Members
Membership Membership:
Latest New User Latest: Paul Kennington
Past 24 Hours Past 24 Hours: 0
Prev. 24 Hours Prev. 24 Hours: 0
User Count Overall: 2000

Online Now Online Now:
01: Jonathan Davis
02: William Gillette
03: Mike Block
04: Mike Kelly
05: Edward Eissmann
06: Gabe Engler
07: David Ball
08: Adam Churnside
09: Patrick Tingley
10: Justin Huntsman
11: Leon Stamatis
12: Brett Chamberlain
WABDR South to the Rally
Last Post 07 Aug 2012 11:02 AM by Bryan Pedersen. 22 Replies.
AddThis - Bookmarking and Sharing Button Printer Friendly
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Sort:
PrevPrev NextNext
Page 1 of 212 > >>
Author Messages
Louis De La Cruz
Louis De La CruzUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Bellingham, Washington
Send Private Message

--
26 Jul 2012 11:49 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
I blame Stacey.

It was Saturday in Anacortes. I was at the Rock Fish Brewery with Julie, both Craigs, Craig’s dad, Mike, and Stacey. We were waiting for our food and talking about Mike’s upcoming trip down the WABDR to the rally. He was planning on meeting up with Jay partway down the trail on Tuesday, but the first day and a portion of the second day of travel he would be solo in an area that may or may not have cell service on roads that may or may not be well traveled. I could vividly remember the email I got from my wife after I told her about my little snow and mosquito experience on Mt Baker (you did WHAT?). I could also see the trepidation on Stacey’s face. I started doing the mental figuring. Mike was planning on hitting the road on Monday. My wife was scheduled to arrive in port in Seattle on Wednesday. If I went, I could go until Wednesday afternoon at which point I’d have to bail.

I was in.

I let Mike know and then began the mad dash to get ready. I still had to clean house, pack up, grocery shop, and mow two lawns. Sunday was a long day and as it wound down I realized that I still didn’t know a lot about what the plan was. I gave Mike a call and he was able to allay some of my concerns.

Monday morning was here before I knew it. I woke up around 0400 going through my mental checklist. I managed to fall back to sleep til about 0500 and then realized that it was hopeless. I decided to do a bit of reading to try and not think about everything that could go wrong. “South” by Ernest Shackleton is not the book for that. I gave up on that too and went through the stuff that was still waiting to go into the truck. Finally it was close enough to my jump off time that I finished loading up the truck, locked up the house, and started up the truck.

I was off.

A quick stop to fill the tank and pick up a spare air filter and then it was onto I-5 heading south listening closely to every sound that the truck was making. My wife called and we were able to talk for the first time over the phone in several weeks and I managed to blow right past the Cook Rd exit in Burlington. I doubled back and found a parking spot at Starbucks right next to Mike’s Toyota. Craig rolled up a few minutes later in his Rover and we ducked inside out of the weather. We talked about the route and the drive out, dialed in and tested the FRS radios, and then saddled up. We hoped to leave the cold and rain behind as we crossed the cascades.

Photobucket

The drive out was uneventful. We followed highway 20 out to Winthrop where we stopped for a quick bite. Then it was back on the road, bound for the town of Oroville. We stopped for fuel and then started looking for the road that would take us to Nighthawk. Which leads us to a short discussion on navigation. Between the three of us we had the WA DeLorme Gazeteers, the official WABDR route, a printout of the GPS tracks and two GPSs. Mine is a Garmin eTrex Vista HCx with the topo maps for the west coast loaded. I’m not sure what Mike was running. They all had significant downsides which we were soon to discover. Downloading the GPS tracks and putting them on the GPS would have been the easiest way to follow the route but it would have taken a lot of the teamwork, fun, and challenge out of the trip. After looking around a bit we realized that the road that we needed was literally right in front of us. Off we went again, though with slightly different scenery.

Photobucket

We finally, finally, finally hit dirt just past Palmer Lake (after a wrong turn), aired down and enjoyed the view.

Photobucket

A short drive later brought us to Chopaka Lake and our first camping spot of the trip. It set the bar pretty high:

Photobucket

We were able to scavenge enough unburnt firewood from the other campsites (all of which were empty) to build a nice little fire

Photobucket

We stayed up waaayyy too late sitting around swapping stories and trying to figure out what kind of animal was making the awful racket in the bushes. We’re still not sure what it was but it stopped as soon as we shone a bright light in its general direction. In the morning we were up with the sun and back on the trail just after 8am.

Photobucket

We took a scenic detour that was a fun road but wound up dead ending. It looked like it may have gone through at one point (and it looked like the road shown on the official map), but those days were definitely in the past.

Photobucket

Photobucket

As we were heading back down we received a text message from Jay during one of the brief spots of service. The plan was to meet with him in Conconully later on in the day. The text said he was in Oroville. That led to a series of texts as we tried to coordinate a new meet up point while we were on the road. We finally stopped for an early lunch at North Fork Camp and sent a new message saying where we would be. After eating we began to get a little antsy to get back on the trail, so I called out on the HAM and lo and behold, there was Jay answering. We realized that he wasn’t really all that far away so we decided to go for a short hike while he made his way over.

After the hike we returned to the rigs, but no Jay. I tried contacting him on the HAM but no luck. We were trying to decide on our plan B when a govt plated truck pulled up and a woman jumped out. She asked if we were waiting on a guy in a white xTerra. They had just run into him and he was on his way up the road we had come down to get to the camp. I hopped back on the HAM and was able to get him on the first shot. I brought him up to speed and then drove over to the intersection where we both arrived at the same time.

And then there were four.

We moseyed on down the route with a quick detour up to the top of Skull and Crossbones Ridge where we admired the view and wondered about the name. We dropped back down off the ridge and then began working our way back up to Lone Frank Pass. The trail meandered through a burnt out section of forest that was quite a bit of fun.

Photobucket

It was nice road from the top of the pass down into Conconully where we stopped to stock up on ice and make some check-in calls from a payphone (remember those?). Then we were on the road headed out of town. A quick u-turn later, and we were back into town, making a left turn, and then taking the correct road out of town. We detoured from the official route a little in search of roads that looked more rugged on the Gazeteer. Instead of going through Ruby, we headed towards Rock Lakes where we stopped to see if it’d be worth camping at. The lakes were far below the campsites and we decided to push on. We followed Rock Creek until we met up with Highway 20 near Spaulding Lake. We decided to take a look at the campsites there and headed over. The lake was beautiful, the camping not so much. It looked like there were quite a few people who were taking advantage of the 30 day limit for camping and a few that looked like they had overstayed their welcome.

It was starting to get late and we were still trying to find a good place for the night. We decided to get back onto 20 and head west towards Twisp. On the way we came across Sweat Creek camp near Sweat Creek. One look around the campground and we were sold. I wasn’t feeling all that great from a combination of things and wound up turning in for the night right after I ate dinner. I slept like a log til early the next morning. It was nice to wake up to the sound of the creek burbling past the camp and the birds and squirrels in the trees.

Photobucket

And that’s where I’ll leave it for tonite (:

- Louis

'02 Tacoma
'70 VW Panel Bus
Louis De La Cruz
Louis De La CruzUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Bellingham, Washington
Send Private Message

--
27 Jul 2012 11:45 AM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Note - I fixed the name of the last campground in the previous post. It was actually Sweat Creek Campground on Sweat Creek, not Hidden Camp on Frazer Creek

Morning #2 on the trail started off absolutely beautiful. Nary a cloud in the sky, the morning chill was a nice precursor to the warmth that was to come. The plan for the day was to try and find the route and then continue on south to Chelan. My original plan was to stay with the guys until noon or so and then jump off at the next opportunity and scoot on down to Seattle. My plan hit a little snag when I got a text message from my wife saying that they had a propulsion failure and were now going to the shipyard in Anacortes. This meant that I was going to have to do some serious back tracking at the end of the day. I debated jumping out first thing in the morning since we were just off of highway 20, but I figured I had some time and would stick it out to Chelan. We weren’t really sure where we’d pick up the route again, but we lucked out when we discovered a barely visible line in the gazetteer. All we had to do was cross the highway when we came out of camp and we’d be back on dirt paralleling 20. We fired up the rigs and were off. Across the highway and right into a giant dust cloud. The trail was so powdery that the first rig that went through created a whiteout for the rigs following. As soon as I entered it visibility went to nil. I couldn’t even see the CB antenna on my front bumper. I’d stop and wait til I could see again and then creep along til suddenly the air was crystal clear. Then we’d come into another section of the powder. We continued south in this manner until we hit a nice graded dirt road. We gradually began to get the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. The feeling grew until we hit Old Highway 97 just south of Malott. Whoopsie, must have missed a turn back there somewhere. A quick consult of the gazetteer turned up Davis Canyon Road, which should take us back to the route though we’d have to be on our toes as there were quite a few intersections. This road turned out to be a treat with lots of variety in vegetation. We’d go from scrubland on the higher spots down into small canyons full of greenery before climbing up into forest on a fun switchbacky road. We finally came to Benson Creek Road which we followed to highway 153. Back onto the pavement we turned south and soon after spotted a red lifted Subaru. It was Cmiller from Expo (Chris Miller from here I've just discovered) in convoy. He was running the WABDR from South to North prior to the rally. We gave everyone a wave and then pulled for fuel in Carlton at the general store. Inside we were treated to a nice big table in the air conditioning where we were able to spread out the maps and books and figure out the next leg of the route and enjoy tasty cold soda. We stepped back outside just in time to see an F/18 Hornet on the deck hauling some serious butt. He pulled up into a giant climbing loop, rolled upright at the top and then began sweeping left turn before I lost sight of him. Pretty cool.

Also cool was the next section of trail. We left the pavement again and began climbing up FR 430 to FR 4330. The views were spectacular when we popped out of the trees but my camera doesn’t do it justice:

Photobucket

We climbed first to Fox Peak then dropped down a little to Parish Peak, then climbed back up a little to Cooper Mountain. We followed Cooper Ridge down into Cooper Gulch where we began the descent into Chelan.

Photobucket

Mike's got the cleanest truck in the bunch (:

Photobucket

As opposed to me, who played sweep the entire time:

Photobucket

Once in Chelan we grabbed some pizza and then said our farewells. I was now northbound while they continued southwest. The drive back to Anacortes was uneventful but long. I hoped to miss traffic by heading up the 97 to the 153 back onto the 20. I left Chelan just after 1600 and was in Anacortes just after 2000. It was my first time heading west on 20 during daylight and it was incredible. The broken clouds really let the sun shine against the peaks and provided an amazing close to a long couple of days on the road. Highly recommended. And now I’m off. I’ve got a bit of cleaning to do on the truck. My wife was less than thrilled when I warned her against touching anything that looked like mud on the truck because it was probably cow pie. Hope the rest of you guys are having a blast on the trail and at the rally. Let’s do this again sometime (:
- Louis

'02 Tacoma
'70 VW Panel Bus
Tom Lowell
Tom LowellUser is Offline
Bellingham, Washington
Send Private Message

--
27 Jul 2012 08:00 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Nice write up, Louis, thanks for taking the time to post it.

I've done a lot of that route and surrounding areas, all quite nice.
Craig Miller
Craig MillerUser is Offline
Vendor Sponsor
Edmonds, Washington
Send Private Message

--
28 Jul 2012 11:09 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Fantastic write-up Louis. Between your write-up and what Mike, Craig, and Jay shared at the Rally it sounds like you guys had a really great trip. Thanks for taking the time to share it!
Mike  Block
Mike BlockUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Camano Island, Washington
Send Private Message

--
29 Jul 2012 09:06 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
I will add some more pics soon. What a fantastic trip! Thanks Louis, Jay and Craig for coming along!
Dale Avery
Dale AveryUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Spokane, Washington
Send Private Message

--
29 Jul 2012 09:23 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Thanks for the writeup! Hope to be doing the WABDR with my best friend Geoff in Sept. Your pics really help seal the deal.
After 40+ years running on four wheels, I've gone to the dark side and am playing on two. Present toy is a '83 BMW R100RT 60th Anniversary Edition airhead. It joins my '81 R100RT with Watsonian-Squire sidecar.
The 1997 4Runner SR5 still keeps me on four wheels.
Mike  Block
Mike BlockUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Camano Island, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 06:31 AM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Louis departed after lunch in Lake Chelan and we headed over to the Forest Services office to see if official maps were required on the trails. The gal we talked to stated they were not required but we still purchased the Central Washington Cascades map. Near the Forest Services office was a beach to the lake so Craig and I took a dip to cool off.

After the swim and reviewing the new map along with the existing ones we decided to push on to Windy Camp on Slide Ridge. We headed West along the South side of Lake Chelan to 25 Mile Creek camp ground to pick up the WABDR trail. Along the trail you have the option of taking FS 233 a overgrown trail but a lot more fun!!

Mike  Block
Mike BlockUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Camano Island, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 06:51 AM
  • Quote
  • Reply


We dubbed that part of the trail the Jungle. We would of had a tuff time allowing other rigs to pass had we come across them. It was a sharp drop on one side and steep rise on the other along with very thick brush. We made it to Windy Camp just before sunset. The jungle section would have been a little stressful had it not been for the break in Chelan. Windy Camp is primitive with a nice spring near by.
Mike  Block
Mike BlockUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Camano Island, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 06:56 AM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Mike  Block
Mike BlockUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Camano Island, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 07:24 AM
  • Quote
  • Reply
We managed to be on the trail by 8:15 every day and was welcomed by the sun!




By far the Chelan section of this trip was my favorite! We pressed on along Slide Ridge into Ardenvoir. Ardenvoir is a tiny town with fuel and a general store that dont open until 10:00 A.M. While waiting for the store to open we decided to make it up to French Corral (or French Camp depending on the map or GPS you have)depending on the time of day we would either continue along the WABDR or cut it short and head to the Rally. Once we reached French Corral we made the decision to head down FS 7801 to the Rally. This was a good choice as when we arrived at the Rally we were able to grab one of the last camp spots in the trees.



Mike  Block
Mike BlockUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Camano Island, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 07:27 AM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Not sure what happened to my photos? Craig, Jay help please!
Craig Miller
Craig MillerUser is Offline
Vendor Sponsor
Edmonds, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 09:52 AM
  • Quote
  • Reply

Posted By Mike Block on 30 Jul 2012 10:27 AM
Not sure what happened to my photos? Craig, Jay help please!


I'm not seeing anything wrong with your photos... What are you seeing?
Mike  Block
Mike BlockUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Camano Island, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 02:27 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Ok thats odd. When I posted them then edited, they disappered. White box with a red X in the corner?!?
Craig Miller
Craig MillerUser is Offline
Vendor Sponsor
Edmonds, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 02:30 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
I'm not sure. Sounds like the editor is having trouble, but that they are showing OK in the actual thread.

I'll setup a photo album for you guys this evening. Would be cool to have full size photos of both your trip from the North down and from the other gys trip from the south up.

Craig
Mike  Block
Mike BlockUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Camano Island, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 02:31 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Thanks I will load them up!
Craig Spaeth
Craig SpaethUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
White Salmon, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 07:28 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Wow, what to add. This was a fabulous trip. It was a really great group of traveling companions. It was really a perfect situation for me since I have never done a multi day off road trip like this. It was a great way to start learning navigation skills. Louis seemed to have the sharpest navigation skills of the group and the trip started off with him and Mike in the lead role. I quickly learned that it is very critical to have a few sources for navigating. We used 3 different versions of maps and the GPS to keep track of where were and where we were headed. By watching and helping when I could I started to get a good feel for keeping track of our location. By the time Louis left Mike stepped into the lead role and I was able to really help out. Jay was fairly quiet in the beginning but by the end he started being more vocal and was a great help with his pre-loaded GPS track for the route. It was a real team effort.

The Rover did great with a worst tank of 20mpg and a best tank of 23mpg. It no longer has a deep black paint job which makes me a little sad but it is what I bought this truck for. "The Jungle" took its toll with some pretty intense pin striping. The weather cooperated better than expected and we were able to find some excellent camp sites.

I really hadn't planned on doing this part of the trip but after the Anacortes get together Mike Block and I went for a bike ride around Camano island. We started talking about me going along. On the way back up to my Dads house in Anacortes I gave him a call back and told him I was in. A stop at Costco and a grocery store and I was ready.

I can't wait to do the southern end of the route now. Thanks to Mike for convincing me to go along and to Louis and Jay for helping to make the this an excellent experience.

the other Craig

Craig Spaeth
Craig SpaethUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
White Salmon, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 07:43 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
That last image was our first campsite just south of the Canadian border and a little south of the town of Nighthawk which seems to no longer be in existence.
This was a pretty repeated image with us pouring over maps trying to move the route from the fairly un-detailed WABDR route map onto maps with more detail.

This was one of the hunting cabins we found on our "route correction" the first day in the dirt. The sign said it was from the 1820's.

This was the view of the back of Jay's Xterra in one of the more open sections of the Jungle. This was a very overgrown section with very tight switchbacks. We were probably within about 1 to 2 hours of actually meeting Chris and Matt in this section which would have been a tricky situation since they were heading the other way.
Craig Spaeth
Craig SpaethUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
White Salmon, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 08:13 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply

Most of the way through the Jungle section.

Maps, dust and junk food...other than amazing views and good company, this was a main part of my adventure.

looking down on lake Chelan
Don Childers
Don ChildersUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Gresham, Oregon
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 08:31 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
Very cool. I'd love to run the WABDR soon.
Dale Avery
Dale AveryUser is Offline
Member Sponsor
Spokane, Washington
Send Private Message

--
30 Jul 2012 09:38 PM
  • Quote
  • Reply
thanks for the writeup and pics. Can't wait to give it a try myself. You guys are the best!
After 40+ years running on four wheels, I've gone to the dark side and am playing on two. Present toy is a '83 BMW R100RT 60th Anniversary Edition airhead. It joins my '81 R100RT with Watsonian-Squire sidecar.
The 1997 4Runner SR5 still keeps me on four wheels.
Page 1 of 212 > >>


Quick Reply
toggle
  Username:
Subject:
Body:
Security Code:
CAPTCHA image
Enter the code shown above in the box below

Submit