8
Robert Mackey 404.1 Domino's TLF8
Chuck Presnail 406
Jeff & Rachel Rens  
Klaus Schambeck &
Karin & Phillip
& Randy
416 Crewcab 6x6
& 416 Crewcab
Kai & Tina &
Parker Serrano
406 Unimoog
& 416 Crewcab
Stu Smith 404.1 Dry Chemical truck
Tim Walder Toyota pickup
John Wessels 404.1 troop transport
Christopher White & 404.1 Bad Mog
Werner & GalendeWagen
Jim Brightly & GMC Denali

Klaus brought his 6x6 416 crewcab Mog, with a Radio box on it. This Unimog has a swivel in the frame that allows the front of the frame to rotate separately from the rear.
And another 416 crewcab that Randy drove.
Christopher brought his 1BADMOG.
Kai brought 3 Mogs, the Unimoog,
yet another 416 crewcab,
and a very special Unimog. Here, Kai is giving Parker a few driving tips.
Brad brought a 404.1 Dry chemical truck. It has been converted to a very nice camper.
Stu brought another Dry chemical truck. This one is still fully equiped for putting out fires! It has a large tank and nozzle for dispensing the powder, and a couple of CO tanks for propelling it.
Nate brought his VLF Fire tender. He is in the middle of a new paint job on it.
I won the distance award with my VLF. I drove out to Big Bear from Boulder, Colorado. On a round-trip total of 2105 miles, the Mog used 249 gallons of fuel. My average was 8.5 mpg.
Chuck brought his 406 with a three-way dump bed.
Riley brought his 411. He has done a beautiful restoration on it.
Bill brought his 411. It had a bit of a hard time the weekend before. He drove his U1300 as a tow vehicle.
Robert brought the Domino's special. He has some great Unimog hats and shirts for sale.
Jack brought his 404.1 Swiss. The cab top is a new custom job, and the bed cover has been cut down so it is not so tall. This Mog is equiped with 16.5 wheels.
John brought his 404.1 troop carrier.
Tim had his Toyota pickup with dual transfer cases, and on-board compressed air and welding equipment. It is a very capable truck.
Werner brought his Gelandewagen.

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