One of the best years ever.
8 rigs made it onto the trail:
- Jess R.Â (Jeep CJ5)
- Mike G. (Jeep CJ5)
- Gary TJ (Jeep TJ)
- CrashÂ (Toyota buggy)
- Shane (black Toyota extra cab)
- BradÂ + passenger (Toyota buggy)
- Cherokee Matt + passenger (Jeep Cherokee)
- Mike R. + passenger (brother Dave) (Jeep CJ8)
Started out Friday evening going up the Naches Trail from the bottom. A little snow, but no traction issues. Up on top Mike G. lost the ARB compressor, so we checked it out and found a bad wire. Short repair and trail on.
Short time later and Jess was overheating. Another quick fix and trail on.
Everything good through Government meadows and on down to Baxters toboggan ride. We started off real slow and ended up in an all out slide to the bottom. Retaining 40% of control was the best we could hope for. The rest of the west side was pretty uneventful. We got down to Ravens Roost by about 1:30 A.M. and set up camp. By this time we were driving in a foot or so of snow.
The next morning we head up Kaner. We hear a group in front of us on Elephant dung hill. They are going up about ÂĽ of the way and sliding back all the way to the bottom. We get up there and Crash tries it. He gets about 50 feet farther and slides back.
We have a short discussion and decide to go around rather than spend 4 hours going 100 yards. A short drive around and we are off again. There is one minor spot where most of us have to do a short winch pull, but nothing major. Jess had a problem with a battery isolator not charging the winch battery, but 5 minutes rerouting the wires and all was good.
We get up to the major hill climb in the middle of the trail and find a group of Broncoâ€™s that had spent the night after one had slid backwards off the trail and down an embankment. The driver had gotten out to take care of something, but his wife was in the vehicle when it went over. She opened the door and had thoughts of getting out but wisely decided not to. It got the door ripped off on the way down.
The Bronco’s started up inÂ front of us and it took them a while to get up the hill, with battery issues and winch issues. With a little assistance from our group we were all up and on our way again.
Day turned to evening and we worked our way up to the top. Matt and Mike G. had tires come off the bead and we had another little hill that about Â˝ half of the group had to winch.
Snow was getting deeper as we went but still not an issue. Crash found the way through with only a couple of minor turn a rounds.
We get to the top of the ridge and head down to Wells Meadow. Everything is fine until Matt breaks both Heims off of his steering. By this time Crash was way out in front so the rear group stops and welds the steering back together. His toe in is a ways off and the welds looks like somebody snorted up a loogie, but they held fine. We finally get to Riders camp about 11:30 to find the lead group has already gone to bedâ€¦.
Sunday morning we head down Manashtash road, across the creek and head over towards Funny/ Moon rocks. By the time we are Â˝ way there we are in 2-3 feet of snow. There is almost no other traffic and no problems going wherever we wanted to go. Up on top was a few snow drifts to go through and some of the Toyotaâ€™s got to playing bump to pass in some of the open spots. Other than the wind on top, life was good.
Heading back down through the treeâ€™s, Mike R. lost his steering box off of the frame. Turns out the mount had broken. There was a short pause while it got welded back together and on we go. A couple of hundred yards later and Matt blows the drivers door window out of his Cherokee, leaning against a tree.
No more problems getting to the bottom.
Some of the vehicles ran to Whistling Jacks for gas and we headed back towards the West side. Going back was pretty uneventful until Mike R. lost the rear driveline. He had been having some vibrations, but did not realize how bad the joint really was. The yoke was worn almost through. Spare parts were not a problem and we were on the way again. Matt had one more bead come off , that caused a short delay.
We finished the rest of the trail and loaded up to head home.
This is one of the best runs of the year, and this was one of the best years.
Good wheeling with friendsâ€¦