Whistlin' Jack Trip and Directional SignsPosted05/13/18 at 11:23 AM
Paul Gienau set out with his wife and dog in his hot rod 1960's Ford Bronco to get the signs our club set out between Taneum Sno-Park and Whistlin' Jack Lodge during the winter. He got some of them, but the trip did not go exactly as planned.
Looks like we need a volunteer to complete picking up the signs:
With supplies loaded on the Bronco we set out for a day in the mountains. Got to the trail head around 11am, it didn’t look the same with all the snow gone. Kept driving with my pickup and trailer till we got to the first intersection and sign. it was in good shape and appeared to have been reinstalled in the ground with rocks piled up around the base to keep it up right.
Unloaded the Bronco and started tracking our route with the Polaris Ride app. Came to the first intersection that i thought we had a sign at, got out and walked around and could not find anything.
Off to the next intersection as we approached i could see the sign laying on the hill side in the short grass. it was laying face up in the sun, it looked in great shape, on to the next one.
Came to one of the main intersections FS3111 and FS3100 with our sign still up right next to the forest service sign. It pounded very deep in the soft ground. I don’t remember driving it so deed. FS3100 has a road closed sign up across the road and a Police K-9 vehicle come down the road to me. Turns out that SAR is doing a Search and Rescue training and the area is closed. I look one the Polaris app and see we can backtrack and take the FS3111-115 road that parallels the FS3100 road. I am advised by a passing Jeep that the 115 is a very difficult trail that I most likely will get stuck and not make it. Judging by his completely stock Jeep with street tires and no off roading supplies. i think we have different ideas of off roading. Turns out we did have VERY different ideas. FS3111-115 did have some bigger rocks on the road, and i did get my tires wet in a few of the pot holes. on a level of 1-10, 10 meaning i have to get my wench out, this was a 1 for the Bronco, didn’t need 4 wheel drive.
Where the 115 comes back together with the FS3100 I come driving up behind another police vehicle on the wrong side of the road closed sign. Give him a curtsy wave as we go by. We are now at the spot we stopped for lunch on the ride. i find one sign post on the ground but the map is missing from the sign. i collect that on and then head over to where we put the 2nd one but i cannot find it anywhere. just a pile of stacked rocks.
We load up and continue on FS1701 get all the way to the top of the ridge and the Bronco dies right in the middle of the trial. “WHAT THE??” I look over at the wide band O2 display and its reading 16.00 no fuel. I turn the key off and back on and do not hear the fuel pump. I do it again and hear a faint buzz. both fuel gauges are reading full, primary is down about a needles. I remove both fuel caps and cycle the key again. just a slight buzz but not like it should be. I flip the switch for the transfer fuel pump and top off the primary tank. its only down a gallon or 2. cycle the key again and try it, it starts right up, runs for a second and then dies. The Bronco has a 5.0 HO engine out of 1984 Mustang GT, the fuel pump is also from that Mustang, its still the factory original unit. The spot the Bronco died at turns out to be about the only spot in the middle of the mountains i have Cell coverage, 2 bars AT&T LTE. Go figure. I send a message to Stephen for a rescue, I let him know that if i get it running i am going to head back to the Manastash Trail head. Wife and dog loaded back in the Bronco and I see if i can get it to start and at least turn it around. It fires up and in one motion i back it up sideways in the trail to 1st and start heading down the hill. its running but on what i don’t know O2 is reading 16.00 I tell the wife to hang on this is going to get bad, and shift to 2nd gear…..then 3rd….. Speed run down the mountain only smooth parts was when we were in the air. At one point i look over at the O2 as i stab the throttle and it drops to 11.5 I have fuel again. ??? it has to be a loose wire however I am not stopping. We make back down the mountain to the road and i keep going until i finally get Cell service again and send a message to Stephen giving him an quick update. I drive all the way around back to the pickup and drive it onto the trailer.
Trail report, clear with no snow all the way up to the top of the ridge on FS1701, This leave the other half of the trip signs to be picked up.