Trail ride, weekend of July 25, 2003
Area: Little Naches Recreation Area, WA
Miles ridden: 52.4
Type of riding:  Forest Service Roads


Camped out at Kaner Flats Campground
Looking up FR 19.  Little Naches river on the left.
We were camped in a group of sites that share a common area.
Rob's 21SW Desert Fox toy hauler.  It's a twin to mine, which is parked in the site to the right of Rob.
Another view of the camping area.
Robs' DF
Desert Fox Row.
On Saturday the 26th, Rob and I did an easy road ride from Naches over Green and Tacoma Passes to Easton.  Several Miles before Easton, there is a nasty washout.  a number of years ago a torrent of rain fell one November night.  Up valley, the hillsides had been clearcut so there was nothing to keep the moisture from running down the hillsides into Cabin Creek.  As a result, a deluge of water came crashing downstream and wiped out a section of road.  In the distance is a "bridge to nowhere".  The bridge stands in the middle of the washed out area, with the approaches at both ends completely gone.  The creek can be crossed when the water level is low.
This is the creek crossing, which has improved drastically since my first encounter with it in 1995
We continued on into Easton to RV Town and had lunch
This is Rob crossing the creek on our way back to Naches.
Downstream we found a rickety bridge used by snowmobilers to get across the creek.
The bridge looked like an old mobile home chassis with wood planks to make a makeshift bridge deck.
I truly doubt the bridge would support a bike due to the weight of a bike being distributed over a shorter distance than a sled.  Between the steel cross members of the frame were nothing but 2x4's used a cross members to support the center bridge deck.  A bike's length was shorter than the space between the steel cross members, so while crossing the bridge, a bike would be totally supported by the 2x4's.  The wood was pretty bad looking, so I would never be brave enough to try and ride across it.
Rob, and the bridge in the distance.
Campfires were banned due to extremely dry conditions so to provide a camping ambience, I placed a compact fluorescent lamp under a traffic cone and situated it in the middle of the fire pit.  It provided the same type of orange glow that a campfire would.
I also strung up some clear holiday lights to provide night time campsite illumination.
On Sunday we went for a short ride up to Raven's Roost.  This is Mt Rainier.
This was an unplanned stop in Naches, WA, about 11 miles west of Yakima while I was on my way back home.
After receiving no help from my roadside assistance service, I called upon the DR350 to become my parts runner.  I unloaded it from the RV and rode into Yakima (in 100 degree heat) to buy a new alternator for the truck.  The white box strapped to the rack contains the replacement alternator.

Here is an in depth report on the alternator incident:

When I started the truck to leave the campground, I saw that the voltage was still very low - even after using Rob's battery charger that morning.  Then it finally dawned on me - the alternator was dead!!  So, I was running off the trailer batteries.  I figured I probably had enough juice to make it home.

I had decided to go over White Pass - which probably was a good thing since when I reached the turn off to go up Highway 12 from 410, I decided to go into Naches and look for an auto parts store.  I did this because I noticed that the voltage was gradually getting lower as I drove along.

I pulled into a gas station and absent mindedly shut off the truck.  The lady inside told me there were NO auto parts stores in Naches.  I went back outside and I guy asked me what I needed (he must have heard me inside talking to the clerk.) I told him I needed an alternator, he said 11 miles down the highway at the first Yakima exit was a Schuck's auto parts store.  I got in the truck and it failed to start.  15 seconds later, the guy who told me where Schuck's was magically appeared in his car and parked it in front of my truck to give me a jump start.  The truck ran long enough to get me out on the street and stranded me at a traffic light.  The problem was that when I tried to start the truck, the fuse blew on the trailer wire circuit since it was trying to get juice from the trailer batteries.  I didn't discover this until later. What I should have done was plug a new fuse into the trailer wire circuit once the truck was running again, then I could have made it to the auto parts store in the truck...  But like I said, I discovered the bad fuse after the fact.

Once I was stuck in the intersection, some kid shows up and offers to pull me out of the intersection, so he went home and came back in his dad's truck and pulled me out of the intersection to a vacant lot.  Thank you General Motors for putting  tow hooks on the front of your 4x4 trucks!! 

Once we got situated in a vacant lot, some guy comes up to me and says "this must be a bad intersection for Chevys... my alternator just crapped out."  I said mine did the same.  A few minutes later some people showed up from the Naches fire department to help him, then came and talked to me and said the nearest auto parts was in Yakima.  It was about 4pm now.  Apparently the other guy worked for the fire department, because he rode off in the truck from the fire department.  Since they knew my dilemma, I was kind of irate that they didn't offer me a ride into Yakima.

I got back in the truck and called my roadside assistance service, which was a lost cause because they said "we have no record of your account"

By this time I was starting to get worked up about how to get to Yakima to Schuck's, then it dawned on me "unload the bike and ride it you dummy!!!!!!"  Sometimes the simple things like that get overlooked at first.

45 minutes later I was back at the truck with a new alternator.  About halfway through the replacement process, the fire department guys show up again and asked me if a I found a new alternator...  I was ready to throw the old one through the windshield of their rig... since they had the nerve to come over and talk to me again but never offered any assistance!!  I guess they just replaced the battery in the other dead Chevy, because 10 minutes later they drove off.

Oh, did I forget to mention it was about 100 degrees in Yakima?  Fortunately the sun was behind the truck so I had shade to work in.

While I was working on the alternator, I had the generator running with Rob's charger connected to the truck battery (which I removed and placed on the ground for safety purposes.)  Oh, I called Rob using my cell phone from the top of Mt Clifty on Friday and asked him to bring his charger.

Once all was said and done, the truck started right up and the voltage came up to 14. 

By this time I was all hot, sweaty on nasty, so I jumped on the shower of the DF to cool off - and boy was that refreshing.  I usually always pull the drain plug of the fresh water tanks and drain them upon leaving the campsite, except today... and I was GLAD I didn't do it, so I could hit the shower and cool off!!

By about 6pm I was on the road again.

I reached White pass about 7:15, stopped for a refreshing break and grabbed another bite to eat and was homeward bound about 30 minutes later.

The rest of the trip was uneventful.


This is my rig at the summit of white pass.

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