Walker Oct 2016

Today, was not so usual for us.  Our normally prepared events, were interrupted by another matter on Friday, so Saturday morning at O’Dark Thirty, we discover neither rig had gas, and the  Zuk had no spare tire or winch attached.  OK, we will need to leave a bit earlier than planned to get gas….then, we discovered that both the trail rigs Disco passes had expired!  Well, we certainly can’t go out without those, so I jumped online to purchase online, and have our confirmation #’s on hand, if asked.  At the disco pass website, I find a message saying “I’m sorry, we are not able to offer Disco pass purchases online right now, please check back at a later time”.  Well, this won’t do as we need to be out of the house in a few minutes to get gas, and still get to WV before our 10am meet up time.  So, out of the house we run, so we can gas up, then stop and get disco passes.  At the gas station, we find that Gary has forgotten his wallet at home.  Hoping this is not how the rest of our day will go, I run for Disco passes, while Gary runs for his wallet, and we meet back up at the Ace Hardware parking lot, to blow the Pop Cycle Stand!
PHEW, we arrive at Walker at 9:58 am!  OK, we usually like to be there about half an hour early, if we are trail captains….at least we were there on time.  As we all aired down, a few more of our members/candidates pull into the lot.  (I am thinking at least we weren’t the last ones to show up).  We started the day off with 8 rigs, Gary and his Blue Zuk, Heidi and Jon in their Black Jeep, Christina and Jason in their Blue Jeep, Jerry and Rebel Marsh in their Bronze Jeep, Chris and Ashely Brown in their Green Jeep, Candidate Corrie Gowland in his Red Jeep, Candidate Rick Moreno in his Black (or is it Navy Blue) Jeep, and me in my Green Yota.

We conducted a quick drivers meeting and quickly found that we needed to carefully figure how this line up would go, as some rigs had a CB and no lockers, some had lockers and no winch, some winch with no lockers, and some with light bars and with no lockers!

We all head out to the Timber Tamer trail.  Everyone made it through the gate keeper just fine, and no damage was done.  Candidate Rick, who is admittedly a beginner, was amazed and excited at this accomplishment.  On the lower TT Trail, we all began crossing the little bridge….it was then that we club members learned of Heidi’s dislike of bridges.  Thankfully, it was a short bridge, and Jon had crossed it before Heidi even knew it, except that Christina kindly pointed it out to all on the CB. We did both the lower and upper TT Trail, with out issue, and continued over the EZ Valley Connector trail….Hmmmm, lookie there, another bridge.  I am guessing Heidi closed her eyes and Jon quickly passed over it.

At the top of EZ Valley, we stopped to be sure everyone was still with us, and after talking to a few yotas that had just come out of this end of the Ridge Ram Trail, apparently there was a large group stuck on the RR Trail, and it didn’t appear it would be cleared anytime soon.  So, we opted to watch them for a bit, and grab a snack.
Apparently, Jerry Marsh began having a fuel leakage problem, so hung out at the top of EZ Valley, to try to find and fix.  While many of us were at the bottom of the hill, watching the Canadian group on the RR Trail, we got word, that Jerry needed some fuel line.  Gary ran up the hill with 3 sizes to choose from.  They managed to Jerry-Rig (get it) it together, only to start the jeep and have it blow apart again.  Apparently there was a missing clip or something, that didn’t allow the re-attachment to correctly keep the line together.  A Rainier Ridge Ram member named Jim Epic showed up and not being able to find the RRR Group, decided to tag along with us, so was sent down the hill to catch up with most of the group.  About now, Jason with the Rainier Ridge Rams comes along with his Mega Subaru, and volunteers to go back down to staging with Jerry and Rebel, to be sure they got here safely.  We later heard from Jason, that the temporary fix, blew apart again, so Jason towed Jerry to staging, where he was better able to do a temporary fix, to get them home safely!

So, we lost a TT Member, gained a RRR member so our number was still 8.  More re-arranging the line to correctly accommodate for radios, lockers, winches and light bars!  We then headed off to do the lower portion of Ron’s Run!  Our Candidate Rick learned about Bumping it, Keeping Momentum, and how exciting the world of Off Roading can be.  We decided not to try the upper portion, due to the lack of lockers and some winches, and some nice daily drivers. On to the Humps and Bumps trail.  Entering at the far end, this short section proved to be a bit challenging for some rigs.  It has been chewed up and dug out a bit, and the mud that was still there from recent rains, was complicated the situation.  This is where Candidate Rick learned about Tow Fees!  We all made it through, and moved on to the Skills area, where Gary had a date with the Rock (a.k.a. Josh’s Rock).  This has been a nemesis for both Josh Turney and Gary for a while now.  There is a Giant boulder on the right coming up, and a drop off on the left, in front is a large boulder and a huge Stump!  This area is tricky any day, but the wet stump didn’t help matters.  The last time Gary as at this spot, 3 of his 4 tires didn’t touch the ground, and we had to put a safety strap on his front, to keep him from going over backwards.  After many attempts, and different angles, Gary finally made it up and over to a loud crowd!  I heard the two young boys talking to each other, saying something like “oh wow, this is crazy, I can’t watch”.

Jason in his Blue Jeep, also wanted to try this.  Christina was not having it, unless he first made sure his life insurance was up-to-date!  LOL. Jason did try this out, and did a very good job, until he was a bit wedged between the Giant boulder and the stump, and could have easily destroyed his rim, as well as other body parts.  It was in Jason’s best interest to stop trying today, and enjoy not sleeping in the dog house that night!  Candidates Rick and Corrie, after careful consideration, both declined to even think about giving this a try….their words were “Hell No”.

We finished out the Humps and Bumps trail, then decided to take the logging roads and EZ Valley back to staging, so we wouldn’t damage the larger jeeps trying to get through the tight gate keeper near the large rock pit.  Once we all passed through the south gate keeper, it was discovered that it was unlocked! We returned to the staging area, where we aired up and warmed by the RRR Bon Fire for a bit, then headed home. Gary Bellows the DNR E&E Rep was there and chatted with him for a few and explained the havoc experienced in the early hours of the morning, trying to get new Disco passes….where he very casually says “I thought they fixed that, we don’t write tickets when you can’t purchase them on line”.  Sigh……

Another Great day of Wheeling!  Thanks to all who came out today!