This was supposed to be a run to Cow Mt., but when it rains they close Cow so we figured we would just head up to Pillsbury.   

We started off in the morning with 3 Tacomas, 2 Jeeps and a Ford truck.

For all pictures from the trip click HERE.

We went right through the basin and headed up Hull Mt..

I have never seen more trees down than on this trip.

Before the first large open landing where the hang gliders take off from we hit the end of the trail.
A little way behind me, almost everyone else had stopped as the big Ford was having problems with a snowy section.
After a few tries, he clawed his way up the hill and joined everyone else.
We all managed to get turned around, but it was quite cold so after just a few miniutes we headed back down the hill to get out of the cold wind.
Playing in the snow on the way down...
On the way down we took a side trail and one of the Tacomas got stuck on a log.  After a quick tug with the strap he was out.
Another Tacoma takes a different line and makes it through without any problems.
While coming down the hill in the hud, the Tacoma got his back tire into the rut on the far left.   Once it was in there, there was no way to get it out except slide down the hill sideways!
The next people check the hill out before they make their decent, the marks from the sideways Tacoma are still quite visible!

Towards the bottom of the hill, there was a sharp left turn.   The driver of the big Ford forgot that he had not adjusted his steering stops correctly and grenaded a universal joint when he turned too sharply.

It was now noon, and one of the Jeeps had to head for home (had to make it to work!) so the big Ford now only a 2wd decided to join him for the trip home.

We were now down to 3 Tacomas and one Jeep.

We decided to take some side trails and do some exploring.

Because of another fallen tree, we had to take a side trail that none of us had ever been on.   We went down a series of steep trails with some fairly large ruts.   If the weather would have been dry it would not have been a big deal, but with all the continuing rain, it was a mucky mess.
We went down the trails for about 1-2 miles then came to a point where we decided to turn around and try to get back to the main road.   While my Tacoma and the Cherokee could make it up a particularly nasty section of rutted hills, the two near stock Tacoma's were going to have problems.

This is where things got interesting...

  The Cherokee started up the hill first and when it looked like he was going to make it, his front end popped out of the rut and decided it wanted to go back down the hill.    This left the Cherokee teetering in a rather uncomfortable situation.   The driver later said that he though it was going to go over.  He cranked the wheel all the way over and hit reverse and managed to save it and get it back to facing up and down the hill.   On a second attempt, he made it up the hill.   

Next I made my run in the Tacoma.   Even with the front and rear lockers, it was going

to be a long struggle.  Instead of fighting it, I decided to just pull the winch out and winch up.   Once at the top, I would turn around and winch the two Tacoma's up the hill.

I made it to the top and got turned around.   We called for the other two trucks to get their straps out.   I had 2 straps, the Jeep had one strap.   Neither of the other two Taco's had straps.   With my winch all the way out, 3 straps, a tree saver, and a 6 foot piece of recovery chain we were still a bit short.   The two Taco's ended up having to make a run at the hill and make it to the point that they could reach the end of the long line.   From there, they would be winched up the hill about 1/3 of the way where straps would be removed from the line and the winch run back out.   From there they would be pulled again until just below the top of the hill.   After that, I would reposition my truck so I had a good line as the hill had a slight jog at the top, and I would finish pulling them to the top.   All the while it was raining and the mud was getting worse by the minute.... basically, we had a lot of fun!   It took about 2 hours to get everyone back up the hill and to the main road.

We told the two people that didnt have tow straps to go straight home and order them.   Things would have been a lot simpler and easier if we had just one more strap!

After making it back to the main road, we headed down the hill towards the lake.   Here one of the Taco's takes a bypass around another fallen tree.
We took another side trail that ends up behind Sunset Campground on the lake.   This trail has a series of mud pits to play in.
A Taco making a tight corner.
This is one of the larger and deeper mud pits.

Since I had the snorkel, I was the first into the pit.   Every vehicle that goes through knocks a lot of water out and it runs down the ruts into another set of puddles down the trail.

Because of the depth of the pit and the steep wall on the right side, you need to fold the drivers side mirror in or the wall will do it for you!

The second Taco going throught the pit.
The Jeep going throught the pit.
The last Taco throught he pit.
The Jeep plays at the last mud pit.
Everyone had some fun in the mud!
Another Taco playing in the mud.

A Taco applying a second coat of mud.

After this pit, we were back to the main road and we headed out and back towards home.   Everyone had a lot of fun!

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