Great post John, Sometimes I think you and I are the only ones getting em dirty anymore.....
I dunno, I think even though some of the guys I used to wheel with a lot like Igor and Chris are sort of in wheeling limbo right now (due to work, the status of their builds, life, etc), there are still plenty of wheelers around here getting out. Its just this local AZ board isn't seeing the traffic it used to. When I first moved to Black Canyon from Flag, swapped the Prerunner to 4wd and switched over from dirt bikes to wheeling, AZTTORA sort of invited me in and got me started... so I still feel a bit of loyalty to this board, and this group of wheelers. I kind of hate to see it slow down, so I like to post up and show there is still a little life in us as a club, even though I know guys are still beating their junk out there on their own runs.
Even when I was just getting started, I wheeled with lots of different clubs (still do) all over the west and people were really friendly and quick to make suggestions, offer a spot thru an obstacle, and offer helpful pointers. Jon Bundrant of AllPro, Wyatt of RST, Peps and Carlos of Global Offroad, Jason Demello, Eric and Jay at Yotamasters, Hytenor, JeepGuy, all the TWA guys and half of the TTORA guys out of SoCal, and pretty much all of COTTORA welcomed me even as a new wheeler running IFS and 31's! I appreciated that.
Around here folks have been great to wheel with! Guys like MarkinAZ, Chef, Kaistie, Bovads, Sy, Payne, Eric, the Nates and the Mikes, and a bunch of other guys I ran into on different runs, plus a few local IFS guys really made me feel welcome, helped out with mods and fab work, went wheeling with me, etc. Pretty much everyone at AZRocks X including the whole Degenerates crew was tons of fun to hang and wheel with this year. So I feel like we've got loads of fun wheelers around these parts who know how to party and still get their rock on when its time to hit the trails. Something about the way AZTTORA treated me on the whole even as a noob just left me with a lingering loyalty to what I consider my home club.
You and I are certainly not the only ones out rock crawling, Sy. Its just for whatever reason activity on the board has slowed down. Its cool. I still hit Parker, Payson, Moab, Hammers twice, AZRocks X, and a bunch of local runs this year already. So I'm still getting out. Just that it'd be cool to see a few more AZTTORA runs and keep that friendly helpful thing going for the next generation of wheelers is all.