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Walker Valley Washington - 29 June 02

 

Walker Valley

Waterfall at the creek crossing.

Waterfall at the creek crossing.

Waterfall at the creek crossing.

The rock ledge on Expressway.

Keith on the rock ledge.

Keith making the rock ledge.

 

Susie making the rock ledge.

Dan coming up the hill.

Dan on the bypass exit.

Keith stuck on a log.

"I just need a tug"

Zuk and TJ.

Keith and Mel at the entrance to Boulder Creek.

Keith trying  the entrance to Boulder Creek.

Keith trying  the entrance to Boulder Creek.

Keith trying  the entrance to Boulder Creek.

Fred coming up to Boulder Creek.

OBH'ers.  Keith's Zuk; Jenn, Susie & Mel's TJ's.

Dan coming thru the trees on Jeep Cross.

Dan coming thru the trees on Jeep Cross.

Dan coming thru the trees on Jeep Cross.

Dan coming thru the trees on Jeep Cross.

Fred starting into the water on Jeep Cross.

Roy starting into the water on Jeep Cross.

Roy starting into the water on Jeep Cross.

Jen driving Susie's TJ.

Jen driving Susie's TJ.

Keiths Zuk after the roll.

Keiths Zuk after the roll.

Keiths Zuk after the roll.

Keith's roll pictures

Keith, Susie, & Mel with Keith's rolled Zuk.

Keith prying open the passenger door on the Zuk.

Keith with Rolled Zuk.

Damages to my rear upper control arm mount.  Pink arrows on the lower row of pictures show where it was welded by S&N Fab.  Leonard added the additional bracing on it the following day.  Sorry no pics of it before the welding and painting - I just wasn't thinking about taking pictures...

 

 

After much rain and much tire troubles earlier in the day, Mel and I finally met up in Seattle and headed up to Walker Valley. Fred was there already, and had his camp set up. Mel and I got set up in the pouring rain and headed back into town for some dinner. We proceeded to hope that Keith and Jenn, and Susie would show. They did...about midnight, and lucky them, during a lull in the rain so they got their tents up pretty easy by comparison. We crashed for the night - listening to the sound of the rain pouring down. It had poured very hard all day Friday with no signs of letting up.

Saturday morning Dan shows up about 830 am. The other guys trickled in after that. We started at 10am, went around the barrier across from the parking lot that prevents ill-equipped vehicles from gaining access to the trails. The first trail we went on was Jeep Access, which is the main trail going through Walker Valley. We branched off it to go up Expressway Trail, which has the rock ledge where Keith and Suzie made it (and Keith later rolled) up, as did some of the group in front of us.

The guys in front (locals) and behind (Dan and Co) our little group of 4 OBH'ers stayed on Expressway until it merged back onto Jeep Access at Boulder Creek. Our group headed down Poop Shute back to Jeep Access. We caught up with Dan and Co. (or vice versa) at the merge at Boulder Creek. We finished Jeep Access, ate lunch on the fire road, then headed up Upper Jeep Cross. It rejoined the main fire road and we then headed down to Lower Jeep Cross. This trail took us out of the OHV park and dumped us onto the blacktop road. We drove down to the main fire road that took us back to the OHV parking lot, where we arrived at about 4:45pm. Most of us then headed back up to Expressway to pick up a YJ we had left there, and Keith, Susie, and Mel then went on up to the rock ledge where Keith then rolled the Zuk.

Keith rates Jeep Access as a moderate trail, Expressway as a difficult trail (due mainly to the rock ledge), Upper Jeep Trail as moderate/difficult with a few tricky spots when its muddy, and Lower Jeep Trail as difficult if run uphill due to the stumps, roots, and mud, but moderate when run downhill. A lift and 33's in addition to a locker is recommended for Walker Valley.

The weather cooperated most of the time, it wasn't a hard rain most of the day, just a steady drizzle. Once we got back to camp and got everyone sorted out and rigs fixed, everyone else bailed out on us, and took off. Leaving Mel, Susie, and myself at Walker Valley for the night. We had a break in the weather and got a nice fire going and Mel set up the BBQ, and pretty soon dinner was served! Tri-tip, rib eye, garlic bread, pasta salad, and grilled veggies. Yum! A couple of little dirt bikers came over to warm up at our fire...cute little kids. Their dad came over and chatted for a while with us. Turns out he is Nascar racer, and we had a nice time talking with him about stuff.

Sunday morning the three of us decided to pack up and head down to run Evens Creek. While we were hooking stuff back up and airing up I noticed that I had a bracket on the rear axle that looked cracked. Not to bad we all thought, just the one side. Oh well, no wheeling for me, so lets just head to Mel's place. We finished loading up and hit the road out to the freeway. We only made it a few miles when I was on the CB to Mel saying we gotta stop and make some calls. My rig was all over the road - it was getting really scary. I called and checked with Dan, he says call the guys at S&N Fab and see if they are in, if they were not, he would do what he could on it. Ok, so we try to get Jason and Trevor at S&N Fab (http://www.sn-fab.com/). No answer at the house, no answer at the shop either. Hmm...we decide to just drop by since it is between where we are and Dan's place. I got lucky...they had opened up the shop for the afternoon since we tried to call them. They looked at it..."hmmm", "Oohhhh", "look at this". Scary sounds. They jacked it up...and the drivers side of the rear axle fell off. (This is not looking good at all). Turns out the bracket that holds both the upper control arm and the pan hard rod (track bar) in the rear had totally torn off on all 3 sides. We (me, Mel, Susie) could only tell for sure that the one side had cracked from where we were looking at it. They guys started yanking parts off my rig and got it welded back up for me...2 hours and a bit of cursing later, its now no problem to drive home to Portland.

We get to talking about cages, and we decide to get a hold of our buddy Brett Roundy and take a look at his TJ. S&N Fab had built it up for him. Custom coil over hydraulic suspension, etc. Very cool looking rig. We headed out to his place, and after checking out his rig, Susie and I decide to "abandon" Mel for the rest of the weekend and head home. Luckily, the drive home was pretty quiet for us. Lots of looks with two big green TJ's following each other down the freeway, but that was all.

I scrapped the rest of the vacation plans that I had for the week (I was supposed to be in BC) and came home. I decided it just wasn't worth taking the risk of something else happening, and besides that, my tent and other gear was wet.   = (

Name  Rig   Carnage
Jenn  TJ (OBH) Bent bumper, torn upper CA mount
Susie TJ (OBH) None
Mel TJ (OBH) Rear locker not working, don't know if it quit the trip prior or early on this trip
Dan XJ None
Fred YJ Bent front leaf spring
Don YJ Possible busted front axle
?? TJ Bad vacuum leak
Keith Zuk (OBH)

Rolled

Ray Zuk Tweaked skid and sliced ARB line

On Monday I took my rig over to Leonard's shop (Susie came with for moral support) and he changed out a u-joint, fixed a johnny joint in my upper control arm that had popped out, due to the axle shifting, and a couple of other little things.  He also welded some extra bracing and such on that mount.  Hopefully this will be the end of my troubles with it.

Keith says (02 July 02):  Well, so far the damage to my Sammy is fairly minor, but I still have to wash it and inspect it a little closer. I pulled the hood off and pounded out most the dents when I got home Sunday night :^). Here's the list so far: hood, top of front clip, driver headlight mount, targa bar, two small spots on windshield frame, top edge of driver door, top edge of rear corner panel where my rear cage bolted in, bottom hinge on tailgate, air line on sensor for FI (only damage under hood), and my rear cage tweaked. Apparently the hood, targa bar, and rear cage took the brunt of the roll. I have some dark pictures that I will either mail out or send to Jenn to post on her site.

Pictures from Keith

       

Pictures from Fred

               

Pictures from Ray






































































 






   

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