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DISABLED ATHLETES AFFORDED ADVENTURE ON RUGGED FORDYCE CREEK TRAIL 6/19/2004

Sierra Treasure Hunters 4X4 Club Host Members of Disabled Sports USA Far West

story: Jack Raudy
photos: Rory "Rockalot" Huber unless otherwise noted (gallery)

This story also appears in the following: July 2004 Treasure Chest, Aug 2004 In-Gear cover story, NOHVCC Aug 4, 2004 Newsletter


CISCO GROVE, CA – Chanda Rand, 16, of Sparks, Nev., has epilepsy and her mother, Kathleen, has multiple sclerosis, but they do not let their physical condition stand in the way of enjoying outdoor sports and the beauty of the back country.
Chanda and Kathleen were recently joined by 13 other members of Disabled Sports USA (DSUSA) Far West for a four-wheel drive adventure on the rugged Fordyce Creek Trail, which begins near Cisco Grove and ends at Meadow Lake. On this special day, hosted by the Sacramento-based Sierra Treasure Hunters Four-Wheel Drive Club, the trip ended at the Fordyce Creek where everyone enjoyed lunch.
“This is my third year to go four-wheeling with this club,” said Chanda Rand, “and I really enjoy the scenic ride and these wonderful people who make it possible. My driver, Kathy Medley, did a good job even though it was a little bumpy and sometimes I felt like I was on a roller coaster.” Chanda said she is also involved with other sports including white water rafting, snow skiing, horseback riding, and baseball.
“For Disabled Sports USA, this is an opportunity to offer a new and exciting sport to our clients,” said Doug Pringle, president of the Far West Chapter of DSUSA. “For people with disabilities like Chanda and her mother, this four-wheel drive program offers an opportunity for our people to learn safe and responsible operation of off-highway vehicles.”
During registration at the Cisco Grove Campground, Jason Berger of Truckee, team leader for DSUSA four-wheel drive trips, briefed the guests. “First, I want to tell you that I am extremely proud of the Sierra Treasure Hunters and its members,” Berger said. “They are very skilled at this type for driving and they are always the first club to volunteer
when I have an off road event planned for our members. Remember, these are not your ordinary passenger vehicles, so make sure you secure your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.”
Enjoy the ride, they did! The guests were laughing, singing and several of them were heard on the Citizen’s Band (CB) radios talking to their friends about how their driver was the best of the group.
“It was a super ride and I am loving every minute of it,” said 22-year-old Anthony Ekalook of Pittsburg. Ekalook, with his loud music and bottle of water, had a big smile and a “thumbs up” for everyone as his driver climbed over the big boulders and made her way up the trail.
After nearly three hours and traveling less than three miles, the group arrived at the scenic Fordyce Creek for lunch. This was an opportunity for guests to make new friends with their colleagues and members of the four-wheel drive club.
“We have organized this DSUSA trail event several times now and developed some close friendships with the athletes,” said Ron Kellogg of Elk Grove, who made the trip with his son, Mike. “They are so appreciative that we take time from our other activities to host them on these trips and they tell us that this is the only was that they can get out and appreciate the beauty of the back country.”
By late afternoon, the group arrived back at the Cisco Grove Campground where members of the Sierra Treasure Hunters club had prepared a mouthwatering dinner including hamburgers, hot dogs, salad and cold drinks.
“It was so much fun and I am ready to go again,” said Lucia Zargogza, also of Pittsburg. She was a passenger with Jimmy Clements and he said Lucia never stopped giggling during the entire trip.
Berger explained that members of DSUSA include people with cerebral palsy, paraplegia and quadriplegia, spinal bifida, muscular dystrophy and developmental disabilities. He said that in addition to four-wheeling opportunities, his organization offers a variety of sports programs including snow and water skiing, camping and river rafting.

For more information on future DSUSA four-wheel drive trips, contact Doug Pringle at (916) 722-6447 or email doug@dsusafw.org


DSUSA— The Rest of the Story
by Geoff Ford, STH News Letter Editor

Assuming you read Jack’s article you will agree he is a great wordsmith. He always makes us sound so darned good and leads his readers to assume that we could wheel over the Himalayas without slipping a tire or catching a cold. Little do his readers know about the busted birfield's, ruptured sidewalls or fuel starved carburetors that go along with a typical run. Nor does he mention the seat sucking puckers brought on by off-camber sections with cliffs that seem like the Grand Canyon just waiting to see how far you can roll. But that’s what we call fun!
Also, Jack never mentioned a certain ex-president and Trail-master being dragged off a Volkswagen sized boulder after watching a certain well equipped but low slung Jeep winch itself off the same rock. Mutterings about spring overs and 35 inch tires were mentioned afterwards.
And Rory, did anyone mention you should rethink that first gear of yours. The next ice age will be upon us before you’ve gone twenty yards over the rocks. Nice but slooow.
I’m also giving Kimber the unofficial “Rookie of the Year” award for her superlative driving skills. I’m sure the Rubicon helped but no whimpers were heard over even the worst of the Sunrise Ridge pucker zones. Nice job.
And last but not least: Jack wasn’t around for the Kangaroo court involving those darned Medlys and a disputed ding on a front bumper. Regardless of the courts outcome and badgering of witnesses here is proof positive of the “ding”. I personally took the picture after innocently asking Kathy where the alleged dent was. Hah.

See all the photos and comments in the gallery.


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