Memorial Day “Saturday” Run to Blue Lake
Hosted by Eastern Washington Off Road.
Report by Clay Graham. Photos by Clay Graham / Eastern Washington Off Road
Saturday, May 24th, 2008 we met up at the Ahtanum Sno-park and aired down. In our group we had these drivers: Ceg, Test Dummy, LayemStr8, Wantawheel, 89 yota and Blackdog. Another group joined us. I can’t remember names but they were driving the following: CJ5, YJ, Toy pickup and a quad. Very nice people.
We left the Sno-park around 10:30 and headed up the North Fork Ahtanum Road. On the way up “Wantawheel” had some heater hose problems. He got them fixed and we were back moving again.
Not far past Snow Cabin Camp Ground we hit snow. The new bridge was a little off camber with the snow on it. A nice drop to the bridge on one side.
We came up on an off camber area with a big drop off with the snow level. That was fun sliding to the bottom. Not! They dug the snow out so the new wheelers could cross the off camber area. Wantawheel and 89 yota decided that was enough too hairy for them so they headed back.
On up past the last bridge, we ran into Punisher’s group coming down from the Blue Lake area. We stopped and talked with them about the trail ahead.
At the end of the open area switchback, there was a big snow drift at the trees. I had to take a few runs at it to get on top and on up. The snow was sloppy. Test Dummy made it up next. Some of the other guys had to winch up. LayemStr8 winching a few rigs up with his CJ5.
At the Blue Lake turn off the other group decided to go back down. LayemStr8 went with them. Test Dummy, Blackdog and I headed on. At the pond turn off Blackdog said he wanted to go back down. Which left only two XJs.
We headed on. I got the Tweety Jeep stuck at the bottom of the first hill climb in Punisher group’s tracks. We got the Tweety Jeep out and kept heading toward Blue Lake.
We made it up and over two more hill climbs. We could see 4W615 but could not get to it. The trail was covered by a big drift. My rig kept sliding sideways down into the trees. Since it was getting late in the day, we decided to turn around.
We went across the gate keeper going out. On the other side I found water under the snow. Second time stuck for me. Test Dummy pulled me out and I turned around. We started going the other way and Test Dummy lead. Driving on his tracks the Tweety Jeep fell through the snow into water again. Stuck number three. Test Dummy got stuck trying to pull me out. We hooked up my winch and tried to use Test Dummy’s stuck XJ as an anchor. He was on the brakes and I winch him out of his holes. I was still stuck. Next we tried to winch out hooked to a tree. Even using the snatch block the XJ would not move.
I thought the strap around the tree was going to snap. We dug the ice out from under the Jeep and used the hi-lift to put logs under the rear tire that was in the ice water. We never did see the ground in that deep hole.
On the next little hill I smeared the new driver’s mirror on a tree and got stuck for the forth time after a few runs at the hill. We winched on up and headed back down the mountain.
This was a great day of wheelin’ thanks to those who came along.
Here are some photos of the Memorial Day “Saturday” Run to Blue Lake: