Tonga Ridge Xmas Tree Run Dec 2019

Joe, Steve, Ken, Ryan and I all decided that we would meet up for breakfast at 7:30 AM in Monroe at the Buzz Inn. After breakfast we headed out to the trail to meet up with anyone else that planned to go. We got to the trestle around 9:10 or so and aired down. We waited until precisely 9:28 and everyone was asking what we were going to do and I said that since I was the leader that we shall go! We did a quick driver meeting and headed up the hill. It was just us 4 rigs at that time.

About half way up the mountain we passed Ed and his crew sawing logs for their fire, he assured us to keep going straight on up the hill and that we couldn’t get lost, and eventually we would come to the end. We made great progress, there was a slight dusting of snow that started about 3500 feet. We got up to where the “accident” was the year before and that’s when my Gaia app mapped trail that Curt sent me finished.

So, I started recording a new trip and we pressed on. We saw the notorious “Icy hill” and decided that we would just keep going straight until we got to the end. We passed a lot of beautiful scenery on our way up the mountain, breathtaking actually, but still not much snow, maybe only up to 2” now around 4500-4800 feet. Drove quite a distance, maybe 10 miles and came to the end where the bridge was washed out. We got out and walked over to it everyone slipping and sliding while walking around, we even got in a quick snowball fight!

We all discussed what was next and heck I didn’t know (some leader huh). We all decided to go back and try the “notorious icy hill!” On the way back down the mountain we found Jeff Mars wandering around looking for us so we joined up with him, he fell into line and we kept on going. We got back to the turn off for the hill and then Joe took the lead. We all got up the hill with no issues and continued up to the clearing and all decided to take a left going up the smaller trail over the humps and bumps until we couldn’t go anymore. Got everyone turned around, now Jeff was in the lead. On the way back down, Jeff hit a pretty good-sized tree, but didn’t do any damage. We all got back to the clearing then decided to eat lunch.

We heard someone coming up the hill about this time and it turned out to be Ed in his YJ. I decided to slowly walk up the big hill to snap some pictures, when Karl showed up in his go anywhere Jeep and started climbing the mountain. (I got out of his way)
We had some awesome conversations, the main one that sticks out is that everyone was laughing at Ken because he wore new jeans on the run and pretty much all of his skin was blue. So, we decided his new CB name should be “Sir Smurf!”

After lunch we all decided to head down to pick a tree. Earlier we noticed a great group of trees at the turn off for the icy hill. So down the hill we went, all without incident. We gathered at the bottom and Joe said that I was in charge of picking out the tree, but that was waaaay too much responsibility for me so I picked out a couple and we voted on it. We picked out the perfect tree! Joe sawed the tree down and Ryan picked it up and put it on Joes rig so he could strap it down.

Down the mountain we went with the tree strapped down. We saw Ed and Karl and some other people that I didn’t know by the fire so we thought we would stop there to air back up and chat a bit before saying our goodbyes and heading for home.
It was a great outing. Thank you for letting me be your trail leader and trusting in me! Sent pictures to Casey so I am sure she will be posting them with the run report.

See you all at the Christmas party!