Despite the heavy rains, a small showing of Tamers met up at the QFC parking lot in Belfair right on tamer time. The lovely wife and I in our red TJ, Scott Hanline and his family with their YJ, also Scottâ€™s friends Lloyd, and Jessie with their ranger pickup. GaryTJ and guest Frank with the, GASP, Red TJ met us at the parking area at the trail, (actually they got there first) and we aired down and headed off to the trail. John, and a group from the Quadrapaws took the lead and we slowly followed them through the trails.
About 5 minutes into the trail, GaryTJ had some cooling issues. I donâ€™t know exactly what happened because I didnâ€™t get out of the rig due to the rain, but he quickly fixed the problem and we trailed on. John led us to the first hill climb of the day and we tackled the hill one by one. I sat at the bottom and watched everyone attempt the wet, nasty sluicebox. Frank gave it multiple tries, but managed to move a rather large rock into the middle of the climb. He just couldnâ€™t back up and get the momentum needed to get past the tricky part. He tapped out and Lloyd in the ranger gave it a go. After a bit of finagling, he made it up. Next we had me, and as a crowd had assembled at the top, I had to put on a show right? Well, I managed to find a spot in the hill climb where I figured I could get the infamous TJ â€śliftiesâ€ť where you pick the drivers front tire up in the air. It didnâ€™t really happen that way, and I laid the Jeep on it side. No biggie, been there done that, I backed out under my own power (ha!! No cowbell for this guy!!) and continued on so I could take pictures of the folks attempting behind me. Pretty much everyone made it up except for one of the Quadrapaws in an open-open Bronco II.
We continued on and it continued to rain. Scott had some crap in the bead of his tire and had a hard time keeping air in it. I gave him a quick burst from my compressor and we trailed on. We drove down to mud lake with both GaryTJ and my Jeep making horrible belt squeaking and power steering noises. Kind of like the Jeeps were talking to each other. We got down to mud lake and those who wanted to drove through the mass of mud and slit and water that had amassed due to the rain. After those who wanted to got their fix, John led us onto the south loop.
Scottâ€™s tire issues finally got the better of him, and we stopped so he could change out to his spare. While we were doing that Lloyd and Jessie said their good byes and John led them back to civilization. After a quick lunch in the rain, we headed to the south loop rock garden. I made my stab at it and managed to get wedged pretty hard in between a rock and a hard place. Despite my hammer down â€śfinesseâ€ť and precision driving techniques, I just couldnâ€™t get myself unstuck. You see, the rock that I was stuck on, managed to unseat itself from the earth and it tried to come home with me. I guess it really to a liking to my Jeep. After a quick tug from Gary, I was free. Not only 10 seconds after that I was stuck in the EXACT same place. Out came the winch, and after a bent tie rod, I was free. Gary and Scott also played in the rocks, but they didnâ€™t take my line and did just fine.
After my rock garden fiasco, it was still raining so we trailed back to the parking area, aired up and headed home. It was a fine day wheeling if not for the consistent rain. All had fun. Those who didnâ€™t come missed a great time.
Till next time,