Beckler March 2017

It started off the day with Sunshine and birds singing…uumm ohh wait. No it was actually too dang early and raining miserably hard with warm temperatures and surely would prove to be an adventurous and interesting day.

We made our way up to the meeting spot almost on time to a T and lots of people already there airing down, unloading rigs, donning rain gear and the usual chatting etc. The rain had died down a bit, at least for a few while we all got ready.

Kurtis who was our trail leader held a driver’s meeting at 10:15 promptly informing us that we would be waiting for Chad as he was running late. And with his rig being fairly new to him and with his family included we would stick together and run as whole group for safety. Ed volunteered to bring up the rear. By this time the weather had caught back up to us and it was pouring rain. But as all good tamers come prepared almost everyone was in rain gear and enjoying our extra talking time.

With Chad showing up only a tiny bit late we hit the trail with Kurtis leading. The snow was wet and slushy and everyone seemed to do pretty well at this lower elevation. With Kurtis leading us and his well broke in rig running good he got out ahead of us and Anthony in his prerunner race rig he got past us all and stormed on ahead. It wasn’t very far when we could see a huge plume of what appeared to be smoke pouring out of Kurtis’s rig. We got on the radio and he assured us it was just steam from him blasting thru a big puddle. Whew!
Off and running again we didn’t get too far when we heard on the radio something about smoke and someone needing a fire extinguisher? WTF? Turned out Ron’s newly built rig was having a ground wire issue and it was burning up some wires? Eek Gads! They got it fixed pretty quick and got rolling again.
Anthony’s buddy Dave in his red TJ with a blue winch was up front and although he aired down quite a bit he was also running chains, hmmm interesting concept. Dave seemed to do fairly well with no problems but with his chains was running a bit slow.
I brought the MissUnderstood rpm up and at the next available opportunity attempted to pass Dave with his chains clattering. I was actually able to get passed him and my little engine and squirrels running high RPMS to get some hp it always wished it had.. LOL.
Now you have to understand I have owned this little Samurai for a long time and if I can EVER pass anyone including a Prius on the road or trail it is an amazing feat

It wasn’t long after that we found Kurtis pulled over and he had blown his front u-joint. This gave everyone a chance to catch up and it turned out Kurtis had only lost a cap off his u-joint and he was able to pop and new cap and needle bearings on in quick order. I offered a tarp to try to keep Kurtiss off the snow which he gladly accepted. But I think it only gathered the rain fall and created a puddle for him to be working in. Kurtis got soaked in the small amout of time he was under his rig. I think Curt Brady noticed this and popped under there to help tighten down a few nuts to hasten the fix.

We got rolling again and with Kurtis rolling good and Anthony in his prerunner I think maybe they wanted to compete for first to top. They were gone in “60 seconds”, just kidding.

We continued up the trail and the snow was getting a bit deeper but everyone was still motoring forward. Then we saw Anthony coming down and it looked like he was in 2 wheel drive. Sure enough Kurtis got on the cb to inform the group Anthony had lots his power steering and was heading back to load up. I can only assume being in two wheel drive made it a bit easier to control his rig with the back end getting kicked out when needed as he guided his rig back down the trail.

We made it up to the where the pavement ended, only indication was the sign I read that said “Pavement Ends”. We decided to wait there for the whole group to catch up and with us. Anthony had radioed Kurtis to let him know he had lost his rear differential and so Kurtis assigned me trail lead as him and Chad decided to head down to help Anthony limp back to his truck.

A Toyota prerunner guy named Chris as a new candidate he decided to take advantage of the time allotted and brew up a “spot of tea”. Although I knew he was not British I got to talking with him and found he was Canadian.
As we waited the rain slowed to a trikle which was nice and I think we actually saw a bit of sunshine for a moment?

As the rest of the group caught up we headed back to getting up the trail to try to get to Jacks pass. From here the snow got deeper and it was just nasty wet slick snow and people started having problems. Nothing major, little tugs here and a winch there, the tow fees were adding up. And Dave with the red YJ and chains was just motoring wherever he wanted.. Hehe.

It got to a point where we started climbing a bit in altitude and it seemed everyone was getting stuck.

The Toyota prerunner truck that was behind me was wider than me so he too was having tough time. I yank him out a few times as the group struggled to get higher.

With about 3 miles to get to Jacks Pass, and radio calls from Kurtis saying his ARB was gone and he had no lockers, we called it and decided to get everyone turned around. It was a bit of a struggle but we got everyone turned around and headed down. With gravity on our side everyone seems to make it down fine with some spots people crab walking when tires got stuck in one rut in front and rears got stuck in another rut. It was fun day and everyone had a great time..

Gary M