George Washington National Forest

I guess that I need to write something down on this last trail ride for those that could not make it. We met at the Wendy’s parking lot on Saturday morning (3-13-04) and after looking at what everyone had added to their rigs we were ready to hit the trail with our wonderful leader Keith. As we were pulling out of the parking lot we all came to a halt as several folks jumped out of their cars. After a brief discussion it was learned that Keith had a dog problem at home and would not be able to join us on the trail. Bob Weaver then volunteered to take over for Keith, and we said our goodbyes.

“He produced from under his truck several scrap pieces of metal and cardboard that he claims were his rear driveshaft.”

So Bob without much notice led a crew of:

  • Bob W, Rubicon
  • Paul W and Mandibles, S-10 PU
  • Dave D, Rubicon
  • Don L and son, Rubicon
  • Jeremy A, Liberty
  • Mike V and Donna, YJ

The first stop along the way was at the sheetz in Harrisonburg for gas and food. Then off to Mcdormand’s for a quick air down and last minute supplies. (Note that along the way we had some CB chatter about a certain Jeep recovery vehicle, as this will be important later). After a quick look at the map we were off to the trail head.

Luckily, Bob found it on his first try and we were off to the dam. At this point Paul was complaining about being hungry so Bob decided that we would stop at the first stream crossing for lunch. In case you have not been up on these trails lately, the first stream crossing is now a concrete forge. Anyway, after exchanging stories and eating lunch we mounted up and were off for a day of adventure.

Our first trail (FR227) found several stream crossings and winding our way up the mountains. I would classify the trail as easy and doable in most stock trucks as we passed mini vans, BMW’s, etc. and most commented on the age of these drivers and how silly they were to be up here on the trail. We also encountered some snow and ice on the trail. We worked our way up to the State line ( FR85) and after a brief map consolation we continued south for a while hoping that we could do some of the trails around Buck Mountain. But alas, the trails had the dreaded gate closed.

We then decided to back track and make our way up to Reddish Knob Lookout. For those that did not make the trip, I can not tell you how beautiful it was at the lookout. On a clear day you can see in every direction for many many miles. After everyone had their fill we headed north again on FR 85 and we were looking for a new way back to the reservoir on some of the less traveled trails. The trail we choose was a little harder than the ones we had been on earlier, but still doable in stock form.

It was at a point along this trail that we heard a plea on the CB that I think I am in trouble. Paul who was bringing up the rear was looking under his truck when we all came back to see what was wrong. He produced from under his truck several scrap pieces of metal and cardboard that he claims were his rear driveshaft. Everybody stood in disbelief as we tried to figure what to do next. Paul could not remove the front section as he would loose all the fluid in his transfer case. We decided that we would tie up the leftovers, and that Don would be able to strap him out. Now remember the CB talk coming down earlier in the morning: Paul will have a lot of crow to eat.

I (Bob) was worried at this point because we were running out of daylight, and were moving at a snails pace trying to get Paul out of the woods, and I was not quite sure how much longer the trail went on for or if the trail got harder. After many GPS fixes and a few map look ups we were out of the forest and on pavement.

We all stopped at a Fire Station to unstrap Paul and regroup. I believe it was around 8:30 when we got to the firehouse. I asked Mike if he would take the rest of the group back to Rt. 33 and home while I (Bob) hung out with Paul to make sure that he would be ok. Paul was a member of AAA so they sent a tow truck from Haymarket to get him. I went into town and got dinner for us and returned. At about 11:30 with assurances that help was on the way I said goodbye to Paul and headed home.

A long but fun day. The weather was about as nice as you could have asked for.

Trail report written by Bob Weaver. Pictures courtesy of Paul Woscek and Bob Weaver.

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