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  • Oregon - Edison Butte Expedition - October 25-27, 2013

    October 25-27, 2013 - Oregon - Edision Butte Expedition 2013
    Attendees: Peter, Derek, Ken, Ben
    Vehicles: 2013 Toyota Tacoma TRD, 2008 Toyota FJ Cruiser, 1988 Toyota Land Cruiser, 1992 Toyota PU

    After a long couple long months of work and flying back and forth to California, it was time for an adventure. Derek agreed with the idea and we set the date. Ben responded right away and he helped encourage Ken to play hookie and join us. We met in Salem at the Shell gas station and headed toward sunny Bend, Oregon. Bend is my absolute favorite place in Oregon to explore and enjoy the outdoors.

    Our destination was the Edison Butte trail. This trail had been on my trail list for the past year so it was exciting to finally make it happen. We arrived in the Mt Bachelor area and began exploring some roads and climbed a small butte and gathering firewood. Ken was excited to show us some local ice caves. After consulting our maps we headed out to explore a nearby road/trail. Our exploration was successful and we found a wonderful cave that had multiple entry points. Ken and I lowered ourselves down through a small hole and found the cave chambers extended for some distance. There was even some cave life! A pair of perfectly round white mushrooms.

    Derek and Ben avoided the small cave entrance in favor of the large cave opening. This would be the perfect shelter during a storm or a fun camping spot. This was a secluded site with no signs and the road into the area was overgrown from lack of travel. Fantastic!

    It was getting dark after exploring the cave so we decided to find a remote camping spot. I found a rather overgrown road which we drove up for several miles until there was a small clearing. Everyone agreed it would be a suitable spot so we setup camp. Ken took no time as his bed was the back of the Land Cruiser. Derek and Ben setup their ground tents while I deployed the roof tent. We had an toasty campfire and gathered around as the temperatures dropped chatting into the night.

    The next morning we set out for the Edison Butte Trail entrance which was well marked and maintained. This trail is a loop which reaches around 7,000ft in elevation. We entered off of road 4525 and proceeded toward the Edison Butte Snow Park. The first section of trail was a narrow, brush lined road which was more or less an easy drive. Pinstripes anyone?

    We took a short break at the Snow Park and Ken checked his fluid levels. Apparently pepper fixes leaks? The next section of trail solved all boredom issues. In many sections you could bypass or drive the ATV/Quad/4wd route. Of course, we all chose the more technical route. Our first real obstacle was driving around a fallen tree. This was just warm up for what was to come...

    The obstacles kept increasing in difficulty and frequency. There were lots of sharp lava rock and narrow squeezes; at least for us big trucks.

    Derek showing how it's done.

    Ben's narrow truck made easy work of most all obstacles. He proved this trail is passable with a mostly stock rig.

    Of course, I needed to stretch out the new suspension and test the spring flex limits. Those new Icon shocks are fantastic!

    Then the trail got interesting... and by interesting I mean tight, very tight! Ken was leading and took a couple approaches to squeeze through. My big Tacoma was rubbing trees to get through. Will it fit?

    Apparently, the trail wasn't challenging enough for Ken. So he took the bonus line through the trees. This resulted in some entertaining video and some winch assisted recovery. The diesel spill inside the cruiser was a nice fragrant reminder of the steep tippy fun.

    The trail kept climbing and climbing. Soon we started seeing patches of snow and then it became much deeper. Ken finally gave in and aired down his tires. Low air pressure works much better in deep snow. Here's a picture as we entered the snow zone.

    I attempted some rock crawling with Ken's spotting help. The Taco rolled a huge boulder down the hill which made for an exciting ride. We then arrived at our ultimate destination, the cabin shelter. We spent the remainder of the afternoon relaxing and enjoying the beautiful views.

    Derek and Ben headed for home around sunset. Ken got the wood stove fired up and we relaxed and enjoyed some grilled hot dogs.

    Sunday morning we packed up and headed down the trail. Of course, we had to stop for some poser pictures before leaving the butte.

    Our goal was to visit the second cabin shelter before heading home. The route to the cabin proved to be the most technical, narrow tree driving of the entire trail. There were several sections that I needed to stack logs to avoid rubbing the roof rack on trees. Ken added some new character tree rub marks to the cruiser. We were both thankful to get through that section and arrive at the cabin.

    Our time was running short so we bypassed the final leg of trail and hit the gravel roads toward the highway. Everyone agreed this was an epic destination and trip. We will definitely be returning...

    - By : Peter Stewart

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Oregon - Edison Butte Expedition - October 25-27, 2013 started by venturer View original post
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