Naches in the Rain!

Friday, Sep. 27, 2013 The initial idea was to go to Rimrock and run the Grey Rock trail… But stuff happens and we lost Yrjan due to Iulia having to work BIG BUMMER! However, another friend Troy {Silver JK on 40s}, was going up the other side to Naches/Nile area, so we Myself, Ms Mandi & Syler) tagged along. The plan was to leave around 4, so by 6 we were rolling (plans like standards are more like guidelines that can be tweaked), driving straight through to the 19 road off of 410 in the dark of night. We had some ideas for camping spots but nothing certain and decided on a nice relatively flat spot right off the 19 & 1901 with a big fire ring.

We got the rigs positioned and set-up camp in the fine drizzle that would continue throughout our weekend. Troy wanted a fire but that meant gathering wood in the dark and lighting and tending a fire in the rain, and as the pics will reveal, it was a bit far from our nice covered area. No worries, I had swung by Ranch & Home before leaving (part of the reason for our delayed departure) and purchased a fire ring. So I made quick business getting our fire going right next to our covered retreat. The night ended after far too many beverages and I think the sun was trying to come up over the Eastern seaboard (0430).

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Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013 The next morning we got up casually at 9:30 am with a heavy head, had breakfast walked the dog, and off loaded the rigs, as Troy’s buddy Karl & son Travis {Orange TJ on 38s} had drove over Pyramid Peak to join us. And we had a visit from Nate the friendly Ranger we had met during PUAM (Pick Up A Mountian), who let us know he hadn’t seen many rig other than ours up there and a few bikes. He also reminded us of the Cle Elum side closure due to the Manastash fire, and thanked us (the Peak Putters) for bringing the bunny out during the annual event.

We left camp  (Camp Aardvark) and had the idea we’d run up Kaner Flats trail. It was VERY SLOPPY, and after an hour of trying found ourselves at Elephant Dung Hill. Karl tried the hill and nearly found himself sliding off and rolling, and we called Uncle. No sense playing winch fest in the mud as we were already pretty dirty. So Plan B was decided upon, we chose the Upper Naches Trail. But first back to camp for lunch. The guys decided to roast hot dogs and so we gathered some deadfall and while clearing out the fire pit noticed it was still hot in the middle, so add some kindling and poof we had fire (luckily the rain took a break too).

Before leaving camp I reminded the guys that just making an effort to douse the fire wasn’t good enough, that it had to be cold to the touch, otherwise stuff can happen..IE, the Manastash & Conrad Lake fire closures. Even with all of the rain I wasn’t taking any chances, plus I don’t have a budget for fines…

The Upper Naches turned out to be perfect for the conditions and we traced our way up over some muddy, slippery roots and bridges stopping for a photo at the crest, for a photo op. Then on to the cabin for a couple more pics and exploration. There happened to be another couple of Jeeps up there camping out after a couple days on the trails. From the cabin we decided on the short route back to camp and made some dinner, a fire in the rain and more bevies… Only they didn’t go down as smoothly as the night before, so we watched a Total Truck Challenge video in Troys MH, and called it an early night (23:30)…

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Sunday, Sep. 29, 2013 We got up around 8:30, had breakfast and had talked the night before about what we might do on Sunday, Karl & Travis were heading back, and Troy needed to get back to clean-up their rigs before the Mrs’ got home, Troy’s got a bit dirty with 5 of us jumping in and out for videos etc. I wanted to show Mandi Raven’s Roost, so we helped the guys get picked up and rolling and picked up our camp for a roll on strap down roll out when we returned…

I figure fire roads, no biggie, but part way up after eyeballing a few potential camping areas we might return to, we jumped over to the down trail we took, on last years FYBR, to show Mandi where I broke my front diff… Then she says “CHINESE FIRE DRILL!” So now I’m riding shotgun and she’s piloting Julia up the down trail.

She of course did marvelously, even though I needed to stop and mark trees (too much coffee, and riding in the seat without the wheel and pedals)… Up and up she went until we hit snow and I could see the Roost and it’s towers, and the face of a very rocky snow covered trail that we did not take last year. I mentioned that we had not done that part last year and she started to turn away…

Whoa, missy! You wanted to drive there’s the trail. She says can we make it? I replied I don’t know but there’s only one way to find out, but first let me out again (damn, coffee, or whatever…). So she climbed the hill, as we crested the top we surprised some other folks up there in a crew cab Ford. When they saw her driving, they quickly high tailed it out of there. Didn’t wanna be shown up by a Jeep, much less a girl driver I guess… We stopped and I had celebratory Beer (since I wasn’t driving) and we took in the view of the cloudy crevices off each side until the bitter wind drove us back into the Jeep (like 5 mins). Then we decided to take the fire road back as time was ticking away. Of course halfway down we wonder where the Cabin might be, so we took a left and wandered through Huckleberry Forest Camp down the trail to come out by Alder creek and the SF Little Naches River on 1906 by following the 871.

Now I could see on the map that the 1906 ran straight back to the 19, and me being me decided another trail that takes us the same direction but might be a tad bit more adventurous was still heading back. So we jumped right onto the 872 which in essence skirts the 19 through the forest about a 1/4 to 1/2 mile in. The map shows it as a fire road/snowmobile trail, about halfway down it turns into the 840. This was a great and challenging little trail, which even required some additional trail maintenance, as you could see that somebody had been in there cutting back deadfalls, and let me tell ya they were everywhere! So I broke out my chainsaw and cleared the trail of a 14 inch deadfall and we continued on finally about 2 hours later dropping out at Crow Creek Campground, where we stopped for lunch the back to camp to load out and head home. We ended up leaving camp about 4:45 and finally getting home around 9, after stopping for dinner and a tank clean-out. All in all it was another awesome trip, my mods to my front axle worked but still need a bit more finessing as our prior trips bump wasn’t completely gone, but was down to a very light bump, probably a grazing blow if that. So more adjustments for Julia, everybody else made it through unscathed and whole. Can’t wait to go again!

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