So as Travis might bring up in his report when we got to the lower parking on Evans Creek it was obvious that we had a lot of rigs and we discussed splitting the group up. I took volunteers that would be willing to run trails quickly and with as little spotting as possible.
I had my friend and guest Victor with me and we were going to run Evans creek then move on to run Naches Pass trail after, so we had to move quickly to get some trail miles down. We took (i’ll use nick names for the people and rigs because my memory for names is atrocious) Victor in his JKU on 37’s , the giant yeti white JKU, the TJ with LIttle miss in it, the green TJ and last but not least the Side Kick that could do all most anything.
We started the day going up the 311 trail which as I remember as one of my favorite trails up there form the last time I had been up there some 20+ years ago, and boy was I surprised at how much the trail had changed. It was a nice challenge and the view points were even more spectacular than I remember. The one point that I remember as being a good trail obstacle is the stair step which now has changed to what was the bypass is now the “hard line”. So I just had to try the hard line and found my approach, lined up and put the TJ in time lapse mode (double low range} and crawled in to it only to find the rear end dong the climb slip climb slip, so I adjusted my line and then it went with no drama….. which those who came up after me did so with ease that made me feel like I showed them how to pick the completely wrong line to take. So after tooling along and getting up to the over look of mount Rainier we stopped for a minute for photo ops and some oohs aahs and then mounted up and up the trail we went.
Now as any Timber Tamers knows it not a run until there is a turn around…. well I led the group on a trail that I followed from a downloaded gps track to the new to me improved and enlarged camp ground. A very nice campground at that. So turn around #1 back down to where there was a trail the went along the south side of the ridge, and it was nice and looked fine but got tighter and tighter until we came to a well “that’s not passable”. It looked like the trail had had a slide and is now abandoned. So we all Austin powered a tight u-turn (turn around #2) and made it back to the same trail/road to the campground. The trail had change enough that I didn’t see a hard right that was the trail and led the group back to the campground to search for the upper trail that might leave from there. A couple of the guys had said “hey what about this trail the goes hard right right here” well turn around #3 happened shortly after we broke for a quick potty break and lunch. Yeti and Side Kick bombed up to verify the trail and we all successfully resumed the upper 311 and found that the upper trail was far steeper than I remembered.
We came out on top and followed the 7930 road to go to the 519 trail and once again found a couple of truly incredible view points of the valley and mount Rainier. We entered the 519 and moseyed along fairly uneventful until we found a fairly tight kink with a bank and stump to maneuver around . Us proper sized trail rigs had no problem but the school busses both took some damage. Victors JKU popped the drivers flair off and the tail light was pulled off, he made a quick gorilla tape repair for the light and threw the flair in the back. Yeti was next and he broke the back half of the rear flair also. After that we attempted the 519 hard side and soon met up with a sizable group that were having a good time trying to get over some pretty big boulders that were really slick so we took the bypass that was available for us and ran down the rest of the way to turn off on the 199 trail which was a nice tight windy trail with some good switch backs. That trail led us to the 7920 road to get to the 102 trail, and took that nice steep trail down to the lower lot.
All in all it was an awesome day on the trails with fun people. No one broke anything important and no winch lines were pulled. We put a lot of trail miles down fairly quickly. Victor and I had to get on the road to be able to get on the Naches trail before it got too dark so I abandoned the rest of the poor souls that followed me through the day. As we left they were planning some more trails to hit and try to group up with Travis.
As for Victor and my adventure to Naches and Funny/Moon rocks… that was just an epic run and night on the trail.
Thank you for suffering my rambling unedited or proofed story.
Troy Messick #67