|Posted by trailfrog on July 5, 2011 at 10:15 PM|
As the Sun began to fight it’s way through the early morning layer of clouds that had settled over the mountain tops around the Harlan County Campgrounds it seemed as though it would be another normal day in this now quite Kentucky town. Year after year the area around Harlan has started the day in much the same way. Never knowing what might transpire before the sun sets over the western mountain tops.
As history tells us there have been years of turmoil and labor disputes over the wages and working conditions in area mines since the 1930’s. Often these disputes have led to violence, blood shed and disappearance of individuals as the wars raged on.
But on the morning of June 16th 2011 the flow of participants from across the country would invade the area, each with visions of their own type of battles that lay waiting in the Black Mountains. Not exactly the same type of battles would take place this weekend as took place in the 1930’s or later years when the Harlan County Wars were raging as they were depicted in the stories and movies that have been written and shared over the years about this area.
But each attendee of the 2011 Crawl 4 Christ got their chance to do battle with their own opponent. There were no murders, disappearances or beatings, unless you count the beatings that some of our rigs took.
As the day rolled on more and more warriors arrived at the camp grounds and dug in to their selected type of lodging. Be it tent, cabin or camper the temporary lodgings were established. As the final attendees arrived for the weekend, about 60 4x4 rigs and around 250 Crawl 4 Christ participants checked in.
On Thursday evening the group met together at the big tent to get acquainted with new friends and look over some of the rigs at the show and shine event. Now as expected the shine part was missing from several of the rigs, but each and every vehicle told its own stories of former battles.
On Friday morning a drivers meeting was held where each person was allowed to select their own desired battle plan for themselves, their rigs and their level of experience. The Trail leaders then gathered their troops and marched off to battle the vast terrain that awaited each group. As the day rolled on every warrior challenged themselves and their rig in testing their limits.
As evening grew closer the platoons of rigs begin to trickle back into camp. Some holding their heads high while others returned nursing their vehicle wounds. While many then settled in for an evening of fellowship, others organized to return to the hills to assist in recovery of some of their fallen comrades. With spare parts and tools in hand their 2nd mission of the day was executed. The repairs in camp and on the mountain side went on into the wee hours of the morning, but all return safely.
As daylight crept in on Saturday morning everyone lined up for battle once again. Some groups were choosing a different strategy for their second day of adventure. With some choosing to do more scenic adventures, others were seeking more action than the day before and some of us were venturing out with mire survival of the second day on our minds with temporary fixes placed on some of our steeds.
As midday arrived we were all greeted with the announcement of what was to come as thunder echoed through the hollows of the Black Mountains. This warning was heeded by some that hurried for shelter and some of us tread forward to be greeted by the pounding rain and wind of a South East Kentucky thunder storm.
As our small group of drowned wheelers rolled into the entrance shack on the Evert side of the mountain we met with others that were sporting the same soggy selection of uniforms as we were wearing. We huddled under the awning until the storm relinquished some of its furry and settled into a nice easy rain. We then ventured on into town for some refreshments and minor repairs.
We then marched back up the muddy mountain side and slipped and slid down toward our camp site on the north side of the mountain. We stopped a few times to play and check out a few sights worth a second look. We arrived back at camp in time to get a hot shower and settle in for the evening meal as we awaited the arrival of some that were still out performing recovery and rescue of a couple of fallen warriors. These were soon repaired and return back to camp safely.
Everyone then gathered under the big tent for a great dinner, some encouraging words from Guy Fredrick and then it was on to the highly publicized raffle. It definitely lived up to everyone’s expectations as most walked away smiling. After a late night of fellowship we all turned in for a nice evenings rest in the cool Kentucky night.
On Sunday morning most awaken and started packing for their trip home. We had the pleasure of loading our rigs and packing up camp during a morning thunders storm.
As I reflected on the event during our 17 hour trip home, I could not put out of my mind the many new friends we had met. Even though the numbers were down from last year, mostly due to the high price of fuel, we had once again reached our goals of allowing new friends to attend, that had never been able to attend a Crawl 4 Christ event in the past because of location. By their attending this year’s event, we hope and pray that they are encouraged, and see how they can show their faith in Christ to others as they enjoy the things that God has provided for us. God has provided us all the means to have the toys we enjoy and the beautiful country sides across this great nation. So I say to each and every one of those that attended. Enjoy the great outdoors that God has given us and always Fly Your Flag high so that others might see Christ in your life.
We want to thank the Fredricks and their staff for hosting the event and putting in the many hours of work in preparation. Also a special thanks to all our raffle sponsors, especially our Cornerstone sponsor Morris 4x4 Center, and our Gold sponsors Xtreme Terrain and Safari Straps. Please show your appreciation for their great support by patronizing them the next time you need something. A list of all the sponsors that helped make this event possible can be found HERE. Also thanks to the crew at Harlan County Off Road Park for their hospitality and graciousness in allowing up to use their facilities. Thanks to all those that made the effort and join us even though the cost of getting there might have been more than was budgeted at first. I think all that attended would agree that the trip was well worth the cost.
So until next year, we want to say thanks for being part of the 2011 Crawl 4 Christ and be watching for the announcement of where 2012 Crawl 4 Christ event will be held. You never know. I might be in your own back yard.
God Bless You and Yours…..