On The Trail!

with Ted HolmanVintage Suzuki

NW Suzuki PowerFest II 01/29/99

Select for larger imageSo what is one to do in the middle of winter when Eric Bewley summons you to"sunny " Portland for a gathering?  You let Rick Hawkins book you into Motel 6  (the shortest damn bed I have ever sleep in), eat too much the night before and turn up in a snow covered parking lot in the Tillamook Recreation Area with fourteen other Samurais from Oregon and Washington.Select for larger image

Our five "brave" rigs from Southern Oregon were in for a treat. In the first fifty feet of trail, Sam exploded his brand new Tracker front pumpkin with the sound of a shotgun.  Seems that a small piece of previous "Rubicon Broken Axle" was still floating around in the axle tube.  Whoops!   

Select for larger imageNext to go bang was yours truly.  NEVER-NEVER, backup while winching anything!!  The front right Birefield Joint went snap. At least I could continue on.  The power line road we were following was beautiful.  Once Rick Rogers figured out that locking both hubs would end his extreme pulling to the right, things starting going smoothly.  That is until "the ROCK" required passing. 

Select for larger imageIt was not that big a rock, just one that was placed poorly by nature (or Wayne).  First to get tagged was Rick Rogers.  His outside hub flange bolts sheared as he started over it.  Generous Mr. Hawkins offered to winch Mr. Rogers over the offending boulder and then proceeded himself.  A little tooSelect for larger image much engine braking and the next thing you know it was down the hill, tires up, tires down, tires up.  Two complete rolls emptied the "Pre-Wreaked" Suzuki of all loose property including all the body glass. Poor Rick was unharmed except for having his ice chest emptied down his shirt although a large boulder had attempted entry through the driver's door.    

Select for larger imageThe totally sick part of this was that all this was going on one hundred yards from where we had lunch.  You guessed it, Eric and beans again.  That boy loves to suffer.  Sitting around in the snow, eating beans, watching Rick Rogers fix his hub assembly, Hawkins come-along his windshield frame, two doors, and roll bar support straight made me aware of how lucky we are.  Here we were out where we wanted to be, breaking stuff that was repairable, meeting people with all sorts of opinions that were being bandied about freely.  It is great to live in this country, in this time  and to have the opportunity to enjoy it.  We can make the most of what is offered or do nothing.  What a great choice.  I thank my Lucky Stars every time I remember.  I hope someone else realizes how very lucky we are and does the same.    

Enough of that. We finally headed back to the parking area we had started off at.Select for larger image About half mile out, we spied a tiny bear cub crossing the road ahead of us. I pulled over to watch as my co-pilot jumped out to get a better look. From about twenty feet behind me I hear Rick Hawkins, tapped up windshield, broken doors, torn roof yelling that if there is a mother bear around, he is done for. 

Select for larger imageYou know, Rick must really think a lot of those Kay-Line replacement tops he sells.  Some how, his broken door did not appear all that much less protection than my  new roof. He cracks me up.     


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Needless to say, we beat a hasty retreat and ended the trip quite comfortably in some coffee shop in Beaverton, over caffeinated and driving home again. Ah, the woods    Select for larger image

08/11/10 15:38



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