My father, Gordon Specht, and uncle, Charles (Charlie) Specht, have equally been a huge part of encouraging me to enjoy life and pursue my dreams. After hearing about dad's recent trip out West to visit Charlie and the family on the farm in Nebraska, I couldn't resist reserving a post on the MSO blog for this brotherly adventure.
Written and photographed by Gordon Specht.
"This was my first time out with rock crawlers. My brother, Charlie, has a custom Rubicon fitted with oversize tires, bead lock rims, suspension conversions and remote locking hubs that give him a pretty competitive advantage against the boulder strewn trails in the South Dakota Black Hills.
We met with over 70 other drivers with crawlers that varied from stock Jeeps to serious home built long wheel-based rigs equipped with front and rear steer, 6 liter engines and 54” tires.
The event we attended was the 2014 Dakota Territory Challenge, organized by the Black Hills 4 Wheelers. The meet was located 10 miles north of Hill City, South Dakota. From there, drivers had their choice of ten trails to drive over a three day period and most drivers got on two trails per day. The trails and crawlers were pre-rated 6-10 for difficulty and paired with suitable the crawlers; however, drivers could take their trucks on any of the trails open for the event. Typically, no more than 7-10 rigs were scheduled to be on any one trail keeping the congestion caused by trail difficulty or breakdowns to a minimum.
The event was truly an incredible experience. Each driver took only one passenger to aid in spotting and managing the winch lines. I was Charlie's co-pilot and we navigated the trails as a team; brothers.
Winning was just being able to participate along with the occasional bragging rights of course. I was amazed with each crawler’s ability to maneuver these trails and the teamwork amongst the participants was unbelievable. No driver was left with a breakdown or need for a winch anchor and every team was a resource. Each driver was dedicated to staying on the marked trails to keep the overall environmental impact of the event minimal thus preserving the sport and environment for others to enjoy in the future."