Eagle Cap Wilderness

Friday, December 24, 2004
Sandy, John, and I spent the Dec. 24-26 near the Eagle Cap Wilderness in NorthEastern Oregon (near Enterprise, OR and Joseph, OR). The dogs and I actually went down a day early. I intended to spend Dec. 24 hiking all day. The plan was to drive to the end of Lostine River Road, hike up to Maxwell Lake, and then explore the nearby mountains. That was the plan.
The drive was an adventure in of itself -- there was 12-15" of concrete hard snow on the road punctuated by wheel ruts. For miles, I could not turn the truck out of the wheel ruts -- the snow was just two hard. In some ways, it was like driving a train on tracks.
I made it to the end of the road and attempted to turn the truck around. In the process, the truck sank deeply into the snow. It took me about 90 minutes of work to free the truck and get it back to the wheel ruts. In the process, I learned:
With 4-wheel drive selected, the front wheels are not powered when the transmission is in reverse.
When your truck is completely stuck and you want to move the chains from the front wheels to the rear wheels, you've got to use a jack to get the chains off of the front wheels.
4 tire chains would have been better than 2.
The snow under my truck turns pink after I've tried shifting between Drive and Reverse repeatedly (transmission fluid leak?).
Shoveling snow is hard work.
My dogsled team can't pull my truck.

Thus, we did not have sufficient time to make it to Maxwell Lake. We made it to about 7200 FASL and then turned around.
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