The Peak Putters had a great snow wheeling trip this past weekend. Here is my run report from Saturday. Saturday we ran two different groups / routes, so you will have to check out our forum for the other run report and for the Sunday run report.
For starters, great weekend of wheeling, eating and friendship around the fire. It was a big group of us camping and wheeling with kids in camp and on the trails.
Chris and Nichol with kids in tow and Roger and his family met up with me at Yakitat Road out of Benton City in hopes that I knew the way to the Sno-park. Good thing they did not follow Josť More on that in a moment. Our group rolled into camp with some daylight left and a fire and many others already set up. Many had started their partying early and were dropping off into their camping homes. Notably Danny; I say this, because when a white YJ rolled up to the fire I was afraid Danny had called an ill-conceived night run. But we soon realized it was Josť driving the Jeep we expected to have show up on a trailer behind his motor home. Well, where was the motor home... stuck in the snow (well it couldn't go up the hill anymore.) No, no, no, don't change the channel this is not a rerun, but the story is familiar. A few of us loaded up and went on a motor home recovery. We hooked Josť's trailer to Rogers Toy for the ride down. I lit the way with my silly amount of lights so that Josť could see the road he was backing down, and Chris (Chrispy) lit the way from in front of the motor home from his Toy and spotted Josť down.
The next morning found us prepping for the run and waiting for the day-trippers. The first group headed out at about 9:30 with some of the early arriving day-trippers. Our group started at a much more leisurely pace. We saw Dale, his dad, brother roll in and head off after the North Fork group. When Chris' dad arrived in his 90 stockish Toy on big rubber, we headed out a bit after 10:00. Chris' dad's 4 wheel drive would not work when we hit the first snow because of a vacuum problem. His son the mechanic headed back down the hill and fixed the problem. And we were rolling again and I cemented my position of tailgunner, having one of the well working radios. (Sidebar: it was so nice this weekend having so many well working / tuned CBs; at one point the two seperate groups were calling and taunting each other across the mountain. I guess they might even be used in an emergency. ) :-)
So... Here is my view from the Middle Fork group... mostly as tail gunner, but for a few brief moments as the trail breaker, but Tim couldn't follow me without getting stuck, so they relegated me to the back. In Tim's defense, everyone got stuck in that section that I walked thru effortlessly. (At least I did the 1st time, I had my two best stucks of the day trying to repeat my performance.)
Very early on Chris broke a main leaf on his left front leaf spring pack. I'm a coily guy myself, but they tell me that is an important part. A bit of safety wire later and we all proceeded.
Above Tree Phones at the beginning of the sidehills Chris' dad was having a heck of a time. And somewhere in that mess he blew a bead.
We spent sometime winching, tugging, and digging him out...
Chris' dad decided to turn back and we sent him with instructions to report in at camp so we would know if we needed to do a night time rescue run. He brought a real good attitude and was fun to wheel with, but this was a rough run to get back into the sport and his particular run was probably too much for his tires.
Good thing Tim got some practice putting a tire back on the bead, because he lost an inside bead on one of his bead-locked tires.
We hit the side hills that we had concerns about from the beginning. Josť broke trail with little or no issues and we followed. Some places were tippy
, but the snow had good traction and we got through with no digging or winching. (Sorry no pics... I was busy.)
Soon after we stopped for lunch and gave Chris sometime to replace his hub.
Half a sandwich and my appetite for lunch was satisfied, but my appetite for wheeling was not so I headed out in front before most everyone had a chance to saddle up. I figured they would come across my stuck Rubicon soon enough and someone else would return to breaking trail. Well I was having a good ole time and making progress without issues slowly, but surely, until a CB call from behind woahed me up delivering the news that Tim was stuck. I immediately called back down, "Tell Tim he can follow me, but it will hurt."
As Nicole soon pointed out, yes, I have been waiting for years to say that. I held up in a little clearing that I think normally has a sign, don't know what it says, it was way under snow. And well after a bit, I got bored. So I headed back down to see what the fuss was.
Soon we were heading up the road to the meadow across from Darland and chatting via CB with Danny and his crew who were over by Blue Lake. The road was challenging, but didn't turn into the mini post-lunch stuckfest we had at t he bottom. Soon we were shooting across the meadow (just gorgeous) and were on our way to Darland Mountain. Running the ridge to the mountain and the one near final assault that always seems to cause problems were, well, easy.
Then Tim convinced us to drive off a cliff [peer pressure.] Nicole posted a pic, but it will never do that sled ride justice. Think wee, wee weeeeeee, but on an inhale.
That seemed to shorten the loop for us quite bit and we proceeded down where other Putters had already trod. Some sidehills, not bad, some tight trail, not that tight, but fun. And another wee, wee, weee trip down the meadow and hill where Josť rolled a couple years back.
And then somebody yelled out, "Last one to camp is a rotten egg and we raced to camp."
Why race? Carne Asada!!!
Morning = Man Quiche. Remember the time you had bad Man Quiche on a Putter run? Nobody does and the Quiche created by Sveta and I (aided by great leftovers including Carne Asada) held its own.
Some broke for a Sunday run and the rest of us loaded up a bit fatter, not so much dumber, but certainly happier.