Labor Day Saturday Run at Ahtanum State Forest
Hosted by Eastern Washington Off Road.
Report by Clay Graham. Photos by Clay Graham / Eastern Washington Off Road
On Saturday August 30th, 2008 most of the group met up at the All Wheelers camp at Tree Phones. Blind Pilot was waiting for us at the Nasty Creek Corrals. We aired down and were on our way to Louie Way Gap. It took about 35 minute to get to Louie Way Gap by forest roads.
We headed up 4W613. 99 in the Tweety Jeep had some problems with the first two climbs. The Tweety Jeep had broken a rear axle from pulling the Forest Service trailer on the 4W608 work day the Saturday before. We did not have the time to change the axle before the run so we knew Tweety would have a little harder time than the rest having an open front and only one working axle in the back. 99 got crossed up against a tree on the second climb up the rocks. The tree is ok but the Tweety Jeep took on a little carnage. We had to use the Tweety Jeeps winch to get passed the rock section. A few other rigs had a little trouble in the rock section too. Once everyone was up the rock, we headed on up to the Louie Way View Point for a break and to take in the views.
Our next stop was at the Northeast Strobach Mountain Vista for another view of Rimrock. After a few minutes, we were heading on. The next stop was at Strobach Mountain Trail Vista for lunch. As we pulled in, we head the Peak Putters on the CB and talk to them some. They were down on one of the hard core Rimrock trails.
After lunch, we moved on up the 4W613. There is a real fun section before you reach the Upper Meadow. 99 did a great job making it though there.
Down at the Lower Meadow we were stopped by a lady that told us we needed to wait for a big group of ATVs coming off of Foundation Ridge. I told her it was not a problem but she needed to have her friend stop riding in the meadow and she needed to move her ORV back on the trail. I told here what they were doing was illegal and they could get a ticket for being off the trail. She said she didn’t know they could not ride out there. She had her friend park his quad. I told her that our club put the logs up at each end of the meadow to show where the trail was so people would know where the trail was and not drive in the meadow. She said she only went around the logs to go out and sit in the sun because she was cold. Again I told her it was illegal to be out there. The lady walked back out to her ORV and sit in it without moving it. The ladies friends finely came down the trail and all drove out there in the meadow with her.
We moved on up the foundation Ridge climb. 99 had some more problems getting the Tweety Jeep up a loose area. I ran her winch out and got her winched up and around the corner. With me coaching 99, she was able to start climbing again. She was doing real good until the other rear axle broke. It was time now for the strap. Using 3 traps I pulled her Jeep on up the loose section with my XJ. Once past that loose part we took two of the straps off and use only one. The trail starts getting tight at the top of the climb. On one hill climb 99 said I pulled her into a tree and she clipped the driver’s side fender. The marker was already broke so the fender only got damaged again. We finely made it to Jackass Road where 99 could use front wheel drive to get off the mountain.
The run was a blast thanks to the people who came wheelin’ with us. Thanks for helping 99 through the trail.
The disappointing part of the Labor Day Weekend run was seeing some people have no respect for the ORV areas they use. Friday a guy with his gal on the back of his Motorcycle were riding off the road in the Tree Phones campground. One place was by the creek. He rode up from behind the REHAB AREA – TREAD LIGHTLY sign. He read the sign and then parked next to it in the Rehab Area. I have pictures.
On Saturday’s run we came across two groups off the 4W613 trail. I am not sure where the first group went off the trail but some how they pasted us twice going the same direction. The second group caused damage in the lower meadow that could get the trail closed. We are not just going to set back and do nothing because we don’t want to have the trail closed. The appropriate authorities will get a report with pictures.
We have an emergency work party scheduled to work at that meadow so others don’t follow in the damage since it looks inviting to mudders.
Tread Lightly or have your picture turned in!
The above inspired us to start the Forest Watch Volunteer Program!
Here are some photos of the day: