First time out with my 1990 Toyota Landcruiser HDJ81.
It took 2 weeks to finally have this on the road “legally speaking”, as it was an Alberta Import. It was back and forth with the inspectors, parts guys, inspectors, air care, and then finally to the Autoplan agents. The insurance was finally on at 11:00am Saturday morning, and I was on the road by 11:15am. My group had already left that morning for the trailhead, so I was now about 3 hours behind. That’s okay.. right?! Alone, in a vehicle I had never driven more than 20 minutes at a time, no winch for recovery… all in all a perfect start!!!
Who was I kidding… I just wanted to get out into the hills, and my group knew I was coming up, and was behind them. oh ya… did I mention that I left with no GPS and forgot my backroads map at home!? oh ya.. atleast I had the radio to call them when I was closer.
The highway was good, and found the entrance easy enough.. it was staying on the correct path that was the hard part. Last year we had taken a wrong turn in the dark, I was not going to make that same error. HA. I didn’t .. but I did end up taking a really late right turn when I should have just stayed left. thought I was heading too far south east for my liking, and found a great trail into a dry creek bed, and it ended up on a great bluff, overlooking hills, and the valley’s to the east. Further up the bluff, taking me to an oddly familiar FSR. Had to stop for some photos, even if I was on the wrong path!
Well.. as you can see I did get on the right path eventually. Some very nice ATV’s passed me and told me where the turnoff was to go from this FSR, to had back down to the Whipsaw FSR. At least now that I was this high, I could get my group on the radio to tell them where I was and that I was so far so good. If I didn’t get to the base camp my night to come find me on the trail somewhere.
There wasn’t much time to do a lot of site seeing. Took a few pics, but really was just itching to catch up, and I knew I had some good trail running ahead of me.
Just as it was getting dark, I was driving down into Wells Lake. It was a really tough go for the last bit. Before getting to Wells, the trail goes quite high. There was really only one tight spot on the way up that took a second run. I dented the tire rim a bit, but that’s what it was all about. This wasn’t the tough part though, it was the way down the hill. I really started to notice, that the weight of the yota was not easy on the breaks. At times I felt like I was standing on the brake just to slow the decent. The e-brake also was of no real use. It not like it wasn’t stopping me, it was just taking it’s time. Seems like I should have done the brakes before I left. Nothing broke, just scared me on a few small drops off some boulders.
Oh well.. I was down, and base camp set up. It was a good feeling to finally get out, stretch, and pull out the cooler. Did I ever need a drink after that day! HA!
Day 2 was just a good Day. Not much too it. It was a good climb out of Wells Lake, and was at the back of the pack. partly because I like it that way ( the others have the winches), and partly because the diesel was smoking good. At the time I had no clue what was going on, but found out later after researching, and talking to some guys, it’s the high altitude that does it. I realized it wasn’t a big thing anyways, as when I was out of the trail, and back in Penticton, it wasn’t doing it at all. Not much to report on Day 2, as it was my last day. It was a short run, but still a fun one. Next time I think I’ll stay 3 day’s and take it a lot slower. Need to do some exploring. There are a lot of other trails in them there hills to try.