When it is raining and grey in the northwest, hang out on the NWFJCC Facebook page is a great way to keep your spirits up. Reading a post for a camping and wheeling trip planned for the Naches area caused my heart to leap. Of course then the waiting… May… June and a good chunk of July passed before the run was here.
The Naches area is on the east side of the Cascade Mountains where the sun shines, the trees are tall and the sky is clear blue. It is also in an area filled with 4×4 trails, camping sites and a redneck hot-spot or two. Getting there is almost as spectacular as the area itself. Hula Betty and I drove the route through Enumclaw, past Greenwater and around Mt. Raineer on highway 410. Even the sunshine seemed a little warmer as we crested Chinook Pass leaving the snow and Mountain views in our rear view mirror. Past Whistlin’ Jack and the next turn… Little Naches River Road… then into camp.
By the time we rolled into camp a few members of the club had secured several nice sites for the group and before the dust could settle on our rig we were unpacking and setting up our little shelter tucked into the trees on Crow Creek. For me, these days, camping is not exactly roughing it. Kelty carport, lanterns, camp table, extra large cot and a layer of two inch thick foam to rest our bones, makes for a very cozy weekend Shangri-La. Who ever said roughing it easy was a bad thing.
Since we had arrived a day before the “official” start of the run only a couple of us were sitting around the camp after dinner. Of course it didn’t take long for someone to mention night run. Night runs always make for a good time. Dancing shadows, moon light and countless stars can turn even simple trails into an amazing off road adventure…. and we get to use our Baja Designs lights. There is just something about turning night into day with our lights that screams “this is fun stuff”.
Although we were out for just an hour or so, the night run was the perfect start to what is shaping up to be an amazing off road adventure weekend. Now if we can just fight off the excitement long enough to fall asleep under the open sky and wait for the rest of the club to roll in, in the morning.