~ jbjeep & MudBall's webpage ~

Creek and Trail '01 - June 16 & 17 - O'Brein,OR

"On the historic McGrew Trail"

Day 1:

Wagon ruts sign along the Trail Wagon ruts found further up the trail Along the trail
Wildlife! Sign at Ceder Springs Tom at the Bottom of the Big Sluice
Tom in the middle of the Big Sluice Tom at the top of the Big Sluice Dale at the botton of the Big Sluice
Dan at the top of the Big Sluice Jim at the top of the Big Sluice Jim at the top of the Big Sluice
Gordon at the top of the Big Sluice Gordon at top of the Big Sluce Alvin at the top of the Big Sluice
Along the trail At the lunch stop Along the trail
Back of Crispy Tom's TJ - yes it really is Green under all that dust! Waterfall at the bridge on the way to camp

Day 2:

Mudball on log (front) Mudball on log (back) Chris, along the trail
Tom coming down the Big Sluice Gil coming down the Big Sluice

Day 2 - Playing in the Rock Garden:

Mary Jo watching Dan Gil Alvin
Jim Jim Jim and Gordon
Jim and Gordon Rick Jim caught on a rock
Jim Gil Mudball
Jennifer Mudball posed Dale
Alvin Rick Dan
Gordon Gil Jim
Jim Gil

Tom & Jennifer's combined write up:

This is what Tom posted for his club. He had me add a few comments here an there, but it is mostly his. My comments are mostly marked with "{}"'s. More of my info and trip home at the bottom. Enjoy!

Oregon Creek & Trail - June 16+17, 2001

Friday, June 15: I met a convoy of Oregon BushHackers members in Grants Pass about 2:00.

{The convoy consisted of Jennifer's TJ; a lifted YJ; a 78 Land Cruiser; a YJ; a TJ, a CJ, and Flat Fender on trailers; and last a Freightliner with 2 CJ's inside and a YJ being towed behind.}

Gil and Jim both drove CJ's (called Crispy Critter and Jeep-It, respectively) on 37x12.50 SSRs ... very sweet. I didn't look that closely at their lifts. Since there was talk of 4-5 inches of lift but the springs didn't seem overly arched, I assume spring-over. Gordon also drove a 76 CJ; I think he had bias swampers .. 35s or 36s, with 5:38:1. Jim's dad, Dan, had a 51 flat fender on 35x12.50 SSRs ... conventional spring lift, springs under axles. Alvin had a 97 TJ with 4-1/2" of lift (RE I believe) running 33x9.50 Wild Countrys. Dale and Mary Jo had a '95 (I think-I believe so too) YJ with enough lift to run 33x12.50 BFG Muds. Jenn's '98 TJ has a 3" Tera lift and 33x12.50 TXRs.

I believe Dale runs the same setup as Jenn - 4.56s, Detroit/Dana 44 rear and OX-ed Dana 30 up front. I didn't hear how Alvin is geared, nor any of the CJ s. The flattie has 5.38s.

{I don't know how the CJ's are geared either, but it is DAMN LOW!}

The final Bushhacker (Rick) had a toyota ... 78 land cruiser. His rig is a beast; I don't know about his mods, but the Swamper SX s got my attention. Huge. Wide 35s I think.

{Rick is locked up if I remember correctly. 35's sounds right. It is a beast! I was later reminded that Rick is running 36x12.5's and he is running ARB's all the way around - My mistakes!}

Oh, I forgot Sharkey, Gil's Dalmation. Old dog. Put it in the jeep, it stays in the jeep. Good dog for wheelin'. There were also 4-5 kids; I'm bad with names so you'll have to forgive me.

{Sharkey, the Dalmation is around 12 I think, he has had many, many years Jeeping with Gil in Crispy. There were 6 "kids". Chris is Gil's son and he is about 23. Robbie is Jim's nephew and he is almost 21. The other nephew of Jim's was a teenager. Gordon's nephew Darrin was 10. The other two (Alvin's boys) were younger yet (although the older is on his way to being a pretty good spotter for Alvin <g>).}

'Course ya'll know about my TJ ... 2" procomp lift, 1" body lift, 33x12.50 Swamper Radials siped, Dana 44 with detroit and Dana 30 with True Track, 4.10 gears, and so on.

Also in the convoy were Andy and Ruth (and Button, the dog) from Oregon Trail 4x4; we saw them occasionally in camp but they weren't part of our group when we were on the trail.

{Thank god for that! They also had about 10 rigs from their club make it. They are nice folks, if a little nutso at times.}

You-all who like to do your own fabrication would drool all over that flat fender ... nicely done, but obviously home-done and maybe home-engineered better than the lift companies could do. Sweet lookin' and sweet handling on the trail.

{Jim has been working on that with his dad for several years. A work of art in progress!! I have seen it a couple of times over the years in Jim's garage.}

First stop: Grants Pass Fred Meyer for ice, food.

Second stop: Riverside Park in GP to eat and BS.

Third stop: Gas station at Selma ... someone or other was down to running on fumes.

{That was Dan, down to fumes in the tow rig.}

Fourth stop: O'Brien!!

We got in about 4:00 or thereabouts, parked the tow rigs and trailers east of 199, those of us driving what we were taking on the trail stayed on the west side. We staked out our camping spots, checked in, bought raffle tickets, then wandered around checkin' out the other rigs and talking to other campers/drivers. Dinner at the little restaurant/bar in O'Brien was excellent but the wait was long and food (and drinks) slow coming 'cause of the sheer volume of people they were trying to serve.

While we were hangin' out, I took time to look under a lot of rigs. I got to check out a new RE long-arm lift for the TJ; it was on one of Warn's company rigs I think. Great big-assed red W on a green TJ. Looks vulnerable to me ... flat angle gives rocks a good shot at it. There was one big punkin yellow ford truck with hogged out wheel wells and 42 or 44 inc swampers; another 4-door short bed ford on similar sized tires, but lifted to fit over 'em.

{Yup, that was the Warn vehicle. The big guy with the white beard was driving it. He doesn't like it as much as his own TJ, with the Tera lift, he said.}

Andy and Ruth (Oregon Trail 4x4) forgot their air mattress, so they went back to Grants Pass to buy a new one. While they were gone, someone stole Dale's tent and put it up on the outhouse roof. (I didn't see it, just heard about it. I guess he was pretty mad til he saw it, then couldn't stop laughing.) It was his own club that pulled that on him - but he doesn't know that and is blaming another club for it. {Andy was rather toasted when they left…don't know how bad he was by the time he got back and found his tent.}

It was real hard to sleep; Jenn and I staked out a spot where we could get back onto the road easy, but it was too close to the camp entrance and we had people driving by most of the night. I was sleepin' on a tarp ... got to listen to a couple guys mechanic on their broken down beast instead of sleep. Not too happy 'bout that.

{At least this year it was not one loud, ongoing party like it was the last time I was there in '99. That sucked - the party stopped at 3am or so and the first rig fires up to leave at 420 or so.}

We got up early, rolled out of camp about 5:45 and got in line at the trailhead. They didn't let the first group onto the trail 'til 7:00, so we had time to air down, disconnect (which I'd started the night before but went a little further just so I'd have something to do), eat breakfast, and so on in line.

{We were approx 30 or so rigs back in line. Third to fourth group out. I'm not sure which, since I wasn't paying attention to that at the time.}

They broke us up into groups of about 10 rigs; we had 3 "strangers", 2 scramblers and a stock cherokee, plus 7 OBH-ers plus me for a group of 11. We had a little orientation session from the folks organizing the run and a forest service rep (who rode the trail and enjoyed the hell out of herself ... maybe a convert?), then hit the trail about 7:30.

{The scrambler drivers knew some of the BushHackers from meeting up at TSF. Very sweet rigs! Rick, with the Land Cruiser had elected to leave later in the morning and run with his other club (I think), Strawberry Hill.}

Within 10 minutes, we'd caught up to the group ahead of us, broke down and overheating. I don't mean to pick on anyone in particular, but it was funny that it was toyota pickups having the problems. Once they got moving, we waited a few minutes to reestablish separation from their group. We drove a ways, a mile or two maybe, took some pictures of the old wagon tracks and such.

{Actually, we found the sign here that said "Wagon Ruts", but we couldn't find any.}

It was sorta light duty wheelin' ... nothing serious, but you could have goofed if you'd tried a little. We caught the toyota guys again, broke again, and while waiting for 'em to get moving again we took more pictures.

{This spot had very good wagon ruts in the rocks.}

In the process, Jenn stepped on a rock which rolled and slid and bit it pretty good. (Email this morning says green and yellow bruise and an inch or more swelling.)

{But I saved the camera!}

{{Happy to report that the swelling is less the colors are less, and it doesnt hurt any where near as bad now.}}

From there, we went about another quarter mile, up over some ledges (I think maybe where the pix of Jesse on the ruts / steps / whatever were taken); there was a bypass for the stock white Cherokee. Not much further was a steep dusty spot; that's where we caught the toyotas again. Broke down or overheated again. I *think* that's where you-all camped but I'm not 100% sure. We waited a few minutes, then got underway. The trail split again, sort of a bypass around a tiny obstacle.

{We of course took the obstacles.}

Gil managed to kick a rock loose up which Jenn promptly got stuck on; it was up against her rear lower control arm doing some damage, denting and scraping, so we used the high lift to boost her up over the top, then hung a strap on her and Gil (or maybe Jim) gave her a tug. {yes, Gil}

{The way his big tires kicked it up there was no alternative but to drive over it…and I wasn't tall enough to make it. In the process of pulling me out, the rock got turned more and flattened down and all the others were able to drive right over it.}

Hint: oil the mechanism on your high lift periodically. They work a lot better that way.

{Monday night it took 5 minutes and a couple of squirts or WD-40 and it is working fine now. <sigh> Also, don't bury the WD-40 in the bottom of your gear! We could have used it a couple of times if anyone had had a can where we could easily get to it.}

That kept us busy for 20 minutes or so; nobody else had any problems ... I think that rock might have still been rolling when Jenn got to it, which makes it harder to pick a line.

We motored on up the trail ... of course, caught up with the group ahead of us. This time, it wasn't just the toyotas in the group causing problems. There's a hole up there, looks like a bomb pit ... the trail goes through, there's some rock crawling to do, and a nice near vertical ledge folks were driving up against, posing for pix, then moving on ... every dang driver took their turn.

{These idiots were from the Junction City Jeepers I believe. The obstacle is called "hole in the ground" and it is a big pit with a bypass. Not real hard, unless maybe you are wide open. The idiots blocked both the trail and the bypass so that no one could pass them while they took pictures. They knew they were not supposed to block the trail - they were told that at the drivers meeting!}

We didn't stop for pix when it was our turn, we motored down into the hole, over the rocks, and back up the other side muy pronto.

It wasn't too long before we hit a section of graveled forest service road, then following the signs, bombed up to the next checkpoint: back to trail riding. Fun, but nothing serious 'til the Little Sluice; there was another checkpoint at the top bottom of the Sluice. The cherokee took the bypass, everyone else wallered through. It's too narrow for a jeep to maneuver, you just point it down the bottom of the hole between the trees and go slow waddling over the rocks hoping you have enough clearance. Maybe with a zuk there'd be a line to choose, but with a jeep or midsize, there's really only one way to go ... right down the middle. I don't think I hit anything. Just below the Sluice is the rock garden ... you guys would love that!!

{The rock garden is NOT part of the official trail run. We just always try to stop and play there.}

We went on by 'cause we were trying to catch the group ahead of us eating lunch and get past 'em. It worked. But we didn't get too far 'til Gordon's fuel pump quit pumping. Someone ... Jim, I think, put a strap on him and towed him to a good lunch spot; we ate, he mechanicked. Dunno what he did, but he fixed the problem ... electrical, I think.

{Yup, Jim towed him in, and Alvin pushed as needed with his bumper, when there was no longer room enough for Jim to pull. He messed with something electrical, moved stuff around and such and it started working again.}

Just about the time he got his own lunch finished, the group we'd passed slipped through ... drats, behind 'em again. It wasn't more than a half mile before they broke down again. This time it was a CJ ... drag link was cracking and about to break. They fixed it with a couple radiator hose clamps and a chunk off a slotted jack handle. (Would you like to drive that around the edge of a 750 foot cliff with only 2" of room to spare? Makes me uneasy just thinkin' about it.) We sat in the dust in the road for what felt like about an hour waiting for them to fix it and get on up the trail. That part of the trail, maybe a mile and a half, was through a big rhododendron patch, more dust than rocks.

The next obstacle was the Big Sluice. I'll start right out saying I was over my head on that one.

{Big sluice was looking much easier than in 99. Much of the rock has changed. In 99 I wouldn't even look at it (don't think I could have made it), but they did get Kevin's unlocked CJ through it with a lot of spotting and pushing.}

It's fairly steep uphill; the trail goes up a water-washed slab with small waterfalls and some decent boulders. I probably hit 6-8 different places. There was really only one bad spot ... a boulder in exactly the wrong place. The line was to put the left tires over the boulder while putting the right tires on a ledge on the other side, but not quite so far that you'd hit the front right fender on the wall above the ledge. I was doing real good with the checkpoint operator spotting (dude had a sweeeeet old bronco) 'til I came down off the boulder with the front tire ... I'm just too short and I made bad crunchy grindy noises. We talked about it a sec, I turned the wheel hard left, and clawed my way out of there under my own power. I also hit pretty hard on my gas tank skid when the rear end dropped off the boulder. Yeah Kilby!!!

{I also got hung up there really bad. Gordon told me the line but I didn't fit the way he told it to me and was to short to just drive over it like Gil did. I wasn't sure that the guy there was the Bronco dude, so I didn't listen to the crowd and called for Gil to come take a look and help me out. I trust him.}

I had about 40 feet to get stuff straightened out, while crawling over pretty decent rocks, before the final obstacle in the sluice: another ledge and boulder setup going up a small waterfall. This time, there was too much boulder to go over and the hole was to narrow to go through, but I could get partway up it, just barely clear the right fender going past the ledge, turning hard to the left, sorta pivot around the rock. Mostly worked; I clonked pretty good when the left rear tire came down the face of the boulder on my way away from it.

{This used to be a bigger step with a narrow "V" at the top of the rocks. Much easier looking that it used to be. But you still hit on it a lot of the time.}

There were a LOT of people at the Big Sluice.

{Several locals were camped there for the weekend to watch the carnage!}

Aaron, Erik: remember that Jeff character with the rolled-it-6-different-occasions Chevy pickup? He was there, hood up, working on it. Lotta other people, locals I think, just watching the carnage and taking pictures. Hey ... I got some good compliments from a few folks for getting through with no assistance given how little lift I have.

As we pulled out, a couple guys in a newer big bronco got into the middle of us, then acted like complete jerks, even throwing temper tantrums and beating on the steering wheel when we had to stop for an obstacle ... that's at the 750 foot cliff part. I don't like heights, not like that.

{That wasn't bad - wait until you see Moab! <VBG>}

We hit the main road about a mile, maybe two past the Big Sluice, then took a side road 2-3 miles into camp. It was real dusty. I was also dusty, and there was somewhat of a dust problem. Oh, and I should probably mention the dust. And the dust. Dust was real bad. And it was dusty. (Get the point?) I didn't either ... couldn't see it through the dust.

{Yup!}

Anyways, the road to camp {Sourdough Flats} went through a canyon and there was a couple mud puddles in the road near the creek, so I can't tell how much scratching I did underneath yet. The brown splash-water gave the dust something to stick to.

We got into camp, staked out a camping spot by parking all the rigs in a line between the road and creek Smith River ... a little privacy and a buffer between us and whatever other folks might do ... I'd hate to get run over, the blood is hard to get out of a sleeping bag. We did the normal camp stuff .. throw around a little gear around to stake out the space, unpack the rigs, then went swimming. It was about 5:00, maybe 6:00, cooling off but still warm enough for a bath to get the DUST off. We also took a sec to check out a noise in Jenn's jeep. Remember the "tick" I got after that first trip up by Buckhorn Springs? Same thing ... never did figure it out. Mine went away.

{Camp was crowded already. All the "usual BushHacker spots" were already taken. I have yet to figure out what the noise was. It lasted all weekend, but I cant tell if I still have it when connected and on the highway - too much noise. Will try to scope it out more this weekend.}

{{No report on the noise - have not had time to work on that part of the TJ yet.}}

Anyways, we hung out for a while around the camping area BS-ing and setting up camp a bit more. Down the river (Smith) maybe 200 yards someone cut loose with a semiauto. Shootin' is not cool that close to that many people; I'm a gun nut myself and feel there was a definite breech of gun nut etiquette. (I half suspect ol' Jeff was either involved or knows who it was. I mean to talk to him about that ... it'll also tell me whether he's someone I'll go wheelin' with again or not.)

Dinner was 7:00 ish, provided by the ride organizers (with our fee money, of course) ... steak, taters, salad, and so on. After that, the raffle. I won a Leatherman tool; I'd bought other raffle tickets, but it was the one for being one of the first 50 to sign up which won. That finished about 10:00; bedtime!! Before bed, though, I noticed a funny glow on the ground and went to investigate thinking it was some sort of luminescent jewelry that someone lost ... nope: freakin' glow worms!!! There were several.

We had some problems with some locals who decided to make life miserable for the OC&T-ers by choosing that weekend to come camp, then making complete obnoxious asses out of themselves: loud music, big fire, driving around in the dark with the lights off. They did turn the music down about 11:00, but by 1:30 they were back at it. Woke me up ... I rolled over, and the flames were growing! Heavy black smoke, too. I think they musta put either some oil or a tire in the fire. I went back to sleep when the flames died back some.

{This is one of the problems on this trip. The locals come in and take up camp space and cause trouble. The law enforcement and the forest service cant stay out there all night unfortunately, and it is a primitive camp site - so no real rules. =( }

There was some other breakage I heard about. One guy trailered a CJ about 700 (??) miles {800 acutally} to Brookings from somewhere, left his trailer there, drove to O'Brien for the trail, and wound up splitting his transfer case. He was travelling with an old flat fender. They hit the CJ somewhere on the mountain where they could take a truck back to get it, then loaded 2 jeeps worth of gear and (4 people) people onto the flattie and finished the trip. They had 3-4 garbage bags of gear strapped on top of the flattie's hood plus the rear end pretty full.

(By the way, you don't leave anything not nailed down or the locals apparently strip it down stealing all the good parts. If you have to leave a rig, generally you want to leave someone with it while you go back for parts.)

Sunday I got up early and went fishing before breakfast; I caught a bunch of 4-5 inchers ... on that little four foot micro-ultralight and 2 pound test, even that was fun. Breakfast was provided; pancakes, scrambled eggs, and ham.

We packed up sorta slow, waiting for the sun to come up and dry out our gear.

After that, we returned via the trail rather than taking the logging roads back. On the way back up to the end of the trail, we found Jeff again, parked along side of the road with his Chebby, kinda looking like the rig towing him was cooling off. What a *beater*.

On the way up the first hog-back, we met a couple of the older smaller Broncos coming down, but we'd fortunately found a wide spot. The trip up to the top of the Big Sluice was fairly uneventful other than checking Jenn's clicking noise a time or two. We sorta got rearranged at the top of the sluice; I think I started down 2nd to last if you don't count Gordon plus Dale and Mary Jo (driving by then) (Mary Jo actually drove a lot of the trip, both days) who took the bypass. I clonked a time or two. I was behind Rick. He maintained the Toyota legend by catching on fire going down the sluice. Some wiring got crossed up, shorted out .. yada yada yada. He had his extinguisher out but I don't think he used it. He came back with a handful of burnt wires. ??? What the heck, it still ran. Someone ahead of me was having charging problems and Alvin stopped to help 'em out.

{Oh man!! I didn't hear about a fire!! I thought it was the Cruiser that was having charging troubles and needed a gauge - Alvin helped them out since he could get to his easier than Jim (who was in the lead) could.}

THE REAL STORY: There was no fire. No handful of burnt wires. The one (single, uno, etc.) charge wire that runs from the alternator to the battery got pinched between the battery and the tray. It shorted out, and melted in about 2 seconds flat (those Optimas can source lots of current). Opened up the hood, saw that was all it was, pulled out the leatherman and cut it off. Drove down the rest of the sluice and at the bottom I took a wire off the winch and replaced it.. No fire, no big deal, easy fix. I will bet that this was the smallest problem the group saw.

{He is right - turns out it was a very small problem. Easily fixed too! (and faster than any of the other problems we had) The reason I think that those of us up front didnt know about it is that it didnt take hardly any time to fix .}

Wouldn't you know it? We caught up with some people also returning via the trail ... in fullsized rigs with power steering problems they were having to jockey the corners.

After crawling up on them a time or two they all got pulled off to work on the big truck and let us past them.

Eventually we got past 'em though, and stopped at the rock garden for lunch and play. I kept it mellow ...I'd gotten that far with no damage (or no known damage). Jim, Gil, Rick, and Gordon all headed pretty far out into the rocks; I stayed sorta by the road; Jenn, Alvin, Dan, and Dale/Mary Jo kept to the same area but ventured a bit further than I did. We got some good pix of folks crawling over some pretty nifty rocks. Wish I'd gotten audio tape of the scraping noises!!

{This was a fantastically fun spot. The flat fender got up on a rock and ended up leaking a lot of water which had us concerned - turns out it was from the cooler. More interesting was the oil gushing out the back of the engine ('56 Chev 265 V-8) from the oil breather pipe. Guess that limits somewhat his vertical climbing ability. Jim was on his way back (showing off a little) to the trail and got hung up rather spectacularly a time or two. At one point oil was pouring out his rear main seal if I remember the conversation right. It also was better once he was flat and not twisted up at a weird angle on the rocks. He also found a nice spot to show us just how high a 48" highlift jack can go to help you off a rock. He had wegied a big rock in between the drive shaft and the frame rail and couldn't drive off with out damage or assistance. Out came the jack and he drove off of it and off the rock just fine.}

After leaving there, I was third line, Gil leading, Jenn next, then me, so I could see what was happening in front. I couldn't figure why Gil took such an ugly route when there was an easier one handy 'til midway along that stretch I realized we were going back up the little sluice. I had much less problem or concern going uphill. Could have been an additional day of experience (starting from zero, a day is a major gain) or just fatigue.

{I think the little sluice is easier going up hill, also you had learned a whole lot already! When we got to the point where we crossed the county road, we decided to head down the road and not take the trail the rest of the way. This lower section is the part with Hole in the Ground in it.}

Back at the gravelled forest road, I hit 2-hi and was bookin' along in Jenn's dust when Gil stopped. Busted tie rod end ... the vertical pin piece had snapped off. I got to wrestle his 37x12.50 SSR straight while he rolled the jeep over onto the shoulder, then we got to watch some mechanicking.

{This was most amusing in a way as the only part he had that might work was for his drag link, and it did fit, luckily, had it been the other end of the tie rod I think he may have been screwed due to the left and right hand threads. We watched them fix it, check the toe, take it apart and do it again, this time with it being close enough to drive.}

By the time we were done with that it was getting late so rather than taking last section of the McGrew (including Hole in the Ground), we went hammer down on the forest road. I even caught some pretty good air on some mounds of gravel / water bars left in the road.

{They have a unique approach to water bars on that forest!}

Back at O'Brien, we aired up (well, I didn't ... with the tires hot from travel, I had 23.5 psi, which is enough for freeway travel with swampers) reconnected, cleaned up a little, loaded up the trailered rigs, and headed into Grants Pass for dinner. Sizzler will feed trail-dirty four wheelers! {as we had found out after a run last year. They also were quit accommodating when I asked them for seating for 15.} Then I said goodbye to the OBH folks, gassed up, and headed for Ashland. Ya shoulda seen the dust cloud come out of the jeep as I passed the 80 mph peg.

Just to be clear, Brett, your ploy worked and Jenn made me air down and disconnect. <VBG> I guess 3rd gear, 2WD wasn't going to work anyway. I only went down to 20 psi cold, but I had exactly zero traction problems, no wheel spin, no slipping, so it was good enough for this trail. I think the siping probably helps a lot in that.

That was one *fun* trip ... my first time in the rocks. I learned a lot and met some really great people. Now I gotta clean up the mess.

{The unfortunate part of taking this trail this time of year is the dust - in everything that you take with you. It really sucks big time trying to clean it all out of the Jeeps.}

=========

We left Grants Pass at about 9pm or a little before....it was a long trip home. The convoy North was down to me, Gordon and son, and Chris (Gil's son), with trailer. Alvin and kids, with trailer, and Dan and Jim and kids with trailer. Gil having stayed for the night, since he had to go to Medford in the morning and Dale and Mary Jo were headed out camping for a weeks vacation the next day. Rick and freind had bypassed dinner and headed up the freeway ahead of us. Oh yes, and Tom of course headed south for Ashland again.

There was a wreck at Rice Hill that we got detoured around, but one guy missed the turn back onto the freeway. Luckily all of the folks who were headed North that night (except me) had 2 meter Hamm sets. They were all able to talk. Me, I couldnt hear hardly a thing over the wind noise on the freeway anyway. We got them turned around and by the time we got up to Eugene they had caught up with us. We hit a truck stop for coffee North of Eugene. The sign said 47 degrees. The thermometer on Gordons tow rig said 50 degrees. I got coffee and then stuffed another jacket under the rainsuit I was wearing!!! Damn it was a cold trip home. By the time I got up to the dam it was about 230 am. I was totally exhausted and if I had any further to go I would have had to pull off and sleep, luckily another 15 minutes and I was home. I grabbed the ice chest and my camera and purse and headed for bed after e-mailing the boss that I would be in late in the morning.

So, here it is a week later, I am still exhausted from the trip, and I still am working on cleaning up my gear and the Jeep. Andy (from work) was nice enough to let me come over to his place on Monday night and blow out the interior with his air compressor. He decided it was dirty and started hosing it off. Jokes on him, we then had to hose the driveway down to get rid of the silt. Still, it was awful nice of him to let me use his air compressor.

Got the pictures back - they came out great. I hope to have them posted in a week or so (they are not scanned in yet). Same with the few pictures I took up at Shaw Lake and Lake Isabel too (there is only a few of them - else I lost a roll of film somewhere).

Creek and Trail is not real hard (remember a stock cherokee went up it), it is more of a social event. There are a couple of places that are rough, all of them have bypasses. There is talk of OBH doing its own run down there at a different time of year. Dunno. It is a long drive but it is very beautiful and lots of fun. The Smith river is great for fishing and swimming too. A three day weekend there might be in order one of these days.

It was a really great trip with lots of great memories, thanks to my fellow BushHackers, a few of the OR Trail club, Frank and Pam Remley from the Timber Tamers, the overloaded flat fender <g>, the scrambler drivers, and of course Tom. =) It was really great to have someone along to hang with, talk with, and who did stuff like unexpectedly hand me my tent poles while we were setting up camp, come up with more bungy cords when I needed them, and just plain lend an hand just because... It was a much fun weekend!! =)

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