Another wonderful weekend of wheeling in Washington with the Tamers, Labor Day in Liberty.
The trip from home over wasnâ€™t as bad for some as it was for others. Mike G. left early Friday morning and it was a good thing he did. He got to Liberty early enough to secure us a spot by the creek big enough to horseshoe in the 6 motor home (Iâ€™m including Troyâ€™s toy trailer) 1 truck w/ camper, at least 4 tents, plus all the trucks, trailers and rigs. Just think of a group this size showing up to camp in a space the size of your back yard. Can you say close friends??? Terri & Scott were the last to arrive Friday night around 11:30pm.
With generators cranked up, coffee and breakfast was served just in time for Moose, Auto M and guest Mike to arrive bringing our group to 26 people, 13 rigs & 5 dogs strong.
â€˘Mike G & Jonathan
â€˘John, Gina & Lacy
â€˘Danny, Julie & their 2 girls
â€˘Gary, Lori, Teddy & Abby
â€˘Terri & Scott
â€˘Troy, Lorinda & their 2 girls
â€˘Rock & Genie
â€˘Mary (Auto M)
â€˘Lori, Mark & Axle
â€˘And Guest Mike If I forgot anybody itâ€™s cuz Iâ€™m old, ok????
Heading out bright and early on tamer time (around 10:00?), we headed up the 619 to place the â€śDANGER, CLIFF AHEADâ€ť sign John had made. We were already down one rig as Dannyâ€™s showed up strapped to the trailer already on jack stands. Seems he has been working so many hours on the job he didnâ€™t have time to replace the wheel bearings at home. So the balance of the group headed up to the Red Cliff Lookout, sight of the recent accident. It took no time at all for the hole to be dug, cement mixed, and post placed & sign welded in place. That taken care of we were once again on our way. On through the woods- bright sunshine & beautiful vistas al around. Up to the â€śStair Stepsâ€ť. . Most made it without a problem, a few needed cable help (youâ€™ll know who they are when they pay-up and the next meeting) but while I was sitting on the top watching all the action I heard Newbie Mike say â€śWOW, my TJ just turned over 980 miles!â€ť now thatâ€™s not 980 miles on this trip, but 980 miles total on his new rig. Talk about a brave (yet foolish) soul!!! Al Tamers safely on top we sat to let a small group on Toyâ€™s & a Zuk go by so we wouldnâ€™t hold them up. I made a sarcastic remark (imagine that?) to the last Toyota driver and he must have been having a bad day because I think I hurt his feelings. Sorry!!! We reloaded, the rigs not the firearms! And headed back toward camp. As we were cruising down the Hwy I heard someone say something about pulling over, so I did to see if I could lend a hand but saw everyone running toward my rig yelling â€śyouâ€™re on fire!!â€ť No big deal, been there before! All it was, was a locked up front brake that set the baring grease on fire. We didnâ€™t even need any of the dozen fire extinguishers that showed up. The rest of the group headed off for camp with Carl & Gary staying to keep me company. Moose grabbed the Burb & trailer and came back to rescue me. Jeep all loaded we were once again off towards camp only to hear â€śthereâ€™s smoke & itâ€™s getting worse!â€ť over the C.B. Now wait, Dirtballâ€™s on the trailer, it couldnâ€™t be me? Alas it was one of Tomâ€™s trailer tires rubbing itâ€™s self into blistery oblivion. Ok, trailer tire changed, we made it back to camp-FINALLY! We pulled the tire, brake & hub to find a stuck caliper. Gary said something about 5 pounds of rust? Problem fixed and night run looming we all had dinner, re-fueled and kissed our loved ones good-by again. This run included Danny & Co. as he has enough time to make all noticeable needed repairs. Back we go up to the newly placed sign to do some final clean-up work. Seems John took acceptation to Gary disfiguring his paint job when he welded it to the post (just kiddin John). New paint & some reflective tape in place it was now time to enjoy the massive amount or stars. WOW! This time the run home was uneventful but quite dusty.
It starts all over again. Generators puttering away, tools clanking and the lovely Loriâ€™s hand delivering food. â€śThanks Dears!â€ť
Todayâ€™s trip is the â€śTank Trap Trailâ€ť on the other side of the Hwy. If you like hill climbs, this is your trail. Almost constant up, up up. We hit the trail head, aired down and off we go. We were moving along pretty well when I asked if the lead group had made â€śBurnâ€™s Hillâ€ť yet and got back â€śDannyâ€™s Hillâ€ť. What? Then they repeated, â€śDanny needs help!!!.â€ť There he sat mid-hill with Julie & the girls climbing out. Looks like his transfer case decided to splitâ€¦ in two! So we winched him up, turned him around and towed him back to camp with Rock following to keep and eye on things. Dropped of the rig & Danny jumped in with me & back we head to try & catch up. As we get back to the Hwy. Rock pulls out to go the ÂĽ mile to the left turn but here comes an 18 wheeler highballing it up the pass. Tire smoke and Iâ€™m sure a few choice words and he flies past Rockâ€™s cruiser. WHEW! It didnâ€™t take us long to catch up with the main group and we had a great balance of the days run. Too bad it was so sunny, a good down pour would have made things much more exciting.
Back at camp, more food and stories until the sun started to set. Time for Night Run 2. Back on the trail toward the â€śBee Hiveâ€ť we get to the table rock just as the sun was going down. â€śMagnificent â€śis not enough! From there we headed up a trail unfamiliar to all of us. It was cool watching the taillights snaking up the trail in the pitch black in front of me. We popped out onto the gravel road and felt since it was still before midnight we needed to eat some more dust so we turned around and went back about a Â˝ mile. Took a left up a little used spur. Tight, twisty, dark & very fun! It finally deadened at a dried up mud hole. Well dry everywhere except where Jonathan put his size 13â€™s. Goop up to the ankles. Thatâ€™s what you get for trusting Danny! We stood around sharing jokes, comments and a few other things (thanks Mike!) when Karl put on the perfect music. Metallica played on banjo! Really, this guy has a whole C.D. of metal music on banjo. Can you say â€śDeliverance meets Spinal Tap?.â€ť Well before we started hearing squealing pig noises, we figured it was time to head home. No problems, just more dust.
More of that dreaded blue sky & sunshine. Oh, the horror!!! Lol. Most were busy packing up for the trek home but some of us are gluttons for punishment so John, Gina, Mike, Jonathan, Gary & I headed out to see the site of the demise of the â€śMangy Moose.â€ť The 4 rigs moved along quickly to the base of Tomâ€™s Faulty.â€ť John & Gina with Lacy hunkered down in the back made it up to the same spot that caused Tomâ€™s problems and lost traction & forward momentum. They stopped and like the trooper she is, Gina jumped out and started pulling cable. If you have ever been there, this hill is steep & loose and as hard as she tried she couldnâ€™t quite drag the cable & herself up the hill so she & John swapped and he finished hoisting it up the balance of the hill. Winch engaged and up they went. Mike G was next and he hit the hill with a little more speed but old â€śFlexâ€ť must have misunderstood when we said â€śhop on up the hill.â€ť The jeep just kept bouncing higher & higher until Mike had made it just past where John & Gina had gotten hung up and decided to stop and let things settle down. He stopped for only a second, the dust cleared, and he slowly pulled forward and finished the hill, no cable. Gary and I took a lesson and hit the hill with a little more acceleration and created the hill without any extra drama.
While we were waiting for John & Gina to clear the hill we were rolling rocks down the hill in the direction that Tom would have continued to roll had he not hit that tree. One rock went â€ścrunch, boom, crunch, crunch, TINK! â€śWHAT THE H*@#! The unmistakable sound of rock meeting sheet metal. We all paused for a second almost afraid to walk down and see what or who was down there. We finally peeked over the edge and saw what looked like the hard top to something but no rig! WHEW!!!
So now it was time to head back and pack up camp for the long Labor Day drive back home. Hope everyone had as much fun as I did!
Later, Mark â€śDirtballâ€ť Stevens