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Thread: Washington | Evan's Creek & Naches | Aug 3-6, 2017

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    Trail Leader AEV_LJ's Avatar
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    Washington | Evan's Creek & Naches | Aug 3-6, 2017

    Just got back from a great trip. Evan's Creek lived up to expectations (i.e. Body Damage!!!).

    Thursday: The weather was supposed to be >100 degrees in the Portland area, so we were happy to be heading north to higher elevation. There was quite a bit of smoke in the air from a big fire in BC, but nothing like the heavy smoke we experienced at the end of the trip 2 years ago. Vinnie, Bill & I met in Bonney Lake for some lunch on Thursday on our way to Evans Creek where we got to see Bill's new Land Rover for the first time. We had 4 girls ages 6, 7, 8 & 9 along for the adventure. They were a bit shy at first, but before long they were playing together just like on previous trips.

    We rolled into the staging area at about 1:30 PM, aired down and explored trail 311. It was a fun way to introduce Bill to the trails. Not too hard, but challenging enough to keep you focused. Bill showed us a lot of air under his tires, since he didn't have much down travel with anti-sway bars connected. At the end of the trail we realized that it was going to be a bit hot to stay on the exposed mountain top this year, so we opted to set up camp in the campground where we were pleased to have a lot of shade and a fire ring. We found a spot at the very end of the campground so we had a lot of privacy. By this time it was around 3 PM, so we decided to go try one of the Most Difficult trails (the 198 to the 520).

    The 198 proved to be very steep, soft and one spot in the trail caused Bill his first body damage. His back right quarter panel pitched into the bank/tree root as he was trying to climb over a huge rock with his left rear tire. out came the winch, but unfortunately as he was pulling out of the hole the truck pitched further into the bank causing a decent new dent. Luckily no window was broken! A little further up the trail Bill's front left climbed sky high and he almost broke off his passenger mirror, but luckily through it all Bill was in good spirits. He said a number of times that that's why he bought the Land Rover - to use it.

    We called it a day and hung out around camp the rest of the evening, swatting flies and eventually starting a fire, which was enjoyable and helped keep the bugs away.

    On Friday we all slept in and took our time making breakfast. The weather was perfect (in the 70s) and we decided to make a big loop around the park by exploring the 196 to the 198 to the 102 and finally to the 511. Damage was limited other than Bill hitting his passenger mirror again on the 198 and somehow denting both passenger doors close to the door handles.

    The 519 had one tippy section on top of about a 1000 ft. drop off that left all of us feeling uneasy! We took the intermediate trail on the 519 & couldn't imagine wanting to play on the Most Difficult section, since we all agreed that we like living and avoiding having friends injured by rolling off cliffs. The benefit was that we got to experience some beautiful and unique wildflowers up there and a great view of Mt Rainier.

    We relaxed, admired the body damage, explored the creek and even tracked down electrical issues in the afternoon. It was a good day and we were all satisfied with the trails we had run even though we avoided the 197, which was even tighter and more difficult than the rest.

    On Saturday we woke up early to try to meet up with Brian on time. In spite of good intentions, it took a bit longer than expected to get one of my daughters to wake up and get moving. Airing up took a bit longer than expected too, so we didn't get to the Safeway until about 9:55 am.

    By about 11:15 we had gas, food & fresh ice and we were aired down again and ready to hit the Naches Trail! The first section was a lot more challenging than I remembered from 2 years ago! It tested the flex of all of our vehicles & surprisingly caused Vinnie to unseat one of his front coil springs! Fortunately he had enough down travel available to easily pop it back in place so we could get back on the trail about than 5 minutes later.

    There was a poker run on the trail, so we had a bit of traffic a few times on the trail. On the steepest hill climb a 4Runner from another group gave it his all, but eventually had to back down. The locked Jeeps & XTerra crawled up the hill climb, but Bill's Land Rover experienced a loud POP in the middle of the hill! He thought he had broken a rear axle, so he pulled the winch to 3 different points to make it up the last ~1/3 of the hill.

    It seemed like a good time for lunch, since we had about 9 vehicles behind us and needed to assess the situation. we never did figure out how to test if an axle was broken in an AWD vehicle. Eventually Bill concluded that either his center T-case lock had popped out or maybe he broke his rear locker, but he was able to continue on and finish the trail. Sometime later Bill also broke a front right turn signal lens & even the bulb, which meant he added body damage to his Land Rover 3 days in a row! I'd say that's a new record, so congrats Bill!!!

    We got really lucky to find a great & secluded campsite along the river about 1 mile from the end of the trail! Bill & Brian secured the site, while Vinnie & I explored the last section that has some very tight trees. They were tighter than 2 years ago and it took me about 4 tries to slide through without damaging my windshield frame or door on the passenger side, but eventually I made it. We backtracked on the main road back to the campsite and had finished the full trail by 4:30 pm. Vinnie hung out for a while and headed home while the rest of us played in the river, enjoyed the moon rise and got to know one another a little better. I was thankful to be there and really enjoyed the company. The 5 kids played Go Fish, dug a hole in a sandy section of camp, washed up in the cold water, accidentally hit each other with rocks and large sticks, almost fell face first off of a downed tree, played hide and go seek after dark & and generally had a great time! I really enjoyed their enthusiasm and how they played so well together!

    Sunday we packed up and headed out around 10:45 am. Brian and I decided to stop on the way home to hike from the Naches Pass Peak on Hwy 410 down to Tipsoo Lake and back. After a long weekend on the trail, I'd say that was about as much hiking as the kids could handle. We saw thousands of tad polls along the lake's edge, experienced some great wildflowers and got a glimpse of Mt. Rainier before rounding up the kids and heading for home. It was a good 4 day weekend with great company and an adventure as always!

    Last edited by AEV_LJ; 08-10-2017 at 11:47 PM.
    ~Rodney
    '05 LJ Rubicon. 3.75" suspension + 1.25" body lift with Currie adjustable links tuned to fit 35" MTRs.

  2. #2
    https://goo.gl/photos/z2moQs8gVGZdKh9W9

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  3. #3
    https://goo.gl/photos/jPvwNhPv5e79g6B66

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  4. #4
    Who got body damage? Lol

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    Administrator venturer's Avatar
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    Looks like fun! Wish I could have joined. Taco will be on wheels again soon!
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    Trail Leader AEV_LJ's Avatar
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    ~Rodney
    '05 LJ Rubicon. 3.75" suspension + 1.25" body lift with Currie adjustable links tuned to fit 35" MTRs.

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    Trail Leader AEV_LJ's Avatar
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    ~Rodney
    '05 LJ Rubicon. 3.75" suspension + 1.25" body lift with Currie adjustable links tuned to fit 35" MTRs.

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    Drives like Grampa cjsrebiff's Avatar
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    Looks like a fun trip. Can you go back up and get comparison pics? Like one where the Rover is on 3 wheels. Did did the Wranglers flex more to have that wheel down? Just curious.
    Biff - short for Bifford aka - Byph
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  9. #9
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    ^^^ That would be a fun comparison. We should make a note to try something like that next time someone gets high up on 3 wheels.

    The top pic of me is after I learned that I might need limiting straps. My front spring popped off the perch. Didn't know I could do that.
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  10. #10
    Trail Leader AEV_LJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjsrebiff View Post
    Looks like a fun trip. Can you go back up and get comparison pics? Like one where the Rover is on 3 wheels. Did did the Wranglers flex more to have that wheel down? Just curious.
    Ask and you shall receive. Compare the Land Rover at 45 seconds vs. the Jeep at 1:06!
    ~Rodney
    '05 LJ Rubicon. 3.75" suspension + 1.25" body lift with Currie adjustable links tuned to fit 35" MTRs.

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