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The humble beginnings of Mendo Recce

Jimmy Ps badge.

Before you can have a party, you have to plan things. To plan things, you have to know the lay of the land. For that, you need a Land-Rover! Luckily, several were available and willing to drive around the Mendocino National Forest, just north of Clear Lake, California during the early spring of '95.

The first recce involved quite few folks and has been told by others on the Left Coast email list. It was a grey day, misty without showers; however, there had been plenty of rain earlier in the week. Thus, perfect Land-Rover weather!

The following are some photos of the initial Mendo Recces; these informal gatherings led to the creation of the Mendo Recce list and I believe ultimately contributed to the formation of the Northern California Land Rover Club. For more information about that, email Jeremy Bartlett, the secretary.


SWB in the fog.

Morgan's 88 rounding a curve (above) and performing a photogenic splash for the camera (below).

Treading Lightly?.

The participants: Granville Pool in the Dodge, Vance Chin in his Limestone 88 (with front crank driven winch and hood mounted spare), Morgan Hannaford in his Limestone 88 (rear mounted spare), Jory Bell in his blue 88 and Jim Russell in his red 88. Wlater Swain and I were traveling in his Toyota pickup. Morgan, Vance and Jim are off to the right; Walter, Granville and ?? someone other are on the left.

Group shot.

Mendo recce one ended very uneventfully; Morgan explored a small creek that we decide was to uneven to cross we back tracked and looked for other areas to explore. Not really finding any, we gradually split up and headed home.

Morgan up to his ... in a creek.

Mendo recce 2 was a true example of the variety in California climate. It was a beautiful day, after several days of rain. In California, rain turns to snow at higher elevations and contributes to stream runoff for a much longer time period than rain alone. Thus, while we were reveling in the beautiful day, we didn't really know what would occur. Perhaps Vances experience early in the day was a harbinger of things to come: Vance pulled off pavement into a few inches of snow and promptly got stuck!

This rover is stuck?!.
Creek Discussion

Left to right (above), Jim Russell, Granville Pool, Vance Chin, Bruce Bonar and Gerry Mugele.

Vance Chin and Ben Smith trying to not get their feet wet.

Ben Smith pulled into the creek, followed by Vance Chin. Both were perhaps too quick, or perhaps there was too little water to build up a bow wave; in either case, they were both looking for some WD-40 to dry their ignitions out. They both got going without getting wet (Morgan is wearing rubber boots) and then had to traverse the deep spot. How deep? Well, you have to motor through a short stretch of creek that comes to the top of the hood. Jim Russell became famouse by having his picture taken and published in the Aluminum Workhorse while imitating a submerging submarine. Granville Pool's Dodge has a very low air intake and he sucked water, necessitating spark plug removal and cleaning out. A little bit of winching was necessary but everyone made it.

Granville Pool, sitting on a chair.After these little adventures, we did get together. Saturday was the beginning of the famous Not-A-Trip Potlucks. Each person brought enough food for 4 people, "just in case", making the evening a food and drink filled event. Vance brought chcicken that was BBQed and the side dishes provided a balanced meal. A birthday cake to celebrate Granvilles half century was unveiled and we toasted him, wishing him another half century. As it was dark, and I was enjoying the company of other LROs, I don't have an abundance of photos. However, here's one of the honored guest.




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