Winter Fun Fest January 12-14-2007

Winter Fun Fest is one of the runs that we attend every year.   Its not a "hard core" run, but it is a great family run with trail choices that any 4x4 or SUV owner can enjoy.  

This year we had some of the coldest weather ever, Friday had a high of 23, and Saturday with a low of 14° and a high of 34°!   Needless to say, everyone had extra layers on!

All pictures are HERE.

As normal, the Santa Rosa 4x4's made breakfast for everyone on Saturday morning.

Here Emma stirs a huge batch of pancake mix.

Mark working on a pan of scrambled eggs, while my pan to his right goes unattended as I slack off and take pictures!

After mixing the pancakes, Emma put tablecloths on the tables and then worked the serving line.   

This year we estimate we served around 500 people, I will update the figure once information becomes available.

After breakfast everyone heads out on their runs.   You pick your runs in advance and since you never know what the weather will do its a guessing game.  

 Last year we went on the Blizzard Brigade run and experienced blizzard like conditions.  

This year we decided to take it easy and relax on the SUV run.   We did this run a few years back also and it was quite an adventure.

The first area we went through is the Red Dog area and the river where they used to hold the River Bottom Games.

Winter storms have changed the area quite a bit since the last time I was there.

We then headed up towards the You Bet mining area.   This entire area was mined using hydraulic mining during the gold rush.   

In hydraulic mining, they channeled millions of gallons of water from miles away and used a huge nozzle to wash entire hills away so that they could get to the gold.  

In this picture, you can see what the area looks like today, still very much recovering from the damage caused by this form of mining.

The trail guide speaks to the group about the history of the area.

Because of the extremely cold weather, what were once simple mud puddles are now icy traps.

While it may seem simple enough to drive right through, when your tires are on top of piles of ice you may find that you loose a bit of traction!

Some people choose to go around, others choose to go through!   (Some more than one time!)

For lunch we stopped at the Washington Hotel.

This is still a working hotel, and would be a great place to get away from the crowds and fast pace of normal life.   We are actually talking about going back up there during the summer time and staying a few nights and exploring the area at a more leisurely pace.

The view of the South Fork of the Yuba River from the rear deck of the hotel.
The "snow" we experienced during the run was minimal, but calling it snow is a stretch.   Ice would be a more fitting description!   This long straight downhill spot was a good place to get out, stretch the legs and let the kids fall down a few times on the slippery ice
Crossing a one lane, wooden decked bridge over the Yuba River.

Saturday evening dinner was served and then people settled in for the kids raffle followed by the adult raffle.

The kids raffle was super!   Every kid got a toy, and then they drew tickets.  The grand prize for the kids was a Jeep mt. bike!

The adult raffle had a assortment of goodies for your rig, from a set of BFG tires, Warn winch, Powertank and many other great items.

A few shots of friends waiting for the raffle to begin.

After the raffle it was Monte Carlo night!   Everyone is given a $100 worth of chips to start.   The object is to see how many chips you can accumulate by the end of the night.   Just before midnight, they close the tables and exchange your chips for raffle tickets, one ticket for each $100 worth of chips you have.

This final raffle of the night had some cool prizes also: a second 10lb Powertank setup, highlift jack, tire repair kit and a number of gift certificates.

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