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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you're going to be in a line, make it a line of Jeeps!

Details here:

 

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I understand the concept of charging people - it's an incentive to show up (too many "maybes" nowadays and web-wheelers) - though I have found it more effective to simply find a small group of wheelers that actually wheel and show up :)

That said, we hit up Sunflower a few weeks ago. It's going to be absolutely freezing up the canyon this time of year - so top, doors and working heater are a must if you intend to do the full loop. When we went last March, it was ~40º in Payson but in the high-20ºs in the creek after the mine. We hit a couple of inches of snow on the north-facing mountains after the climb out of the river. When we went this past time (November) it was near perfect and we found some fall leaves even.

4469744


Even with the recent rains, I've been told that the creek is still not flowing, but there was some wetness in the center. Considering the temperatures lately, it may be iced up now (which will help keep the rocks dry actually).

Have fun!
 

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Ran this trail back in January. I remember some rocky obstacles and a few tight turns between trees.
I think we did a short loop back to where we started?

I also remember not paying anything to run a public trail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes I charge a fee for all runs I arrange. I participated in several Meetup groups and listened to other members concerns, criticisms, and what they liked about each group. One of the criticisms was that runs fill up early and people are left on a waitlist until late the day before the event so they can't plan. There are people who are just "joiners" who have no intention of going. I get asked to expand the number of Jeeps, but 16 is more than enough and personally I'd rather have 10 or less. Some groups have had as many as 50! To me that's a traffic jam.

Your public lands are not free, you pay for an AZ State Land Permit every year (or you should be). But you aren't paying for the land to me, you're paying for the Meetup (that is most definitely not free), but allows us an easy platform to share information and have organized reservations. Scroll back and see how many posts for runs here went unanswered or went bust. Groups that do not charge for their Meetups are increasing the likelihood that Meetup will self impose a fee to RSVP to any run, as that is not a charitable organization either. This way they make some money with the payment transaction (about 15%) and some flows to the group. Obviously I'm interested in keeping the fees the minimum necessary to accomplish the goals laid out here.

You're paying for the stickers I have printed up for the group and the various runs; the top quality T-shirts that are coming and may be drawn by someone with an impressive background I'm not at liberty to reveal just yet. In some cases you're paying for an expert to come out and share information, such at our Geologist Mitch who spent a day teaching us about the rocks we love to crawl over and the mines we come across. It takes me a lot of time to network and vet these experts and I believe in paying for someone's hard earned Masters degree or PhD. (I particularly want Graduate students or recent grad school graduates in Herpetology, Wildlife Science, Biology, Botany, Archeology...anything that can add knowledge and value to a trip into the desert. I pay a minimum of $250/day based on attendance and the members can tip. Mitch did very well, so if you know anyone that can benefit send them my way.) For the extra CB's I carry for new Jeepers that don't have one yet; for the extra recovery gear I carry and demonstrate, for the satellite phone I have just in case you have an emergency on the trail. Last time we had a guy break an axle and with that phone we contacted his brother who brought out spare axles and he was back on the road before dark. No wasted hour trying to get cell service. In addition there's a GAIA and TrailsOffRoad membership and dedicated navigational gear (When I first was into wheeling none of these trails had names or numbers. At best they would be on 1960's Geological Survey maps with a double dotted line stating "jeep trail") and I have recovery classes with a full complement of gear. Soon I will be adding an on-board weld pak. The fees obviously do not make even the slightest dent in these costs but when the time comes where any of it is necessary someone will be glad they've come along with us.

No one has to pay to join Meetup (for now) or East Valley Rockers, you only pay when you RSVP to a run (and just like a ticket to an event it's non-refundable which also discourages the 'joiners', however if I cancel due to any reason it is automatically refunded through Meetup- no risk). The fees also go through their payment processor, currently WePay, so your information is secure and I never see any of it. If paying per-run isn't your style, by request I'm adding a second group- Heavy Metal by East Valley Rockers- that will have an annual dues instead of a per-run fee- in effect an Annual Pass. This is only for people with rigs capable of extreme runs such as New Years Day's Highway to Hell run. The regular easy/moderate runs will be cross-posted into this group so there is no per run fee. This does exclude the runs with expert consultants however, because as previously mentioned the money flows directly to them. Heavy Metal will go live after 1/1/21. This will be the group of wheelers that tend to always show up but instead of relying on a half dozen or less friends it will be three or four times that so when you want 100% capable people on the trail there they are (which is why I posted in this forum, BadAZBIker I believe I met you over a year ago on Hackberry when my Rubicon blew a heater hose flush fitting. Pressurized is the one who originally encouraged me to post here.)

It would be great to just have a hard-core group of buddies but I can tell you from experience that life comes at us all and your group will break up. I was in a sportbike Meetup that became a great group of buddies and that lasted a few years then some moved away, some had kids, some got hurt and some just faded away. Now my CBR sits. Meetup gives you a pool of people to draw from, over 200 in my group alone and growing weekly. Neither group is designed to be clique-ish in any way, and we'll always be welcoming to Jeepers of any skill level and background.

One of the focuses of this group is to get new Jeepers out there to learn about their Jeeps and build confidence. I repeatedly heard "all the other groups expect us to be mechanics or know what they're talking about". Someone who just buys a Jeep off the lot benefits Fiat/Chrysler and maybe some flows to Quadratec et. al. but if they don't get serious about this as a hobby nothing flows to AZ Differential or FlyNHigh or any number of local specialty shops that support our local economy and State (R.I.P. 4 Wheelers Supply & Off Road Center). I'm hoping to develop partnerships with them as I grow.

I've already got new Jeepers, and they're female, asking about getting lockers for their JKU's. Never saw that happen in any of the other groups I was in, in fact most new Jeep people I would see once then never again. I hope to make this especially welcoming to women who have their own Jeeps. I've added different types of runs such as a Jeep trail plus a hike, and hope to do some extended runs such as that border one Pressurized did a year or so ago. We had a fun run with a Singles group I'm in on Facebook and I can tell you it was a high ratio of women to men (and an almost even number of single women with Jeeps). We had a lot of singles hop on as passengers and it was quite interesting hearing their take on our hobby (one noted how there were "Jeep gangs" "Toyota Gangs" "SXS Gangs") That was an experiment that I may have to repeat.

So I hope this clears up a bit why I'm charging the fees and what they are for and if not feel free to ask (and I'm a Teamster so I have a very thick skin). If either of my groups aren't for you that's OK, you can keep going out with people here or there are any number of groups on Meetup that do not charge....yet. Maybe you might want to try some of those then come give mine a try. If the fee is really that much of a burden then just ask and I'm sure we can work something out. I'm always looking for ways to return value to the members with the fees they pay, so if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear those too. So far I haven't had any issue getting people to sign up and go on runs with a fee, if that changes then the group will fold and that's OK- plenty of small businesses fail. This is not a retirement plan lol. If by some miracle it turns a profit I'll probably take it into a 501(c)(3). Something I'm working on that may lead to that anyway has to do with the AZ Game and Fish. So far the only complaint I've had is that I allowed some trucks in for one run and now they're kind of grandfathered in though the technical limitations are keeping them out of the real rock crawling runs.

Robert
 

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Cool response Robert and sounds like you’re trying to do some good things and introduce new people into the hobby the correct way which is awesome and commendable! The more the merrier. 10 let alone 16 seems like a traffic jam I’d never want to be on a run with 50 vehicles. Also not real interested in learning about plants or rocks while I’m wheeling but that’s me. Not really interested in shirts or stickers either but I’m sure lots of people dig all that stuff and hope it works out well and gets more people involved. I’m in Glendale but if I was still in the east valley you’d probably see me joining you for some runs. Like I said earlier have fun!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool response Robert and sounds like you’re trying to do some good things and introduce new people into the hobby the correct way which is awesome and commendable! The more the merrier. 10 let alone 16 seems like a traffic jam I’d never want to be on a run with 50 vehicles. Also not real interested in learning about plants or rocks while I’m wheeling but that’s me. Not really interested in shirts or stickers either but I’m sure lots of people dig all that stuff and hope it works out well and gets more people involved. I’m in Glendale but if I was still in the east valley you’d probably see me joining you for some runs. Like I said earlier have fun!!
Thanks for the feedback! Even 12 causes me stress but if everyone follows the required equipment guidelines it goes OK. I have a couple of really helpful spotters. Jeep selling so many Rubicons helps a lot. Yes I see an opportunity showing people best practices for wheeling. I wish someone would do the same for the SXS crowd. (Rule 1: do not roost the column of Jeeps that pulled aside so you could pass.)
How would finding snakes on purpose grab you? lol
I'm hoping to do Terminator & Predator in Table Mesa in the next two weeks assuming there is no carnage from Highway to Hell. Hope to see you out there sometime.
 

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Normally I'm in for just about anything, But my little YJ with only 31's and 2.5" lift will have to sit home,
 

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Yes I charge a fee for all runs I arrange. I participated in several Meetup groups and listened to other members concerns, criticisms, and what they liked about each group. One of the criticisms was that runs fill up early and people are left on a waitlist until late the day before the event so they can't plan. There are people who are just "joiners" who have no intention of going. I get asked to expand the number of Jeeps, but 16 is more than enough and personally I'd rather have 10 or less. Some groups have had as many as 50! To me that's a traffic jam.

Your public lands are not free, you pay for an AZ State Land Permit every year (or you should be). But you aren't paying for the land to me, you're paying for the Meetup (that is most definitely not free), but allows us an easy platform to share information and have organized reservations. Scroll back and see how many posts for runs here went unanswered or went bust. Groups that do not charge for their Meetups are increasing the likelihood that Meetup will self impose a fee to RSVP to any run, as that is not a charitable organization either. This way they make some money with the payment transaction (about 15%) and some flows to the group. Obviously I'm interested in keeping the fees the minimum necessary to accomplish the goals laid out here.

You're paying for the stickers I have printed up for the group and the various runs; the top quality T-shirts that are coming and may be drawn by someone with an impressive background I'm not at liberty to reveal just yet. In some cases you're paying for an expert to come out and share information, such at our Geologist Mitch who spent a day teaching us about the rocks we love to crawl over and the mines we come across. It takes me a lot of time to network and vet these experts and I believe in paying for someone's hard earned Masters degree or PhD. (I particularly want Graduate students or recent grad school graduates in Herpetology, Wildlife Science, Biology, Botany, Archeology...anything that can add knowledge and value to a trip into the desert. I pay a minimum of $250/day based on attendance and the members can tip. Mitch did very well, so if you know anyone that can benefit send them my way.) For the extra CB's I carry for new Jeepers that don't have one yet; for the extra recovery gear I carry and demonstrate, for the satellite phone I have just in case you have an emergency on the trail. Last time we had a guy break an axle and with that phone we contacted his brother who brought out spare axles and he was back on the road before dark. No wasted hour trying to get cell service. In addition there's a GAIA and TrailsOffRoad membership and dedicated navigational gear (When I first was into wheeling none of these trails had names or numbers. At best they would be on 1960's Geological Survey maps with a double dotted line stating "jeep trail") and I have recovery classes with a full complement of gear. Soon I will be adding an on-board weld pak. The fees obviously do not make even the slightest dent in these costs but when the time comes where any of it is necessary someone will be glad they've come along with us.

No one has to pay to join Meetup (for now) or East Valley Rockers, you only pay when you RSVP to a run (and just like a ticket to an event it's non-refundable which also discourages the 'joiners', however if I cancel due to any reason it is automatically refunded through Meetup- no risk). The fees also go through their payment processor, currently WePay, so your information is secure and I never see any of it. If paying per-run isn't your style, by request I'm adding a second group- Heavy Metal by East Valley Rockers- that will have an annual dues instead of a per-run fee- in effect an Annual Pass. This is only for people with rigs capable of extreme runs such as New Years Day's Highway to Hell run. The regular easy/moderate runs will be cross-posted into this group so there is no per run fee. This does exclude the runs with expert consultants however, because as previously mentioned the money flows directly to them. Heavy Metal will go live after 1/1/21. This will be the group of wheelers that tend to always show up but instead of relying on a half dozen or less friends it will be three or four times that so when you want 100% capable people on the trail there they are (which is why I posted in this forum, BadAZBIker I believe I met you over a year ago on Hackberry when my Rubicon blew a heater hose flush fitting. Pressurized is the one who originally encouraged me to post here.)

It would be great to just have a hard-core group of buddies but I can tell you from experience that life comes at us all and your group will break up. I was in a sportbike Meetup that became a great group of buddies and that lasted a few years then some moved away, some had kids, some got hurt and some just faded away. Now my CBR sits. Meetup gives you a pool of people to draw from, over 200 in my group alone and growing weekly. Neither group is designed to be clique-ish in any way, and we'll always be welcoming to Jeepers of any skill level and background.

One of the focuses of this group is to get new Jeepers out there to learn about their Jeeps and build confidence. I repeatedly heard "all the other groups expect us to be mechanics or know what they're talking about". Someone who just buys a Jeep off the lot benefits Fiat/Chrysler and maybe some flows to Quadratec et. al. but if they don't get serious about this as a hobby nothing flows to AZ Differential or FlyNHigh or any number of local specialty shops that support our local economy and State (R.I.P. 4 Wheelers Supply & Off Road Center). I'm hoping to develop partnerships with them as I grow.

I've already got new Jeepers, and they're female, asking about getting lockers for their JKU's. Never saw that happen in any of the other groups I was in, in fact most new Jeep people I would see once then never again. I hope to make this especially welcoming to women who have their own Jeeps. I've added different types of runs such as a Jeep trail plus a hike, and hope to do some extended runs such as that border one Pressurized did a year or so ago. We had a fun run with a Singles group I'm in on Facebook and I can tell you it was a high ratio of women to men (and an almost even number of single women with Jeeps). We had a lot of singles hop on as passengers and it was quite interesting hearing their take on our hobby (one noted how there were "Jeep gangs" "Toyota Gangs" "SXS Gangs") That was an experiment that I may have to repeat.

So I hope this clears up a bit why I'm charging the fees and what they are for and if not feel free to ask (and I'm a Teamster so I have a very thick skin). If either of my groups aren't for you that's OK, you can keep going out with people here or there are any number of groups on Meetup that do not charge....yet. Maybe you might want to try some of those then come give mine a try. If the fee is really that much of a burden then just ask and I'm sure we can work something out. I'm always looking for ways to return value to the members with the fees they pay, so if you have any suggestions I'd love to hear those too. So far I haven't had any issue getting people to sign up and go on runs with a fee, if that changes then the group will fold and that's OK- plenty of small businesses fail. This is not a retirement plan lol. If by some miracle it turns a profit I'll probably take it into a 501(c)(3). Something I'm working on that may lead to that anyway has to do with the AZ Game and Fish. So far the only complaint I've had is that I allowed some trucks in for one run and now they're kind of grandfathered in though the technical limitations are keeping them out of the real rock crawling runs.

Robert
Yes. I remember your group. We were going opposite directions when the hose went poof.

I'm also on the west siiiiiide. I tend to run the north and west runs. I've done a few east runs (sunflower, sycamore creek, log corral, elvis/jackhandle, hackberry and Montana mountain).

If fee goes toward tools for the runs and a shirt, I'm down with that. I'm working the next 2 Saturdays.

Planning a turkey creek run 1/1.

I don't do faceytweets or any other social media. This fine site is about as social I get. Keep posting runs on here, I just might grace you with my presence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah that stupid plastic flush fitting was from the PO, I have all HPS silicone hoses now.
I just got a Pull Pal which will be nice when needing an anchor point when I'm in front or as a brake if I'm winching someone larger especially uphill as I had to do for a Dodge Durango that slid off Powerline rd south of Sunflower. Two snatch blocks just kept pulling me down instead of him up and out.

I like Table Mesa but find the drive through the city is easier on Sundays. I did Bloody Basin to Sheeps Crossing to I think it was Horseshoe Dam once which was fun though the group I was with went a little fast for my liking with my Antirock bar setting on the graded roads. The second water crossing was pretty deep too. I think you can get all the way across to Log Corral that way which would be a nice trail day, just need to know when the optimum river level is going to be.
 
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