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Unread 11-13-2012, 12:24 AM   #1
lupinsea
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Evan's Creek 11-10-2012 (WA) + Pics

.


Evan's Creek ORV Park
Near Carbonado, WA

November 10th, 2012


Saturday a group of us from Jeepforum got together for a day of wheel'n down at Evan's Creek ORV park. It's one of my favorite places in the state for it's steep terrain, dark conifer woods, and fun trails. I had been down at the end of September, too. But while the trails were great they were a little too dry from the summer drought. It made things a little too easy. This time I was hoping for wet, slick, muddy trail conditions since it has been raining throughout October. Sure enough, it had rained plenty . . . but then the ground froze up so there wasn't much in the way of slickness.

No matter. It was still a great day of wheel'n and we had the chance to bust out the tow straps on a few rigs.

In our group was a stock red TJ with open diffs, a brand new 2012 JK 4-door that was still stock with open diffs and piloted by someone who had never been offroad before, my yellow TJ, mavrick2107's dark blue TJ and clintrivera's beastly red V8 TJ on long-arms.

As is almost tradition we started out on the 311 trail. It's a good fun trail and if rigs can handle it ok they'll do well in the rest of the park. And we wanted to test out the JK before we got to the tougher trails.

Not far into the trail we spotted the JK over the first little obstacle: talked the driver through the line and then he just charged right ahead without issue. After that he had more confidence and we kept motoring along . . . until the JK blew out its sidewall at the mid-way point. We were guessing a freak trail obstacle coupled with low air pressure did it in. After the spare was mounted we added some more air to the other three tires and pressed on. The goal was to get to the campground where the JK driver and his passengers would ride in the remaining rigs.

After parking the JK we headed up the 520 trail across from the campground. Part way up we ran into a few other Jeepers in some older CJ5's who let us motor through. The 520 was fun but not too difficult and when we reached the top we cut out on the 198 and headed down hill back to a gravel access road. This let us loop around to drive up the 197, my favorite trail at Evan's Creek. Sure enough, the 197 proved more challenging.

We had to drag two of the rigs through the first pinch point with tow straps. One of them even needed a winch line looped around the roll bar to keep it from leaning into the tree roots. And further up the trail there was a section of crossed up stump roots and got the better of the stock red TJ. He was towed through this point too. And this was also where I rubbed off my driver's side mirror as well. Oh well, I get to buy my 4th driver's side mirror now.

Running the 197 up hill brought us back to what I call "The Intersection" (where the 198, 197, 520, and 519 all come together) and we headed off on the 519. We stopped at the rock field for a little while as we caught up with another group of wheelers, then pressed on. They have blocked some of the access roads now so we took a Jeep trail around the closed section and headed down on the 519 on the far side of Evan's Creek. There was a little bit of snow from about the rock garden through most of the 519, including when we dropped down the rock out croppings on the hillside, but none of it gave us any trouble.

The last trail we ran that day was the 102. It has a ton of switchbacks on it and we had the last rays of the setting sun filtering through the dense canopy. This took us right back to the beginning, the start of the 311 trail. We zipped up the road to the campground to pick up the JK we parked there, then we all headed out, reaching pavement right as it got dark.

It was a cold and frozen but good day of wheel'n with a great group of Jeepers. I'm looking forward to running the trails with these guys again. And thanks again, guys, for showing a newbie the ropes out on the trails The driver of the black JK certainly has his eyes opened as to what this whole "offroading thing" is all about. And it sounds like he's fired up about it.


Photo Album, Click Here



Walking the newbie JK driver through the first obstacle.
We all had to start somewhere. . . .




The stock red TJ taking the by-pass on the 311 hill climb.




Clintrivera in his V8 TJ making a go on the tough, left route.




Smok'n up the 311 hill climb on the slick rock.




The first pinch point where we needed to bust out the tow straps on the 197.




Rigging up a winch line to the roll bar to keep the Jeep off of the root ball.




Hamming it up while trying to hook up a tow strap
on a later section of the 197, a bit further up
from the first pinch point.




The beast on the 197 showing us all how it's done.




Close of clintrivera's rig on the 197
making a turn around a big log.




mavrick2107 on the 197, he just floored it at the
tough part, using momentum to get through.




On the 197.




On the 197.




When we got to the rock garden the weather cleared
slightly and we had sunnier skies the rest of the day.




Dropping down the rock outcropping on the 519.




Mavrick2107 coming down the rock outcropping.




On the 519 at the rock outcropping.




Getting dark on the 102 trail on our way out.



.

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Unread 11-13-2012, 12:57 AM   #2
maverick2107
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Awesome pictures!!!! Having trouble getting the pics of my rig to save. Would you mind emailing if u get down time? Thx!
dean.kolstad@gmail.com
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Unread 11-13-2012, 01:00 AM   #3
maverick2107
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Nevermind. Got em. Awesome pics!
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Unread 11-13-2012, 10:25 AM   #4
clintrivera
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Great pictures! Had an awesome time. I see you left out the part where you walked up the rock wall and I couldn't even get halfway up it.
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Unread 11-13-2012, 12:44 PM   #5
lupinsea
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Thanks guys! I had a great time and I also love taking pictures.

If anyone wants any full-resolution images let me know and I can e-mail them out.


Quote:
Originally Posted by clintrivera View Post
Great pictures! Had an awesome time. I see you left out the part where you walked up the rock wall and I couldn't even get halfway up it.
I was trying to be kind.

Besides, so many variables between the particulars of each rig and trail conditions that with a change of the weather I might not have made it up either. I used to not be able to make it up last year. . . but this year it's been worn "just right" that I can get some traction in just the right spot to make it up.
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Unread 11-21-2012, 04:58 PM   #6
RaggedOleMan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lupinsea View Post
Thanks guys! I had a great time and I also love taking pictures.

If anyone wants any full-resolution images let me know and I can e-mail them out.




I was trying to be kind.

Besides, so many variables between the particulars of each rig and trail conditions that with a change of the weather I might not have made it up either. I used to not be able to make it up last year. . . but this year it's been worn "just right" that I can get some traction in just the right spot to make it up.
Is this comment directed at the rock outcropping on the start of the 196, going up, enroute to the 197? If so, that spot has been my nemesis for years, too. I'm about 50/50 on that section, and it seems that I've convinced myself I'll have trouble, and wouldn't you know it, the predisposition to grief visits me and something goes wrong.

Then again, the obstacles one thinks will be trouble rarely are, and the things that look simple are the ones that manage to bite a guy. Ain't that a daisy, eh?

Anyway, wonderful pictures, and great write-ups!
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Unread 11-26-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
lupinsea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RaggedOleMan View Post
Is this comment directed at the rock outcropping on the start of the 196, going up, enroute to the 197? If so, that spot has been my nemesis for years, too. I'm about 50/50 on that section, and it seems that I've convinced myself I'll have trouble, and wouldn't you know it, the predisposition to grief visits me and something goes wrong.

Then again, the obstacles one thinks will be trouble rarely are, and the things that look simple are the ones that manage to bite a guy. Ain't that a daisy, eh?

Anyway, wonderful pictures, and great write-ups!
Naw, the comment was regarding the rocky hill climb at the end of the first half of the 311 trail. Right where it splits into three up-hill threads and in particular, the left-most thread has gotten quite challenging.

When we first got to the climb, this rig was having all sorts of problems. He was way over on the left side of the left thread in a pocket and couldn't climb out. I had trouble for a few years on this climb myself but the last 2 times down to Evan's Creek I found just the right line heading up the right hand side of the left climb. There's a very shallow "channel" that I can get my driver's side tires in and walk right up. Keeping my tires in that channel keeps my Jeep from sliding sideways and down into the pocket and off the crown of the rock.

I don't know what it is about my rig that does it. I only have a locker in back, LSD up front. Running an automatic. I've tried to limit the weight gain and try to keep a lower COG (though I'm not running an LCOG build) by sticking with a 2.5" lift. Got a SwayLOC up front which should offer the same balance as the Anti-rock that clintrivera was running.

I just chalk it up to too many variables. On other obstacles I'll get stuck where other rigs will have no problem getting through. It just happened that I did well on this one.


However, I hear you on the start of the 196. . . That used to give me problems for years but it seems like in the last year or so the right hand channel of that outcropping has gotten worn out to the point where it's not too bad now. Haven't had to winch up that personally for a little while now, and most rigs I've seen can make it up easily enough, too.
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Unread 11-26-2012, 07:56 PM   #8
RaggedOleMan
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Jay; Regarding the 3 lines on the lower 311 hill climb, when I've taken the line on the extreme left, there's a narrow line on the right hand side of that line, that when I can get my front and rear lined up to fit in it, I make it without incident. That said, a bit to far to the left, and it brings on the pucker for me. I've seen one guy flop by getting to heavy on the throttle, and sliding off to the left at that spot.

The middle line on that hill can be fun, albeit short. The right line which previously played hell with the hard top Tj's, and Cherokee passenger side rear windows, and mirrors is absolutely benign now. Funny how things change.

All my efforts, successes & failures on the short, front section of the 196 were with a locked front & rear, and with 2-1/2" of lift. Stock sway bar up front, that historically I would disconnect for the trails. But no more. I can get more bite with my stock sway bar attached than I can with it disconnected, in the majority of situations.

That said, there have been wet & dry times when I've walked up the start of the 196 like I knew what I was doing, and other times when i just absolutely couldn't make it up that thing for all the tea in China. Made it up clean with the sway bar attached, and with it disconnected. I've always taken the same line, too. The one to the right, getting both front AND rear wheels/tires lined up to fit that crack/line. Anyway...

And, the one and only time I ever blew an axle u-joint on the trails or anywhere for that matter, was on that section. My front was cocked at full lock drivers side or the other, and I slid backwards. Pop. That was that. My buddy had a passenger side, 27 spline shaft with him, so we got it resolved pretty quickly. Another time I had to back down it, and that section brings on the "crap oh dear" for me when I have to back down it.




Flop on upper 311



Same Flop on upper 311

Upper 311; The one spot that I always get psyched up for, for nothing, is the last little hill climb on the upper 311, where you have to go around that large rock outcropping on the left, to the right. For some reason it's always worked out perfect for me, though I've personally been with rigs twice that have flopped right there. And if I recall correctly, a young guy with his son rolled a full sized pick up truck right there, and though the boy/child survived it, the father died of exposure later that night. That was a year or so ago, I believe.

Hey, there's only two weeks left in the season at Evans. Would love to meet up with you out there, and make an end of season run, if you could find a hole in your schedule. Do the lower 102 "up and the 196, and the 197 "up". My favorite wheeling friend/buddy prefers to avoid the 102 because he values his drivers, rear quarter panel glass, and after replacing it 2 or three times because of that spot, he tends to avoid it.

Anyway, I'm hoping to get up there again before it closes for the season, and preferably on a weekday, as there tends to be less congestion.

~jL
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Unread 11-27-2012, 06:04 PM   #9
lupinsea
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Awesome. . . yeah, Evan's has some interesting sections. I've been going down there since about '98 or '99 and it's always interesting to see what changes. The extreme left climb on the 311 used to be an absolute cake walk when I first started. I took that with a bone stock '86 Toyota P/U 4x4 with open diffs, AT tires, and the stock IFS up front. Had zero problems. Of course, at the time there was no rock out cropping there. It was all covered by dirt and a reasonably smooth and uneventful hill climb. It was the middle thread that was the challenge and the far right by-pass didn't exist.

This all changed about years ago when the left side started to really get worn down. And the middle became "easier" or at least easier in comparison.

The last couple years, maybe 4 years, it seems that I hadn't really gotten down to Evan's Creek that much but I've made up for it a bit this fall with a couple runs.

I'd definitely like to get together with you some time for some wheel'n but I'm not sure right now when my schedule will open up. I know I won't have the time to get down to Evan's Creek again before it closes. Heck, I don't know when I'll hit the trails next. Depends on what's open, too. Might be Walker Valley and then maybe a snow run on some forest service roads once we get some decent snow (January?, Feb?).

I will definitely let you know when I'm heading out next.
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Unread 12-02-2012, 09:02 PM   #10
jakeWI
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looks like a great time. I should get out there to visit my sister and wheel my jeep.
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Unread 12-04-2012, 09:43 PM   #11
lupinsea
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Yes you should.

Come out during the summer, though, as all the wheel'n areas are open then. About 1/2 - 2/3 shut down for the winter either due to closure or weather (snow fall).
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Unread 12-21-2012, 05:13 PM   #12
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As always Jay...amazing pics. And man do I miss Evans Creek.


I can't wait to be done with school, so I have the time and money to wheel again.
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Unread 12-26-2012, 06:22 PM   #13
lupinsea
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I FLEX View Post
As always Jay...amazing pics. And man do I miss Evans Creek.


I can't wait to be done with school, so I have the time and money to wheel again.
Hear, hear. . . . Been there, done that. I had to put all my offroading and vehicular activities on hold for about half a year or so so that I could focus on finishing up grad school. I was getting too distracted.

You'll be done soon enough, I FLEX! Hang in there.
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