Walker Valley Mar 2018

As the leader of this run I wanted to do things a little different at Walker Valley this time.
We met up in the staging area, everyone aired down and ready to roll,  and with a few new candidates we held a drivers meeting and went thru the basics. By about 10:30 ish we were rolling towards the upper mainline trail, with snow falling and temperatures a bit chilly.

We had me leading with Casey riding shotgun, Next up was Travis in his lifted 4 door red JK, then Terry in his TJ, then John V with his 2 door modified JK, his bother Dave riding shotgun. Then came Cheryl in her stock 4 door JK with Ryan riding shotgun. I cant remember the exact order from there but it was Jeff M in his red jeep, Corey in his red jeep, Brian in his modified black jeep, Jake and Jenna out for the day doing testing in their rigs. We had Aaron bring up the rear.
We normally go to the south end and go thru the Timber Tamers trail, but today I wanted to run thing s a bit backwards if you will.
I knew the trails should be decent and with good traction but a few spots I though might be a bit rough with a stock Jk.
The main line trail was as expected good traction, even with the 6 inches of snow on the ground. The radio was a buzz with a few tips on driving habit, whether to use lockers or not etc etc. We got to the top of the mainline where it use to intersect and they now have a nice kiosk there. There we ran into a couple quads and couple bikes there and I informed them we had 12 rigs coming up, so they decided to shut there stuff down and wait. It was to be a busy day for Walker Valley.
We proceeded at a crawls pace and before too long we made to the intersection of the expressway. I thought this might get tough for the ones with open differentials and/or stock tires. But soon everyone had made their way up thru the worst of the steep incline taking us the rocky areas. I informed others we had seen others playing in the rock area before and watched them roll their rigs in the past. We encouraged everyone to stay to the left and keep crawling up the trail. I parked my rig as close to the V rock section as I could and got out to spot some of the lesser built rigs up thru that rocky area that wound off to the left. Sure enough a couple people had some time with the steep grade. With a tiny bit of coaching and little bump they got up and over and crawled their way back to form up.
This was going better than I thought it would.
I jumped back in my rig and started up the V rock area. If you know where I am talking about, long wheel based rigs can pretty much crawl thru this area. But me in my little short wheel based Samurai I have gotten crossed up real bad and almost rolled a couple of times. I usually followed jeeps thru this and tried thr lines. Well I was first this time and picked my own ling and “tada” rolled right thru it.
I radioed back for others to just straddle the V and they should be ok.
I think Cheryl asked for a spotter and John V was right there to spot her thru. It can be very intimidating looking when you first see it. But with Johns help people just crawled right thru.
We were in the woods and higher elevation now and the snow was a bit deeper. Still on the Expressway trail where it winds thru the woods is pretty awesome. I think a couple of rigs got a little slippery and needed some quick spotting but made it thru ok all the way to the top into the logging area and out onto the logging road.
I decided we would take the logging road up to the “Around the sound trail” and run it backwards as we normally do.
There was a reason for this. We were in some pretty decent consistent snow at this time and the other end of the trail was pretty steep. I figured it would be better to try going up this portion rather than sliding down the snow out of control.
I switched up the order a bit so I could keep a closer eye on Cheryl and Ryan as they were in a very stock rig and this was actually there first trail run. They had done a snow run last month so they gained a lil experience with some snow. We had also picked up a Suzuki SJ410 buggy back at the expressway and I asked him if he wanted to get in front of us. He assured me if we didn’t mind he would love to run along with us. Sure, you bet. His name is Steve and his son’s name is Cole
Cheryl got thru the trail and up the last steep incline she almost made it, but started to spin. I backed down the trail and hooked u my short tow line and with my gears in ultra low and her helping we got her up to the top in no time at all. The rest of the rigs all made it u without assistance.
As we were hooking up to Cheryls rig we saw the Jake and Jenna rigs going by up top on the logging road. They informed us they were having some issues and were heading home.
With everyone thru the trail we decided to head over to the gravel pit area and take a break for lunch. We got everyone up on the ledge got some decent pics. The kids got into the snow and having a great time.
We ate lunch there and decided we would hit the Humps and Bumps trail next.

Now I have gotten stock JK’s thru those rocky areas of the beginning area of Humps and Bumps before and was pretty confident I could do it again. Until…..I went thru it..Geesh I got all sideways tipped up and barely got thru it myself. I pulled up some and then got out to get Cheryl and Ryan thru. Well Cheryl was not too keen on this idea, and I had my doubts as well. It had been dug out quite a bit since last time I saw it and it wasn’t looking good.
With Casey coaching Cheryl a bit or maybe it was egging her on? Either way, we decided to give it a try. We got Cheryl’s rig into a great spot and I went back to get my Sami to tug her up the rest of the way. One tug oops..she slipped off the rock.. Back up….Try again…
With John V back there spotting and guiding and I think Casey standing watch at Cheryls window we got the rig up and over that rocky mess without much incident.. woohooo!!!. This was the worst part I figured we would encounter in the day.
As it turned out mostly everyone in our group had to get some assistance to get thru that area. With the dug out spots and the snow and mud it was a slickerry mess..Hehe
Lotta tow fees for Casey, that is for sure.
We contined thru the Humps n Bumps trail without much incident.
There is one spot you turn to the left and start down an incline that looks way worse than it really is and sure enough Someone was calling for a spotter.. no problems. If you want a spotter we can do that. And sure enough a rock scraping the bottom of a skid plate does not sound good. But in fact it was fine.

We exited out of Humps and Bumps back onto the main logging road and headed over to the easy valley connector. We made the turn on the logging road towards the easy valley connector and Corey pulls up next to me and says he is about done for the day. No problem, and we got on the radio to ask if anyone else wanted to head out. Cheryl and Ryan were pretty done and with a good day of wheeling they headed out towards the lower gatekeeper which we felt very confident that Corey could get Cheryl thru and then aired up back at the staging area.. Thank you Corey!!

On the way back to the Easy Valley connector trail we passed by the Ridge Ram trail, sure enough it was a traffic jam. This is just a short little offshoot trail that has a wicked set of rocks to go thru and its even more wicked in the wet sloppy muddy slick snow we were playing in that day. It was nt long before they cleared a path for us to get thru on the main logging road.

With Cheryl and Corey heading home the rest of us pulled a cardinal sin of the infamous Tamer ritual.. One more short trail?

Some of us had wanted to explore the repairs that were made to the upper Timber Tamers trail. So we headed over to that.
Once I got there I knew this was going to be a mess.
I was aired down to about 3 or 4 psi which is great for traction but not so great for ground clearance.
To make a long story short I am pretty sure it took me about 2 hours to get about 200 feet, and not even reach the area of repair we wanted to see? Geesh…
I actually took a turn out half way up just to get off the rocks. With JohnV and then Aaron behind him we were all in this little haven of smooth area.
Brian in his modified jeep with 40 inch tires worked his way all the way up and thru to the repaired area. Next was Steve in his modified SJ410 who worked his way up thru the rocks and pass us by.
While they made their way up to the top, I helped Travis make it up the trail to the first turn out and get him turned around and back out the logging road to wait for us.

Once again back in my rig I was nervous what was ahead. Well with low gears and picking my line as we went slow we made out way up and around the corner to the repaired area.
Wow the repairs were nice. We still have a hairpin turn at the top of the Timber Tmers Trail, but it is all rocked in and fairly easy to navigate. I had to make my usual two point turn to make it and then up and onto the logging road. We ran down and picked up Travis as we drove past made it out thru the Gate keeper with no problems and back into the staging aarea to get trailered up and/or aired up.. say our good byes and hit the road home…. All just about at dusk time.

I am grateful for all who came on this run. It took us all to make it thru the day with challenges and NO BROKEN RIGS.
Thanks to all who spotted and helped each other out.
I really do love this club and the way we wheel.
Thanks so much for being a part of it.
Gary M