Butt-Stomper Run 2000 -Don Schultz
The adventure began Saturday morning with a rendezvous at the McDonalds parking lot in Enumclaw. After everyone had arrived we headed into the mountains on Highway 410 where we made one last stop at the sleepy little town of Greenwater. It was the first test of our patience as we waited over 30 minutes for someone to open the gas station so we could top off our fuel. A few gallons of gas and several candy bars later we were back on the road and headed for the trail.
When we reached the staging area everyone began to air down in preparation for the trail. Then Junior held a drivers meeting to provide last minute instructions and to distibute a few cool souvenirs compliments of our two guest vendors, Brent & Linda Bradshaw of Trail Tough Suzuki and Jake Palmberg of Higher Heights Off-Road. Just about everyone received cool t-shirts and/or hats.
At least a month prior to the Butt-Stomper run, Junior had begun a contest to see who could guess the name of the “mystery guest” he had secretly invited. Periodically Junior would provide another clue as to the mystery guests identity. The hints were tough but it wasnt long before one person nailed it. Congratulations to Jay who managed to guess the name and win a nice pair of differential guards from Higher Heights Off-Road. However, there was one last condition to satisfy. To win the prize Jay had to get the official Butt-Stomper boxer shorts autographed by all of the participants by the end of run.
Here Dan is the first to get his hands on Jays shorts.
Fortunately, the weather had been uncharacteristically clear so the trails were relatively dry for this time of year. Our first trail after leaving the forest road was a long steep dirt hill with a few trees and cracks along the way. Just like a metered on-ramp, we had to get in line and wait our turn.
The long wait and the temptation to play was just too much for Tom and Brent to resist.
We continued to make our way up the trails, having fun along the way, until we reached the top of the Naches trail where we hit some unexpected snow. Unfortunately, it was not the fresh snow that gives decent grip when it packs under your tires.
This was old, crusty, icy snow that had been melted and frozen many times over and could no longer provide a grip or support our vehicles weight. When it crushed under the tires it had the consistency of frozen banana puree. Suddenly a loud familiar “SNAP” rang through the trees. Oh Oh! It sounded like Jakes mighty rig just blew a Birfield. Yep, and with no spares Jake was resigned to limp through the rest of the trails. But limping for Jake was still good enough to get him through most of the trails for the weekend.
Even the occasional quads and motorcycles were having fits trying to get around in this slippery stuff. So, for a few hours we had our hands full sliding, winching, digging, pushing and pulling our way through the dirty white crud.
The Naches Trail eventually led us over the mountain tops and into the drier Eastern Washington terrain where we found a bit less mud and snow. We had other occasions to stop during the day. Unfortunately they were usually for adjustments or repairs of some kind. But the others always seemed to find a way to amuse themselves while they waited.
We set up camp at Buck Meadows Saturday night and enjoyed the conversations of our fellow wheelers around the campfire. The next day we broke camp and headed for Tripod Flats. On the way we ran into a large log across the road. Fortunately our leader had a chain saw and it wasnt long before we were moving again.
Tripod Flats was very pretty and made a great place to relax while we waited for Brian to replace a rag joint in his steering column. Next we headed for the infamous Funny Rocks with some beautiful scenery to enjoy in between.