The next run we went on was down to the Nachees and Shoestring trails. I had kept in touch with Rob and Larry and also Keith and Jennifer from the Canadian Jamboree. Also, shortly before this Dale or Don met Scott Martin who was interested in jeeping and our club so this was the first run he went on. Scott's girlfriend Kelly and his Dad also came along. We also met Ron around this same time and he came along as well.
We decided to camp somewhere on the west side of the mountains, then take the Nachees Trail over the pass, down the other side, do the Shoestring trail, then come back over Nachees again. Because we were not really sure where a good place to camp would be, Monica and I went down that way the weekend before the run to scout out a place to camp.
This was the first time Monica had ever been really offroad and in the process of scouting out some trails we got into a position where it felt like we were going to tip over backwards. With the new softer springs, it really let the body move around more. Anyway, I got a little concerned and when she saw that I was a little scared she got really scared. No problem though, I just backed down slowly from where we were perched and everything was fine again. Later on in the trip and also the next weekend on the real run when we got into anything scary she would either close her eyes or get out and walk. But towards the end of the trip she got used to the fact that I was in control and the jeep was not going to tip over.
We eventually decided a good base camp would be the old airfield down before the Crystal Mountain ski area turnoff. Dale, Don, Scott, Ron, Keith and Jennifer, and Monica and I all met the next Friday afternoon in Bellevue and headed down to the camp site. Larry and Rob showed up at the camp site later that night. Rob rode with Larry and some friends of Larry's also came down in a jeep. Rob was not sure his Comanchee would make it on the Shoestring so to be safe he just rode along with Larry. Larry had finally gotten some BFG mud tires after all the harrasment I gave him on getting stuck a couple of times on the Whipsaw trail.
The next day we got up bright and early and drove up to the Nachees trailhead. I figured we could be over on the other side in a couple of hours, do the Shoestring, then come back over Nachees again. Boy, was I wrong. I had never been on the Nachees trail before and didn't realize how long it was.
The only trouble in the early part of the day was with Scott. Somehow the rear part of his front driveline came loose, whipped around and broke his gas line. We stopped for a while while Scott did some trail repairs. In the middle of it he got a bunch of gas in his eyes but we flushed them out with a lot of water.
We finally made it to the end of the Nachees around lunch time which was way later than I though it would take. It was very obvious that we would not be able to come back over Nachees after doing the Shoestring. We took a break for lunch and then set out to find the Shoestring trail head.
On the first section of the trail Scott was having problems again. For some reason he was overheating. After stopping a few times he decided to go back down to the main road and meet us there when we finished up. He later found out someone had put his fan on backwards.
We continued on. My jeep handled really well with the new springs. I didn't get to go on the Shoestring when I went to the Jamboree the last time and I wondered how my jeep would do on the really rocky part leading up to the Manastash ridge that overlooked the valley. Everything worked great and nothing broke!
When we got up to the top it was clear we wouldn't have time to do the whole trail and we should turn around and head back down and take 410 back over the pass and down to the camp site. We headed back down the rocky part and down to the main road, gassed up and aired up, picked up Scott and headed back to the camp site.
I was dead tired again when we got back on Sunday but the trails were really worth the trip. I'm really looking forward to the next Trail Jamboree so I can truly say my jeep has been all the way through the Shoestring trail.
Next: Deep Mud