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OBH 7th Anniversary Run
17 February 2002
Written by Guy Hammer and Jennifer Baker.
After getting off to a somewhat late start, I met up with Tony, his SO, Jeff and Devin at the Log Cabin for breakfast. Mike and Martha were there as well, but we didn't recognize them as being part of our group. OBH is getting too big these days to know everyone. After everyone had eaten their fill of the Log Cabin's fabled breakfast we all headed out to Rogers camp. Even though we were a bit early there was quite a crowd already there.
At around 10:20 Jenn called for a drivers meeting and Victor started handing out tickets for door prizes. After a drawing (hey - I won a hat! Thanks Vic! :) and a short meeting Keith assembled the hard-core group and set off for the Cedar Tree trail. Once they cleared the parking lot Jennifer lined up our group paying attention that winch equipped rigs were spaced evenly throughout the line. This was good planning and probably the main reason no one in our group had to pull cable all day. :-)
Here is the line-up in no particular order:
Mike & Martha Johnson: 1994, Wrangler, Green
Guy Hammer: '98 Sidekick, white over blue ragtop
Alvin Carlson, Blake & his friend Colin Smith: 97 Blue TJ
Victor & nephew Chris: 99 TJ
Norm(pilot) & Josh(co-pilot) Patten: 93 Jeep Sahara, Green
Darin Meisenheimer & passenger Cody Philpot: '90 YJ, Black
Joe Pedigo: '98 Full size Chevy Cheyenne
Mike Poirier: 1992 Red Jeep Cherokee
Elliot Howard: 1997 Black Jeep TJ Wrangler
Jennifer Baker: Green 98 TJ "MudBall"
Tony &SO: 95 Mitsubushi Montero, Dark Green
Linh, Stephanie, Troy, and Molly (dog): Black Toyota PU
Rick Prentice: Black CJ-7
????????: F-250 diesel
We all started out with Mike Poirier in the lead and Jennifer as gunner.
The game plan was to run the third segment of Powerline, take a shot at Bates Trail and finish up on Ample and Alluring. Mike must have changed his mind though as the next thing we knew we were heading up Happy Meal. I thought to myself "This is going to be interesting for the LWB guys." Reports on the radio were they did just fine in the tight corners although I did see Joe's backup lights come on once. We didn't go far as Mike neatly de-beaded his LF Thornbird in the tore up section of the trail that Jennifer mentioned in her trip report two weeks ago. Fixing the tire in place proved impossible due to the depth/slipperynes of the mud so it was decided to turn the rigs around, park 'em on the road, put the spare on Mikes rig and fix the TB on level ground. Needless to say, this took a while with 14 rigs.
Not to mention we had a group of 4 quads in the middle of us all, and three more rigs had pulled up behind us by the time we were trying to get turned around and down. I must say, that after the initial meeting (and discovering that we couldnt go forwards or backwards immedeiately) the quads settled down and turned out to be a very nice and helpful bunch.
Once back on the road, we re-seated the Thornbird with the aid of my ratchet strap and Rick's on-board air. The two full-sized PU's decided to bag running with us and go somewhere to play on their own. The F-250 had taken a couple of shots on the running boards and the drivers SO felt that it wasn't worth beating up the truck further.
Back underway we ran the third segment of Powerline. This went well with rigs tackling the steeper sections one at a time. The snow was deep enough here that it was becoming obvious that Bates wasn't going to be runable. There was an interesting 2 foot drop-off at the end of this segment. Tony in the Montaro did a textbook job of easing his rig over it. I was next - it wasn't as pretty as Tony's job but worked out OK. At least I didn't get hung up on the drop. Once all of the rigs were back on the road we headed over to Stagecoach Horse Camp for lunch.
Stagecoach Horse Camp has an interesting history. Back in the days of the Wilson River Stage Road, Horse Camp was very close to the summit. This made it natural point for the stages to swap on a fresh team. Nowdays it's a busy little campground oriented towards the equesterian set in the summer. In the winter it's largely deserted. There is a large picnic shelter over a long picnic table which we took advantage of as it was starting to rain. This might be a good place to use for a future winter potluck barbecue. BTW, thanks to Parr Lumber for donating the material for building the shelter.
I wouldnt ever advocate taking a group in there, even if there was just one occupied site, as it is for the equestrian gang, however I was 99% sure that it was empty of campers and I was hoping for tables and pit toilets. To discover they had the shelter was even better, and that the toilets were unlocked. =)
After lunch we headed down Stage Road, following the traditions of wooden spoke wheeled wheelers of generations ago, to Lyda Camp. From there the plan was to head up to the top of Ample and Alluring, but alas the snow was just a bit too deep. About a mile out of Lyda camp the Sidekick was on the strap with Tony towing. Leader Mike P's Thornbird side biters were catching on the sides of the ruts throwing him off course a couple of times. Then one of the Wranglers started to get high-centered. We all got through that section to shallower snow, but then the road started to get serious about gaining altitude. We found a wide spot to stop and sent a small Away Team to reconnoiter. Well, more like the back half of the group stopped and the rest kept trying to go fowards. They didnt make it real far due to the deep snow.
Word came down by radio that things weren't looking good. Rick said he was ready to head out as he had to drive back to The Dalles. I was ready to head out as well - it 3:00 by this time and getting darker as the rains continued to roll in. Jenn called another drivers meeting, and we quickly divided the group. Some of the drivers wanted to go look at Archers. The rest of us took off for Lyda Camp. It took some more strap work with Mike J towing to get the Sidekick back through the deep spot and then there were no other issues getting back to the highway.
I'll leave it up to Jennifer to describe how the other group did.
Well, It was down to myself in the lead, Darin tailgunning, Vic, Tony, and Alvin. We headed off to find Archers. Unfortunately we found it in a place I wasnt real familiar with. We were at the bottom of Rocky Uphill (according to what the sign said, little did I know that is is a place I know well, as I have often fought my way nearly to the top to get into lots of trouble in the rocks, on the steps, or in deep mud). A big rig wearing Boggers had been up there that day, but there wasnt any way we were all gonna get up the top of it, not with mud and snow on the rocks up top. We turned around and headed back down. We then went on to find another section of Archers. We played around a while on a couple of different sections of Archers (dunno what the names are if they have names), and then decided it was getting late and we better try to figure out our way out - since I had no idea any more what exact section we were on. I took a left, thinking it would head us out, instead it took us back to the base of Rocky Uphill. (???? WHAT ??? I still cant figure out how that happened looking at the map <sigh>) I still dont know exactly where we were out there. However, from that point it was pretty much all down hill, literally, and we eventually made our way to Lyda Camp and out to the highway.
I aired up at the highway, and worked on getting Tony enough air to head down to the 76 station. The rest headed down on low tires. Tony and I eventually headed down (as we passed the Log Cabin we saw a couple of rigs from the hard core group) and ran into Kevin at the 76, boy did he heave a story to tell. Rocks and leaks in his bead, no exhaust, bent softtop frame, etc., and just covered in mud. We chatted a bit and he limped on home. Pretty soon a couple of Zuk's that I didnt know from the hard core group came in, and we saw Keith and Eric B go by on the highway. Around that same time Jeremy came into the station and we chatted a bit about the day.
Pictures (thanks Alvin!):
"Locked & Loaded Group"
Written by Keith Willison
We had 8 vehicles for most of the day, with a few others that tagged along on parts of the trails. Included in the main group were:
Keith W (Samurai), Joel (Samurai), Dan (Samurai), Davey (Samurai), Eric B (Samurai), Kevin (Toyota), Kevin (Jeep TJ), & Jeremy (Jeep TJ) as Tailgunner.
Sorry for not including last names, passengers, and years/models of vehicles. I figured I would save myself the humility of messing all that up :^)
We started out after the drivers meeting heading for one of the toughest trails in TSF, Cedar Tree Trail. Joel lead the group to the trailhead and the fun begain. The trail was wet, muddy, and slick. All the vehicles made it up the first big hill, consisting of large rocks and deep ruts, with little trouble. Davey had the smallest tires but did an excellent job driving his samurai. The second major obstacle was a sweeping left uphill turn with huge ruts and several large rocks in all the wrong places. Myself, Eric B., and Kevin (jeep) managed to avoid the rocks with some helpfull spotting and clawed through the mud up the hill. I believe everyone else needed a little mechanical assistance to overcome the slick, rutted hill. A few hundred yards later was the next obstacle. A large mud hole filled with thick soupy mud (which happened to measure exactly two inches above my kneecaps, you owe me Jeremy!). This wouldn't have been too difficult, but right in the middle of the hole was a large plastic culvert that was at least 1.5 foot round. So, all of was were forced to winch or be winched over this. This is also where the first mechanical damage was done. Kevin (jeep) lost his exhaust from the muffler back. Also occuring here was the best winching job of the day. After getting stuck against the culvert, Davey couldn't winch forward due to the size and angle of the culvert. So, I climbed into a tree and placed a snatch block up about 10 feet, and with everyone elses help we winched the front of Davey's samurai UP INTO THE AIR, then moved it forward over the culvert. Very cool.
Next came the fun obstacle. A drop into a large hole, followed by a sharp left turn to climb over a large downed tree, or be forced into some bottomless mudpits. Oh, and if you managed to climb over the downed tree, you then dropped into a large soupy mudhole which then lead to an off camber hill climb with an erroding drop back into the affore mentioned mudpits if you slipped to far to the left. About half the group made it through unscathed, while the rest needed a little assistance over the log.
The trail ended with some nice twisty turns downhill through several stumps and ending driving UNDER a large Cedar tree (at least the samurais fit under the tree). A very difficult yet rewarding trail.
From there we backtracked to Firebreak 5 and had a nice leisurely drive to the top. Well, almost the top. The last few hundred yards of the trail was fresh, unbroken snow about 1.5 feet deep. Joel tried, I tried, then Eric tried and we couldn't budge the fresh powder. So, we circled back around and took the road to the top. After playing in a large clearing, we decided to try going down Firebreak 5 to meet the trail we had tried coming up. Eric tried valiantly, but after about 100 yards, he could go no further. So, after getting everyone turned around we headed back to Rogers Camp on the main road.
We hit the trails at 10:30am and got to the Log Cabin for burgers at about 5:30pm. It was a fun day with no serious breakdowns or stuck vehicles. Several winchings and a few tugs to get through some tough trails, but it was a great day of wheeling. Hope everyone else had as much fun as I did. I'd like to thank the entire group for the good time, we all lead or tailgunned at one point or another, and all pitched in to help winching duties. If anyone has pictures, please get them to Jenn (please use work e-mail addy) so she can post them.
Pictures (thanks Keith!):