Elbe Work Party Aug 2009

Penny, Tom, Gary, Mark, Ann T, Amy, Terry, Rudi (me), Cassidy, Alex, and Ian were all able to make it for work party. We were just supposed to check the trail, paint the winch point sign so people could see it, and then go have some fun of our own. It did not work out that way.

Before we left the parking lot Tom used the spare tire on Penny’s Jeep to replacing the leaking front left tire that for some unknown reason just decided to start leaking. Consensus was that dirt in the bead is what caused it and it would be an easy repair, easier at home so we left it for later. Funny part was that Tom choose to change the tire using Marks winch hooked to the Jeeps roll cage in order to pull it off the ground to swap the tire. For some reason this was a novel idea to the people in the parking area and drew a few strange looks.

Just after the roadside assistance was done Nancy arrived and offered up a mini excavator along with a trailer to haul rock on the trail. We needed to shore up a section of the trail that had seen a lot of wear and tear recently so we went to it and got that done. After a couple of rock loads and painting the sign we were finally done and able to go play. While Tom and Terry were returning the equipment Ann thought it would be a good idea to swap out her leaking right rear tire for the spare. Again probably just dirt in the bead but it had been leaking on the trail once already. Tom’s jack-less lift was used again. I winched Ann’s Jeep over on two wheels while she changed the tire. Again there were a few looks as we did this in the parking area waiting for Tom and Terry to return.

Finally we all headed up the road to have a little fun on the trails. Tom was in the lead and as he had a desire to see the new rock crawl at the end of the road we headed that way. Terry and Mark decided that they wanted to play and so took a run through the rocks. Terry had a little more trouble than Mark but was able to make it through. Mark did have a little problem in that he removed the muffler from the right side exhaust with a very large rock. He took care of things and when people were done playing we took off.  We then ran the Rainer Vista Trail and started on Gotcha. It was not far into the Gotcha trail that Mark put a root that was sticking out through the sidewall of his tire. It was not just a puncture either, but was about a 3 inch tear in the sidewall in the shape of a V. So while Mark was jacking up the front end and trying to figure out what to do with the tire (no spare) Gary took and axe to the root in order to remove the hazard. He had just removed the root when the ground nest of bee’s near by decided they had enough and came out to inform everyone near by of the fact. Luckily Gary (stung 4 times) and I (stung once) were the only people to get the message and neither of use are allergic. Once the bee’s had settled down and Marks Jeep was up in the air Gary went to work on fashioning a repair to get the rig back to the trailer. So with a bit of bailing wire to stitch things back together, about six tire plugs, and half a tube of rubber cement the tire would hold air well enough to get the rig out of the woods. I went back with Mark and Gary in case more air was needed in the tire but Gary’s repair worked pretty good and we did not have to stop. The others still felt like playing and so continued on up the trail.

Back at the trailer we got Marks Jeep loaded up and talked to Nancy a bit before heading on down the road for home. It was not the day that I thought it would be but it was a good time with good company and what more can you ask for.

Until next time,