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sdillen
04-18-2007, 12:29 PM
Saturday morning was a great day to go 'wheeling -- the rain looked like it was FINALLY going to let up for a bit, and there was even a hint of clear sky when I left the house. I arrived in Mission at a quarter to nine to fill up my fuel tank and met Phil (CJ5) as he was topping off his tank ($110 worth!) and adding a few quarts of oil to his crankcase. While he went to pick up his navigator, I headed out to the Sasquatch Inn to find out who was joining us for the day. What a Turnout!!!!!!!

Steve - Ranger
Colin - Toyota LB
Mike - TJ Rubicon
Shawn - Explorer
Phil - CJ5
John - Grand Cherokee
Dennis - YJ
Scott - XJ
Andrew - Discovery
Gary - Early Bronco
Gord - TJ
Eric - 4Runner
Al - YJ
Jeremy - 4Runner
Rob - YJ
Ulysse - Early Broco
????? - Chevrolet Silverado

As a group we headed up to the Francis Lake recreation site (the Association is pursuing a maintenance agreement for this site) to get an idea about how much work we had in store. We found the site to be in very good shape, although all tables/fire-rings/etc were no longer there. This site is a really nice spot -- lake front within a relatively short drive of pavement. A few summers ago I took my kids fishing here and the convenient boat-launch makes this a great summer afternoon destination.

From here we split into two groups. There had been recent reports that the Weaver-Francis Traverse, a trail which connects the Weaver Lake and Francis Lake forest service roads, was blocked by deadfall after this winter. As the road will be upgraded later this year as it is pushed through to a new road which will wind down to the north side of Weaver Lake, the Association wanted to clear access for the spring. Armed with saws and a bunch of volunteers, Phil headed into the trail....and spent the afternoon clearing trees and negotiating the rock steps. This trail is not "Stock Friendly", but is a challenging trail for those on 31-33" tires with some alternative lines which challenge those with larger tires. If you have the opportunity, try this trail before road construction erases it!

I led the second group on up to Hale Creek to install a new plank in the trailhead sign and then the majority of us started down the north road while a few who hadn't been to Hale Creek in years decided to try the South Road. The beach area was in great shape and garbage cans were full (that's a great thing!) with a separate garbage bag of recyclables sitting next to the garbage bin. Four of us headed back up the north road while everyone else headed up to tackle the south road obstacles.....before long two more rejoined the north road group! The cross ditches are deeper each month and therefore some spotting for longer wheelbase trucks was needed, but I saw huge grins on faces at the top of the trail, so I think all went well!

Afternoon commitments forced a few to head back to town, and others headed up to 20 mile bay for a weekend of camping. The rest of us headed up to the Mystery Creek access into Lookout Lake. WOW has this trail eroded over this last winter. We removed a few trees from the road and made it up to the lake without incident. During this time, I talked to Phil (via VHF radio) who finally extracted his group from the Weaver trail and they decided to meet us via the south trail to Lookout Lake.

It's April and there was still snow on this loop trail. You may recall that last month we were blocked from south access to Lookout due to deep snow. While most of it had melted by this last weekend, there were still several sections of 3+ feet. At the first snow section, I tried to 'float' across the top, but at 12psi, my MT/Rs decided that they were much happier digging DOWN instead of pushing forward. On the bright side, it gave me a chance to stress test my new hydraulic system which drives my Milemarker winch. Ford TTB axles do not slide over snow very well, so it was a long hard pull in order to plow off the trail so everyone behind me could follow along. The next snow section looked worse. I dropped down to 8psi and made it about 20 feet into the drift before I stopped moving.

Through this whole time, Phil's group was trying to get into the trail from the other end, and were spending a lot of time dragging out winch cables as well. But we were SOOOO CLOSE -- at one point I asked how close they were and Phil blew his horn....he was just around a few more corners. So, against the better judgement of those in my group, I tried again and managed to make it about 200 meters before I again sank in the snow -- but as I climbed out the windows of my truck (the door won't open when snow's up to the handle) I saw Phil working toward me with winch cable in hand! Gord and Rob were a short distance behind (also with a winch cables out), so we get everyone pointed in the right direction and slogged our way through the last few hundred meters of snow.

To finish off the day, Rob, Phil, Gord and I wanted to head up to the washout on the Chehalis FSR. It doesn't look good! We returned to the Sasquatch Inn at about 8pm.

I received an update earlier this week from the MTSA which indicates that this section of road will not be repaired this year although there will be some repairs made on the Mystery Creek side.

Pictures of Francis Lake: http://gallery.hot4x4.ca/album581
Pictures of the Chehalis Washout: http://gallery.hot4x4.ca/album582
More run pictures and some of the Weaver/Francis Traverse: http://gallery.hot4x4.ca/album580
And more run pictures (SNOW!!!!): http://gallery.hot4x4.ca/album560

All and all, it was a FANTASTIC day of 'wheeling. Hope to see you out next month!

Shera
04-18-2007, 01:36 PM
Good work to everyone and thanks for the pictures , we went to HAle creek sunday and area not too bad but glass beer bottles thrown on the side of the road down[16] , but at least there wasn't too much garbage down there and we burned the paper left around in our fire . It would be nice if everyone when they went to these places pack out their garbage instead of threwing it out the window.

sdillen
04-18-2007, 02:20 PM
Good work to everyone and thanks for the pictures , we went to HAle creek sunday and area not too bad but glass beer bottles thrown on the side of the road down[16] , but at least there wasn't too much garbage down there and we burned the paper left around in our fire . It would be nice if everyone when they went to these places pack out their garbage instead of threwing it out the window.

Thanks for your comments.....on the May run (second Saturday in May) we'll have a few clean both trails to the site.

jhunter
04-18-2007, 02:59 PM
great to see such a large turnout, good on everyone for pitching in[cheers]

4Lo
04-18-2007, 09:23 PM
Steve you do an excellent job of organizing these runs. Unfortuneatly I have'nt had the pleasure of joining you guys but I admire what you all do.

Torch2815
04-19-2007, 12:05 AM
Looks like I missed a great day (didn't get the truck insured till 4pm) but post early for the next one and I'll come fore sure!!

Mudgirl
04-19-2007, 07:43 AM
Great work folks! [cheers]

wow - its amazing to see how much the roads changed over the winter

Did you guys take that the trail at fransen all the way down to weaver? Last time i took that it was locked at weaver couldn't get though

sdillen
04-19-2007, 08:50 AM
Did you guys take that the trail at fransen all the way down to weaver? Last time i took that it was locked at weaver couldn't get though

We did, from the Francis side. The gate is still locked at Weaver (and will be until the May long weekend). Again, this trail will become a mainstream road later this year, so give it a try before it's gone!

The next 4WDABC West Harrison run will be on May 12 -- which will mark our 20th consecutive monthly run....only the last January run missed the second Saturday of the month (due to snow).

Wheelingnoob
04-20-2007, 01:34 AM
I had a great time and hope to make the next one too.

Jeremy

p.s. thanks for the pull out of the snow Steve [cheers]

surreysinner
04-20-2007, 02:00 AM
Are you guys still going to rebuild the struture you torn down at hale?

UU
04-20-2007, 07:51 AM
Nice job [cheers] if I was in town I would have loved to come along on that run, oh-well next time I guess

Nice pics, whats w/ that truck ?

sdillen
04-20-2007, 11:52 AM
Are you guys still going to rebuild the struture you torn down at hale?

Absolutely -- just waiting on final design/materials from the MTSA.

sdillen
04-20-2007, 11:54 AM
Nice pics, whats w/ that truck ?


The Ford? It was found rolled over the side at the Hale Creek bridge.

surreysinner
04-20-2007, 10:18 PM
Absolutely -- just waiting on final design/materials from the MTSA.


Right on[36] , hopefully its bigger and better.

You guys seem to be doing a great job. I like the idea of an outhouse cuz places like that get littered with human feces which just ruins the area but if you got to go you got to go.

Way to go and keep up the great work and lets hope no fucktards wreck all the good work your doing.[cheers]

sdillen
04-21-2007, 11:27 AM
Right on[36] , hopefully its bigger and better.

You guys seem to be doing a great job. I like the idea of an outhouse cuz places like that get littered with human feces which just ruins the area but if you got to go you got to go.

Way to go and keep up the great work and lets hope no fucktards wreck all the good work your doing.[cheers]

There is an outhouse at Hale -- we hand dug a new one in November. The walls are in poor condition and will be replaced when we put the new shelter up.

http://gallery.hot4x4.ca/albums/album505/aas.sized.jpg
http://gallery.hot4x4.ca/albums/album505/aay.sized.jpg

surreysinner
04-22-2007, 01:58 AM
Right on guys. Im going to have to go down there and test that baby out.[cheers]

I let you know how everything turns out:D