Snow Run - Piute Mountain
February 17, 2002

For me, the snow run starts Saturday morning at the Village Grill. I was with Iceman and Ice-Chick. We got there in time to have breakfast with the group, but I guess nobody was hungry, only Busstop and Mushroom were there. Chevy John joined us a little later. So we sat and ate and discussed where the most likely place for snow was. Now I donıt want to disparage our Wagonmaster, but there was just the slightest ³doubt² that weıd find any snow. Well, with maps and food spread over the table, we ate and prognosticated about the likelihood of snow on our trail.

After a good hot meal, we were joined out front by the rest of the group. There was Fearless and Pitstop, Rooster, Snoopy and Snoopette, Uncle Mushroom, Lion, Casper and Scarecrow, Santa Fe and guests Don and Penny. Boot and Bootette (Pump? Hi Heel? Stiletto!?) were suppose to be there but had the decency to breakdown at the Hughesı house. Last I heard, they were going home on a flatbed truck with a torn up water pump.

New this year, we were going to tackle the trail from the other side. Instead of going in through Jawbone Canyon, we went down through Caliente and up to Piute Mountain road from there. But this was merely a formality because there was certainly NO SNOW! Funny thing though, after climbing up to about 6500 feet, there was a patch of the white stuff off by the side of the road. Optical illusion? Must beŠ But wait, a little higher up, it was getting a little slippery and the mud was turning a funny shade of white. In fact it wasnıt too long before Snoopy was stuck in the stuff. So even though some may have doubted the Wagon Master (including himself?), he pulled it off. So much so that Snoopy was really stuck. First Fearless tried pulling him out and seemed to get stuck too, attached to the strap. So I think Scarecrow pulled on Fearless, which didnıt work. And then Busstop pulled Scarecrow, or something like that. Anyway, I was at the end of the line and didnıt see it all. I do know that they were there long enough for a sled to come out and Santa Fe, Pitstop, Iceman, Mushroom and Snoopette all took turns. Sometimes two at a time. Well the line started to move and I pulled my Jeep up only to find that Snoopy was still there, stuck in the snow. The others had just given up? So Rooster flexed a little muscle and did what three others couldnıt and this time we were ALL on the trail again.

But now we were getting into some real snow. We were making good progress, but the Wagonmasterıs winch was now out and being used a lot. We made it over the pass and were going down the other side, but this really meant that if the leader got stuck, it was harder to back out. So Busstopıs winch was really burning up the cable now. I watched as he sort of tobogganed behind the winch cable, four wheels spinning. He was plowing up a bow wake about five feet in front of the Wrangler. The winch would hunker down and pull hard and the Jeep would leap forward about four feet. This process repeated for about 150 feet at one point.

The GPS geaks claimed that we were getting close to where we had ALWAYS turned around the last three years. I guess this is just a tough piece of trail in the snow. So the same thing happened this year that happens every year, it got late. With the Wagonmaster stuck about 150 feet in front of the next closest vehicle, and the next few vehicles all stuck or nearly stuck, we turned around. I had been running tail-end, so up till now the 4-wheeling for me had consisted of going through snow already plowed by 11 other vehicles. But with everybody stuck and a few others struggling to get back up a couple hills, it was starting to get fun. I helped Don and Penny get their Wrangler through a tough spot and then back-tracked to the front of the group (?) and pulled Uncle Mushroom out of a pretty good stuck and then pulled him through the spot that had given grief to Santa Fe and Don and Penny. But we still had to retrieve the Wagonmaster. Earlier Rooster had noted that most of the ³Meat² of the club was running near the back, so now it was time for the Roughwheelers to bring out ³THE MEAT!² (lower your voice a couple octaves and say it out load). The Rooster-Mobile was aimed towards our stuck hero (you donıt just drive the Roosterıs rig, you point it, cock the hammer and unload!!!) I followed along because I was just starting to have some fun. By now Busstopıs winch was history, but Rooster backed down to within double-strap range, hooked upŠ and showed us THE MEAT. Busstop popped right out and all I could do was get out of the way as fast as possible. We joined back up with the group about the time we got back to where Snoopy had been stuck earlier in the day. I guess Fearless was just starting to have fun too, because he was circling around the area looking for trouble, which through persistent effort, he found. In a true case of what goes around comes around, Snoopy whipped out his strap and pull Fearless free.

With the end of our daylight coming, we double timed it back down the hill and into town for a hot dinner. I was feeling my girlfriend jerking my leash, so I said my good-byes and headed for home post-haste. As usual, the Roughwheelers Snow Run was outstanding, but the trail still owns us and tells the other trails the Roughwheelers are itıs bitch. Maybe next year weıll make it through that damn pass.

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