Beckler Midnight Run Feb 2021

The snow storm was reported to be coming in Friday night at about 10pm. I decided to try to put together a run up to Beckler river rd after my swing shift schedule Friday night.

I know that Josh had not been out in the snow with his new 40 inch tires. And he too was now working a swing shift schedule. I put out the word to a select few people that I thought might be into a midnight run. Most people had plans for Saturday day already, and the others were just was not into such a late-night run. I ended up getting Travis to come along and Josh got one of his coworkers to commit to a late all nighter.

I had loaded up my rig with everything so I could meet Josh straight after work. And at about 6pm at work it started snowing. I then realized I had forgot something at home so I would just take off work an hour early, get home, pick up what I needed and then meet Josh at 11pm.

I dusted off the snow from my windshield and locked in my hubs just in case i needed 4wd and took off work at 10pm. The roads were definitely slippery and saw people struggling all the way home. I got home and the wife told me to BE CAREFUL and that highway 2 already had a roll over accident.

On the way over to meet with Josh I witnessed a 3 car pile up, less than ¼ mile from my house. Then another ½ mile and one guy going thru his gears at a stop light in a corvette. 1st gear, 2nd gear, 3rd gear.. Himmm just spinning. Wow, ok then. I had unlocked my hubs when I was at home figuring, I would not need 4wd. I was almost at the meeting spot and I heard the familiar sound of a Toyota 22r type engine winding up and looked, and sure enough a small truck was spinning their tries trying to make it thru an intersection. Geesh I had not even met with Josh yet or gotten onto the freeway. I questioned maybe I should have my manual hubs locked in?

I met up with Josh and we headed out to meet Travis and Josh’s friend John up at the Sultan Roundabout. It was blowing snow and the roads were covered and slippery. We didn’t go much past about 45 or maybe 50 all the way out to Monroe. We had passed one snow plow on our way and I was grateful to see them out doing their job.

We drove though Monroe and on the way to Sultan the roads cleared up but then the wind started. Holy Toledo did it get windy. It was Eerie seeing the snow blow across the roads making like a ghostly stormy feeling. I had a tight grip on my steering wheel and was hoping my little Samurai was heavy enough to keep from getting blown off the road.

The snow was still falling but it was falling sideways and blowing hard and was not sticking to the ground. It made it tough to see so we just went slow and made our way up to the round-about in Sultan. We had to wait for Travis as he was running a little late but before too long he pulled in and we topped off with fuel. We headed on out and all talked about the wind on our radios. We figured if we got up there and it was blowing too hard we might come back if it was too much.

We got into Gold Bar and it was crazy windy. With the snow blowing it made it tough to see so I had my high beam lights on. Well apparently I forgot to hit them back to low beam as we passed a cop and sure enough he flipped around passed everyone to pull me over. He checked my license and told me I had my high beams on and was blinding him with my LED high beams. Ooops I’m usually very good about that, but missed that one. He told me to be safe and he went back to his rig. As I was putting my license away I saw him take off out in front of me and flip his reds n blues back on and pull a U-turn to the other side of the street. I witnessed him jump out of his rig and retrieve an American Flag from the middle of the street that had blown from the neighboring business.

I had to share this moment as I felt proud to see him doing such a fine job protecting and serving our community as he was.

We continued our way and got up past Baring a lil bit and maybe it was a little bit before Money Creek campground the wind seemed to die down. Thank goodness! That was CRAZY Wind!

As we pulled through Skykomish there didn’t seem to be much snow and I started wondering? We made the turn off and motored up Beckler River Rd. Not as much wind , but also not much snow either?

We got to the end of the pavement and decided to air down and proceed up the trail. The snow started getting deeper and it was snowing pretty much the whole time. I think we were all grateful it was not too windy as we traverse up the trail. I miss one right hand Y and Travis was quick to point out they went the other way last time. I checked my GPS tracks and sure enough I made the wrong turn. Time for a Tamer Turn Around. We got turned around and up the trail we went. I was leading the way and breaking trail and it got deeper and deeper and I was grateful to see that. We got up to a point I figured I needed to let Josh break in those 40 inch tires and break some trail. So I pulled off to let him pass. We all got over in a spot and let Josh pass. Then he proceeded but having some problems. I noticed his rear axle was NOT locked and a quick reminder on the radio and away he went all locked up and plowing trail. The snow wasn’t the best and it was getting deep. Josh’s friend was on 35 inch tires and locked in rear only. He was driving the crap out of that Cherokee but Travis had to back down a couple times to winch him out.

At one point Josh had gone on ahead and maybe got about ½ mile further when he just kept sinking down and figured we were at our highest point so he turned around and came down to an open area. Josh’s friend made it up to that point as well as the rest of us. But Travis figured he would try and once again see how his 37 inch tires would fair. He ventured up and got maybe about 100 yards farther than Josh had but he too was just sinking in. Josh and his friend John and I talked a bit as Travis traveled up and I thought maybe I would follow up behind Travis after a bit to make sure he didn’t get into trouble, while Josh got his friend turned around.

As I got closer to Travis he radioed he had hit his highest point and was going to back down. I recognized where I was as I had broke my front driveline in this spot about a month or so ago. It was a good spot to clear out and get turned around so I did. Once I got facing downhill Travis got back on his radio and said he thought he had gotten stuck. Now if Travis is “thinking” he is stuck, he is probably really stuck. So I went about turning back around to crawl up to him and with my “ice cream truck tune” blaring I crawled up to get a winch line on him. He had sure enough, had gotten out of the tracks while backing down and slid off into the ditch.

We pulled cable and hooked him up and with a quick winching we had him back in the tracks and unstuck.

We both backed down to the spot I had tramped down and had no problem getting turned around. We motored down the spot we had left Josh and his friend John, but they had already headed down and were gone. We proceeded to travel down the trail all the way to the turn off where Josh and John were waiting. They had wanted to be sure John could get down through those bad spots he had problems coming up. We all cruised down to the pavement. We were filling up air and getting mud flaps back on etc. We all left together and headed out to the highway.

The road trip home was much the same as coming up, except I swear the wind was heavier. I went thru Gold bar with LED head lights in Low Beam for sure. But I swear with my window cracked open a bit I heard some really loud cracking sound. This was NOT a tree branch breaking sound. But more of a Tree FALLING sound. I radio everyone to watch out and we all crept thru town at the speed limit and didn’t look back. The wind was back and there was a little more snow but still blowing. At some spots it blew so hard and enough snow that I couldn’t see any lines in the road. We went slow and steady. We all made it home ok even with the heavy snow on the roads from Monroe all the way back into town. I took I-5 from highway 2 down to 128th st exit. As I went thru the Everett mall way/Boeing freeway interchange there was at least 4 to 6 inches snow on the freeway and everyone was going slow.

I was grateful to pull in the driveway at about 6:30 am. We had quite the adventure and it included from the time we left work at the odd hours of swing shifters doing an overnight run.

Thanks for reading, forgive my typos.
Gary M