Elbe Oct 2015

The weather was pretty decent as Tamers began to group, first at the Miller home, then in Eatonville, then at Elbe trail head.  We had 8 rigs today, Gary and his Zuk, Casey and the Yota, Tammy Chirstopherson riding shotgun with Randy Karg in a Yota, Rudy (not sure of last name) riding shotgun with Steven Armentrout in the Zebra Jeep, Heather Allemang in her Jeep, Mark McLaughlin in his Jeep, with Jason riding shotgun, a Friend of Gary and Casey, Jason Scott and co-pilot in his Yota, and Steve Yeager…..in his  ‘lil Side Kick….aks Tinker Toy!
Steve and others fully expected to be winching that little side kick throughout the day….but that was not the case!  Steve did get to use his winch, but to pull several other rigs out of stuck places.  I think he was so little, he snuck through most places, while the larger rigs, were wedged.

We started with the Sunrise trail, then quickly moved to the Busy Wild.  While the Busy is not quite as challenging as it used to be, it still has it’s tight, twisty areas, with quite a bit of Mud.  There was a mud hole just before the Busy, that several tried, but only 2 Yota’s made it out under their own power.  As usual, the Busy took most of our time today….about 1500 feet into the trail, Gary radioed, back for the wider rigs, to NOT go to the left side….Apparently, Mark the Britt, missed the transmission, or in just plain true Tamer style, didn’t give a hoot and proceeded to the left side.  This is where he promptly got his RR wheel wedged under a tree root, and the LF wedged under a different tree root.  In attempting to free himself from this Pickle, spun his valve stem half way off, and let the rest of the air out of the tire.  Once we got him out of this debacle, and began putting his spare on, he asked “what trail is this”?  When we told him the Famed Busy Wild, he was quite relieved, that at least it was NOT the Cinderella Trail, and made him feel a ton better about his predicament.  He also commented to Gary, “Why didn’t you tell me not to go that way??” Gary then pointed out, that this was the Busy Wild and “Mark, you are only about 1500 feet in”.  The wider rigs, then proceeded to go around this obstacle, lest they all be stuck.

Next, Heather decided it was time to take her tire off the bead…Luckily, no tire change was needed, just a bunch of air to pop her bead back onto her rim, and away we went.  Further down the Busy, there is a new rock garden area, which most of us had to try out.  Mr. Yeager and his lil side kick, got high centered on a twig, and two guys got a Teeter totter effect going, and he popped off.  There is something to be said about a 1000 lb rig!  There is a great video of this somewhere.

Mark had got himself into another pickle, and more winching was involved.
Once we all got out of the Busy Wild, and came out at the clearing….one rig, the Zebra Jeep with Steven and Rudy, decided to hang a sharp left, and just do a quick buzz through a mud hole…..And ended up providing with a TON of entertainment for the day!  You can see a Ton of pics of this shenanigan on the web page, and FB album.  The Jeep pushed so much mud up in front, that there was no moving it under it’s own power.  It took over an hour to extract the zebra jeep from its clutches!  We started with having Heather try to winch him out….he moved about an inch, and pushed up 3 yards of mud, and Heathers jeep moved about 5 feet.  Backed Heather up, and gave it a few more tries, with the same outcome.  Hooked up a Yota Winch along with Heather’s, and did a dual pull….Zebra jeep moved about an inch, pushed up about 6 more yards of mud in front of it, and the winch rigs moved forward about 10 feet.  Obviously this was not working, but since now, all the mud in the trough was in Front of the Jeep, there was not much behind it!  So, moved to winch him out backwards now that the path was clear….finally, we had SUCCESS!  Now, we can see there is about 1 yard of mud inside, as well as stuck everywhere on the zebra jeep!  Not to mention Rudy was covered head to foot in mud.
At this point it was about 5pm or so, and several members of our group decided it was time to call it a day, and head out.

The 5 rigs left were Gary, Casey, Randy and Tammy, and Steven and Rudy, and Heather.  We headed to the Swamp trail, where the Zebra Jeep could wash off a bit.  As we pulled up to the trail head, there was a young couple standing there.  We asked “Whats Up”…… They replied that they had a Stuck Jeep in the Swamp Trail, with little kids in it.  Another couple was also with, and stayed with the kids in the stuck jeep.  The couple jumped into the ‘lil Samurai, to show us where they were….Gal sitting on guys lap.  We made it to the big trough, where the couple jumped out and said they were just ahead.

Most of us made it through this, although Heather had to get her winch out again.  When Miss Creant went through this, and hit a bump making a strange noise, that only Gary heard.   All gauges look fine, she is still running good and moving forward….so, must have been Gary’s Imagination.  We continue up the Gotcha Trail in the dark.  The darkness proved a bit difficult for Heather, who firmly planted her rails on a VW sized Boulder….a little tug, and she was free once again.  At this time, I notice MC is getting warmer then she has been all day…As we stop at the end of Gotcha, to discuss hitting the Rainier Vista trail, as our last one of the day,  I figured this would be a good time, to do a quick check under the hood, to see if all was OK, due to the warmer temp.  hmmmm, Belts are all there, and running, fan is going round, maybe it was just sitting idle, or working a bit harder….only 180 degrees, but warmer then the 160-ish she had been all day.  Now, Gary realized I had the hood up, so came over to see what was up.  We didn’t see anything wrong, until Gary said…. “I see….shut her down”.  Once the engine was off, Gary started to pull broken fan blades out of the engine compartment…then counted how many I had left.  Of the normal 6 fan blades, I now have 1 and a half!  OK, no run up Rainier Vista trail today!
All in All….it was a great day of Wheelin’, everyone made it home safely and under their own power.  The club will be able to collect quite a fund in Tow fees today for sure!  I for one, can’t wait to do it again!

Casey and Miss Creant