Moses Lake April 2017

As usual Anthony, family, and myself got an early start on this weekend. We left his suicide driveway sometime around 7:30 PM on Thursday and boogied for Moses arriving some time after 11:00.  We searched for a good spot. I attempted to find the camp stop from last year but I turned too early and couldn’t tell the different in the dark. I unloaded the 4Runner and got myself situated. It took a bit of effort to find a good spot to level the truck and camper. I took the 4Runner for a hot lap up the road being as this was the first time I have driven it since I slapped a supercharger on this dumpster. I was only gone for 45 seconds and by the time I return Anthony and family had turned off all the lights and closed all the doors. I guess it was time for bed.

Friday morning came and Anthony decide to get his Kodiak and trailer a little more level. I advised that he could get a small running start into the dunes and should make it up the hill just fine. I think his foot got stuck or something because he came around the corner around 35-40 mph and entered the soft sand. I thought for sure I was dreaming because Anthony hit the dunes so fast he was drifting the Kodiak with the attached trailer. Not exaggerating… He quickly realized he was not in the Bomber and settle for a mild run to the top of the small hill. Throughout the day other Tamers showed up as well as some other racecar friends of Anthony and I. There was even a showing of the extremely elusive Baker family in their new toy hauler which Moose referred as the “Star Ship Enterprise” hauling Gary’s TJ (Yes, GaryTJ actually does own a Jeep.)

There were multiple races up and down the dunes. There was jumping and sliding sideways and more jumping. Not too mention the side hills and the bowls… And the weather was fantastic. A little wind on Saturday evening but calmed down shortly. The day walkers showed up Saturday morning as well. We continued to pick up trash throughout the day but I have to say this is probably the cleanest we’ve seen Moses Lake in recent history. Unfortunately I did hear rumor of a Tamer (or guest. Not sure) taking a side by side bumper to rear during recovery.

Sunday was the final race between Shane (racecar friend) in his 4400 racecar and Anthony in his Bomber. A couple good passes happened. It was a couple good races. Anthony won one and Shane won one and then the oil drain plug decided to eject it’self from Shane’s car. Fortunately he was stopped and the car turned off. Talk about random.

Please share your story.


I am going to do this a little different and instead of writing a long story I am going to share some things that I learned on the run to Moses Lake.

  • When some people want to get your attention so you do not drive past them they can really look like a bunch of nuts jumping up and down waving their hands in the air thus raising the question …. should I just keep driving.
  • A truck towing a gooseneck with a camper and Jeep is much too heavy to make it up much of a hill in loose sand.
  • When unloading the Jeep from the gooseneck and the drop off the back of the trailer is more than 18 inches I really should use the ramps in order to prevent the Jeep from just dropping on the spring hangers leaving the rear wheels spinning in the air.
  • With the Jeep off the trailer and a head and a running start before hitting the loose sand the truck can tow the gooseneck with camper on it about 300 feet before finding a good place to just park.
  • No one brings jiffy pop camping anymore so if you do and share it will disappear fast.
  • Once you drive the backup race car it is hard to drive slow the rest of the weekend. It is really painful to do this if your rig is on leaf springs.
  • If you go to a cleanup at Moses bring Pick Sticks so that you can just lean out of the Jeep to get the trash and not have to actually get out of the vehicle. As a plus should you get stick just reach over and look like you meant to stop in order to pick up some trash.
  • Moosenstien still moves …. at the pace of Moose.
  • The bumper of a side by side may not be attached to anything other than sheet metal and should you offer to help someone and tow one make sure you have a tire carrier to protect you.
  • I know where Baskin & Robins is in Moses lake.Rudi


The Day-Trip Viewpoint Moses Lake Run Report
“I just can’t come with you – I have a kitchen to organize….”

I did sadly suspect that our nearly finished kitchen remodel would cause my lovely Auto-M to choose to not join me in Moses Lake, but rather transplant our food prep area back out of the living room which had been our base camp for the last 2 months while we brought our kitchen kicking and screaming into the 21st century.  There are only so many times you can make a 3 course meal on a 1 burner hotplate, or consider rinsing dishes by giving them a swirly in the toilet (no – we did not do that – but you start thinking some pretty crazy stuff after a while….) but the yard waste toter was more full of Chinet dinner plates suitable for composting than any branches knocked down in early spring’s wind and incessant rains.  Mary had a mission to discharge – one that should not be diverted.

It did however clear the way for buddy Rick to accept a last minute invitation to experience the joy of getting up way too early so we could meet up with the day-trip contingent gathering at the North Bend Safeway.  For the first time since Expo last September – Moosenstein was unlimbered from his tent in the back yard, and with a little air in the back tire with the bead leak, and a charged battery – he started right up and got tied down to the trailer.

Curt and Wendy were there with George the Rubi, and Cindy and Jay brought a Jeep a piece – Muddy Girl and lets just call Jay’s ride “Toaster Biscuit the Phoenix” for having arisen from the ashes.  And kids and dogs.  Yeah – no disrespect intended – as I will confess that my mother-in-law some time ago named my tow vehicle (a full size 1 ton Chevy Van) “Cupcake” – I still have no idea what was behind that.

Not much to say about the trip out except that however uneventful, it WAS slightly educational.  Cupcake being bone stock with original equipment sized shoes has a very dependable speedo – and it was good for Curt to know that when with its big tires George is saying he’s doing 65 – that fraudster is actually doing 70.  Something probably worth knowing when Officer Friendly has just 1 more ticket to write to get the handy Revenue Ranger of the Road award for the week.

Almost dead on 3 hours from North Bend we got to Moses, and were on the sand just a little after 10.  Coming in – I saw a wondrous site that only later I put together that the Tamer’s have a ship in Starfleet Command.  This IMMENSE toy hauler was sitting off the road the really reminded me of the Starship Enterprise – the bridge looming W-A-AA-AYYYY above the pickup that pulled it there.  It wasn’t until a little later I realized that this was Tom and Penny’s behemoth – possibly the sister ship USS Mullet – being that it had living quarters AND a space to haul a Jeep – it was some combination of business in the front and party in the back.  (Or maybe all business if the Jeep is broke and the kids haven’t napped yet – or all party if the ice cream is flowing and the Jeep is running loose.)  I had a warm feeling seeing the rig – as it was Penny’s dad’s (Gary TJ) rig out for a little exercise.  If Gary can’t make the scene – I’ll still be glad to see kids and grandkids and his rig still in the mix.

And then walking into camp – I sauntered over to the convincingly growly yellow Chirobody high performance tube buggy –where I was planning to give Anthony a big hug – until I took a look at the driver and thought to myself – ”Wow Anthony – that long blond hair is interesting – maybe not you – but it is interesting…”  No silly – it was Tiffany piloting the rig – being one of the more highly skilled, yet self-proclaimed newbies on the scene.  If she thought she’d be scaring her dad, who was sitting over in the navigator’s seat – she was going to have to try a lot harder than this.  His grin went from ear-to-ear – and I don’t necessarily think it was because he was just happy to see me.  After smiles and greetings – I was about to go looking for Anthony somewhere in camp – when another yellow Chirobody doppleganger came screaming past camp with a 4,500 RPM howl.  Like the old Doublemint gum commercials of my youth – Anthony obviously is having double the pleasure and double the fun.  I had no idea that the Chirobody stable now sported 2 buggies – and they were both really fun to watch.  True to Tamer’s form – Tiffany was using her 4 wheel drive – but Anthony was just showing off pushing himself around with only the rear 2.  I suppose if you have the power, wheel speed and properly cut tires – if it’s working for you – OKAY!

While the sun was out when offloading Moosenstein from his bonds – as soon as we started rolling to signing in with the Sand Commandos for the cleanup – a large overcast deck of clouds came in cooling things off and almost threatening to rain.  I do not know why I still trust the weather service.  Even the day before – they were still calling for 68 and partly cloudy in Moses Lake.

No problem.  After sign-in – the phalanx of Tamers fanned out across the dunes retrieving bottles, cans, plastic and the usual detritus.  This year’s beer (in the “No Alcohol Zone” of the dunes – yeah – right) of choice appear to be Modelo – as this was the majority of cans and bottles retrieved.  I’d brought a grabber to have in the Jeep for when I started to tire of hopping in and out of the rig – and Rick and I got a pretty good system down.  I’d aim for the offending trash on the passenger side; he’d stab at it with the grabber and haul it in.  We did this for the first little way until the Tamer’s found themselves at their first steep dune – going down – and up – with the occasional sidewise traverse.  Moosenstein went insouciantly over what seemed like the impossibly steep edge of the dune face, and Jeff seeing me go – figured he could take his mom Judy and his Jeep down the same path.  She admitted to a little screaming while she was heading over the edge – but she assured me she was screaming with excitement and not fear.  After hearing a few of her tales (for example – being thrown off a motorcycle at speed in her younger days) I figured she must be telling the truth.  Good for her!

After I climbed the dune with my faithful rig, I parked and pulled out a folding chair, setting up right at the top so I could better witness the follies.  I also was hoping Rudi got an eye on me before he started his full throttle assault up the dune face.  I went unscathed by him; Tiffany decided to turn away on the dune face, missing me by a mile; and a few other folks had to take a few runs to make it to the top.  George had his flag firmly planted directly on the front bumper in the middle as if Curt and Wendy were telling him – “Hey – just go follow that flag and you’ll make it!”

From there – we went in search of a bigger bowl to run – and found a very large dune with a nice smooth base to run up – and driver’s choice to either come back down – or corkscrew up over the top.

Running a bowl like that – is a curious and sometimes initially tentative venture in physics – having to kinda feel from your tushy where the balance between centrifugal force and gravity lay.  Like many things at the core of wheeling – there are times when you can’t be timid – you just have to commit.  My first “feel out” of the bottom of the dune only took me about a third of the way up and quickly back down – as I really hadn’t put much foot into it.  I liked how the approach felt – and took another loop at the bottom to really hit it this time.  3rd gear in low range seemed to provide about the correct flexibility in the power and RPM range.  I came past the last bottom flat bump before heading up the smooth dune face, taking a much higher route, and really planting my foot on the skinny pedal.  You know – you can say all you want about going at the “speed of Moose” (that is – VERY slow) but a commitment was necessary to make this work, and Moosenstein actually does have it in him to romp when the need arises – and it became obvious that as long as I stayed in it – it was going to be an easy trip to the top of the dune and over – with power and speed enough to carry me up.  I looked over at my passenger.  Rick was pretty well locked into a hand on each “Oh sh*t” strap on the cage – but I didn’t have to pry his fingers off anything at the top of the dune or get him a fresh pair of Depends – so I consider that a successful ascent!

Other Tamer’s did similar feats of showing off and derring-do and it was just a lot of fun.  In a supreme definition of trust – I found that one of Tom and Penny’s girls was asleep in the back seat of Curtis’s rig.  Curtis was treading the line between rocking his cradle enough to keep her asleep, while never crossing the line that would give Penny cause to rip out his beating heart and show it to him before he dropped to the ground.  Curtis – who knew?   You CAN be an adult while wheeling.  (Don’t worry – it’ll be our little secret….)

From there I headed off to the south end of the park to show Rick the rest of the view of the reservoir.  As we started to work our way back – word came of Rick (Tamer Rick) in his JK helping a dead side by side get back to camp.  Unfortunately – the front bumper they tied off to must not have been attached all that well, and if I got my story straight – sounds like that bumper came rocketing off the front of the razor as it was getting pulled up a hill, planting itself across the back of Rick’s hardtop and rear window – blowing out the glass and fracturing the top on both sides.  Ouch!  By the time we got to the scene – many Tamer’s were hand picking shards of exploded tempered glass out of the sand.  The Razor had gotten the strap tied onto a much better tow point – across the front suspension arms – and we hooked him up to Moosenstein for the slow ride back to the road.

Mid-afternoon seemed like a good a time as any to start thinking about heading for home.  Of course – just the thought of going back – the clouds disappeared almost immediately – and the sun came out as hot as it was as when we were unloading.  (Sigh.)  Still – I was glad to be with friends.  Glad to play with my old school iron.  Glad to be in one piece – and to see Mary’s progress in the kitchen at home.  (You don’t KNOW how enjoyable it is to have a sink with running water in it until you haven’t had one for some time….)

George was still lying to his master and mistress on the way home.  60 mph is actually 65.  Some rigs just have to have their own reality.

I was glad to see all the Tamers that made the trip and hope those who stayed the entire weekend to enjoy the campout – that they had even more fun before and after the day-trippers left.

As always – thanks for readin’
And keep on wheelin’!