While in Alabama for Blue Torch Fab’s
Fabstock ‘07, some local wheelers invited us out to
Gray Rock ORV Park just north of Birmingham for some
Sunday wheelin’. Gray Rock is one of the more popular
parks in the Southeast, with well over forty named
obstacles that will challenge just about any rig you
can drag though the park gates. With names like Cable
Hill, Sense of Humor and Bents ‘N Dents, Gray Rock is
definitely not a place for those who cower at the sound
of metal scraping rock.
Brandon Reed claws his way to the top of the optional exit
on Gray Rock’s ‘Bents & Dents’ trail, named ‘The Lunch Line’.
After an early morning departure from
Dothan, AL, we rolled into Gray Rock behind Rob
DuBroc and crew from Muchado Productions and were
welcomed by a parking lot full of Rockwells and huge
tires. On hand were rigs ranging from a 4.0L TJ on Dana
60 axles and 42-inch Iroks, to an LT1 powered tubechassis Jeep YJ on 47-inch Interco LTBs. These rigs
were prepared for the abuse that these Southeast trails
would dish out.
The first obstacle we hit was one of the
park’s newest and most difficult trails, aptly named
Sense of Humor. The first rig up the trail was Matt
Overton’s ’99 TJ on 42-inch Iroks – and he wasn’t
laughing. He bounced off the rev limiter and smoked the
tires, but was ultimately denied for all his hard work.
Several more tried the climb with the same tough luck.
Keith Bailey of The Offroad Connection gave it a shot
and flopped his beautiful Hemi-powered Bruiser Buggy the slick Alabama mud and the steep rock ledges proved
too much for even the most built rigs. With one flop,
some broken parts, a small fire, and hurt egos in our
wake, we moved on to the next
the Bump ‘N Grind and Poison
Rock trails quite easily, we
sped over to Bents ‘N Dents.
Park owner Tony Cousins
had warned us that it was
hunting season and that
we could only remain
in the park until about
3p.m. or risk the same
fate as Dick Cheney’s
friends. With muddy
rock ledges, a large
rock pile, and an
optional exit that should have a
Surgeon General’s warning about ill health effects,
this trail is worth traveling to Gray Rock for. One of
the best shows of the day was Cole Shirley in his Jeep
YJ buggy on 47-inch tires attempting the optional
climb. He took a bad bounce and turned 90-degrees
in mid air, cut the wheels down hill and throttled out
on all fours. That’s what we like to see! Paul Beattie
broke a Dana 60 stub shaft early in the day, but that
didn’t stop him from showing off for the cameras as he
flopped his Chevy Truggy on the rock pile at the top of
Bents ‘N Dents.