Walker Valley Work Party Nov 2017

Having not gone wheeling much lately, I was chomping at the bit to get out. I got a late start to the day due to a late work schedule Friday night. So as I arrived at the west entrance to Peter Burns Road I found that Dave , Kurt , Katie, Ed,  and a few others Were already at the fire pit.

DNR already had a tent set up with plenty of information for education so we all spoke for a bit with the DNR and then decided to go follow Ed in order to dig up and recover the trail counters deployed earlier in the year. We were joined by a new face checking out the area, Mike, with his somewhat stock white Jeep XJ. After picking up the trail counter we proceeded up the first half of Timber Tamer trail and then headed for the second half of the Timber Tamer trail.  Dave and Kurt were first in Dave’s Yj and made short work of the first few twists and truns opting for the path around a big rock in the middle of the trail. I decide to drive straight over the rock instead of taking the easy route, confident that I could make it. I was followed by Mike who decided to go around, and then Ed who opted for the line over the rock. We sat just about 200 feet ahead of the rock and watched Ed make multiple tries to climb over the rock. On one attempt I thought he was going to flip his black YJ when he suddenly slide about 2ft driver. After that he decided to drive around.

We wound our way up the trail and near the end of the second found the section where the DNR had made some changes adding a bunch of rock to harden the trail. Well the rocks are much more exposed now and with the rain and made everything slick for a very interesting trail. Dave and Kurt got stuck in front of me and had to run winch. I had some major difficulty moving around, and Mike with his Stockish Xj decided to turn around and go back.

At this point we heard on the radio that Ed had broken a u-bolt so myself, Kurt, and Dave walked back to find Ed and Katie.  Ed was under the jeep starting to take off the U-boat on the front of his YJ, apparently the U-bolt broke right off at the nut. I went back to get my Jeep and turned my around but while coming back unintentionally found the largest rock in the trail and drove straight into it. There was a horrible metal on rock sound that I prayed no one heard. Up walks Kurt and says “ that didn’t sound good”. Kurt helped me navigate the rocks and then I helped Dave get his Jeep out and back down the trail.

Dave and Kurt drove around to meet us back where Ed was working on his Jeep. By the time they came back we found out that the center bolt in Ed’s leaf spring had been sheared off inside the spring plate so then we had to find two u-bolts that would fit to sandwich them back together and get him back off the trail to the parking area.

It was about 1:30pm at this point and I heard from Chris, Ashley, and daughter Hannah.They had just arrived at the parking area and we’re looking for the location where the grill and hotdogs were to be found. Unfortunately in my jumbled week, I had forgotten to talk to someone about bringing the barbecue and hotdogs so that didn’t happen. We all met back at the parking lot by the fireplace aired up while talking to friends and the DNR faculty. We then decided to head home early while the getting was good. The Brown family having missed opportunity to go wheeling decided to make use of the trip out by heading to Cabela’s to look at fish and things that go bang. As I jumped on the freeway by Mount Vernon I was met by heavy rain that washed away all the evidence of the day, we didn’t get a lot done but I’d say it was a good trip.