1 Dead Battery
The first group meet at Albertson’s parking lot. Around 7:30 we headed towards the Estacada Ranger Station. A few minutes after we left, we heard Jim on the CB. We then stopped for a few minutes so he could catch up to us, then we were off again. We arrived at the Estacada Ranger Station to meet Steve, Anne and Alvey, and purchase the tree permits. We stood out in the pouring rain for a while chatting and looking at everyone’s modifications since the last time we got together. Our leader Bob talked to the Rangers, they told him that our usual areas (Fish Creek & Memaloose) are getting pretty thin on Christmas trees and we should go to NFD 5720. We lined up 10 rigs took a few photos and headed out to explore the new area.
I think we stopped around 9:30 to lock-in the hubs. Soon we were in the snow. Jim was the first to slip into the ditch. He got out on his own and soon was heading up the trail again. Around 10:00 Anne slipped into the ditch (of course she found the deepest part of the ditch). Jim backed down the hill to give her a tug. Jim tried a couple times, and then found himself in the ditch again. Trying to get out, his sector shaft on the steering box broke. Jim was fourth in line and was to far out into the road for anyone to go around, so about 10:30 Steve took Jim home (Gladstone) to get his spare steering box.
For the next several hours the heavy rain continued. There was plenty of time to search for that perfect Christmas tree if you wanted to venture out in the heavy rain. The kids thought they could make some quick and easy cash from the bounty that Tim put on his lost camera, but they found out it wasn’t as easy as they thought.
Early afternoon, the heavy rain turned into snow. By the time Jim and Steve returned, there was 4" of fresh snow. Jim put on his coveralls and went to work. The snow was coming down pretty heavy and it would be dark in a couple hours, so it was decided to start turning everyone around and head down the mountain before it iced up.
Tim’s Bronco died and wouldn’t start. Anne is still in the ditch, Jim is still wrenching, and the girls were playing in my Bronco and killed my battery. Now we have 4 vehicles down at the same time. We quickly broke down into several teams. They got Tim started, turned around and headed down the hill. Nick gave me a jump-start from his Ranger. Jim finished up his repair and struggled a little getting out of the ditch, he found out lockers and swampers are not a good mix in the icy snow. Once Jim was clear, we started winching Anne out when we heard a crunching sound, looked up and saw Alvey’s rear tires sitting in the famous ditch, after a little work he was able to get out on his own. We finished winching Anne out and got her turned around so the rest of us could head down the mountain.
Tim was sitting at the Ripple Brook Ranger Station at the bottom of the hill.. Since no one had cell service, Todd went ahead to call for a tow truck. Tim jumped quickly into Steve’s warm Bronco. The rest of the group headed home while Anne and I stayed with Steve and Tim until the tow truck arrived somewhere around 7pm. It snowed all the way to Estacada, and then it turned back into rain. It was a long day, but it could have been much longer if it wasn’t for the great people in this club who work so well together insuring everyone makes it home safely.
GOOD JOB EVERYONE !!
2 Big Broncos, NW Chapter