Cowiche Mill Road – FS 1302

At 9 o’clock we arrive at Cowiche Mill Road. Here we dropped the Jeeps off the trailers (Mandi and I drove ours) and aired them down at 1 degree.

Then we were off 4 Jeeps  hoping to get to 1302 from the back side. Having done major surgery on Julia we were anxious to see how our new Rubicrawler would work, and we found out at the end of the county road. It was lock ’em down and roll…

It was a great day of snow wheelin’ although not without some snags, lucky for us Julia pulled through unscathed, except for some tire balance issues from melted snow that froze in each of our wheels, making the ride up a little nerve racking and the ride home a slow one at 60 mph, although we got the best gas mileage ever from Yakima home!

We had called a RattleSnake 4x4s run, but had no takers, so we tagged in with some other guys we knew were going up, which meant we had to be ready to go 2 hours earlier than we had originally planned. Our friend Steve Amos and friends of his Jason Daniels, and Troy Sims allowed us to go along with them (I call them the big wheel crew as a couple of them were running 40’s or better. It was supposed to be like 6 rigs, but like us they had a few unable to make the trip, so we did it with 4, and about lunchtime a Yakima area guy named Josh snuck up on us.

The trip started with our first challenge, trail repair on a hydraulic steering line on one of the rigs, that set us back a good 45 minutes, but luckily we had another hose, and other than some cold fingers and the looks of a massacre (power steering fluid mixed with snow), we were back up and running. As I mentioned Josh caught up to us just before lunch and we were about halfway to reaching FS 1302. The snow while beautiful was not giving us much traction as it had a sugary base, (then ice, and if you stayed in the throttle long enough you might find dirt), and we literally plowed through it. Being aired down to as low as 1 and 2 lbs, meant sacrificing clearance for traction no matter how little. It did warm up to a balmy 19 degrees until the sun started falling out of the sky and temps fell with it.

Most of us ended up calling it a day about a mile from intersecting with FS 1302, as Josh’s Jeep had some running issues, Steve and I were within a 1/2 mile we he turned himself around in the trail, but having the longest and heaviest rig, I needed more space and spent the next 45 or so minutes plowing up hill 3 feet per run until I reached the last corner before the switchback that tied in to FS 1302, about 1/4 mile (guessing) from the intersection. So I got highest tracking for the day.

The new Rubicrawler worked flawlessly, and had we not installed it, Mandi & I would likely only made it in a mile or less due to deep snow. Our only setback was upon returning to the bottom, while attempting to air up I was having problems with my air chuck (frozen) so i gave it a few taps with my cresent wrench I was using to clear snow from my wheels (I know right tool, right job), and I had already turned on my dual viair compressors, about the 3rd tap the fitting broke off (Oh Damn!) and I lost all my air and had to put Steve’s Dual ARB pump to the test. Since we were driving home it meant 26 lbs per corner. The ARB did the trick and we rolled back out to the trailers, Josh was long gone, and Jason had just started back up to find us. We loaded the rigs and headed for home.

AWESOME SNOW WHEELIN’ great group, crappy snow, but no better way to spend a Saturday…

Mandi of course took oodles more pics to be shared soon enough! See ya on the trail…