A mighty fine group of people came together on Saturday. We had some of the coolest people and vehicles! I knew a couple of the people on this trip, but not everyone. We had two people who just made a day or half-day of it, while the rest spent Saturday night in the canyon. At least one rig camped on Friday night as well.
Saturday went as expected. Everyone got to know each other. We did the grand tour of Douglas County, taking in such breathtaking places as Douglas and Alston (or Alls Town). Then we entered Slack Canyon, following Douglas Creek up. Must have had superb drivers and vehicles 'cause nobody had a problem with any of the Douglas Creek obstacles.
We were honored to be in the presence of a beautifully maintained Right Hand Drive Land Rover Defender - equipped with a turbo-diesel! All the rigs were great, but... That one was special, and we all knew it. Three dogs. Three kids. A great group. There might have been a bit of a football game... And there might have been a spud gun present...
Some great cooking happened, I cooked venison steak with onions on my 40+ year old SVEA 123 white gas stove. There MIGHT have been a rather large chunk of tree trunk burned as a campfire... All was well with Saturday. Exactly as expected!
Oh, it started out just peachy. Warm. Sunny. A 110 pound malamute walked into my backpacking tent to wake me. :) Well, I had unzipped the tent fly, so that must have been an invitation My dog Clark looked at this furry beast twice his size and said "hello, would you like to come in, since you're inside anyway?"
Breakfast was cooked. Good coffee was made. Camp was taken down. Rigs were packed. The "adventurous route" was decided on for our exit.... Oh ya, it was indeed!
And so we started... Quickly I was regretting the decision. The snow had recently melted, and in some areas, it was still melting... A little "soft" for my liking. Somewhere I missed a crucial turn. We were in the bottom of a deep canyon, with no apparent way out except to backtrack. A drone was used to recon. I hiked for about an hour. I figured out where we were, but not how to proceed onwards. We decided to turn back.
One by one our vehicles made their way out of the canyon. Some used tire chains, all or almost all were helped by the three pair of Max Trax. Shovel work was done. Some were winched. Only one vehicle made it back up that grade without assistance; a Range Rover driven by Sebastien. He made it look as easy as driving down the highway. This paragraph doesn't adequately describe the teamwork involved as we worked together to get all of the rigs back up the canyon, and out to the main route.
Finally we made it back to Douglas Creek and headed for home. It had been a mighty long day!
I hope others who participated in this great NWOL team event will post their photos and stories as well.