Yeah, man. I tell ya what, man. That dang ol' Cavanal hill, man. Woowee. Tell you 'bout Poteau, Oklahoma. Love that wheelin', man. You just go there and rev-brake, rev-brake. Axle-break, transfer-case climb there, man. An' lotsa nekkid, wicked wheelin'. Yup, love those bus-like rigs like catnip. Yup, it's all wild wheelin', uh-huh.
Unlike the idiosyncratic, gibberish-spouting Boomhauer on Fox TV's "King of the Hill," you have to do more than talk the talk -- you've got to rev the revs if you want to be king of this hill. Measuring 1,999 feet, Poteau's crown jewel Cavanal Hill is the world's tallest hill, measuring a mere 1 foot short of a mountain. But one thing Cavanal is not short on is good ol' axle-breakin', bead-bustin', must-have-big-meat trails. This past year's Big Meat Run hosted by Oklahoma's now infamous Wagoner Machine Shop rallied hard-core 'wheelers from all over Louisiana Purchase lands -- Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas. The entry criteria was simple: mounted 44-inch tires and all the mechanisms that make those meats move.
The madness of meats and metal moved up, down, sideways, front ways, back ways, and anyway you can think of to pass Poteau's hyper trail tests. The foresty, old, seismographic trails lend themselves to the most brazen of off-road enthusiasts. The obstacles by and large consist of off-camber, enormously bouldered channels with heavily dug-out lines but include a wide variety of challenges that pepper the trail, depending on vehicle capability and driver ability.
OFF-ROAD magazine was there when Casey Groth's just-short-of-a-BlueBird-bus CJ miraculously walked on water -- a series of four-foot rockfalls; when Jared Holt's ginormous LoveBug had at it on Axle Breaker; and when Jerry Cantrell graciously laid his CJ-3A on its side on Transfer Case and just drove out of it. Poteau is the place where the hill can make kings out of mere men.
For the royal treatment, the city of Poteau welcomes and encourages conscientious 'wheeling. If you would like to prove your own Crawl King of the Hill status and want more information about these legendary ledges or other WMS Big-Meat wheelin', call Wagoner Machine at (918) 341-1722, or go to www.wagonermachine.com and click on "upcoming events."
Engine: '89 GM TBI 350 * Transmission: TH700 R-4 * Transfer case: NP 203 to 203 to 205 yielding a combined 7.84:1 Low-range ratio * Front axle: WMS 14-bolt, 4.10 gears, Detroit Locker * Rear axle: 14-bolt 4.10 gears, Detroit Locker * Meats: 44-inch Swampers * Wheels: Sumner-made bead locks * More: Do you need more?
Engine: AMC 360 * Transmission: Ford T-18 * Transfer case: Atlas 4.3 * Front axle: WMS Dana 60, 5.38 gears, Detroit Locker * Rear axle: WMS Dana 60, 5.38 gears, Detroit Locker * Suspension: Custom three-link coil suspension, dual Rancho RS 9000s in each corner, 2-inch body lift * Meats: 44-inch Boggers * Wheels: 15x12-inch MRTs with 36-bolt bead locks * More: Everything is owner-built out of home garage; heavily reinforced frame, stretched 10 inches for a 110-inch wheelbase; 16-point rollcage; front bumper with industrial series Warn 9000 winch; rear bumper; 22-gallon fuel cell, engine-driven compressor with dual 2.5-gallon tanks; spare axles, U-joints, tie-rods, driveshafts, and full tools always on board.