Friday , 28 September 07-
After drinking several pots of coffee and running my head under cold water, we started packing the Jeep. And we kept packing…and packing. I’ve never had the Jeep so full, and it let me know. Around sharp corners my tires were rubbing against my flares! After meeting up with another PNWJeep member, John Herrick who would be competing on the other PNWJeep team, we headed our way across the Cascade Mountains. On the way over Snoqualmie Pass (the geographical divider between Eastern Washington and the “Wet” side of the state), we stopped at an unmanned truck weigh station: My Jeep weighed in at 5100 lbs, about 1500 more than stock!
When we arrived a few hours later at the rendezvous/event campground, it was snowing. This was pretty unusual for Washington State even though we were at an elevation over 4000’. Once the rest of the teams arrived, we made our way to the tech inspections. One of the rules the Tamers enforced was a maximum width of 76” from the outside of each tire. As I barely squeaked through the cones they had set up, I was glad I spent the money narrowing my front high pinion Dana 44 front axle…it was close!
These rules were meant to ensure that no tube buggies would be competing…street legal rigs only. This also kept the Forest Service happy, who were instrumental in making the event happen. After tech, we all made our way back to our trailers (we had two enclosed toy haulers for sleeping) and retired early; the drivers meeting the next morning at 7am came way too quickly.
Saturday , 29 September 07-
We awoke early, about 5:30am, in order to have a hot breakfast and (lots of) coffee before going to the drivers meeting. Ian stepped up to the plate and fixed two huge pans of bacon and eggs (two dozen), in sort of a country scramble with onions. It may have been the best breakfast I’ve ever had, but as soon as we’d finished it was time to head to the drivers meeting where we would discover our running order and rules of the event.
Up until this point, the Timber Tamers had been very tight lipped about the challenges we would face. We really had no idea what we were in for. And even after the meeting, we didn’t know very much. Around 8:45am, we were handed an instruction packet and told, “Go!”