Day 8 – Susanville to Christmas Valley

Friday Dec 31st, 2021

Susanville – Adin (67 mi – 85 mins)
Adin – Bly (126 mi – 2.2 hrs) Lunch
Bly – Christmas Valley (88 mi – 2 hrs) 

LakeSide Motel Resort
87275 Couty Hwy 9-28 Christmas Valley OR 97641

Totals: 282 mi – 5.5 hrs

Going out with a BANG…

Our day started pretty normal, we spent the day driving between snow and ice covered roads with the occasional paved spots. We were purposely keeping off major roads preferring to explore the countryside. We had left Adin all fueled up and were running a little behind schedule not too worried as it is New Years Eve after all, and we might be expected to be up at midnight to ring in the new year. Christmas Valley was our stopping point, and we were just getting to to top of California (literally Stateline Road), having to navigate a T intersection on ice…

I rolled through the intersection just fine and looked into my mirror to see Mandi start her turn and slide right off the embankment onto her roof. I said a few Navy expressions, and hauled ass to the crash site through a farm yard. Luckyily, she said over the radio, “I’m fine, just get me out.” I was already at her door when she finished.

Sizing up the vehicle she would have to come out the passenger side as the Driver’s door and roof was crumpled together. We got her out easy enough and then got Kahleesi out of her kennel, neither the worse for the wear. We didn’t yet know if the vehicle ran, could drive or what, but up until this moment we had two rigs with our gear spread between both. First thing was to get the Jeep righted.

One of the farm hands offered a tractor, and the farm owner came by and we quickly devised a plan, first I needed to get our new awning out from under the roof rack. So I asked the guy in the tractor if he had a chain in order to lift and stabilize the front of the rig, while I went back up into the intersection 10 feet above and pulled tension on the jeep to allow the awning to slide out from underneath. Once that was accomplished I came back down and set up to pull Mandi’s Jeep over on the passenger side so that it would land flat an not have to pull uphill.

Unfortunately it was dug in and required another vehicle tied onto me to keep me from pulling myself into her Jeep. Once we got the second vehicle set up to anchor, I doubled the line with a pulley and over she came landing perfectly on all  4 wheels no blow outs or anything. Now to clean-up as much as possible and decide how to proceed, as wee had reservations in Christmas Valley, and we’re an easy 8 hours from home and darkness is coming fast.

The lady whose farm it was nicely offered to let us store it around the opposite side of herbarn away from prying eyes. So we set about filtering what all we need and what we could leave if we made a beeline home. After about another hour we were all locked up and reorganized with Mandi and Kahleesi in my rig with the necessary gear we started for home, GPS said we’d be home around 2:00 am, but it had no idea we were driving on an icy Hwy 97 that kept most traffic at a crawl and we needed food.

We found some grub in La Pine, and from there it was straight to the house, although we had to leave my Jeep running so the dog wouldn’t freeze while we ate. Mandi play DJ and co-pilot all the way home keeping me awake. We got in and went straight to bed, Mandi had arranged for some help for me the next day


Up at 9:00 am, the guys showed up and we hooked the trailer to the truck and sped off into the sunny day southbound to recover the fallen rig. It took us a complete 24 hours due to winter storm with some punch. Going down was fairly good although the snow and ice was everywhere. After arriving at the Jeep around 6:00 pm we worked quickly to load her up and tie her down. All the while discussing the route home, everyone was not exactly liking the road conditions on 97, so we called an audible and cut across Hwy 140 over a very steep pass the final 5 miles on both sides seemed to be straight up and down. THe roads were heavy snow and ice and all Icould do was pray I didn’t lose traction.

Thankfully we made it over, and down into Medford and after some fuel and grub made our way home through the night via I-5 and I-84. I was so punch drunk I forgot to stop for more fuel in Umatilla and thought we might just make it to the house, but that wasn’t the case the final blow was running out of fuel at the top of the pass just south od Kennewick, and having to call Mandi to bring us some. She did and we got her home and left her on the trailer awaiting an insuranceadjuster to look it over. Mandi thought it was totalled but I was holding out hope. Insurance told us to take it tour shop of chioce and let them look it over. So we took it to Mel’s Intercity Collision Inc and couple weeks later we had a decision by the insurance to total Mandi’s Jeep Pixel, but disagreed on what parts they covered, so we stripped off the parts the disagreed on thinking they might go on the next one…

However, with the final word of totalled, Mandi could now start hunting for her replacement, I’ll just say she came out well for the troubles… And I still haven’t been to Christmas Valley or Cerro Gordo…