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Topics - Paul Hittie

Trail Rides / Crawl 4 The Cure 2019
August 28, 2018, 04:12:42 PM
Several people have asked for details to get vacation requests made for next year, here is what I know:

Date: Third weekend in July each year
Location: Iron Range OHV Park, Gilbert MN
Cost: $250 ($50 registration, bring $200 donations or pay $200 at check-in)
How Far:  720 miles & 12 hrs through the UP @ posted speeds, 800 miles and 12 hrs through Chicago. 
Why? Fundraiser for the Upper Midwest Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

Camping is available on site for modest cost, first come first served.

Trail rides Friday and Saturday, usually there is a night run Thursday or Friday
Trail lunches available for modest cost, dinner provided Friday and Saturday

Great event, great facility and great cause!  Jonathon and I have made the trip 4 years in a row now, we typically leave Wednesday morning, drive as far as Ironwood and stay at a cheap motel, then finish our drive on Thursday.  Gives us time to register, set up camp, go through tech inspection (pretty straight forward - no leaks, battery tie-down, fire extinguisher, seat belts) and get our MDNR trail permit for the park ($15/yr, $35-ish for 3 yrs). 

If anyone wants to tag along or meet us up there, let me know ahead of time so we can get adjoining camp sites.

Here is some more information to get you up to speed:
The Lounge / Crawl 4 the Cure 2018
May 17, 2018, 01:20:50 PM
Hello friends,

Jonathon and I are about 2 months away from our 4th annual trip to the Iron Range ORV Park in Gilbert, MN to participate in a fundraiser to benefit Multiple Sclerosis research and patient support.  We would appreciate any support you can give to this project, no amount is too big or too small.  This event was started in 2005, and our hope is to cross the $1,000,000 mark in fundraising this year.  To donate and/or read about how MS has affected my family, go to

For more information about the event click on

Thank for your support!
Events / Milford Memorial Day Parade
May 11, 2018, 04:00:06 PM

On Fri, May 11, 2018, 2:59 PM Jane Harnack <> wrote:

This is the 2nd attempt to contact all previous attendees and Jeep Driver Escorts for the Milford Memorial Day Parade.  Spots are limited so please register early.

Please register individually at:

This registration will speed up check in as well as assist in creating a database for the future.

Thank you in advance,

Ronald J. McCall, Director/Post Chaplain

Milford American Legion Riders/Post 216

C:  248-410-6606

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Jeep Talk / Trailer rental July 18-23
April 01, 2018, 12:44:57 PM
Jonathon and I are registered for Crawl 4 the Cure 2018 and will be heading to Gilbert MN for the weekend of July 20-21.  We got spoiled last year when Mark & Wendy loaned us a trailer for our trip.  We are not going to be able to buy one this year, and are looking to rent one for this year's trip.  If you have an open car hauler that you are not using that weekend and would be willing to let us put 1500 miles on it in exchange for some $$ please let me know. 

Also, if you are looking for a great mid-summer wheeling trip and want to tag along, let me know and I will pass along the registration information.

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Jeep Talk / A preseason trip to SLSP
March 29, 2018, 09:56:08 AM
Jonathon and I are headed to SLSP tonight  to train the summer crew for the DNR along with Jim Kitson.  This has always been a project I couldn't help with in years past due to work.  Looking forward to "working" on the dunes before they are open for the season.

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Events / An invitation from the Food Bank
March 14, 2018, 09:44:12 PM
Congratulations Paul,

What Lies Beyond Jeep Club has been nominated for a Hunger Hero Award, for their work to support the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan's mission to feed the hungry.  Individuals and/or groups are eligible to become a Hunger Hero by volunteering, conducting a food drive, or running a special event fundraiser to support the Food Bank's operations and events.  The Food Bank helps coordinate over 250 food drives and third party events each year AND benefits from nearly 7,000 volunteers who provide over 45,000 volunteer hours.  Your nomination as a Hunger Hero is a reflection of your extraordinary efforts to be a positive change agent regarding hunger in our community.


The Hunger Hero Award winners will be announced at the 2018 Recognition Luncheon on Wednesday, March 21st, 11:30am to 1pm.  The luncheon will be held at the Food Bank's Hunger Solution Center (GPS Directions to 1939 Howard Ave., Flint 48503).  As a Hunger Hero nominee, we hope you or a representative are able to join us at this celebration event.  Please RSVP to Miya Banks at 810-396-0223 or 


If you have any questions, please give me a call at 810-396-0211.  We hope to see you next week! 

Most Sincerely,


Cathy Blankenship

VP of Development and Communications

Food Bank of Eastern Michigan

2300 Lapeer Road - Flint, MI 48503

810.396.0211 direct / 810.239.4441 main / 916.770.0517 cell

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The Lounge / Transportation for some stuff to SnoFari
January 18, 2018, 03:11:44 PM
I am still fighting a humdinger of a head cold and am not going to head north tomorrow night for the GLFWDA meeting.  Is anyone headed that way with enough room for a laptop, projector and screen?  The screen is in a case about 12x12x54 inches.

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For those that don't know me, I used to be a full time tax guy, and typically worked Jan-Apr each year like a friggin idiot.  Nine years ago, after my first SnoFari as a trail leader, I decided to get together with some friends and play in the snow on the last Sunday in February.  We had a great time, I enjoyed the day off from work, then went back to work for another six weeks without a break.  Over the years the event moved around, gathered some friends new and old, and eventually became an official run on the club calendar.

Fast forward to 2018 - I am no longer a full time tax guy although I still do some tax work on the side, but not at anything near the pace and intensity of the "good old days".  Each year after the first, we have come up with some little tag for that year - Take 2, v3, IV, Episode 5, etc up to "The Ocho" last year named after the silly TV station in the movie "Dodgeball" (ESPN8 - The Ocho!).  This will be our ninth run on the last Sunday in February, and it is time for a new name.  You the potential participants need to pick a clever name for our ninth run, no repeats allowed.
The Lounge / Oakland County ORV Park update
October 12, 2017, 06:56:32 AM
We had a decent turnout last night at the Oakland County Commissioners meeting, 25-30 folks from as far away as Owosso, Saginaw, and Port Huron.  The park was not on the agenda, we were just there to provide public comments - watch for more opprtunities in the future, we need all the support we can get.

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The Lounge / Oakland County needs a nudge!
September 25, 2017, 09:38:16 AM

This is aimed particularly at those of you who live in Oakland County

From Jim K:

OK folks, this is where YOU can help!

There are multiple levels within Oakland County and they are very hard to decipher who does what and where the buck stops.

There are county parks employees. These are the folks like Jon Noyes (who has been our strongest advocate), Melissa Prowse (Jon's boss) and Dan Stencil (Melissa's boss).

They all report to the county parks commission, WHICH IS OUR CURRENT STUMBLING BLOCK. I have been unable to find direct contact info for any of the parks commission and many of you have been sending emails to their "contact us" link, which as you know, gets diverted to Melissa.

Without the approval of the parks commission, the county cannot and will not move forward with the ORV park. In the meantime, the MDNR is waiting for the parks commission to make a decision. Therein lies the roadblock.

Further up the chain of command is the Board of Commissioners. I have no idea what they do or how much the parks commission reports to them, but I know THAT THEY HAVE INFLUENCE OVER THE PARKS COMMISSION.

So, there are 2 different upcoming meetings that you can attend:

First, the next parks commission meeting.
I have suggested to many of you that you attend a parks commission meeting. The next meeting is scheduled for:

Start: 10/4/17, 1:00 PM
End: 10/4/17, 2:00 PM

Waterford Oaks: 2800 Watkins Lake Rd, Waterford MI 48328

You can find the link here;

I know it is difficult to attend a mid week meeting in the afternoon, but if you can find the time, it will be helpful. As I have explained in the past, you are allowed to speak at the meeting during a "public comment" time. When you arrive, you fill out a small card with your name and your wish to speak.

Note; that when you start to tell them that you have learned that the state has purchased the land for an ORV area and you are excited about it, and would like to encourage the county to move forward, they are going to tell you that it's not on today's agenda. That is your opportunity to say, I understand it's not but as a resident, we want to see this happen.

You will probably leave feeling like you did not accomplish much. But you need to UNDERSTAND that NO ONE attends these meetings, so anyone showing up to speak is non-normal.

Second, the next board of commissioners meeting.

This is the link to the board of commissioners. If you choose to contact them, click on each of their names, there is contact info.

Their next meeting is scheduled for:
Wednesday, October 11th at 7:00 pm.
Location: BOC auditorium
1200 North Telegraph Rd.

Since this meeting is being held in the evening, I am hoping to have a HUGE turnout. I have been in contact with Wicked Jeeps and they are planning to have a convoy with the hopes of a large amount of Jeeps in the parking lot.

I am also wondering if we can contact some of the local 4x4 shops and have them show up with company trailers.

Let me be clear, I have no idea if any of this will help our cause. But if we DO NOTHING, we may GET NOTHING. If we DO SOMETHING, we may GET SOMETHING. No pain, no gain.
Jeep Talk / Whack a Mole, Jeep edition
August 03, 2017, 07:20:44 AM
Swapped our our suspension links, fixed our overheating, had a great time in MN, dropped it at Ironman Offroad to finish up the rear suspension.  Drove it to work for several days, really happy I have a really unhappy noise coming from somewhere underneath, time to head back to the garage.  It never ends.

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The Lounge / Trailer
July 04, 2017, 06:32:50 AM
Does anyone have trailer they want to rent to me for the week of July 13-18?  Buying one did not work into our plans and the trailer my coworker offered was not a good solution. 

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Jeep Talk / Overheating
July 01, 2017, 09:37:49 PM
New radiator and thermostat last year.  Started overheating at idle at the Memorial Day parade.  As soon as I start  moving, everything goes back to normal operating temp.  On the road, on the freeway runs at normal temp.  Swapped out the fan clutch today, should have done it last summer when I did the radiator.  No improvement.  Plenty of coolant, right at the full mark.  My brain says it is not acting like a water pump or thermostat, my gut says I should swap them out anyways.  Am I missing something?

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The Lounge / CPR/First Aid training
June 21, 2017, 05:57:48 PM
Work is setting up a session at Groveland Twp fire hall.  There is room for about 10 folks if you are interested. 

Cost is $50, 8 hours of training spread over at least 2 nights.  Dates not certain yet. 

This will include adult and infant CPR, AED instruction, and basic first aid.

Let me know if you want to participate.

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The Lounge / It finally has begun
June 18, 2017, 08:50:06 PM
Just when you thought it wouldn't happen again this year, the baby steps to making "14' of Orange" a little more durable has begun.  3 out of 4 front links off without too much trouble, one stubborn axle-end lca bolt frozen in the sleeve.  We hosed it down one last time with PB Blaster hoping it will cooperate tomorrow otherwise Mr Sawzall will make his first appearance.

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The Lounge / Crawl 4 the Cure 2017
June 12, 2017, 01:07:06 PM
Jonathon and I have started our fundraising campaign for Crawl 4 the Cure 2017.  This annual event is a fundraiser for the MS Society, and over its 10+ year history has generated more than $750,000 in donations!  Great event, great people, and a cause that is near and dear to my family.  July 13-16, 2017 @ Iron Range OHV Park in Gilbert, MN.

If you can help out with a donation (see the link below) big or small, I would be grateful.

For more information, or to make a donation, please visit the Hitties' Crawlers home page
Jeep Talk / Peat Sorb is coming!
May 02, 2017, 12:43:19 PM
I finally found a distributor that will work with small retail customers.  If you are familiar with Peat Sorb, I will resell it to you at cost (pick up only) in whatever quantity you need/want/desire for your Jeep/shop/farm/home.   

If you are not familiar with Peat Sorb, it is a modified Peat product - highly absorbent, it encapsulates hydrocarbons,  will not absorb water, and renders your spill safe for land fill OR SIMPLY LEAVE IT IN THE WOODS.  One pound will absorb 1 gallon of oil, and does not leach anything back out - it remains inert until it naturally biodegrades.  Thuis will meet the requirements of sensitive wheeling areas that require a spill mitigation kit.  The manufacturer claims a 34# bale will replace 600-900# of kitty litter.

Sound too good to be true?  I will bring a sample for demonstration to a meeting as soon as it arrives.  Until then, go Google it.

Price?  Your first guess is about 300% too high.  I am thinking I should get about 25 1gal zip lock bags out of my $80 order.  So start saving your coffee cans, coffee creamer jugs etc.  Twist on lids work best based on my unfortunate personal experience.

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The Lounge / Summer activities
April 20, 2017, 06:35:32 PM
Looking to gauge interest in the following:

1. I have to maintain my CPR/First Aid certification to teach the UFWDA 4WD Awareness program and I expire this year.   Jonathon has never had CPR/AED instruction.  That makes 2 participants.  We probably need 6-8 to make it worth someone's time to come train us.  Anyone interested in participating?  Anyone certified to teach? I specifically need CPR (adult and infant) plus Basic First Aid.

2.  Speaking of 4WD Awareness training, is anyone interested in attending a full day (6 hours or so) class in basic 4wd driving, safe winching & extraction, and trail safety?  The UFWDA 4WD Awareness training is broad enough to give a newbie enough instruction to stay out of trouble, a modestly experienced 4 wheeler the confidence to be a trail leader and coach to newbies, and we usually can find a couple of bad habits to help experienced off highway users "unlearn".  You also ned to participate in this course if you wish to become an instructor yourself.

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The Lounge / General McMaster and two tracking
February 23, 2017, 12:49:07 PM
How are the new National Security Advisor and two tracking connected?  Capt McMaster commanded a cavalry unit in the first Gulf war, and was the victor in a decisive, lop sided victory against a numerically superior Iraqi unit.  He used speed, excellent tactical planning, and a secret weapon unknown to the Iraqi forces...GPS.  Much like the Allies in WW2 who assumed the Ardennes forest was too tough for German armored formations to negotiate, the Iraqi commander assumed the Coalition forces would be unable to navigate in the open desert  away from the roads.  He set up a text book defense (he had previously trained in the US) of a small town using several almost  imperceptible  hills for cover and positioning his forces in depth.  What he did not expect was a US Cavalry officer travelling cross country with a small but powerful mechanized force guided by satellites.  The Battle of 73 Easting was short and intense, and McMaster was awarded the Silver Star for his conduct of the battle. 

Just somerhing to keep in mind this weekend as we head into the woods guided by affordable, reliable GPS  receivers and satellite-based maps to attack the Hills of Montezuma with our recreational vehicles.

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The Lounge / Spring compressors
December 23, 2016, 10:57:22 PM
I need to borrow a set this weekend, anyone have a set?  My Harbor Freight set gave up the ghost today and I am on half done

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