The photos below are what we saw.
The path north from
Columbine was in reasonable shape. Katleen and I were
"tail gunners" so we were at the rear of the group. In
front of us was Bob's LMTV with Alaskan camper.
northern slopes of the mountains there were still some small patches
of wild flowers still in bloom.
trail went through small stands of aspens customized with the
3 Forks Ranch we allowed a truck hauling a stock trailer to pass
ranch house for 3 Forks is a sight to behold.
a bridge near the Three Forks house, Kathleen got this photo of
worked our way north on county roads until we hit I-80, then
turned west. When we pulled into a rest area, we could see
that storm cells were following us. The tendrils of rain
lashed the hills turning dusty roads into thick, slippery clay
fuel stop we discovered that there was a big forest fire south
of Jackson Hole so we had to factor that into our plans.
As it turned out, the road closures did not impact our selected
route. But, the large size of our group combined with
heavy summer tourist travel made finding a campsite
problematic. Kathleen located a potential site south of
Green River, WY on Flaming Gorge Reservoir. So, we pointed
the trucks south and headed toward camp. As we crested the
ridge south of Green River we saw another storm cell to the
southwest of our route. It was moving toward us.
We hit the turnoff and left the pavement and went onto the dirt again. On the top of the highest ridge, we got a view of Flaming Gorge to the north of us.
further east, we could actually see the water in the reservoir.
on the western horizon, the storm cell moved directly toward us
bring winds and dust.
and I were tail gunners and when we rolled into "Lost Dog Camp"
we were surprised to see that Vince had gotten stuck in the lake
muck. The rear sank right to the tool box.
few discussions, the decision was made to use our biggest
vehicle to tug him out. Tony brought his 6x6 LMTV around
and hooked up a strap.
Tony pulled Vince's truck with no issues, but the truck continued to sink into the muck with the right side digging deep.
us doubted that the truck was in any danger of rolling, but it
still was uncomfortable for Vince. Note the dirt piling up
in front of the rear wheel.
precaution, a winch line was hooked to Vince's roof allowing a
counter-balance action if required.
24,000 pounds of Vince's truck dug halfway to China.
lashed with rain during our extraction exercise and we were a
bit worried about what the rain would do to the trail. The
path into camp showed evidence of pervasive "trenching" by
previous travelers. Those trenches were now solid, but
could easily become an issue if more rain fell. As it
turned out, we only got high winds but no rain. In the
photo above, you can see rain tendrils on the far mesa after the
cell passed us.
setting sun broke through long enough to provide a nice
rainbow. Note the whitecaps on the lake from the strong
We had a
nice night, although it was a bit buggy. Next morning, we
broke camp and headed back the 20 miles of dirt to the main
highway to return to Green River. The clay-based soil of
the road produced huge clouds of dust as the trucks rolled over
suffering air system issues and his braking system went kaput
requiring some road-side repairs. The problem turned out to
be contamination in the air brake controller. It was taken
apart, cleaned and reinstalled. While not working
perfectly, it worked good enough.
repair site, we could see some snow left on the high peaks of
the Unita Range in northern Utah.
To the west, we could see the TRONOX mines on the horizon. Once the repair was in place, we headed back to Green River, then west on I-80, then north. Destination: Afton, WY.
the members of our group, Tony, is a pilot and owned a place
produced by Aviat Aircraft in Afton. The arranged for us
to camp at the airstrip and get a tour of their facilities the
following morning. Above is one of their most popular
configurations which is "the Husky", a bush plane that is
capable of rough-field landings at very slow speed. And,
best of all, it can take off on undeveloped, very short
runways. Note the tundra tires.
parked our trucks, then went to the local Mexican restaurant for
dinner. The place was packed, and the service suffered
accordingly, but the food was great. After our feast, we
walked back to the airport and set up our chairs for a "therapy"
morning, we prepared for the tour of the plant. Our campsite
was on the apron next to the runway.
We saw a
number of Huskies in various stages of construction.
engineer, had some thoughts on the internals of the Husky.
a pancake 4-cylinder Lycomming power plant.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2016, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.