The dynamic duo, Randy Kruse and Shain Chapman, from K2 in Mason, Texas join us for Episode 63. Wheeling buddies and business partners for over 20 years, Shain and Randy talk about the different properties, K1 and K2; how they got here, and what’s in store for the future of wheeling in Texas. It’s a great listen with lots of laughs amongst these old friends.
3:02 – you’re going to make the team!
7:51 –state champion chicken judging team
13:12 – squeezed four years into five and a half
13:54 –when I didn’t get into vet school on a whim I applied to law school
17:50 – we met at a party
19:58 – we spent the next couple hours trying to get me upright
21:14 – “Boy, this is Texas”
26:26 – how much would you pay?
28:53 – the nature of off-road
30:54 – I don’t think I have any pictures I can actually publish
33:55 – what’s the difference between West Coast wheelers and Texas? ….thought there was going to be fight
40:39 – but you were a bull rider? Yeah, that ride is only 8 seconds!
47:53 – it’s such a family sport
49:25 – we did have Ted Nugent out here
54:38 – I guess I’ll go clean the toilets
1:04:53 – where does the name, Katemcy Rocks, come from?
1:11:06 – Texans take their BBQ seriously
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[00:00:01.050] - Big Rich Klein
Welcome to the Big Rich show, this podcast will focus on conversations with friends and acquaintances within the four wheel drive industry. Many of the people that I will be interviewing, you may know the name, you may know some of the history, but let's get in depth with these people and find out what truly makes them a four wheel drive enthusiast. So now's the time to sit back, grab a cold one and enjoy our conversation.
[00:00:29.500] - Speaker 2
Whether you're crawling the Red Rocks of MOAB or hauling your toys to the trail, Maxxis has the tires you can trust for performance and durability, four wheels or two Maxxis tires are the choice of champions because they know that whether to work or play for fun or competition Maxxis tires deliver choose Maxxis tread victoriously.
[00:00:56.060] - Big Rich Klein
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All right. On today's episode of Conversations with Big Rich, we have the operators of Katemcy Rocks in Mason, Texas.
[00:01:30.390] - Big Rich Klein
This is Randy Kruse and Shain Chapman. I've known these guys, oh, probably about 20 years now or so. And we are going to get into the history of both of these individuals and how they became friends and how K1 came about and then how K2 came about. So guys, I want to say thank you for being here and talking about your history.
[00:01:55.940] - Randy Kruse
Glad to be here. Excellent.
[00:01:58.200] - Big Rich Klein
Then let's start with Randy. Randy yet Randy, where did you grow up. And you know, I know that, that I'm pretty sure it was Mason County. You guys got roads named after your family. So I would imagine you started there to talk about that and what life was like growing up in early. Mason?
[00:02:21.770] - Randy Kruse
Well, I like that I was born and raised live pretty much my whole life in Mason except for few years of college. And but my dad was a farmer, a peanut farmer. I grew up raising peanuts, watermelons, cantaloupes, and all other kinds of vegetables. It was a good life back in the farm kid, you know, worked like a dog first to May to the first in November and make a decent living for the family. And then we spent the rest of the time hunting, fishing things like that.
[00:03:02.750] - Randy Kruse
You know, kid did a little maintenance on our equipment, mainly just we enjoyed the winters. My dad was also a big cat person. And then when I was young, we grew up with coondogs. So we go Haines two or three nights a week and just enjoy life, you know? Did all the small town stuff. You live in small town. If you want to play baseball, you're going to make the team, you want to play basketball and your four foot tall, you're going to make the team.
[00:03:35.810] - Randy Kruse
And so I grew up, you know, enjoying the opportunity to play all the sports that I wanted to play. You're always a kid in your hometown. And so I live in my home town so I consider myself a kid. There were thirty three kids in my class and 11 of them were boys. And we just finished our 30th class reunion. And unfortunately, we lost three of those boys, but there's still eight or nine of us that live right here in Mason.Pretty unusual for us.
[00:04:08.720] - Randy Kruse
But all my high school buddies live live right here and it's a good place to be. It's one of those friendly towns you find in Texas. And I'm proud to call it my home.
[00:04:20.810] - Big Rich Klein
I agree with your description of Mason. A lot of the listeners know that we now own what we call the Mason Square Hotel, and that originally was owned by your partner, Shain Chapman. And we purchased it from him. And we we we plan to retire there at some point. You know, and I know you're a real estate agent, so we're going to eventually we've looked at property. Eventually we're going to find another piece of property and we want to build a barndominium or something like that on it.
[00:04:53.000] - Big Rich Klein
But, you know, yeah, I agree 100 percent. The community is really you know, we're not there that often in the community has really taken to us. So and we've taken to the community. It's a great place.
[00:05:06.050] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, I know. Even like yourself, you know, you've been here relatively short while. But, you know, when I see a lot of folks in town, hey, how's Rich and Shelley? Where they at, what are they doing, when are they coming back? So it's a friendly town. You know, thankfully, the next town over is Fredricksburg, Gillespie County. And I think they've been swarmed and overtaken by outsiders and the local people are not as friendly. So I'm happy to be in Mason and everybody likes to shake your hand.
[00:05:37.250] - Randy Kruse
I was excited to see new people, so it's a great place to be.
[00:05:41.540] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I 100 percent agree with that. And and Frederiksberg is well, you know, it is become really touristy and everybody's bought second or third what they call homes, but they're all Airbnbs now. So, you know, the. All the locals are getting run out. Yeah, so Shain, how about yourself? Where did you grow up?
[00:06:03.810] - Shain Chapman
I actually grew up in North Texas. My dad's side of the family was from McKinney or actually outside of McKinney back when McKinney was small town that they grew up. We had a little family farm there in a place called New Hope, which my dad and uncle called No Hope. But it was, you know, that was a nice little area. Then my dad and my uncle were the first people on my dad's side of the family to graduate from high school and to go to college.
[00:06:39.510] - Shain Chapman
And I was the first one from that side of the family to actually not be born there. On the family farm where I grew up, though, in Sherman, it's about 30 miles or so from McKinney and spent all my youth there in that area. And it's a much bigger area than than Mason, but still, by most people's standards, considered a small town or small city with twenty five to thirty thousand people back in that day. I don't know what the numbers are now.
[00:07:12.930] - Shain Chapman
Good place to grow up real close to Lake Texoma. So I spent a lot of time on the lake when I was a kid.
[00:07:19.260] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. So did you did you play sports as well?
[00:07:23.820] - Shain Chapman
I did. We were a 5A school. I played soccer in high school before high school. I played football, baseball, soccer, etc. But in high school it was soccer. And then I was pretty heavily involved in FFA stuff. I was showing animals
[00:07:42.230] - Randy Kruse
Future Farmers of America.
[00:07:45.030] - Shain Chapman
Oh, yeah, I spent a lot of time doing that.
[00:07:48.060] - Big Rich Klein
Randy, were you involved with FFA as well?
[00:07:51.690] - Randy Kruse
Oh, yes, sir. We started showing animals. We started showing sheep when I was, you know, probably, you know, 10 or 12 still in junior high. And then when I moved to high school, I started showing steers and my brother and I showed steers all four years of high school big in the FFA and judging. And it was the ultimate on the state champion chicken judging team, big claim to fame. But I knew there was a lot of pressure here.
[00:08:26.280] - Randy Kruse
I can judge a chicken, buddy
[00:08:27.620] - Big Rich Klein
But are you saying you're really judgmental?
[00:08:34.420] - Randy Kruse
I guess if he never judged a chicken, there's a lot more than watching and praying for the candle. And, you know, it all comes if I learn more about a chicken than I ever needed to know.
[00:08:49.470] - Big Rich Klein
I figured that judging chicken was more like with a bib and a plate.
[00:08:57.010] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, that's how I like it. Does that chicken now taking on the hoof on this?
[00:09:04.330] - Randy Kruse
[00:09:07.170] - Big Rich Klein
So let's Shain, what was what was your first foray into motorized recreation where, you motorcycles, UTV's or not, UTVs, obviously ATV's, something like that or what was it.
[00:09:23.680] - Shain Chapman
Well it was when I was a kid it was dirt bikes and then ATV's I, I got one of the Honda, two hundred x three wheelers some point in time and I bought that thing out. I mean that's I still have scars on both my legs from various wipeouts on that or foot coming off the pad kind of stuff. But but you know, I lived to tell about it and I would love to have another one of those these days, especially like a two fifty or three, whether those things were screaming demons.
[00:09:57.480] - Shain Chapman
But, you know, I eventually got off into four wheel drive vehicles, my first four wheel drive, which was actually seventy two F.J., Forty Land Cruiser, that was my uncles, that I somehow conned him into letting me use for a while. And I kept it for about three years and drove that to and from high school and I didn't drive my truck.
[00:10:18.120] - Big Rich Klein
OK, what kind of truck did you have.
[00:10:20.670] - Shain Chapman
Oh I had a Chevy's back then. I had a half ton Chevy for a little while and then I got rid of that for some horrendously painted three quarter ton Chevy with a four fifty four and thought I was in tall cotton and that was pretty big, bad machine. The guys across the street rebuilt motors and so they rebuilt the motor on that in that four fifty four. And I thought, I thought I was the dude was a good time and that thing.
[00:10:51.270] - Big Rich Klein
So same question to you Randy. What did you uh what was your first. Foray into motorized vehicles as well.
[00:10:59.920] - Randy Kruse
So I grew up on the sandy land farm, so there was no riding the bicycle. I mean, you could you couldn't pedal it in that sandy field. So I guess my first motorized vehicle was the Honda 50 motorcycle. That's what I learned to ride on, no training wheels. A lot of crashin, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. And then as you grew up on the farm, we pretty much lived our life. My brother, my father.
[00:11:30.580] - Randy Kruse
Now the Honda Trail 90's and the Honda 110, you know, they were greatly seeded low center of gravity. Great, great vehicles are getting around and the peanut fields and things like that. So that was my first motorized vehicle. Was that. Probably my first four wheel vehicle was 1950s. Willys Jeep pickup. I drove the thousand miles. That's what I learned to drive and how I learned to use it. Put my brother not to cut the top off of it and turned it into their own little jeep.
[00:12:04.900] - Randy Kruse
That was my I was my first four wheel drive. And then, of course, as I grew older, I got into high school, got my driver's license. I had a half-ton Ford pickup my dad, who now drives a Chevrolet. But back in the old days, he was a Ford man. So I went looking for a pickup. I found the Chevrolet that had about fifty thousand miles on for five years old. And we found a Ford, basically the same thing, same price within a few dollars.
[00:12:34.810] - Randy Kruse
And my dad and his infinite wisdom said, so I don't want to influence your decision, but you can buy that Chevrolet. I'll buy the Ford. And so I drove because so he drove a Ford because he was buying the Chevy.
[00:12:53.300] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, I don't want him to steal, but that's what I'm going to do. Sounds like Jerry, so.
[00:13:00.730] - Randy Kruse
[00:13:02.110] - Big Rich Klein
So I know that both of you, of course, attended college. Randy, where did you go and what did you what did you study?
[00:13:12.370] - Randy Kruse
Well, I majored in agriculture, finished with a bachelors degree in animal science and wildlife management kind of was my forte graduate from Angelo State University in San Angelo, I squeezed four years into about five and a half. But yeah, I really enjoyed some of those classes and I really enjoyed I'd take em twice.
You really enjoyed it. So you took them twice. There you go. That's right.
[00:13:49.060] - Big Rich Klein
And Shain, let's talk about your your college.
[00:13:54.550] - Shain Chapman
All right. I went to Texas A&M. I was an Aggie went down. There is going to be a veterinarian. That was my plan. So I was an animal science major myself and took all the science options stuff. And then when I applied to vet school the first go round, I didn't get in graduate with that animal science degree but didn't get into vet school and somehow or another ended up on a whim applying to law school. And since I was smart enough to become a lawyer, I become a vet and work on animals.
[00:14:31.720] - Shain Chapman
I became a lawyer and worked on people.
[00:14:34.060] - Big Rich Klein
Kind of just a different type of animal.
[00:14:39.320] - Shain Chapman
Right? Right. So that's my background.
[00:14:43.930] - Big Rich Klein
I'm OK. And then, Randy, you you met your wife while you were in college, is that correct?
[00:14:52.000] - Randy Kruse
That's right. I met her and we got married, had two years of college left. I had two years and had about two and a half years of college left. Originally, Pam was an accounting major and I didn't help her with their grades at all.
[00:15:09.880] - Randy Kruse
So she ended up changing, changed her major to education, which was the best thing that ever happened for us, just because no matter where we chose to live, she could find a job as a school teacher. She thrived when we got to Mason. She worked all her school career in Mason. She taught pretty much every grade and then coached girls basketball. And then as our kids got old enough to help take care of themselves, she went back, got her masters and became the elementary school principal and then junior high principal and then high school principal and then went back and got our superintendent certification and she retired.couple
[00:15:55.880] - Randy Kruse
three years ago, as the superintendent there, I think he was a superintendent for six or seven years, so yeah, well, she was married, been married thirty seven years from the twenty third to this more.
[00:16:09.980] - Big Rich Klein
Wow. And she really climb the ladder there. And Mason.
[00:16:14.930] - Randy Kruse
[00:16:16.250] - Shain Chapman
Except for being married to Randy.
[00:16:17.740] - Randy Kruse
Yeah. I know that you had to climb extra hard.
[00:16:24.070] - Randy Kruse
Just salad fish in the boat.
[00:16:31.910] - Randy Kruse
[00:16:32.720] - Randy Kruse
No she does well here. She's well respected as the superintendent did a good job. I'm very proud of her.
[00:16:39.200] - Big Rich Klein
So Shain, your family life started.
[00:16:42.900] - Shain Chapman
Well, I actually have. I kind of ended up in Mason because of my my ex-wife was from Mason and I used to used to go hunting down and Junction Mason area a lot when I was younger. And on one of those forays down there, I met my ex at the infamous London Hall Saloon there in London, Texas, so and was married to her for twenty years or right at twenty years. We had three kids and two of those kids were born up close to like Texoma, where we lived at the time.
[00:17:24.170] - Shain Chapman
And then my youngest was actually born in Fredricksburg after we'd moved to Mason and we moved to Mason in about two thousand or so.
[00:17:32.540] - Big Rich Klein
All right. And then how did the two of you meet Randy and Shain? Randy, you want to give your side of the story?
The Transcript is made using Artificial Intelligence, AI, to transcribe the spoken word. We edit part of the Transcript to get it started, but then let the AI take over – and they don’t always get it right. Please forgive the machine for the adjustments it makes automatically and know the errors are not intentional.
[00:17:41.570] - Shain Chapman
Yeah, it's probably different versions.
[00:17:43.520] - Randy Kruse
I'm not sure.
[00:17:44.490] - Big Rich Klein
So which one of you is cruising with tight pants on at the London hall?
[00:17:50.750] - Randy Kruse
No. Yeah, I'm kidding. that was the Aggie. That was the egg. That was well, Shain. Shain moved to Mason and he had a what, C.J. seven. And I noticed the buzzing around town and Jeep. And of course I had a Jeep back then and and did a little soft four wheeling compared to what we do now. And then we actually got together at I believe it was some kind of Easter party or something. And I was talking "hey you're the guy in the white CJ, yeah, you're the guy in the blue CJ," we kind of talked shop them better.
[00:18:32.890] - Randy Kruse
And he said maybe we ought to be leaving the day to go to Utah, go to the Easter Jeep Safari. Well, I didn't have any idea. I never heard of the Jeep Safari. My four wheeling consists of playing around Mason in the river and the creeks and then kind of driving the mountain trails up in Ouray and Lake City. And that was kind of like in my fourwheeling. And I did have lockers in my jeep, but I never knew who put them to use the way that we do now.
[00:19:03.110] - Randy Kruse
And so Shain was telling me it's like this big granite rock and you drive all over your little substraction. And and so I invited Shain to bring his Jeep to come out and show him a little rock pile that I had that turned out to be K1. And that's how we that's how I say, OK, Shain, about you, that's that's pretty close, except it was a New Year's Eve party. It was New Year's Eve party at at Fredonia Peanut Mill.
[00:19:33.260] - Randy Kruse
Yeah. That we ended up with mutual friends and whatnot. Started talking that night, just like Randy said. He said you were talking about four wheeling and whatnot. And he said, well, I got some rocks and why don't we take a look at that? And that's that's pretty much how it started. I went out there. I think I flopped over on the first rock I saw out there. And that's I told him that's that's my home Aggie house.
[00:19:58.490] - Shain Chapman
I told him to come out and do that. I think everybody is a little irritated that I was on my side within the first five minutes. We spent the next couple hours trying to get me right it up because I think we're only out there in one jeep at the time.
[00:20:10.230] - Randy Kruse
So, yeah, it was pretty fun out. Now you turn somebody over in thirty seconds and we were there for two and a half hours and well, you know, you had to get had to properly assess the situation.
[00:20:26.060] - Randy Kruse
Exactly right. And that normally requires a couple of barley pops and then, you know, then once you get it back on its side, you've got to wait for all that oil to get back into the cylinders.
[00:20:39.020] - Big Rich Klein
So I understand.
[00:20:40.200] - Shain Chapman
Yeah, we have some hellacious good times out there at the old place, that's for damn sure.
[00:20:45.500] - Big Rich Klein
Well, when I when I met you guys, I don't remember who it was or how it came about, but I knew I needed to go. See you guys in Texas. I was running KOH rocks at the time and we were starting to move across the United States and put events on and somebody said, and I don't if one of you guys got hold of me or if it was somebody that you guys know or somebody that had come out to the park.
[00:21:14.350] - Big Rich Klein
But somebody said I needed to come out and see you guys. So my dad and I showed up out there at K1 and we we went out and looked at the Cotton Bowl area and we drove around and we ended up doing the first event. One of the things I remember was sitting in Shain's office and I asked, OK, what do I need to do for permit wise with the county or whatever? And Jane, you're younger than me. And you looked at me and I remember you saying, well, boy, this is Texas.
[00:21:52.090] - Big Rich Klein
And I thought, oh, boy.
[00:21:56.080] - Big Rich Klein
And then he I go, well, you know, I don't want to end up in in a lawsuit like I was in in Amador County. And you said, well, I am the county attorney here.
[00:22:10.210] - Randy Kruse
And I was like, OK, let's do an event.
[00:22:15.010] - Shain Chapman
I think I still have that old Kellogg's poster somewhere from that first event.
[00:22:19.540] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, wow. That'd be awesome. First of all, we know how Randy ended up there because he was born in tech in Mason or that area. Shain, you guys, you moved down there after you were married and. Right. Was it to open a law practice or how did you end up in Mason?
[00:22:37.650] - Shain Chapman
Now, it was to raise my kids there, like Randy mentioned a little earlier. I mean, Mason is a great little town. To raise a family really is most of the time that I lived there until I moved out in 2014 after my divorce. But I think the rest of the time I was there. I don't know that I had a key to either of the houses that we lived in and when. And we never lock the doors. I mean, one was out in the country, but one house was in town.
[00:23:10.990] - Shain Chapman
We always left the keys in the vehicles, you know, so you wouldn't lose them. They were in the ignition. So it just was one of those kind of communities. It was just just a great place to raise your kids. And I've been traveling down there for several years from early 90s when were married before we actually moved down there and just loved that community. And that was a logical place for us to come raise our kids and all.
[00:23:40.450] - Shain Chapman
All my kids have excelled in Mason schools. Most of that was while Pam was involved either as a principal or a superintendent. And so, I mean, my oldest graduated as the valedictorian, my second child. She graduated in the top of her class. She's a 4.0 student at Texas A&M. And then I've got a sixteen year old, but still there. So we moved down there in part because I wanted to be in the Hill country and then I want to be my ex.
[00:24:10.570] - Shain Chapman
And I both wanted to raise our kids in that kind of community. It's just a great place to raise kids.
[00:24:14.740] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, it makes them more Collimore. Jackson is.
[00:24:17.830] - Shain Chapman
Oh, he's he is in his senior year at Yale right now. So what was a 4.0 student.
[00:24:22.510] - Randy Kruse
Oh yeah. Yeah. Don't miss that. We're proud of that.
[00:24:26.890] - Shain Chapman
And ran Rentrak there to ran four hundred hurdles. There you go.
[00:24:31.310] - Randy Kruse
[00:24:32.450] - Big Rich Klein
That's, that's a long set of hurdles.
[00:24:35.170] - Shain Chapman
That's no doubt about that.
[00:24:37.180] - Randy Kruse
So the, the idea of the park and how that came together, you guys obviously went out there wheeling, Shain rolls over, takes half the day to get him uprighted. What, what, what transpired? How did he who is the property owner? Was it a family friend or, you know, how did K one come about?
[00:25:04.210] - Randy Kruse
Well, my family had that property lease for livestock and then we also farmed peanuts in the field up there on top of the hill k one we had at least for a long time. And the owner, the owner was a man named Jack Haines, really nice individual. His opinion was he wanted somebody that would take and invest time and money into his property and utilize it, take care of it, make money yourself. He would always make us pay the rent, you know, the lease money.
[00:25:43.420] - Randy Kruse
And then he would turn around and spend half of that money back to do improvements on the property. I mean, he was a great guy. And when I was.
[00:25:54.940] - Shain Chapman
It was, wasn't it?
[00:25:56.830] - Randy Kruse
It was it was his dad's home place, OK? His dad lived there and grew up his dad was a, I believe, a doctor over. And Brady and Jack Haines was also a doctor, but he lived in Florida most of his life. But anyway, when I went and told him what we wanted to do, he was all right. He said, I'm pretty much for anything. If you say I'm covered, I'm covered. And as long as you don't cut my WE Rock step and hold them off, I'm for it.
[00:26:26.350] - Randy Kruse
And so but the story goes. Shain and I went after that first time, had a blast. We invited Shain, had two brother in laws that were here in and around the nation. And we went out there and then another guy doing this and we had a blast. You know, we went out there and saying, he said, you know, I'm not kidding about a couple of my buddies from my whole world come back home. So I said, sure, let's do it.
[00:26:56.740] - Randy Kruse
So they came down and I don't remember how many of those guys were there, but we're now sitting by the campfire. And he said whoever was the one, the president of the club, I'd like to bring my whole club down. And I was like, maybe they said, we pay you. I said, how much would you pay? How many guys? So much. Yeah.
[00:27:19.300] - Randy Kruse
And so pretty much. We sit there by the fire and we laid out our team that we charge that it changed a little bit, pretty much the same since day one. Twenty, twenty years our fees have been pretty much the same.
[00:27:35.260] - Shain Chapman
Yeah, I think we started out like for 40 bucks for a weekend and now we're at sixty, 20 years later. I think that's where we.
[00:27:42.730] - Randy Kruse
[00:27:44.200] - Big Rich Klein
That's all. And then, and then if they want hook ups of course because you guys have water and electricity available so. Oh right. Yeah. That's an addition.
[00:27:55.060] - Randy Kruse
OK, one was down the road, something used and we spent more time clearing the burst out because every time one of them was blown out apart, right now we're playing worse and pushing stuff. And then we decided we needed Bazilian and then we decided we need to put some cabins up and had a map, you know, this kind of hodgepodge together. We went back to where we knew what we want, and so we got to lay it all out pretty much before we started it, which makes it a lot better.
[00:28:25.840] - Randy Kruse
The RV slot, the cabins, the park. And oh, that was you know, we were looking for the right and the difference between K one and we'll get more into K2 is K one. I think to me at least was a little tamer train. You know, there was there was more intermediate beginner stuff then than maybe K two, is that correct?
[00:28:53.190] - Shain Chapman
I think that's right. But part of that's just the nature of our off road world has evolved to I mean, true, you know, already thirty five thirty six inch tire was big that back in those days and one was more of a granite dome outcropping, kind of like the Hells Revenge area of Moab and K2 is more soldiery kind of stuff with less of a granite dome. But you know those forty five inch tires back then you were big dog on a lot of that stuff and there was certainly some hard stuff there.
[00:29:32.350] - Shain Chapman
We had plenty of rollovers. I had plenty of rollovers there myself. But I think our our options for the harder stuff are much better in K2.
[00:29:44.440] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I would agree. I would agree on that. So talk about those those early days that it k one and some of the the events that you had there, people that that showed up maybe that are now celebrities or or names and you know, that people would recognize because I know you guys have had ballplayer's of different sport athletes and others that have that have come out to to enjoy the properties.
[00:30:17.290] - Shain Chapman
Well, the one that pops into my head right off the bat is Jesse comes she came out and the with us with the Land Cruiser, a Bentley here, and had a good time. And you know who the off road world's a lot lesser place without her being in it. But, you know, that's the first one that pops into my mind. I know Rick Bayway, when he was with Petersens, fallen off road two guys to us from time to time to do articles.
[00:30:46.840] - Shain Chapman
And they did some of their oh, what are their off road adventures? I've forgotten the name.
[00:30:54.310] - Shain Chapman
Ultimate adventure. Yeah, they did some of those with us there, but the funniest one was you sent Jerry Jones that now does a Jared's got the full size invasion stuff that he does now. He sent Jared to come out and do a story on this one time. And we partied, had a good time with Jared all weekend long. And when he was late, Punjab's like, I don't think I have any pictures that I can actually publish in a magazine.
[00:31:25.480] - Shain Chapman
So I don't know how much press we actually got at his visit, but we had a darn good time.
[00:31:33.010] - Big Rich Klein
How about you, Randy? What what do you remember?
[00:31:36.440] - Randy Kruse
Well, you know, I'm always proud to say that this thing was there. You know, I feel like we made an impression on her every time that I went to the Jeep support, she was there with the warm crew. And you walked up there, she recognized you, the old man. I love Katie. I love the contains WE Rock. I got to get back down there. And how's everybody? How's your mom and all that kind of thing.
[00:32:02.030] - Randy Kruse
So I was really proud of that. I guess our other celebrity celebrity we had was when you're at the Land Cruiser runs, we had a band that was supposed to play and they kind of cut Paule with some controlled substance, I guess what you call it. And they got served in jail over injuncted. So this young kid came down and he was the Arkansas kid. He just happened to be down at the South by Southwest. And he said, hey, man, we came to play for that guy.
[00:32:34.480] - Randy Kruse
You know, y'all need some music. So he played for us and his name was Matt still. And he came back and played several times for us and other, you know, the Cotton Land Cruisers up in Arkansas. But, you know, right now, he's he's a kitchen singing country music singer, has several charted singles out. So I talk to him every once in a while, show you my text or he'll take me back. But we're proud that we had met Selma in the early days.
[00:33:07.450] - Big Rich Klein
That's pretty awesome.
[00:33:09.160] - Shain Chapman
And, of course, you know, I mean, big rich not to be making a big deal like Orchestre, but he's been with us since those KOH WE Rock days. And so it's a little right to start. Man Yeah.
[00:33:22.960] - Big Rich Klein
Right at the start, a little rich was designing the courses back in those days, as I recall.
[00:33:28.540] - Randy Kruse
Absolutely. I can remember that.
[00:33:30.970] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, I can remember that first that first event out there meeting Matt Hodges and meeting. Oh God. There was there was so many of that whole Texas crew that now all come and enjoy Katou as well. But there was some guys out of San Angelo that thought they were thought they were pretty hot stuff.
[00:33:55.180] - Randy Kruse
And I know exactly what you guys and Rick about God is. I mean, they were they wanted to fight because the guy asked one of the guys asked him, so what's the difference between West Coast wheelers and Texas? And Rich just said, you know, hey, well, you know, that's what I see is, you know, you guys are about five years behind what we're doing on the West Coast. And that guy got so mad, OK?
[00:34:26.470] - Randy Kruse
All he wanted to do was to to fight rich. And, you know, Rich is all of like seventeen years old, you know, and this guy is, you know, thirty or something. And it was like, you know, first of all, little rich wasn't drunk, he wasn't small by any. And yeah, that guy was probably worse.
[00:34:47.300] - Big Rich Klein
He was probably getting ready to get his butt whipped. But, you know, still it was it was pretty funny, you know. And then when he tried to explain no, no, no. I mean but, you know, the technology, what we're building compared to what you guys are building, that kind of thing. And, you know, I think people understand that now that, you know, there's a lot of innovation on the West Coast, but it gets everywhere pretty quick nowadays.
[00:35:13.720] - Shain Chapman
And Little Rich was right. I had to go over there and help break that mess up. And I know exactly which guys were involved in that out of San Angelo. And I still will wear this today, right? Yeah. Yeah. Ritualist in the right. He didn't do anything wrong on that. He was giving them a straight up answer. They didn't like it.
[00:35:30.460] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, well, yeah.
[00:35:32.260] - Randy Kruse
You know, everything's better in Texas. You got to learn to believe that.
[00:35:37.000] - Big Rich Klein
Well, you know, now that I'm half a Texas resident at least half the year, you know, I kind of agree with that.
[00:35:46.420] - Randy Kruse
There we go.
[00:35:47.710] - Randy Kruse
We are proud of the state.
[00:35:49.390] - Big Rich Klein
Absolutely. And and rightfully so. Rightfully so is. As long as we don't let it go too far left, you know? So let's hope that doesn't happen to you are right. You know, the stuff that's coming out of California. I mean, I just drove to California just because, you know, they're moving up and I'm taking their last version. But it's still you can't find that in Texas.
[00:36:18.200] - Big Rich Klein
So let's talk a little bit about that. We'll use that as a segue into especially, Randy, your foray into the buggy scene. You've upgraded from the the seven that you've had. Well, you've had a number of them, I believe. Yeah. And then all of a sudden you're in a in a and then you're in an unlimited car. And now I understand that after competing, you no longer have that unlimited car and now you're into something else.
[00:36:58.100] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, a couple of things. I mean, I'm still I'm still just an old country, more wheeler. And it's kind of funny. I was going, you know, I wheel with some guys, will a lighter, more nimble buggy than my mom had a visa, which I thought that's what I wanted. But just the lighter weight, bergin's and smaller motor, same power, basically. But the KOH, I blamed it on my wife. She always complained about buggy that I had.
[00:37:33.770] - Randy Kruse
It was a Jessie Haines testing the goat milk testees. But the motor was upset and it puts the passenger side. And so my wife constantly complaining that she had no room for OK, so it was a good excuse to go find one that could bring four feet. And so I'm busted. And I looked it up a really awesome James Tracy buggy and that didn't work out. So I ended up buying a brand buggy out of California, but it was actually one that he built for himself and then sold to a guy.
[00:38:09.560] - Randy Kruse
He will do it for a year. So I'm saying it's a it's a two year old Paule buggy. So, OK, I'm I'm I have not driven it yet or came back from California, end up having a little touch of the Corona. So actually, my son and my granddaughter rode around in it at the last event, so I'm ready to go feeling a little bit awesome.
[00:38:33.950] - Big Rich Klein
So, Shain, how about you? I see you online all the time going, oh, I want that vehicle. I want that vehicle. How many vehicles do you own right now?
[00:38:47.990] - Shain Chapman
I don't really know what the number is on that off the top of my. So it's big enough that you can't go. Let me see.
[00:38:54.810] - Randy Kruse
Oh well not that it's not that bad. It's seven or eight. Something like that. Seven or eight.
[00:39:01.430] - Shain Chapman
It's, it's not and and really not be better. Don't let him act like he's in better. He's got the same kind of deal. I just got a picture I want list when I see something and voiced my opinion about it. But when I'm not I'm not the buggy guy. I mean Randy obviously is moving into the buggy scene. I still like having a full bodied rig and having something that's capable. But as this last rig I've had for, oh, probably eight, nine years now, maybe I've tried to keep it relatively clean because some of my previous rigs, including the old was that little T.J. was a WE Rock buggy that I got out of Tulsa.
[00:39:46.250] - Shain Chapman
I forgot the guy's name about that. But those things, the last couple of rigs I've had, by the time I got rid of them, they were hammered. And I just got tired of just tearing things up that bad that you could tell what they originally were. They were so beat up, so. Right. I tried to keep my my last really carefully clean.
[00:40:05.300] - Randy Kruse
[00:40:06.740] - Randy Kruse
Let's say a wild man, right? Well, I mean, he was the type of guy that would go up an obstacle and roll over. As soon as you got him pushed over, he was headed back up there and he might roll over three times, but eventually he couldn't.
[00:40:22.490] - Randy Kruse
I mean, he was scared and he impressed me, you know. You know, one time I hit my head on the road. Okay, I'll do it next.
[00:40:35.770] - Shain Chapman
That's why they all look like hammered raisins at the end, too. So. Right.
[00:40:39.560] - Randy Kruse
In fact, when we when we built Katou, there was a local guy that had a contract that he loaned this to put the trusses up on the pavilion. And we ordered, oh, this is so. It gets interesting when we go over this obstacle called the river, which is still one of the most intimidating hard trails that we have. And Casey, my son, he drove up it and I went up and Shain was behind me and he gets up and spins around, slows down a time or two, and it gets the bears almost to the top over backwards.
[00:41:19.400] - Randy Kruse
And once he hits on the ground, then the barrel rolls all the way over to his wheels, motor sitting there running and that God chain KOH to come loose and hit him in the head. And he hit his head on the road gauge. He said, what are you going to do? He said, we're going to go up this hill and he goes in the air, made it safe that I'm going to do this. He said, I'll yes.
[00:41:45.740] - Randy Kruse
Now he said, well, you said you were a bull rider. But then just last night, that road was eight seconds.
[00:41:58.790] - Shain Chapman
Yeah. He went home and went home and told his wife he'd been in a car wreck because he was like he said, you have it. And then he got home at about three different places and said, oh, my God, you were in a car wreck.
[00:42:14.000] - Randy Kruse
That's how I got up the last time once he got his ass out.
[00:42:16.760] - Randy Kruse
He did make it up. Yes, he did. I don't think you've ever been bad, but I don't think I've been back as had that guy ever gone Wiedlin again. No, no, no, no, no.
[00:42:32.780] - Shain Chapman
His daughter's one of my youngest daughter's best friends, and now he hadn't been back out.
[00:42:38.980] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, that's funny. So let's talk about more about the park and what it takes to put to have a piece of property, whether it's a lease situation like you guys have or a piece of property that you own, they can put a park on. What are some of the the pros and cons operating a park?
[00:43:08.240] - Shain Chapman
Well, I think in Texas and particularly one of the hurdles is if you're going to do any any real wheeling in the state, you're going to have to have private land since most of the state's privately owned. So you have to have either that owns the land by the land or lease the land in order to run any kind of off road park around here. So that makes it a necessity. Texas is pretty good from a legal standpoint. There's a civil practice and remedies code statute that basically protects landowners.
[00:43:41.930] - Shain Chapman
If you allow others to come recreate on your property and they get hurt. So that makes liability much less of an issue for anybody operating in Off-Road Park in Texas. So and then, of course, we still do release forms ourselves and have everybody come sign their life away or at least form. But, you know, once you you get some kind of get a place located and then able to work out the specifics of what you want to do.
[00:44:14.630] - Shain Chapman
And I think it's a great way to give an opportunity to folks in the region to have a place to wheel. And and we love doing it, too. So it's really been a win win for us. We get to wheel with our buddies all the time. We get to see all sorts of people from all walks of life, all sorts of all the big names in the industry, it seems like, have been out there at some point or another and had longstanding relationships with most of those folks.
[00:44:49.370] - Shain Chapman
It's just it pays for our addiction to some extent. You know, it's not like it's moneymaking business, but, you know, I'm not my rock collar is a business expense, I'm sure crazy right now. That's probably a business expense. So it certainly has its benefits. And like I said, we get to go hang out with our friends all the time.
[00:45:12.230] - Randy Kruse
[00:45:13.600] - Randy Kruse
Well, there's a lot of you know, there's a lot of, I guess, notoriety that you're so, so many people over the past 20 years that are still with with this and even those that, you know, I mean, you meet a lot of people and that's they're all and most all of the four wheel drive crowd has been, no matter where the Hummer people or Toyota people or people are, but people, they all get along well.
[00:45:44.660] - Randy Kruse
I mean, I don't I've I've tried to think I don't ever recall in 20 years having any problem with people getting in a. Now, a couple of times when some people get in there, go to fight among ourselves, but never have we ever had any kind of uproar like that other than a little risk.
[00:46:05.470] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, well, it goes by. That is a California troublemaker.
[00:46:10.450] - Randy Kruse
There he is, troublemaker. You know, in the context of having an off road park like ours is. You know, you're wheeling in the summer every other weekend and there's a lot of parks are open every weekend. And so you're pretty much tied to that park. You know, there's some people that just open it for the money. And I'm sure the money's probably a little better if you don't have to take care of me. I have three kids that I take care of.
[00:46:42.700] - Randy Kruse
I have my own, of course, mine. And then the yellow jeep, there was a pro mod. I mean, that's my son. There's still my office broke right now. And then my S.J, the last one I had was Baby Huey. It's in my shop and they're all waiting on me to fix him. But that's another thing for me. That's where I raised my family. And those people that come to the rock, they're my son's best friends.
[00:47:12.880] - Randy Kruse
They were when I was in high school and junior high. And I raised my family among all those people. And and they're better for it, right?
[00:47:22.870] - Randy Kruse
Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:47:25.360] - Shain Chapman
And and we see those kids I mean, Casey cruzi Randy son is perfect example. Casey was Botten people, you know, twelve years of age out there and driving rigs around and we see those same kind of kids, you know, she'll be Gilstrap comes to mind. She was out there as a young kid. There's a ton of others that we've seen since they were old enough to see over the steering wheel, learn to drive out there. And and now they're they're wheeling themselves.
[00:47:53.110] - Shain Chapman
And I love that aspect of it and bring in their right. And it's such a family sport. You know, it's that you can be out there at a park like yours and the kids can be running around, you know, they don't it's it's almost like that free range parenting that happens nowadays because, you know, you're in an area that's fenced off and you don't have to worry about them, you know, wandering off. And and it's all right if kids, you know, fall off a rock and get hurt, you know?
[00:48:26.310] - Shain Chapman
I mean, that's that's that's part of growing up.
[00:48:29.910] - Shain Chapman
Absolutely. My kids did. Yeah. I was around that campground so many different times. And today the little the kids raffles that the Bronco group and the Land Cruiser groups do, those kids are all up there getting some little prize and whatnot. And they're glowsticks. I mean, I love all that. That's great, right? So did you guys have one of the guys that played for the Texas Rangers or something or somebody come up that used to come out?
[00:49:01.380] - Shain Chapman
Was that your guys this park or somebody else I'm thinking of?
[00:49:05.380] - Shain Chapman
Well well, there's a guy that played professional baseball that has a had a neighboring ranch. I don't know that he ever actually came out weald with us, though, as well.
[00:49:22.470] - Randy Kruse
So we also had Ted Nugent, right?
[00:49:25.590] - Shain Chapman
Yeah, we did. Yeah, we did have Ted Nugent, Bronco guy. Yeah. And, you know, for a celebrity, he was pretty cool. First thing he did, he got out to get by saying, you know, my mother's in there. He wouldn't talk to you. The land owner, Miss Hoffman, told how much he appreciated the opportunity to get out on her property and he took in every person that was there, wanted to talk and get the picture with Ted Nugent.
[00:49:54.840] - Shain Chapman
And he was so calm that he talked to everybody, you know, five minutes, ten minutes with everybody there. We're now within a little bit. I hate to say it, but he was he was a good guy. I was really impressed.
[00:50:11.730] - Big Rich Klein
And so the nickname Motor City Madman was probably his stage persona, I would imagine, with, you know, the songs like Cat Scratch Fever and all that kind of stuff. I mean, your guy was the guy who was pretty hardcore.
[00:50:29.670] - Shain Chapman
Right. But super, super friendly to everybody that was out there. That's awesome. Everybody was enjoying it and being out there playing and we didn't.
[00:50:40.630] - Randy Kruse
I miss Ted Nugent once before I was hunting Neil down on the King Ranch, and he was very polite. And I kind of got a bunkhouse that everybody stays in and Ted was there. So when we get there, there were three Maysam boys, you know, there's books and nobody said, hey, do you want you to move you to another half or are you I'm staying. And he said, I'm staying in the bunkhouse with these guys. You know, they look like good people.
[00:51:07.170] - Randy Kruse
We're going to have some fun, you know. You know, he he was that way, man. I mean, I enjoyed talking about being in the outdoors and very thankful for all the things that he's accomplished. And he knew that he had a little help from upstairs. And and I've always been impressed by it.
[00:51:28.470] - Randy Kruse
[00:51:31.110] - Big Rich Klein
So the the kind of deal that you guys had it they wanted you with the property owners that how you have things worked out with with Hoffman's as well. Did you use the same model?
[00:51:48.540] - Shain Chapman
Yes, it's a similar lease as we had there at the K1. And what we now have a K two, except that it's changed a little bit. Originally we had at least a K two to include hunting and everything. So we didn't have a situation where hunters were coming in complaining to the landowners, say, hey, the rock crawlers did this with off road. Guys did that. So we we subleased the hunting out and if they had a complaint, they would come to us.
[00:52:17.760] - Shain Chapman
Within the last few years, the Hoffman's have decided they just want to place themselves. So our lease modified a little bit from that standpoint, but otherwise it's pretty, pretty similar to what we started with, you know, twenty years ago. Excellent.
[00:52:32.460] - Big Rich Klein
And I understand that you guys signed to sign that lease and you've got it for an extended period of time. So we don't have to worry about Katou going away.
[00:52:45.420] - Shain Chapman
Correct. And the difference, I think with the Hoffman's first is that our old place is, you know, our concession stand is run by the Hoffman Hoffman family. Ryan Sisler the is the grandson of. The matriarch, Joanna Hoffman, and he runs our concession stand and makes some money doing that and seems to enjoy it, and we certainly enjoy cooking. So I think that having the the family members there at every event and seeing what we're doing and serving food and Johanna Hoffman always goes on and on about how happy he is to see these people enjoying the place and and how nice they are.
[00:53:29.760] - Shain Chapman
And so I think that helps a lot in extending our lease there for however many years we end up doing this.
[00:53:38.790] - Big Rich Klein
Right. And that's that's great. It's I hate when we when we lose park areas because of whatever the situation is, whether it's government or neighbors or the property owners change. And, you know, then all of a sudden, you know, the whole idea of how the property is going to get used, change changes as well. So it's good to hear that that's going to that that's going to stay the same.
[00:54:09.330] - Randy Kruse
So, you know, I think I think, you know, the second generation of the humans who are involved. And I'm sure they enjoy the money, it helps keep the banks afloat. And I really feel like, you know, if we lose them, this is something that's going to continue. I know both of my kids would jump at the chance, you know, if I decided to have to be involved. So I think we'll be there a long time.
[00:54:38.430] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. That's good to hear. And in the partnership is I think is a great partnership because there's there's four distinct partners, as I understand, you have the Hoffman's and then we have Shain, we have Randy, and then we have Randy's parents as well. Correct. Is that how it's set up? OK, and your and your mom and dad have always been so supportive out there. You know, your dad, he always cracks me up about, you know, Jerry will say, yeah, I guess it's time for me to go clean the toilets.
[00:55:19.320] - Big Rich Klein
And he seems like they got the jobs that you guys don't really want.
[00:55:26.520] - Shain Chapman
That's exactly right, Randy. I like to we don't like to clean porta potties or saying the opposite is funny.
[00:55:32.670] - Randy Kruse
[00:55:35.760] - Big Rich Klein
So you guys actually have the better the better job description out of this whole thing?
[00:55:40.350] - Shain Chapman
I think they'll be yeah. They'll be going back and talking to them about this.
[00:55:44.470] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, well, they probably don't know what podcasts are. So, you know, just I won't I'm going to post it on Facebook that we're doing this so they may find it specially your mom. You know, I love you, Mom.
[00:56:00.990] - Big Rich Klein
We all we all love them, that's for sure. So when did you guys start going to the Easter Jeep out there for Jamboree Lady had?
[00:56:15.510] - Shain Chapman
What was that? Oh, I wish maybe. I'm guessing. I don't know for sure.
[00:56:22.860] - Randy Kruse
You could still you can still do the lions back.
[00:56:25.530] - Shain Chapman
I love that because it was back when we were involved with stuff with them, with Goodyear. I know Goodyear, you know, that took the some of the Goodyear folks out and then did the run with Walker Evans one day on one of those events, way back when Walker's an interesting character. Did you get to listen to a chance to listen to some of his stories?
[00:56:47.550] - Shain Chapman
No, but I bet he's got some great stories.
[00:56:50.640] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, yeah. Yes, there's one. And I hope to get Walker on here that he about him and Ivan Stewart. Oh, man. I actually heard it from from Ivan, but they were was be racing ball hog before gypsies. So everything was, you know, well, here's the course and you got a map and there's hopefully arrows left out there, I guess wild. They it was at nighttime and each of them saw a set of headlights like, you know, 10, 12, 14 miles away across this lake bed.
[00:57:29.010] - Big Rich Klein
And they were on ridges and they didn't neither one of them knew where they were at. So they they eventually worked their way to each other and went past each other and then realized that neither one of them knew where where they were at.
[00:57:45.090] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, but they both finish the race. I don't know how will they finish? They don't remember that part of the story, but it's I love hearing those stories from those guys.
[00:57:54.120] - Shain Chapman
Yeah. That was that's something I've got to get Randy to go over to and watch it. Five hundred thousand. That's that's just incredible stuff.
[00:58:03.810] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. You've crewed down. There are a couple of times I remember seeing you during the fiftieth.
[00:58:09.600] - Shain Chapman
Right. Right. Billy Wilson out of Corpus Christi is the Beverley Wilson race team. I root for them whenever I get a chance. And so I love going down there.
[00:58:22.620] - Big Rich Klein
In fact, Shelley surprised you because she was working registration, right?
[00:58:27.880] - Randy Kruse
[00:58:29.100] - Shain Chapman
I think they came out. We forgot what we were doing, where we're getting our armbands or whatever. One of the guys came that they said they have to see you right now and you need to get going, go on in there and see what's going on. I don't know what's happened. And it was Shelley give me a hard time about something that's awesome.
[00:58:48.240] - Big Rich Klein
What's your favorite place that you guys have weald outside of your own park cruzi?
[00:58:54.420] - Shain Chapman
I know what you're saying.
[00:58:56.180] - Randy Kruse
[00:58:57.900] - Randy Kruse
Well, I'm going to say my favorite trail of all time is very Mowamba. I mean, Helzer Grandis, my favorite trail is not. Difficult, but for years, Jane and I and all our buddies would go and, you know, we. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, pretty hard and then go hit the trade show on Thursday and then just go spend the afternoon, you know, enjoying it. It's a great trail. There's a little bit of difficulty, a lot of pucker factor there and standing around and watching all the other crazy people in the hot tub.
[00:59:35.530] - Randy Kruse
I mean, that is my favorite trio of all time out there. I mean, I've been the same hollow and I really like seeing how I hadn't had a chance to explore it. And, you know, it's it's an awesome place. But I'm still my wife. And by far, I love BFD. You know, I was so intimidated by the first time I ran it. I mean, I just love it.
[01:00:04.000] - Big Rich Klein
OK, how about you, Shain?
[01:00:05.490] - Shain Chapman
Yeah, I'm going to I'm still say Moheb too. I thought Randy, he's been such a sand halachic lately, I thought he'd pick sand hollow. But I just love everything about Moab. The trails aren't terribly difficult, but the scenery is so hard to beat. And I just I like I like the ship show of of Jeep Safari with everybody there. I get to visit with their guests, but not so true.
[01:00:33.190] - Big Rich Klein
We didn't make it the last two years for Easter because of covid, of course, because he was canceled and then they shut the town down basically. And then this year, you know, we were down in Port Aransas and we just decided, you know, things are going to be so different. There's going to be some of the rules and the parties and all that. We're going to be different. So we held off and stayed down on the water and.
[01:00:58.240] - Big Rich Klein
But did you guys make it out there this year?
[01:01:01.010] - Shain Chapman
I did. And I felt it was pretty normal. You know, crowds looked maybe a little less than normal, but still pretty crowded, you know, lines at the restaurants and whatnot. They didn't have the trade show down at the arena, but they did it at Dixie Will and off road. That wasn't that crowded. But all in all, I'd say it was a pretty normal Easter Safari.
[01:01:28.390] - Big Rich Klein
OK, good. Excellent. That's good to hear.
[01:01:32.410] - Shain Chapman
So and didn't run into any kind of backlash from the local community. They seem to be happy that we were there. You know, service is good at the restaurants and it was good. It was a good trip.
[01:01:45.160] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. What is in the future. Any plans on expansion or infrastructure. Add ons out it Katou.
[01:01:56.200] - Shain Chapman
I don't know if we've got any infrastructure plans right now other than we've got to do some more travel through the campground area and we're going to redo the the numbering of the RV slots that the parking on. That's apparently been a headache of the year. Nobody seems to get the right RB slot for some reason, so we'll reduce some of that and get that straightened out. We did. Randy took charge of getting us a little covered welding repair station area over there by the bathroom building.
[01:02:37.980] - Randy Kruse
I, I don't know, we opened up some, you know, not necessarily in the fence parking, but some trailer park in and kind of leave some of the bigger expense, you know, to have your rigs, to have the camper and all that inside the campground. But, you know, if you show up with one hundred and fifty rigs, you got one hundred and fifty trailers to deal with. So we opened up some parking outside the campground area where people go park to trailers and alleviate some of the crowd.
[01:03:07.180] - Big Rich Klein
But right now, that's I thought that was nice. I thought that was nice being able to have that open field out there that was good.
[01:03:18.610] - Randy Kruse
And we continually finding new trails, you know, you'd think you wouldn't, but continue to find new lines and new trails, new obstacles. And just to keep challenging everybody, I don't you know, we got some that are extreme and then some that are a little more than your average straight.
[01:03:42.100] - Big Rich Klein
Yes, you do. The I really enjoy putting on the rock crawls out there. You know, we're able to use that that one pocket area that and I'm hoping that this winter that will be I'll be down wintering in in Port Aransas and Mason and hope to get out there and clear a little bit more of some of that dead. All that's like between the campground and that area and open up some more, some of that rock for the comfort for the campsite side of it.
[01:04:16.850] - Big Rich Klein
So there's a lot of lot more potential out there. I know that, you know, one thing we didn't touch on, which is, you know, a lot of people have problems with our name and wonder where our name comes from. And that's something I guess we probably ought to address the whole contempts. Iraq's was based on a geological rock formation that was there at the old one location. But the Kempsey name is based on a Comanche chief, Kempsey that used to to winter and that area around Mason.
[01:04:53.540] - Big Rich Klein
So that's where people are always like cat rocks, whatever. That's good, right?
[01:05:01.220] - Shain Chapman
And that's and that's how the name came about. We were just trying to to not only locate based on the rock formation, but also to kind of honor some of the historical history of the area with captaincy. And his comanche's that, you know, the story is that the only treaty that was not broken by the white man was the German Immigrant Migration Company Treaty with the Comanches. And so that's that was signed were present day Fredricksburg is and that's supposedly was never broken.
[01:05:39.270] - Shain Chapman
So I was just a little little nod to the history of the area.
[01:05:43.520] - Big Rich Klein
But that's cool. I know that the little town of Kate Dempsey isn't really I mean, it's just a few buildings anymore. And I think an old church.
[01:05:53.630] - Randy Kruse
Is that correct?
[01:05:55.310] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, it was. And so now I used to own that. I actually own two towns in my lap and actually I campfire Texas. Hanky-Panky, Texas recently reached an agreement with some other local people that had a little money there. And there is that historical marker at Timpson, but it's kind of out in the middle of some pasture. Nobody knows where it is. So we took that little half to make sure that I had there. And they're going to move the historic marker over there and kind of explain a little bit about how cumbersome name and what the meaning of the teams is.
[01:06:36.950] - Randy Kruse
And hopefully, you know, people understand a little better when they, you know, nobody knew the marker was there before.
[01:06:44.720] - Big Rich Klein
So is it is it one of those? It has a like, you know, marker, historical marker, nineteen twenty two or something like that where it's numbered and and registered somewhere.
[01:06:59.060] - Randy Kruse
Oh yes. OK. The problem is, is, you know, with the historical marker sign that points out it is, you know, on a dirt road that's down past where the old store said so nobody unless you had a reason to go down that road there was there. So hopefully, I think preliminary talks with the people I have no problem with moving it up there. What used to be downtown could see and put that marker there. It may be a little you know, I've put a septic system and then build the wells.
[01:07:32.630] - Randy Kruse
So, you know, I talk of putting in a little bathroom. So be where people can have a picnic there and have a picnic table and have running water and a bathroom and make it a little nicer without hanging around there a little bit. And talk to Tamasi, Texas.
[01:07:47.630] - Big Rich Klein
I'd be nice to one of the things I'm going to ask you guys and see if you know what the the whole reasoning behind this is. But all the highways that we travel across the United States, there's rest areas and then there's parking areas and then there's Texas areas that are like barbecue. There's like a covered area, a table, a barbecue, and it'd be right alongside the highway. But there's no toilets available at all. It's like people don't barbecue at home.
[01:08:29.630] - Big Rich Klein
They go to these these little rest areas or wayside stops. What do you what is that? You guys know that those were used years ago when people were just traveling and we were in a little different world than we are now. And so that was like a stop and a rest area. And a lot of those places had little a frame step deal that allowed you to step up over the fence and onto the neighbor's property and to go use the restroom on their property.
[01:09:03.380] - Big Rich Klein
Oh, OK. And that's how those were set up. When times have changed and people don't want anybody on their property, they've removed those little frame steps to go so far and most of those parks, those little roadside stops like that are slowly disappearing. There used to be one right there at the Y intersection where you go to K two and the other road that goes off towards motorcades. There used to be one right there. I was there.
[01:09:31.250] - Big Rich Klein
But they usually they took that out because during hunting season it got really bad with hunters dropping all of their trash there and it just became a trash trash dump. So the county and the state agreed to the removal of that and remove that one there.
[01:09:49.260] - Big Rich Klein
OK, that makes sense. I didn't know that there had been one there. Those picnic areas. Like one of the other things that has always intrigued me about Texas, especially when we first started going there. Now it's just second nature. And everybody with a pickup truck, it seemed, and not so much anymore, but almost everybody at one time carried a barbecue with them or a smoker. And some of guys are serious enough to where you have, like big trailer smokers and you'd see, like on a weekend, I'd see like seven or eight of them traveling, you know, down some back road or what I'd consider, you know, the county highway or whatever.
[01:10:32.990] - Big Rich Klein
And it's like everybody has got a smoker and a barbecue. It just it absolutely amazed me.
[01:10:40.220] - Shain Chapman
But it's Texas. We like our barbecue. Yes, we like our barbecue.
[01:10:44.420] - Big Rich Klein
Well, and then in Mason, I think you have one of the best at first. Yeah. Cooper's the original Coopers.
[01:10:52.940] - Shain Chapman
[01:10:54.200] - Randy Kruse
Well, I'm sitting here in my office and I got to first place barbecue plaques I'm staring at on the wall.
[01:11:01.700] - Randy Kruse
[01:11:02.100] - Randy Kruse
When I was in those big giant barbecue Travian I do have I actually got two of those.
[01:11:06.920] - Randy Kruse
I have to. Yeah. But when I was first out of college, a group of guys and I would get together and we prided ourselves on barbecues. You know, first thing myself, I'm a guitar player and another friend of mine, Joe Henderson, is a banjo player. And so we sit around and drink beer. And one of our guys, his dad was on the phone home. So we always had a great big giant green tent. And I mean, nearly every time we'd win the showmanship, probably just because we dug more junk out there than anybody else would.
[01:11:42.500] - Big Rich Klein
He said he had a funeral home and you were talking about barbecue. He was like, I didn't know where that was going to go. And then he said, Green, where could this be going?
[01:11:52.150] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah. Thank you for the green tent comment.
[01:11:54.920] - Randy Kruse
Yeah, because usually all the barbecues are in the summertime and it's so dadgum hot and you just out there most of the time and the blistering sun. So we always had plenty of adult refreshment and we always partied a little harder than everybody else. So we didn't make some good barbecue. We had really good. They still do it out of duty.
[01:12:18.890] - Big Rich Klein
But you have your trailer still.
[01:12:21.770] - Randy Kruse
I still do. I used to cater. I mean, make me take a small town. There's no industry and it's hard for a young person to make it. And, you know, and so for probably 15, 20 years, I cater up to twelve hundred people and I did that pretty hard, but it barbecuing and Payson is hard work, whatever you pay somebody to tell them. Yeah, right. But that's, that's what I did make a little extra money that catered, you know.
[01:12:55.730] - Randy Kruse
And to Wayne Huffman who used to run the concession stand to for the first five or six years, he and I were partners, you know, and we catered a lot of events together. And that's kind of how we kind of how one comes about, because one girl in turn catered all our events this pay once. And so it's pretty lucrative. And he wanted to keep it going. He said, so we need some grit and take a look at our you know, so I'm glad.
[01:13:33.320] - Randy Kruse
Yep. Yeah, it was you know what, I've been Glencore and I were good friends in high school, but side by side and football, we room together in college. And I've been out to that property a hundred times. And I never saw those rocks just basically because they had no roads over there. So you didn't know how much they actually had. And so invited me to go take a look. And it was just exactly what we wanted.
[01:14:02.090] - Randy Kruse
I felt it was a step up in sharing from one. It was in our hometown, and so it was closer to my house and we lost a lot of business for our local vendors, it can't one, because we were just as close to Brady as we were nice. And so it was InMotion, closer to Mason. We had a concession stand operator and lots of good WE Rock. So it was a perfect combination for us.
[01:14:29.450] - Big Rich Klein
I, I think that it is it is a great competition, absolutely easy access from all directions.
[01:14:39.450] - Randy Kruse
The campground is level. Yep. We had an issue one time. We had somebody come in and a big old previous motorhome and trying to get to a parking spot and a windshield popped out. Okay, look, I had the old place.
[01:14:57.480] - Big Rich Klein
So did he drive on with goggles on or something?
[01:15:03.440] - Shain Chapman
Oh, those guys, it's kind of like the Hummer guys. And when they broke down on the rock, they called AAA. They literally tried that.
[01:15:13.390] - Big Rich Klein
Wow. That's that doesn't surprise me. Did they bubble wrap their cars?
[01:15:19.870] - Randy Kruse
No, I don't remember what they did, but they seem like, hey, man, we're going to pop down. Man, I'm sorry about that. What do you want me to do? I couldn't afford the windshield. If I'm here, here's a pair of goggles. Have fun driving home.
[01:15:38.420] - Randy Kruse
Yeah. Yeah. All right. All right.
[01:15:43.770] - Big Rich Klein
Well, let me ask, is there is there a place you haven't reeled that you want to wheel? How about you first?
[01:15:53.460] - Shain Chapman
I mean, outside of our place. Well, I'm on the I still haven't done stand 4Low. I want to do sand hollow and I want to do the Rubicon Trail. And I know that's up in your neck of the woods ridge to do the Yukon. And it's not supposedly going to be super hard, but it's just one of those on the bucket list of things I have to do.
[01:16:14.010] - Big Rich Klein
I agree that for anybody that that enjoys scenery and trail wheeling, you you got to do the Rubicon. And knowing how you guys are, I would suggest hooking up with Bob Sweeney and Jeepers Jamboree and going on the big trip.
[01:16:34.380] - Randy Kruse
Oh, that would be cool.
[01:16:35.730] - Big Rich Klein
It is really worth it to to have your meals taken care of for you when you drive in and on your way out. There's rock rollers and guides. First time on the Rubicon. It's not hard. You're not going to get lost. But it's really nice to go out there with a bunch of like minded individuals and not worry about other people that that would interfere with your weekend or your four or five days.
[01:17:08.100] - Shain Chapman
So the point is, I would say I'd say I would like to go to Dancing Valley. There's a lot of good stuff that I haven't had the opportunity to go see. There's a lot of stuff in Arizona that I'd like to go to. And even Colorado, there's some trails in Colorado, around Montrose stuff. But I'd like to go it. Rubicon would be on my list, but not not as much. You know, it's not a rock climbing place.
[01:17:39.780] - Shain Chapman
It's a place to go and enjoy. Right. I wouldn't take my buggy to the Rubicon. I don't think I think I would take it, you know, pack some stuff in there and do some camping, do it. I would say I would sure like to do that for sure.
[01:17:55.440] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, it is it's it's not it's not what I would call extreme. There are some little play areas right off the side of the trail that you can that are buggy lines. But, you know, for the most part, it's it's very scenic. It's beautiful. The lakes and the rivers that you get to swim in and, you know, the people especially like on Jamboree, where you have such a such a good group of people that are just hanging out and having a good time.
[01:18:29.370] - Big Rich Klein
You know, they bring in entertainment and everything. But it would be it I think it'd be worthwhile for that way for you guys to do it that way.
[01:18:40.440] - Shain Chapman
I'd also like to do one of those Baja Adventure trips with one of the race car drivers that, you know, where you go down the peninsula there and see all the little hot spots and whatnot, because all we do when I'm out there cruising or hitting is Paule, but from one location to the next and then sit there for the rest of the race and wait for vehicles to come in through the course of the night. So. I'd like to see some of that scenery and actually enjoy it a little bit.
[01:19:10.030] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, there's actually a couple of really good groups to go tour with. Duke does one, right?
[01:19:16.790] - Shain Chapman
And he did one and he desert assassins.
[01:19:20.380] - Big Rich Klein
I do want Cameron Steele. Yes, yeah, yeah. Both good, good people to be with and lots of storytelling. Kirtley Duke has some great stories as well.
[01:19:31.450] - Shain Chapman
Yeah, I would I would like to do one of those that's high on my list.
[01:19:35.020] - Big Rich Klein
Excellent. All right. Well, anything that we haven't that we haven't discussed that you guys want to talk about, about the park or anything?
[01:19:44.590] - Randy Kruse
Well, I think, you know, we'll start it all off. And everybody was in some, you know, production vehicle based vehicles, T.J., you know, to a Toyota Land Cruisers, that kind of stuff. Chevrolet Blazers were big when we started. Right. And, you know, our cars got bigger and bigger and we started, you know, the East Coast, but we started drifting into Texas. And so then it was a big rush for everybody to get a bogeying.
[01:20:19.840] - Randy Kruse
But now, you know, I see a lot of people that want to go back to driving their vehicle from their home out to will not trailer. I want to come out and have a good time, bring their kids, bring their wife, girlfriend, that kind of stuff, camp out, build a car and do some moderate. When I see a lot of those folks and I think we, as part owners, need to spend a little time developing more trails for that person, you know, they're going to get hooked and eventually they're going to put on bigger and bigger axles and all that.
[01:20:58.840] - Randy Kruse
But we've got to get them hooked first.
[01:21:01.840] - Big Rich Klein
I agree. And I think that another avenue is the overlending community where they want that same kind of like more of a scenic trail, but to where they can camp out, not in the campground with with maybe all of the with everybody else that's there that weekend. But like a remote campground, you know, in most of those people all have their own toilet facilities with them. And, you know, I mean, they they've got everything but the kitchen well, know, they do carry the kitchen sink.
[01:21:36.820] - Big Rich Klein
So, you know you know, that's something to think about, too, on those for that along that trailers and maybe an area for for overlending where somebody can remote camp it a little bit.
[01:21:48.610] - Shain Chapman
And while Randy's gone further and further into the buggy world, there's there's also a certain sector of folks that I think that kind of miss the three inch tire. Thirty five inch tire. Hey, this is a tough day, Weland kind of stuff. I you know, I'm I would be kind of inclined to head that direction myself. I mean, I we had we did a lot of stuff that we thought we were kicking the world's ass back in those days and, you know, just child's play now.
[01:22:19.570] - Shain Chapman
But that was that was fun stuff.
[01:22:22.810] - Big Rich Klein
I agree. I think.
[01:22:23.810] - Randy Kruse
[01:22:25.240] - Big Rich Klein
I think there's a great moment there when you see all the know, for example, showing back up and doing all the flatlander runs, I think that's a little sign of that type of movement.
[01:22:39.430] - Randy Kruse
[01:22:41.070] - Randy Kruse
I'll never forget the first time that we we drove the waterfall trail at one and there's a little step up there about maybe a foot and then another step off of about six or eight inches. And and I was I thought I was going that first time we did, you know, you just knew you were going to turn over because they would get you off camera and then you had a little bit more. And it was it was pretty sleepy. I'll never forget that.
[01:23:11.830] - Randy Kruse
I mean, that was part of the thrill that got us really interested in that rock climbing, you know, and it's the end in my old T.J., the taser, you know, you just stick it up and four wheel drive and run up pitch. You can kind of stir a little bit, but there's no way I could you just let it go off. And I think it might turn over some, but it never did. You KOH just turning it loose, letting it go where it wanted to, you know, not a driver.
[01:23:36.330] - Randy Kruse
It would make it up there, but it created for the first time I went off.
[01:23:40.870] - Big Rich Klein
Yep. I think we've all been in those kind of situations.
[01:23:45.040] - Randy Kruse
[01:23:46.090] - Big Rich Klein
So. Fred Williams first started this, and it was he asked, he goes, hey, I'd like to ask you a question, Rick. So is there anything that that you guys have ever wondered about me or what we do or future wise or anything like that, that you would want to ask me?
[01:24:10.640] - Randy Kruse
How long are you going? Well, I know I know you've been at it a little bit longer maybe than us, but you've been there 20 years. What do you see for the next 10 years for Rich and Shelley?
[01:24:23.720] - Big Rich Klein
Well, we see we see that we're going to continue doing this until we find somebody that will continue it carried on. I would like to find somebody that could can carry it on and partner with and do a transition so that the next person that takes over WE Rock will understand what WE Rock really is. Not just it's about WE Rock crawling, but the whole family idea behind it and the, you know, the the the true nature of it and, you know, maybe three or four years.
[01:25:08.360] - Big Rich Klein
And I started this. I was I was forty two. Twenty one years. Now I'm sixty three. You do the math. I'm not doing another twenty one years. I physically can't do probably another 10 even so you know, we would like to transition in. We still have the magazine that we would really like to be able to spend more, some more time doing that. I'd like to do a little bit more into the social side of wheeling, more of the trips, maybe with the magazine or, you know, almost like what you're talking about, the ball trips with some of the bar racers, you know, things like that where it's more of a social event and not a competitive event.
[01:25:57.890] - Big Rich Klein
I think physically that would be easier for me to deal with than than lugging 30 pound bases all over the map, all over the hillside. So. Right. You know that we you know, we want to stay in the industry because we love the people. And, you know, we're looking at a way for us to continue that without without having to do so much physical work, I guess. So that's the answer.
[01:26:25.610] - Shain Chapman
I understand that. I mean, and, you know, like you said, I mean, these folks over the last 20 years, I mean, we've had maybe a handful of problem people, but so very few never had anything stolen. You know, I think one somebody who lost a gun that they had in their vehicle on the trail, a pistol that fell out a few years ago. So somebody turned around and handed it back into the office.
[01:26:51.680] - Shain Chapman
It's just a different kind of crowd then you run into in other places. So it's just a it's a good group of people. And, yeah, staying connected to them, I think is an important thing to do. Exactly.
[01:27:03.860] - Randy Kruse
[01:27:05.060] - Randy Kruse
Well, guys, you know, I want to say this about about the folks who came in. I mean, I know most people in Texas for sure, heard about a tragedy with our courthouse. Grandmaison Yes. And so sane. And I wanted to be at least one of them. And we ended up being the first fundraiser for the courthouse. And I mean, we had a huge pouring out of love and and concerned about my son because most people for 20 years, you know, they sold into town, parked across the street from your hotel and and they enjoyed looking at the courthouse.
[01:27:44.180] - Randy Kruse
And when we called and asked our folks to come help us, they showed up. No big crowd raised sixteen thousand dollars and came back again and raised four thousand dollars for about 20 grand with the help for Mason. So we're proud of that. And you should be proud of our friend. Yes.
[01:28:02.620] - Big Rich Klein
Yeah, yeah. That was, you know, just to touch on that that night that that it burned. We were staying in the balcony room, what we call the library room, and heard all the sirens go out of town. And then all of a sudden I heard one siren come back in and stay. And we were like, what is going on? So Shelley looked and was like, oh, my God, you know, you need to come look at this.
[01:28:27.650] - Big Rich Klein
The courthouse is on fire. And I was like, what? And then we sat and just, you know, for the next two and a half hours, we're just totally blown away watching that beautiful building just just melt from the inside out or from the top down. Luckily, they're going to save the building, the majority of the all the rock structure and everything, and they're going to reinforce everything and then build it back in. So that's that's good to hear.
[01:28:59.810] - Shain Chapman
Yeah, that was a horrible tragedy. And you had some great video footage of that burning down. And it just such a horrendous deal. I mean, that was kind of the centerpiece of the community there. And I practiced law in that building for twenty years. It's just a heartbreaking thing to see that thing burn down.
[01:29:23.780] - Big Rich Klein
Right. And I'm sure Judge Bearden is not too pleased with all that happening.
[01:29:29.400] - Shain Chapman
No, not at all.
[01:29:32.720] - Big Rich Klein
Anyway, guys, thank. You so much for coming on and spending basically an hour and a half of your life telling us about your life, I hope for all the continued success for either of you in business and in Wheeling and with Katou, I'm proud to say that you guys are friends of mine.
[01:29:55.720] - Randy Kruse
Oh, yes. Yes.
[01:30:00.310] - Big Rich Klein
Well, we will see you guys. I'm going to be in town in Mason on the for the Fourth of July, so we'll see you guys during that time. And for sure, we'll see you next year with with the rock rolls.
[01:30:15.840] - Randy Kruse
We look forward to it.
[01:30:17.200] - Shain Chapman
All right. Absolutely.
[01:30:18.640] - Big Rich Klein
OK. Thank you so much. All right.
[01:30:22.430] - Randy Kruse
Bye bye. Bye.
[01:30:25.060] - Big Rich Klein
If you enjoy these podcasts, please give us a rating, share some feedback with us via Facebook or Instagram and share our link among your friends who might be like minded. Well, that brings this episode to an end. OK, you enjoyed it. We'll catch you next week with conversations with Big Rich. Thank you very much.