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4 wheel parts/Timber tamers 2nd customer run
I stole this off of NWW thought people might want to read. Jim
I was going to do my own write up on this from my point of view but this reflects my feelings very well. Except for maybe the frustration and desperation of running around for 3 hours unable to find this kid.
It is a bit lengthy but well worth the read. I am honored to be a part of a community that cares for one another and takes the time to help others anytime it is needed. I think this reflects the attitudes of most people I run into in the Walker Valley ORV park. Thank you all for being there abd please read on.
Yesterday Wheelin' Run, started as usual, but ended up anything but. This is a bit of a long story, but worth the read.
4 Wheel Parts/Timber Tamers 2nd Customer Run
This day began at 4 Wheel Parts in Lynnwood. Attendees gathered to do a quick meet/greet assess rigs and experience, and receive a goodie bag of coupons, T-Shirts, and other useful information. As the approximate 25 rigs departed in the direction of Walker Valley, other smaller groups were forming to meet up with the large group. As those who parked in the back lot, headed to the main staging area, we all arrived at the same time….and what a site, to see all these rigs, in line, pulling into Walker Valley staging area! Some pulled into the lot, some pulled to the roadside, some blocked trails! We quickly aired down, and moved to the lower rock quarry, to gets pics, and split up into smaller, more manageable groups.
At the lower quarry, we counted 40 RIGS! Josh Turney, quickly took control of the large group, split us into 4 or 5 groups, based on Extreme, Intermediate and new comer. Each Trail Guide and group were sent out at intervals, as we invaded WV. We hoped this would help to not clog up the trails too much for ourselves and others, with each group, heading to different trails at different times. Each smaller group took count, and chose a rig to pull up the rear.
At this point, I can only speak for my group. The Miss Creant and I began with 13 intermediate rigs, and headed for the Timber Tamer trail. Somehow, near the top of the lower half of the TT trail, we gained 3 more rigs…similar to those metal coat hangers that multiply at night. The number of 16 was quickly reduced, as the lower TT trail ate 2 rigs, then the upper TT trail, ate another. On the lower portion, a full size Chev busted the frame near the steering mechanism, so we took the truck back to the staging area, and found seats for the driver and spotter, to continue on the adventure.
Next a Toyota Tundra, destroyed a CV joint near the top….Also headed for home. Off to the upper half and as we all assembled near the top on the logging road, we waited for the last few rigs to join us. Thankfully we had the 4 Wheel Parts mechanic in our group, as my back door rig, somehow managed to completely remove his shift lever from his transmission. Matt was not able to fix it, but managed to get him into an acceptable gear with a screw driver, to get him to the top, and send him home.
So, 3 rigs down, on the first trail….not sure what this says about me as a trail guide……..
We then headed to the Ridge Ram trail, then to meet up with the other groups. On our way, we passed a Dodge Dakota, who was returning home with some clutch issues, or something. He had a map and directions from Gary, as to how to get back to staging.
At this point, we all meandered into the upper quarry, and while lunching, playing and socializing, we get a call from the homeward bound Dodge Dakota, saying he is stuck. After determining where he was at, we sent 3 rigs to help him out and send him on his way. Gary in the “little” Samurai, Kurt in his Rubiclone, and another couple in a buggy-type rig, were sent as the Dakota Rescue Team. Some decided now, to call it a day, and head home.
We now were about 25 rigs, so we divided into 2 group, one off to Ron’s Run, and to do Humps n Bumps. We met back up, at the top of Ron’s Run, and moved to the Skills Area, also known as Butt Crack Rock, where we planned to meet back up with the Dakota Rescue team.
The rescuers returned, to show pics and tell the story, of the Dakota, taking a right, instead of a left, and ending up on a Motor Cycle only trail near Ridge Ram! Oh NO…this is a big rig, to be on a bike only trail! It is sincerely, WEDGED between mud walls, trees, roots and logs. In fact, the “little” Samurai had trouble getting down this trail….How did the Dakota get there? Still scratching heads on this one.
After playing in the skills area, the sun was getting lower, so we decided it was time to pack it in, and head back to the staging area. There, everyone aired up, assessed assorted damage/carnage, socialized, snacked and continued to scratch their heads, about how that Dakota got so wedged in the bike only trail.
It is now dusk, and it is the end of a great day of wheelin’………….or, So we thought!
About 6 or 7 rigs are left socializing and snacking, when we noticed a lady and her daughter, in an empty truck, had been sitting there for the hour or 2 we were all there. We found that she had been there, for a couple hours, waiting to pick up her 15 year old son, who was alone on a motorcycle, in the woods, with a cell phone, no idea where he was, and NO MORE GAS! It is very quickly turning dark. The youngster is concerned, hungry and thirsty, and is getting scared.
We quickly gathered around to get details and assemble what would become Rescue Mission #2918!
We asked questions of the boy via cell phone, to try to get an idea of where he was at. We had him call 911, so they could get the coordinates of his location, then hopefully we could go find him and get his back to his very upset Mom.
Gary left the staging area to retrieve a pair of Jeep doors, from the truck, in the back lot, so a wheeler with 2 young boys could head for home. The police cruiser shows up, to talk with Mom, and get info. She says to the officers “ these guys and gals with the wheelers can find him, if you give us the location coordinates”. Officers says he can’t do that for liability reasons. We are not allowed to go out looking for the boy! Those of us who know the trails, who have the capable rigs, and have quite a group standing here, just ready to go and retrieve him, and return him to Mom.
Search and Rescue is contacted and 2 or 3 show up at the staging area. The others of course, at home, watching movies with their families, and are now changing clothes, packing vehicles, and heading to the back gate of WV, to find the youngin. Again, we are not allowed to go look for him. Since the officer didn’t know that Gary was already out there…………..hmmmm, the plan forms. We are getting tiny bits of info from S&R through the Mom…he is on Bear Creek Mainline, near an intersection….I call Gary on the cell, and tell him NOT to return to staging, but to hit the main logging roads. Head to BC and look for intersections…turn on all your lights, and hit the horn that plays music, sirens, and every farm animal.
The 4x4 Search and Rescue people are apparently at the gate, but have no key! We let the S&R people know, that one of ours is out there, and is looking for the boy. We now can begin to work together to accomplish the task at hand.
Finally, the S&R lady who was on the phone with the boy continuously, lets him know that someone is out there, quacking, croaking, and playing popcycle man tunes, and looking for him….do you hear any of these noises? The child is asking if they sent the popcycle man to find him…and he would like a fudgecycle. (just kidding). The S&R lady and I get together on the cell phones with map in hand….she shows me the area he is in, on the map. We ask the boy to tell us of any “landmarks” he passed or saw near where he is at…landmarks like gravel piles, boulder heaps, big mud holes. The boy says he is in a clearing and can see the city lights below.
Yes, he passed a large pile of gravel and a big mud hole on his right. Last sign he saw was Ridge Ram. We relay this to Gary who is on BC Mainline, heading to the Ridge Ram area! As Gary nears the area, he has all lights going, and is blasting his siren horn, and playing popcycle man music. YES, the Boy can hear the popcycle man coming! We have the boy whistle and yell, we have Gary turn off the Samurai, and listen, trying to pin point exactly where he is. They hear each other, so we are close. Between looking at the Map, where the boy and Gary are hearing each other the best, and watching for headlights…finally, the boy see headlights below him.
OK, back to the map….there is a little road, that is a dead end…we never go there, maybe some bike only trails at the end…..We direct Gary there, yes, there is a clearing, and you can see the city lights here…but the boy is not there. S&R gal tells the boy to leave his bike, and get back to the clearing, where he can see the city lights. He runs up the hill to the clearing, saying he can hear something….siren sounds, a motor, he is now seeing LIGHTS! We are telling Gary you are there, Gary can’t see the boy, as all his lights are on, the boy is coming up the trail to the clearing………..finally, the see each other! The boys opens the passenger door, sits down, closes the door, and asks for water and says “Man, am I glad to see you”!
Thankfully, we all carry lots of water, food, snacks, as well as gas, tools, parts and whatever else we think might need on a trail or survival situation. We were able to give food and water to the boy, Arron as well as his Mom and Sis. Mom says “wow, you guys really do carry everything” as we start pulling out food and water for them.
Gary and Aaron, get some fuel in the bike, and get it back up to the road. It is now about 11:30pm, and VERY dark outside! Short of literally stuffing a motorcycle in the back of a “little” Samurai, the only way to get them back, it for Aaron to ride the bike, in Gary’s headlights, and follow the his turn signals.
About mid-night, from the staging area, we hear motors and begin to see headlights, and hear the sounds of the popcycle man coming toward us, with a boy on a motorcycle in his lights!
I can’t even explain, how this has made us all feel, to be a part of helping this boy Aaron, and his Mom Cindy, to head home together, safe and sound! Thanks to all of you who stayed and helped, and provided moral support to Mom. I can’t begin to name all, as everyone there, gave up their time, meals and sleep, to stay and see this through.
We returned home at 2am, and crashed…today, we are tired and sore, but feel like a million bucks. We have the S&R case #, to reference and tell this story for years to come. This is what wheelin is about, and it feels good to be a part of it. Yesterday was probably the most memorable 4 wheelin adventure we have had to date, and will be tough to beat. We are thankful that we were all there in the right place at the right time, to do some good.
We are an Awesome group!
Member #40 Hombres jeep club
Region 2 landmatters chairman
Wa. State Director PNW4WDA