PCTIRES! Evan's Creek Nov 11, 2006 (Seattle, WA) - JeepForum.com
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Unread 11-17-2006, 06:19 PM   #1
lupinsea
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PCTIRES! Evan's Creek Nov 11, 2006 (Seattle, WA)

My (Off)Road Trip

Evan's Creek ORV Park
November 11, 2006


It had been dumping rain down on the Seattle area for the last two weeks. Significant areas along the region's rivers had flooded, roads washed out, houses slid from hill sides. And up in the mountains there was a reported 17" of rain that fell from the sky. "Yes! What a great time to go 'wheel'n!" I thought as I hastily organized a last-minute wheel'n run to Evan's Creek, our local off-road vehicle park. With all the water pouring down the mountain it would make for some very fun and challenging trail conditions. The wetter and sloppier it is, the funner Evan's Creek becomes.

Friday afternoon the e-mail was sent and by Saturday there were four of us meeting at the usual spot ready to get muddy. The composition of the group consisted of 4 late model Jeep Wranglers at various states of modification and lifts ranging from a 2" lift and 31" tires to a full-on 6" long-arm lift and 35" tires and lockers all around.


Passin through the small town of Wilkeson, WA on the way to Evan's Creek.
This is a typical, gray, soggy Northwest morning.


We made our way from the gas station, passing through Wilkeson, and up to the trail head dodging some fallen boulders laying in the road along the way. After airing the tires down to 15 psi and shifting the Jeeps into 4 wheel drive, lo-range we rumbled up the first trail, the 311. This trail leads off from the parking lot, runs through a mud puddle and climbs up the ridge of a mountain amoung the foothills of Mt. Rainier.


Dana's Unlimited passes a corner.



Micah driving out of a puddle on the 311


As luck would have it a dusting of snow hit the area the day before and there was 2-6" coving the trail in spots. "Yes! Snow! And mud!" It would definitely make things more fun, I mean, really . . . who wants traction? This made the hill climb at the end of the 311 an interesting challenge. Normally this is challenging enough with a steep ascent as moist and muddy dirt cover some rock out croppings. There are some by-pass routes but even these have gotten pretty chewed up over the last few years. The "easy way" now has a dome of rock that can suck out off into a hole on the side.


Starting the hillclimb on the 311


As it was I was in the lead and managed to scramble up without issue. The deflated tires and torsen LSDs were working well with the rest of the 4wd system to deliver plenty of grip. My friend Micah started at the bottom and kept his foot on the pedal employing the "throttle technique" and made it up, too. But our friend Dana missed "the line" by a few inches and the rock dome sucked his Jeep over into the hole. Woops. No biggie. Young piloted his Jeep up to the top on an alternate route and winched up Dana's rig. All was good and we continued on.


Dana climbing over the rock dome.



Sliding off the line and getting sucked into a pocket gets you stuck.



Young winching Dana up the hill.


About a minute later our group broke out of the trees onto an overlook of Mt. Rainier. On a good day we would be staring straight into the side of the mountain a couple miles away. But not that day as soft gray cloud clung tight to the tree covered hills obscuring the mountain. Without much pause we headed down a short gravel road to run the rest of the 311 trail.


The short bit of gravel road connecting the two halves of the 311 trail.



Everybody takes pictures. Young's co-pilot snaps a few as he comes
around a boulder and stump.


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Unread 11-17-2006, 06:20 PM   #2
lupinsea
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The last bit really punted us up the mountain further where the snow piled up a little deeper. There was a good solid 6" at this point as we scambled up the last 200 feet to perch on a ridge back for a bit admiring the, um, clouds.


Last bit of the 311 burried under 6" of snow.



Admiring the cloud we were in at the top of the 311


Ready for more we headed out along some snow covered gravel roads toward the down-hill end of the 197 trail. Along the way we came across a lone Cherokee out with some young kids. And at the trail head to the 197 we talked to another Jeeper beside a road barrier. Aparently some dorks had been up the night before, drinking, and rolled their Dodge pick-up truck off the road and down a 120 ft slope. A tow truck was tring to winch it up the hill but the cable snapped on its 15,000 lb. winch and snapped an 8" tree in half. A reminder winching operations need to be handled carefully and thoughtfully.

Up the 197 we went. The trail got steeper, rockier, and in parts piled with more snow before it ducked into the trees again. The 197 is a fun trail with very tight, off-camber section threading between massive felled logs. At the top the trail plateaus out in a "tank trap," a long trench so named because of their resemblence to tank traps from WWII.


Micah lost traction trying to get around this stump. The trails change from
year to year.



I backed my Jeep down and threw him the end of a tow strap. A gentle tug
was all he needed to find more traction.



My Jeep parked at the top of the 197 as I walked back down the trail to
check on how things were coing.



Dana working his way down into the tank trap at the top of the 197.



Piloting my own Jeep through the tank trap I work to avoid the trees. They
aren't as pliable and forgiving as cones in a parking lot autocross course.


Beyond this the 197 met up with another trail and we headed further up the mountain to what I call The Intersection. Here 4 trails come together at one of the higher points in the park. Taking a different route down we came upon a washed out roadway. It was marginally possible as two Toyotas proved (from the other side) but due to the seemingly unstable condition we opted to stay on our side and just enjoy what trails we could.


At the top is "The Intersection" where 4 trails come together. This tank trap
is part of the connection route.



Over time it's been cut down a bit into the surround forest floor.



One of the roads had a wash out. The two Toyota guys passed it but we opted
for the better part of vallor and hit some different trails.


Before long the day was growing dark as we made our way down off the mountain again. It was a long day over some sloppy, snow covered trails with a good group of Jeepers.

Can't wait to do it again.
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Unread 11-17-2006, 08:38 PM   #3
yyoon
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As usual, great write up!
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Unread 11-18-2006, 12:22 AM   #4
I FLEX
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I love the pics and the great write-up that goes along! I had a good time. It was a good challenge but not too hard that you had to winch all the time.
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Unread 11-18-2006, 09:32 AM   #5
Vacant Stare
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didn't realize what a difference that Currie anti rock made until I saw the pics...
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Unread 11-18-2006, 02:03 PM   #6
Slapahoe
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Wow, those are nice pictures. I wish we had trails like that out here.
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Unread 11-18-2006, 03:47 PM   #7
CBlakeNS
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Very nice pics.
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Unread 11-18-2006, 08:52 PM   #8
BoSox04
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Very nice. God I wish the Army would let me get back to WA!! Thanks for this.
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