EVANS CREEK ORV PARK, Northwest corner of Mt.Rainier, Washington.

Below is the write up I did on this trip back in May of '98.  Bear in mind I'd not taken the Bronco out much and I'm still new to a lot of the technique in 4 wheeling.  I'm more than willing to admit to my inability to deal well with some adversity.  Needless to say read on.  You can click on the thumnails through the write up for a full image.


Trail Report from Evans Creek ORV, Mt. Rainier.

This report mostly applies to those of us in the NW but I thought everyone
might be interested so skip from here if you're not interested in this
WAY_TOO_LONG explanation.
 

Well I got my happy self but slightly unhappy EB home last night after
spending a day and a half at the Evans Creek ORV campground at the northwest
foothills of Mt. Rainier.  For all of you not too familiar with the NW, it's
about 1.5 hours southeast of Seattle.

Here's the quick rundown on results.  In typical idiotic form, we went on
trails we had no bidness bein' on.  My friend Scott had his bright and shiny
new 3 month old TJ and just got a couple little stratches from limbs.  The
putz.  I on the other hand was driving my EB and came out with the
following:  a slightly dented front fender, a bent rear chrome bumper, a
rear flare broke in half, and a cracked up passenger hinge that makes the
door close tighter than Cindy Crawford's butt.  But we did make it back with
drivable trucks which is exactly what I hoped for.
 

So I'll attempt to explain this mess and repair my self esteem.  I'm a bit
of a bonehead by nature and tend to not think about warning's like "Evans
Creek is really not meant for trucks bigger than the wheelbase of a Jeep."
But OH NOOOOO, I seem to think the EB's extra few inches of wheelbase and
width is a good thing on hair pin corners with 100 ft drop-offs and 2 foot
ruts.

Here's the quick specs on the two vehicles:
74 EB with 302/C4 and carburetion.  Stock 3.50 gears.  Stock LS in
front/rear (a seriously worn out rear LS).  30" Wildcat tires.  You name it,
it's pretty much stock except for the rear cutouts, nerf bars, and that's
about it.
98 Jeep TJ with 4.0 I-6.  Stock whatever gears (I think 3.73).  Open front,
LS rear.  30" Wrangler GS-A tires.  The rest, bone stock.
 

As is evidenced by that laundry list of vehicle modifications, we were
morons going into this but looking to have some fun.  And when they say
short wheel based trucks do well in this, they mean SHORT.   It's the
switchbacks that get ya.  The only way I can explain them would be to set a
Cheerio on a steep hill somewhere, then try to make a U-turn on it in your
EB.  Not real easy.

Anyhoops, we wake up with a splitting headache in the morning after several
beers.  It's thick fog and the sound of trucks in the distance sounds fun.
We pack up and head down a trail through some pretty easy stuff for quite a
while.  The trail splits off and we head down a diamond trail (most
difficult - requiring modified vehicles with lockers if possible -- ummm
lockers?  umm, i've got 'em in my doors i tink).  Some very tight and steep
downhill treks and some very off-camber spots.  Get to the bottom havin' a
blast.
 

If I didn't mention it, the trail was littered with mud, broken rocks,
stumps, and swamps up to 2 ft deep.

Most of the day is going great and we decide to take one more run.  It's
pretty easy for a good mile or two and then makes a hairpin tun up into the
old growth stuff.  It's seriously rutted with steeps you couldn't see
anything but the tree tops.  About 1/4 mile up some very off-camber
obstacles I'm down in a tough rut, get to the top and CCCCRRRAACCCCKKKKK!!!
LUURRCHHH!!!!  I've run the front pumpkin into a tree root right in the
middle of the trail.  Couldn't see it.  We pull out the trusty Hi-Lift and 5
minutes later we're pushing further up this trail.  My EB is running like
crap due to carb angles.  It keeps stalling and I'm getting PO'd.  So i'm
headin' up a rut 50 feet from where I get stuck and POOOOWWW!!!!!!  I tag a
tree root/rock sticking out on the passenger side and pushed in the hinge on
the passenger door.  What the heck is goin' on?
 

By now, my mouth is starting to run with a few choice terms and I'm all tense.
I've totally lost concentration on my lines.  We head up the trail and I
punch the front bumper on another tree root denting the front fender.  I'm
basically worthless now and stop the truck to head up the trail on foot.
It's getting nothing but worse so we decide to turn around.

After a 50-point turnabout, we head down and get too close on a hairpin and
SNAP, Crackle POP!!!!!  There goes the flare.  The rest was just me trying
to recover and figure out how NOT to mess up the rest of the truck.

Sooooo, all things told, it was a great time.  Scott was careful with his
Jeep and reaped the benefits.  I beat up the EB a bit but just cosmetic.
I'm happy to say I'll be back in my daily driver come Monday morning.

May 1998


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