Christmas Tree Run Dec 2013

Our day started out at the Bothell Safeway dropping off a donation to Northwest Harvest at the King 5 NW Harvest food drive. After that was done we all headed up to the Monroe Buzz Inn for breakfast before meeting up with the rest of the group at the Tressle off Foss River Road. We had 8 rigs and headed out in all for the tree run.

We drove by the Dirty 13 guys keeping warm at their fire saying hi as we passed and took the lower road looking for deeper snow. A ways down the road we ran across an abandoned Toyota Tercell in the ditch and decided to look at pulling it out on our way back through. It was not going to last the winter there and we did not want to see it get destroyed by the winter.

The snow was not as deep as in past years and because of the cold just did not want to pack down at all. Everything was going fine until Patrick in the Cherokee ahead of me had to stop. When I pulled up and stopped behind him we both discovered that we were stuck when we tried to move again. I got a little tug from the rig behind me to get out and then did  the same for Patrick. It was at this point that the chatter on the radio seemed to indicate others were having the same issue and it was decided to turn around and find a spot to stand around a fire for a bit.

As Patrick turned his Cherokee around I noticed something was hanging down on the front end. It turned out that the track bar came out of the heim joint. It was a balmy 4 degrees when Patrick started to work on the repair while everyone else stood around the portable propane fire that Moose and Mary brought, occasionally handing Patrick tools or a hand when needed.

By the time that Patrick was done with the repair everyone had made it back to the group and we headed back down the trail. We stopped at the Tercell and found that it was unlocked but frozen solid where it was. There was evidence that someone had tried to pull it out since there was a broken tow strap and D-ring attached to the back end. Rudi tried pulling it out with his winch but the car was frozen to the ground and it only move an inch or two. It took an axe and a couple shovels digging the ice from underneath to finally get it released enough so that it could be winched out.  Now the challenge was how to turn it around but that was easily accomplished but using Rudi and Shawn’s winches to spin the car around in place on the snow. Rudi then hooked it up to his Jeep with a short strap and started to pull it down the road and out of the woods.

It was not long before we came across we came across some guys in a 4wd AMC Eagle and a Cherokee who were on the way to try and recover the car with the owner. Those of us in front pulled over and let them by and the cars owner was able to get a ride down to his car so that he could unlock the steering wheel and steer the car while Rudi pulled.  The next challenge was getting the recovery team turned around though and that took a little bit of doing. It was at about this point that the recovery team realized that they were really lucky we were there as they got stuck a few times trying to get turned around to head out and it probably would have been much worse if they had made it to the car. They were pretty happy that the hard part was done and we were there to lend a hand.

At this point two more rigs come up the road to us and one tries to get by us in the ditch and gets stuck. Neither him nor the guy he was with had winches. He did have some chain that his buddy pulled him out with. They got around us and continued on up the road. (I’m surprised more people don’t end up spending a long cold night out there).

We got everyone back to the Dirty 13 fire and the recovery team was able to get the car out the rest of the way from there. We stopped for a while and visited around the fire with people before heading back down the hill and calling it a day. All told it was a great day of snow wheeling and another find day with the Tamers helping people and having fun in the process.