Clover Springs

Leaving on a crisp and beautiful Saturday morning from Fall City, WA, we joined the rest of the group at the Clover Springs base camp around 9:00 AM. Five Jeeps and two very custom Toyotas set out on a trail cleaning trip. With the Jamboree coming up in July, the trails have to be clear enough for Jeeps to pass safely. Fallen trees had to be cut and snow drifts removed, by whatever means.

The trail started gently at an altitude of about 2,400 feet. The first part remained easy all the way up to over 6,000 feet. First, one of the Toyotas, then one of the CJ’s needed some light field repairs and prodding. Following a ridge at around 6,000 feet, we enjoyed gorgeous vistas and easy cruising until we found some snow.The first of three snowdrifts was quickly chewed up by the first CJ. The second brought out the chain saws. Excellent igloo building material. Our pictures show a lot of chain saw action at this snowdrift. The third was larger yet and caused us to consider alternatives. But again, chain saws and shovels did the job.

We encountered a small group of classic Toyota Land Cruisers, who, being in front of us, got to use their chain saws on wood instead of snow, leaving the entire trail passable for the Jamboree. Returning to camp involved passing through a valley with several stream crossings and loads of tight spots. I, for one, was glad that I had taken my mirrors off. Increasing in difficulty until almost the end, the difficulty was mostly snow related.

A rather impressive hill climb towards the end capped off the day with more work than anticipated. One CJ, running on two cylinders, with idle issues and failed power steering had to be winched and pulled up the hill. To complete the ascent, four Jeeps were rigged together to pull the CJ up the hill in our very own dust storm.