Winter Fun Fest 2005

For all pictures click HERE.

Winter Fun Fest 2005

This was the 23rd annual Winter Fun Fest.

I left town on Friday just after noon hoping to beat all the traffic heading to Tahoe to ski in all the new snow we had received.  I hit a little traffic, but made it up there in good time.

I got registered and checked out the raffle and other peoples rigs that were there.   Because we cook breakfast on Saturday morning I didn't do much on Friday.  

There was a night run on Friday, and Mark from our club went with them.   They did not get back until around 1:30am but had a lot of fun.

As normal, our club got up and started breakfast at 4:45am.   Last year we had around 500 people for breakfast, and this year there were almost 700 people registered so we had to get started early!

Some people stayed out in the cook area and prepared food.   We made eggs, ham, potatoes, biscuits and gravy.

As in past years, the main thing that you have to keep up on is the eggs.   Everything else was easy to prepare in time.

Others stayed inside and served the food. Everyone pitches in and we all have a good time.
This year we only had about 475 people that made it to breakfast.  It was a good thing, as they didn't have enough food if everyone had come!

We finished breakfast and headed out to the staging spot for the Blizzard Brigade run.

There were 31 trucks present.   Our club (Santa Rosa 4x4's) had 3 rigs, the 4x4 in Motion club had 18 rigs, and the rest were either single club members from other clubs or non club members.

Early in the run, I decided to play on off the side of the trail and went way too fast and spun the tires in.

Dan was going to strap me out, but he ended up getting stuck trying.

Kris ended up strapping onto the front of Dan and pulling us both out.
We went up the road a few more miles and then the lead rigs found a section that we could not make it past.

There were two Jeeps towards the lead of the group that got stuck.   Once the others had backed down, I went back up to pull them out.

This Jeep is in the final stages of doing a 180.   I pulled him free, then backed up the uphill bank to turn around in a sort of 3 point turn.   With his shorter wheelbase, he backed up the same bank, then turned the wheels and gassed it and it just spun around towards the downhill direction... a great move!

We pulled back down the hill about 1/4 mile to a wide spot and had lunch.   

At the end of lunch, the 4x4 in Motion group decided to go off on their own, but would not tell anyone where there were going.   I guess the rest of us didn't make good company and they didn't want any non-members tagging along.

No one was upset to see them go.

Down the trail a bit, I found a muddy spot and stopped, put it in 2wd and then waited for Kris to pull up behind me.   Its an old game we have played before.   Once he is behind me, I punch it and spray him with mud.

This time however, when I punched it and sprayed him Dan came down the trail and was unable to stop because he was also in 2wd and his anti-lock brakes would not allow him to slow down on the muddy road so he rear-ended Kris.

It was at least a good match of the bumpers.   The hole where the winch fairlead would have gone in Dan's bumper was covered my his license plate.  

Kris had his town hitch in and was using it for a rear tow point.   The hitch went through Dan's front license plate, and Dan's ARB bumper cushions hit Kris's bumper.   

Dan lost the front plate and slightly bent the lower edge of the fairlead opening.   Kris got a dent in the bumper.

We were headed out and the trail leader said there was a side trail that he had never been on that he wanted to try.   Nobody had been on it since the snow had fallen, so we started off breaking the trail.   As long as you were aired down good and low and went around 1-2 mph, just enough to move you could stay on top.   If you try to go faster or spin, you were high centered on your frame.

The trail leader found a spot where the right side dropped way down into some mud.   there was water running under the snow and it made a hidden mud hole.

He winched out and then it was my turn.
This is what it looked like after he winched out.   Since he used the winch to keep moving he was able to get back on top of everything.
I went through second.   I know there are some pictures of my run, but I don't have them yet.   I had to make 4-5 forward and backward runs but made it through.   Kris was the third through and made it without any problems.
This is what it looked like after Kris came thought!   It was a deep muddy mess!
Another comes splashing through.
And another.  Everyone made it without any stucks.
Further up the trail, it looked like there was going to be a repeat of the mud hole.   After the first track started sinking, he backed up and tried to the right.   It was also looking bad, so he tried to the left and found good ground.
Moving along slowly making new tracks.
At a trail junction, we stopped and looked at the map and decided to head down and back to the main road.

The was the start of the trail back down.   It turned out to be very narrow and overgrown.

Lucky I had all that mud to prevent all those tree branched from scratching my paint!

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is the site of California’s largest "hydraulic" mine. Visitors can see huge cliffs carved by mighty streams of water, results of the gold mining technique of washing away entire mountains to find the precious metal. Legal battles between mine owners and downstream farmers ended this method. The park also contains a 7,847 foot bedrock tunnel that served as a drain.
A shot of the town.
This was the end of the off-road run, so we stopped to air the tires back up.
On the way out we crossed over this old bridge.   Because of the low load limit, only one vehicle crosses at a time.
Saturday night after dinner they had the kids raffle and the adult raffle.

At 8:30 they opened up Monte Carlo night.   Here Alan, Rosie, Michelle and myself play blackjack.

The goal was to win as much money as you could, and at the end of the night the player with the most money got to choose from a number of prizes.   The 4 of us started with $2000 dollars in chips, and ended up with $12,095 in chips.

On Sunday most people start for home.   We decided to do the SUV run on Sunday this year.   The run met at the fairgrounds then headed out for the trail head.

Once at the trail head there was a meeting where the trail leader talked about the area and where we were going.

The first section of trail was built by Italian Masonry workers.  Instead of blasting a shelf road into the hillside, they instead drove steel stakes into the hill then stacked rocks on top of them to create a road that in essence hangs on the side of the mountain.   Here you can see the stacked rock that creates the road.
Here is another shot of the road.   If you click the picture it will bring up the full size version and you can see the metal bands that help keep the rocks in place.
The river at the bottom of the canyon.

After the first section of the trail we got back on the pavement to drive to another trail.   Mark blew a line on the power steering pump and had to stop and fix it.

It came apart a second time, and he decided to turn back.   It came apart a third time, but he got it taken care of.

The leader of the SUV run took the group down one of the same trails that we had run with the Blizzard Brigade group the day before.   On Saturday, we had passed over this road without anyone getting stuck or any problems.   On Sunday with less equipped vehicles and drivers with less experience it was a difficult run.

This Jeep Cherokee quickly became high centered.   When they went to tow him out, they found that he had no tow points on the front or rear of the vehicle.

A TJ pulls the Cherokee free.

The other TJ to the left in the picture was going to drive around the Cherokee, but also became stuck in the process.    After airing down and much digging it was able to get free under its own power.

The Cherokee was pulled back and the TJ got in front and they had a strap hooked to the Cherokee most of the trail.
On another hill a Rubicon is strapped out.
A shot from another angle.   The two Rubicon's and a TJ hooked together and drove up the hill.
Heading down the trail.   It was getting rather late in the afternoon, and the snow was getting softer as the day went on.
On this corner you can see all the drag marks from vehicles in front of mine.
I managed to get a little muddy during the day.
A Durango towards the front of the line gets stuck for the first time that day.   Even without lockers, lift or bigger tires he did great.   With the winch he was able to pull himself out.
A TJ trys to stay towards the top of a tilted corner.
After getting off to the side of the trail a bit, Don gets pulled back.

The SUV run this year was similar to one that we went on a few years back.   Although it was a lot of fun, it was a trail that we probably should not have taken.   We were supposed to be back in the early afternoon, but ended up in the small town of Washington airing back up for the drive back to Grass Valley at about 6:45pm.   Some people including myself did not go back to Grass Valley, but instead jumped right onto 80 and headed for home.

It was another great trip, and I cant wait for next years event!

Back to the Old Trips Page
Back to the Home Page