ZUKFARI – Fall Classic 2014… Wet and Soggy Adventure!
Editor: E. Bewley Photo:D. Arnold, M. Verley, K. Anderson,
Bend, OR – This year’s adventure was yet again another blast. There is so much to see in Central Oregon and it is always amazing to see just how much we can dig up and see while we’re out there. Highlights include: finding a different and easier way to view the A6 Intruder aircraft wreckage, hitting the Christmas Valley dunes at night and from a complete different direction, and finding an actual cache, not a geocache, but a 40 year old stash of money that a local group of friends but into the side of a mountain long ago.
Several regulars were able to get out to the main camp site early again this year and this made for some extra adventure and play time for a large group. Normally, we don’t do a whole lot on Friday other than get there but this time we were able to go out quite a ways east and visit Glass Butte, this is a stand alone mountain situated close to highway 20 between the gas-stops of Brothers and Riley. Nestled neatly along the Oregon Back Country Discovery route, this mountain has a couple of nice two-track climbs and at the time we were there the snow was coming down pretty hard so we got a good wheels-spinning slick hill climb up toward the summit. Unfortunately, weather and daylight got the best of us and we were not able to crest the summit before having to turn around and head back.
Rise and shine early Saturday for a full day. In order to cover some new ground we skipped a couple of our regular stops like Hole in the Ground, our GeoCache, and Ft. Rock proper. This gave us enough time to approach both the A6 Intruder wreckage and the Christmas Valley dunes from the east rather than west which proved interesting and beneficial.
Being my first time at the wreck, I was amazed at how much of the plane is there. Scattered through the unassuming sagebrush is the remains of a Navy airplane that went down in the 70’s. More precicely, the A6 went down on September 19, 1973 and two men, Lt. Allen G. Koehler and Lt. Commander Philip D. duHamel lost their lives. While standing at the memorial plaque, we took a moment to reflect on their sacrifice.
We hiked back down to our vehicles and prepared for quite a rainy slog to the dunes. The roads in this area become quite slick with rain and even the slightest incline can become quite interesting. Slip-sliding and puddle jumping our way to the east end of the dunes the sun was rapidly setting. By the time we all gathered up at the gated entrance to the dunes, it was dark and we began traversing the brush covered dunes with only a vague heading of west(ish). The dunes at night are always fun and I enjoyed exploring new parts of the sand that we hadn’t been to before (at least I think we hadn’t been there.) Once out of the dunes we headed back to camp not without stopping at our favorite dinner spot in the town of Ft. Rock.
After the diner and bar respite, most of the group went back to camp and enjoyed some extracurricular activities. On Sunday, we packed up and headed home. Another great year in the books. Check our forum for next year’s event!
One of our long-time adventure seekers and new ZUKIWORLD Staff member, Matt Verley put together a vlog of the weekend’s adventure: