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The Spike
We followed the old railway down to the end where we hit a gate.  On the other side of the gate was a road.  This was the end of our line.  While the old tracks picked up on the other side, we decided at that point to head back up the line and follow the tracks in the other direction  towards the other side of the valley.

That's when Eric discovered " The Spike".  While doing a 10 point turn between a drop-off and an embankment in the width of a set of railroad tracks, Eric must have backed into a railroad spike and completely embedded it in his brand new Goodyear Wrangler MTR.  We heard this thump, thump, thump, stopped and investigated the odd noise and that's when de found the head of the spike sticking out of his MTR.  Good thing he has a spare.

Wheeling with Tammy
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So how many 4-wheelers does it take to change a tire?  Well lets see... 3 to find the bottle-jack handle, 2 to crack the lugs, 2 to orient the jack under the axle, 3 to find the lug key, 1 to remove said lug key, 2 to get the new tire up onto the studs, 2 to put on and tighten the lugs, 2 to put the old tire up on the tire carrier and one to remove the spike.  Oh, and about 5 more to stand around joking about how many people to took to change the tire.

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Now look proud....

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Underway again..  Now we're heading up the tracks, back to where we came from.  Along the way we took an upper trail we already knew about to check it out.  This trail sloshed though many mud holes and passed a cool old cabin and several very old stone retaining walls.  Right there at the old cabin, we reconnected with the tracks again.


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Somewhere around the middle of the places where we connect with the tracks there is a gate.  The gate is on the tracks where you can not pass around the gate without going off a long gravel cliff on either side.  Because of this we have to leave the tracks and reconnect at the far end of the valley.  This is a great detour since it'll take us past some great old trails and though one of our favorite mud holes.

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Another water crossing and up out of the valley.  Then we headed down the other side of the same valley we crawled out of.


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Down the pipeline, over the same creek upstream, and to the mud hole.

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This creekside mud hole sits most of the time full of muddy water and the ground below the water gets very soft.  So anytime we have to cross the mud hole, we're never sure how soft it'll be.  This time it wasn't too bad.  Maybe next time.
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Ken, you're just going to have to modify that Jeep of yours.  As we debated over how Ken was going to get through he mud hole and have a shot at doing it himself without a yank of the tow strap, the guys on the ATVs realized they needed gas.  As Jeff and Andy headed back to the cabin to re-fill, Chad was too busy ripping up and down the upper trail that runs above the mud hole to notice he was low on gas too.  By the time he realized that Jeff and Andy left, they were too far ahead.  Trying to catch up, Chad soon realized he didn't know the trails and backtracked to meet up with us again.  First he gave the Pipeline a try, unsuccessfully but without incident.   Meanwhile we got Ken across with a little help, then headed up to the tracks again.

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Where we usually cross the stream, the logging company had recently built this temporary bridge. 


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We made our way to the base of the pipeline where we parked and waited for the guys on the ATVs to catch up.  Here, you get a great view of the valley and can see how colorful the trees are this fall.  

Meanwhile Chad tackled a tall, steep hillclimb on the pipeline.  At one point it looked like he was going to dump the Quad on on its side.  But he shut it off and pulled it straight by hand, then proceeded down.

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About then the Quads caught up.  It didn't take them long.  
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