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Wheeling in da Shmootz
Weekend of Damage and Recovery
Once we had the Jeep winched out of the mud hole, it was time to make a decision.  It was growing dark and steak dinners were beckoning.  With little light remaining and no easy, obvious way out, we decided to leave the Jeep for the night down on the valley floor and plan for a morning extraction.


The drive back was not un-eventful.  It was raining and the fog was rolling in.  The trails were muddy and one particular trail had real nice deep ruts carved into it.  Mike in his Toyota Tacoma had to back up to allow room for John to back up and get a running start on an off-camber section of the ruts.  Apparently the fog obstructed Mike's view and he backed it up onto an embankment and as the front tire slide down into another rut, the truck nearly flopped over on it's side.  Sort of stuck there we tried to pull it forward, up and out of the rut but that didn't work. Then we noticed the trench leveled out about 30 feet back.  We decided to drop both the driver side wheels into the trench and ride it backwards half in and half out of the trench, back to level ground.  That worked.  Meanwhile Lewis forgot his cell phone in his disabled Jeep, 1/2 mile back down in the valley.  Armed with only a little LED penlight he started a walk in the dark, in the fog, back down to get it.  Paul kindly offered him a ride and drove around a detour and caught up to him and gave him a lift.




Back at camp ...

That night we had a good dinner at out favorite steak place down in the town with one stop light.  Returning back up to the cabin on the mountain was a challenge.  By the time we were ready to head back the fog had really rolled in and we slowly making our way back, trying to stay on the road.  Not being able to see distinguished landmarks, we kept making wrong turns.

Finally back, we easily knocked off the damp chill.  The temperature hovered all night around 50 degrees, far above what we'd expect for this time of year.  With the generator going there were crappy local TV shows on around the fireplace and a high stakes (a few bucks) poker game going in the kitchen.

Morning light brought breakfast down in town and a few upgrades to the cabin including a new antenna mast and a new light fixture for the 2nd night of poker.
Steve brought back what was left of the outhouse door.  The outhouse has a really nice view of the woods now.


Recovery ...

it was time to get the Jeep.  Cloaked in the latest fashionable rain gear, we made our way back down into the valley.

Lewis Jeep was parked off the trail next to the creek.  Having a hard time backing out of this very muddy spot in 2 wheel drive, Stephen was ushered in to give him a yank.  He proceeded to yank off the rest of the bumper.  Time for some better tow points.
We hooked up the shackle instead and gently assisted in a rearward pull.  The shackle is not exactly the best place to yank a stuck vehicle.


A couple of guys scouted ahead to the creek crossing to check it's level and see if it's any different than yesterday.  Considering it rained all night, it was actually higher.  Not a good option for a disabled Jeep.  The crossing was a narrow section that deepens and is rushing faster at this crossing.  But it's the best place to cross on a good day.  Looks like it'll be the hill.

We got all the vehicles ahead of Lewis' Jeep since there's no way to pass in the woods on this steep hill.

So for the next hour and a half we worked our way up the long steep hill winching from tree to tree assisting in 2wd as best as could be expected.

The odd thing was the Jeep wasn't quite running right today.  We later discovered why.





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