Fish & Chips Run

As we do every year, we gathered at the Safeway in Enumclaw to fuel up one more time before starting our trek. Better intentions not withstanding, we started late to cross the mountains using the old Naches Pass trail. Our destination was the Gold Creek Station. Lunch turned into a mid-afternoon meal, or ”Dunch” Some of us had the world famous Fish & Chips, some passed on the opportunity to overindulge. Most of us had been on these trails before and this trip showed us how conditions can vary, making sure that Jeeping is never boring. Last year this time, we had snow and ice from the moment we aired down (actual prior) all the way until we hit pavement again late in the evening. This summer, the trails were bone-dry and dusty. But on this run, mud had the greatest impact. From sliding sideways, to blocking trails, we had it all.

Of the nine Jeeps and two Toyota’s Steve Anderson took the most damage. Glenn bending his front left fender, while Steve’s list was more extensive. Das Jeep finished the Otter Slide hill climb in a plume of white smoke and on fire. A transmission oil line had split, spewing oil onto the exhaust where it ignited. Besides that excitement, the mount for the transmission plate was bent and the exhaust pipe squeezed tight. All in all -a good day. Steve Brown was lucky that we were stopped, when he notice a flat tire due to a leak between tire and rim.

Somewhere along our way home, we encountered a mud hole with a bridge to nowhere. Without experience it would have been impossible to find the trail. But Mitch did find the trail. It was so slippery that Laurie’s CJ turned downhill although it was pointed uphill. Without any proper winching trees in the right direction, Steve pulled forward, offering Das Jeep as a winching point. After some more prodding and winching, we thought discretion to be the better part of valor and took the forest service road for a bit to a point where it intersected the trail again.

It was a long day...getting up at 5:00 AM, after little sleep, returning at midnight. But it was fun day to be sure!