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This ride turned out to be a real learning lesson. Since only three people were interested in going from Greenwater we decided to all go from Cle Elum. However, early morning slides closed the pass on Saturday and at 9:30, after waiting several hours at Ken's truck stop, seven agreed to go from Greenwater. The riders were co-leader Lee & Shirley Koger, Linda & Ken Bowen, Trena & Kelly Hayes, Sheri & Mike Hyytinen, Rebecca & Elwood Hunt, Darrell McLean, Chuck Yadrosich, Jeff Huard, Ed Lightfoot, Bob Brittain, Mike Collins, and co-leader and author - Fred Wemer.
This is Greenwater report with riders Fred Wemer, Jeff Huard, Sheri & Mike Hyytinen,Ed Lightfoot, Bob Brittain, Mike Collins:
We got on the snow a little before noon in light snow. Went up the bumpy groomed road and got on the hog back trail to plum creek . The visabilty was low and the light flat until we got to the Naches road via some off road trails. The naches road was almost in sunshine. The trail was smooth and the seven were begining to enjoy the ride. We had a short lunch at the Naches snow park and were back on the trail at 1:30. On the way to the Lily Pond the leader gave the two advanced riders a more adventuresome shortcut option while he took the remainder up the road. On arriving at the meet point the Two shortcutters had not arrived. The leader went back found the instructions had not been completly understood and a wrong turn was taken. After raising them on the radio we were reunited but a good 45 minutes behind. We got to the lilly Pond after breaking several miles of trail and getting several unstuck. The trail down from the Lilly Pond had a tree down across it that required some trail building and another long delay. By the time we got to the groomed, but not today, road the light was flat and it was lightly snowing and the trail not real obvious. Near the Devils Slide the leader made a wrong turn from the roadi nto a shortcut that he had taken in a prior ride that was on Jeffs GPS track. It was steep and deep and four of the group were stuck. By the time we located the road and got eveyone unstuck it was dark and snowing heavily. Finding where to climb the devils slide was difficult. Jeff and Fred made multiple passes to make it hard enough to get the group up to the ridge. Going across the ridge Fred got way off the trail and Bob followed on Ed's 440 down the hill almost 50 yards. Fred and Jeff were able to drive their sleds out after much shoveling and tramping but after an hour of working on the 440 it would not start, and we gave up and started on the trail again. However, everyone was stuck and needed Jeffs riding expertise to get out. Fred knew a short trail to the groomed road. by now the sky was clear but the wind was blowing making it hard to see where the road went. However, with several consultations with Ed and his GPS track and resupplying Jeff's sled with gas we finally arrived at Squaw Rock at 1 AM tired, thirsty, and hungry.
The next day we had a nice breakfast with the group that left from Cle Elum at 1PM and arrived at 5 PM, had a great dinner, and soaked in the hot tub. Two of our less experienced riders, Mike and Sheri decided to go back with Lee to CleElum and four of the men, Ken, Kelly, Chuck and Darrell from the CleElum group went back to help recover the dead sled. With ether, new gas, a long rope, and stamping a trail we got the sled out. Fred and Jeff led the four needed helpers to Tripod then to the trail to Buck Meadows where they arrived ahead of Lee's group. Jeff and Fred returned to the remaining three, Bob, Ed, and Mike, going to greenwater where we took the shortest and uneventful route to the snow park arriving at 5:30. The leader had 143 miles but the groups milage varied considerably. This was a lesson in the great comraderie and cooperation of snowmobilers in how to deal with what nature hands you and I'm sure a memory was created that will be long remembered.
The Weekend That Never Ended!
Squaw Rock Overnighter!! (and then some)
The ride plan was to start Sat, Jan 25, 8:00 from Keith and Judy Gardner's Peoh Pt place but due to Snoqualmie Pass closure, broke into 2 groups with Fred and 6 others turning around and starting from Greenwater and the others continueing to the Gardner's.who very generously provided their place for parking. Lee's group had a great ride, finally starting around noon, with powder snow, trails, meadows, mostly roads and arriving @ Squaw around 6PM, surprised the second group had not yet arrived, as they surely had left much earlier, not having the Pass problems to deal with. Oh well, we had the hot tub and bar to wyle away the time waiting and we promised ourselves we would wait dinner to the very last possible moment...but after a worried dinner and a call to Search and Rescue to just let them know we were waiting for "over-due" snowmobilers, we finally agreed that with Jeff Huard in their group, they all were in "good hands" and we went to a worried sleep. Actually, we were so worried we could hardly sleep a wink!
The late 2nd group came in @ 1:30 AM after leaving a machine in the mountains, tired, cold, and hungry but next morning, all in great spirits. At breakfast, Sheri Hyytenin squealed out, "Rebecca! I'm ALIVE!" 17 at breakfast -- full of stories, excited chatter and plans of how to retrieve the left-behind machine, again splitting into 2 groups (oh dear oh dear oh dear!), we left Squaw Rock where the proprieters waved us on. BTW: they couldn't have been nicer!! They were the very best! loaning without question or hesitation their personal phone, catering to our worries, our needs, kind and helpful. We really enjoyed them. We had another great ride back -- tremendous snow -- actually lots of snow.
Arriving just @ twilight back at Peoh Pt and in time for dinner at the Caboose where we learned the pass was closed AGAIN! So we inched our way to Easton where Elwood plowed a trench to the cabin so all could park their trucks and trailers and all tumbled into the cabin when promptly the power went out. Thanks to Darrell and Elwood, the oil lamps were lit, wood was brought in, fires were lit, candles brought out, sleeping bags passed around, all snuggled and snored through the night, and the next morning (Monday), Sheri could be heard muttering over her oatmeal..."this weekend just goes on and on and on...."
PS: I hope Linda found her jacket and lost her cold and the Hyytenin's got the machines.