Trail Jam 2023 – Group 2

So this is my ‘quick’ attempt at a write up for the group I led at Trail Jam (Timber Tamers Group 2). 

Monday: Tammy (Tammy Driving) and I, Sean, Moose, Eric, and some traveling companions of Moose (Bill and Collin), pre-ran the Divide track I’d been given which would be our first run of the event. Turns out it is nearly a 2 hour drive on gravel roads up to riders camp where the Divide trail starts. Had a great day going through the trail though Sean had to do almost all of it in 2wd as he had a broken hub in the front. After divide the path took us across Tripod flats, lower woodpecker, and milk lake trails. It took us a little under 8 hours but other than Sean’s issue it was a pretty good day. 

Tuesday: Same crew as Monday but with an additional passenger (Nate) and if I recall an additional Jeep (Rick and Jennifer), and minus Sean who stayed back to fix his hub. We headed out to RattleSnake (not little rattlesnake). The trail was great, but recent burns, and mud slides made for an easy but interesting drive ending at an awesome spot by the river. On the way out we scouted a trail I’d found on Trails Offroad called Rattlesnake Springs. This was a 2wd trail/loop with some dispersed camping. We stopped to clean up a campsite that was just littered with trash, and while doing so discovered if you walk up the trail there is an amazing view across the river of a cool rock formation. Short and easy day with no issues. 

Issues would start later that evening though. First after replacing his hub Sean found he needed to replace a wheel stud and some lug nuts, luckily there was a store open in Yakima… someone took him to get parts and he got that fixed. 

While that was happening, Collin was out on the road in his JK when it decided to dump nearly all his oil on 410 a couple miles from camp. A participant found him and I went with Moose to help load the JK on Moose’s trailer to bring him back to camp where it was quickly diagnosed to be his oil cooler that had let go. After much discussion plans were made for Nate to help Collin fix it the next morning. 

Wednesday: Same crew as Tuesday (I think?) + Sean but I got to drive finally! (seriously though it was nice to have Tammy drive the first couple days so I could focus on navigation). Nate and Collin had gotten started early working on the JK, and Moose took off to town to pick up the parts and supplies so the rest of us decided to wait for Moose to get back. By the time he got back though the guys had the JK ready for reassembly, just pending the parts so we waited some more and some others of us helped out where we could, finally getting the JK back up and running around 12:30 (Awesome work!). After a quick team cleanup, we headed out to pre-run Moonrock/Funnyrock. 

A quick but satisfactory run up there let us try a few lines, scout the area and I was able to get a plan together for the participant day before we headed back to town. 

This was also the day the other team first ran Rimrock, I’ll let them tell their story though. 

Thursday, Day one of the event. I drove Divide this time, with Moose/Bill/Collin, Sean, and Eric (with Nate as a passenger). We had 9 participants this day, 7 of which were in one club from Idaho. 2 hours up to Divide, 2 hours on trail, doing pretty good time wise but a bit slower of course than day one. At the lunch stop I helped one  of the participants remove a chrome tube step that they’d hit on a stump and bent back on their rear tire (they had no tools…). I believe it ended up in the dumpster. 

A bit later going up a hill to Tripod Flats a CJ7 ran out of gas on the hill. He was stuck at a weird angle on the hill and couldn’t back up, and it was so steep he couldn’t fill the tank (gas just ran back out the fill tube) so we ended up dead winching him up the hill where he put 5 gallons back in from his spare can. On we go. 

Up a bit on Tripod still, same Jeep starts having his starter kick in randomly. We stop for half an hour or so while they troubleshoot before finally moving on (it continued to do this through the rest of the day. 

Down through lower Woodpecker was pretty easy, especially since the lone Gladiator in the group was a champ at driving it we proceeded to Milk lake road where the CJ once again ran out of gas. I put one of the 2 gallon rotopax I brought into it and on we went, finishing the day in just under 10 hours! Long day but we got them there safe and in time for dinner so I figure it was a win. 

Friday, Day 2, Moonrock/Funnyrock. Tammy drove this time, Moose, Sean, Rick, Eric, and Nate (with Troy as a passenger… I’ll let Team 1 answer why that happened) rounding out the team. Great group of participants, we just had an awesome day with lots of people playing on the rocks…  


  • Tammy drove up the chute at Moonrock for the first time. 
  • Eric drove up it in stealth (electric only) mode which was a bit odd sounding. 
  • One participant (Roxanne) who started day not so sure of things talking to Tammy in the morning, ended up having a fantastic time. Kudos to Eric for walking/talking/guiding her through Moonrock, and Troy for riding along with her and teaching her throughout the day. 
  • I drove up the crack at funnyrock for the first time which was cool as well (thanks for the spotting Troy!) 
  • In a huge display of trust, Tammy let me spot her up a line at Funnyrocks, blindfolded! (her not me). Can’t put into words how awesome that felt. (and yes we have video proof). 

Saturday, Rattlesnake, Rattlesnake springs, and Timberwolf  something or other view point with me driving once again, and pretty much the same crew as the day before except for Rick and Jennifer. This was another awesome day, low key easy trails (perfect for day 6). One participant in a cool old Willies he bought for $280 over 50 years ago at the age of 14! He lost a power steering belt early on but just removed it and strong armed the rest of the day. We also had another couple who were registered as hosts, but the wife of the couple was not feeling well due to health issues and they hadn’t been able to wheel all week so asked us if they could join. In the end we all had a great day, saw amazing/peaceful view/locations and just ended up the trip nicely! 

I would like to thank all the Tamers who were there, not just my team but all of them. This trip, the way everyone helped out with anything anyone needed just was a reminder of why we love this club so much. Some additional highlights/notes for me: 

  • More than once I talked to other clubs who expressed their amazement at how well the Tamers Social media is being run. I made sure to let them know it was Curt and Noni doing all the hard work, but hearing them say they were talking in their meetings about it, and wanting to emulate what the Tamers are doing was awesome. 
  • Roxanne from Day two. What we as a club were able to do for her, turning what had started as a not so great trip into something she had fun with was amazing. Seeing her transformation throughout the day, and knowing that we as  a club facilitated that… I talked to her at dinner and she told me that one word described the experience for that day: empowering. 
  • We gave Tamers flyers to a couple of couples (see what I did there?) who expressed interest in possibly joining the Tamers. 
  • I had more than one participant come up to me after a run, or the next day and tell us how awesome we did and how it gave them such a great trip… things like (you guys were the best, you made our week, etc.) Really cool. 
  • As a first time leader of something like this I was a bit stressed, wanting to be sure everything went well and everyone had a great time, I cannot express enough how grateful I was to everyone in our team(s) who helped make this such a great week! 

I know I have missed many many details, but I would have to write a book to recount the whole of the event, hopefully some pictures will help and maybe others can fill in more 😊