Mendocino Nation Forest

Hugh Cooley and son Chris and I meet at the Black Oak restaurant in Vacaville for breakfast. A little bit of the Gǣlast secondsGǥ stuff and we were on the road. For the TrailbusterG��s, Hugh Cooley is a buddy from the San Jose club who came up. The drive was 123 mile and from Vacaville it take about 2.5 hours. This was not exception. Along I-5, Hugh call on the CB that I Gǣdrop something Gǣ from the truck. We stopped and walked back -+ mile or so and well, what I dropped was my rear drive shaft. That was the end of my day as someone ran over the shaft and flattened the end cap (no real damage to the shaft itself just the cap). Back on the road and over the hill to Clear Lake via Hwy 20.

A short talk between us and we decided to look for any RV Park that would let us in. Yes we were going to pay. Will the first stop and a Gǣwelcome sign Gǣ out in front and the managers were not in they went to SF for the Weekend. We decided to just head to Cow Mountain and park in along the river. Cow Mountain is BLM and parking would be free. So we finished our drive and parked.

After a short time of unhooking both vehicles, I was just going to drive in front wheel along the main fire road. We headed up the hill. About -+ mile on the road we were climbing I lost momentum and I was just spinning front wheels in the (at this point) dry road.. Out came tow strap and Hugh tow me up the hill to an area that I was able to u-turn back down to the campers. Back to square one, I locked up the Wrangler and jumped in the back of HughG��s Wrangler and off we went (Oh yes, I had Trailor with me and he and I were in the back at this point) Hugh drove up the fire road we came to a sign and off on trail we went. The road started to change and Chris ask if he could walk Trailor, they jumped out and we tagged along, sometime in front sometimes in back. After about 2 hours of this and a little rain the trails started getting wet, then muddy. And well the more rain the more muddy and the inside started getting muddy. After about another 1.5 or so we decided we had enough and said that we would head back. Head Back? The fog has settled in, the roads were muddy or rather Gǣpeanut butterGǥ, as Hugh called it, I called it something else. AND we turn around. ThatG��s all we knew was we came from the direction behind us so that what we did just stopped forward and head backward. More rain and the peanut butter was getting very GǣcreamyGǥ Okay nothing against BF Goodrich A/T G��S/MG��s, BUT with nothing to throw the mud, the tread was smooth, Like a racing slick and pack more mud on time. Lockers in the rear and we stared sliding sideways. If you have ever been to Cow Mountain, you know that the hills are covered with Manzanenia bushes (forgive my spelling here word check did not know either) and some of them were downed. We used that to gain traction on the tires. After of about 1.5 hours of this slow and go we came along a couple of rigs on the first part of the fire road (the area I had turn around earlier- remember it was dry when I was there) Well I jumped out and help them make a couple of curves in the road . You know the type were you have a hill on one side and edge on the other and the ruts pull you in no matter how you turn the wheel. I offered help and now the three of us were able to get down G�� safely. We did finally make it back to camp. After Cleaning up a bit and have a dinner the three of us turned in early I guess around 8:00pm. We were going to have a fire but the rains just never stopped. As we slept during the night, the wind and rain offered wonderful sleeping GǣmusicGǥ. As so many time before, the morning brought Sun shine warm temperatures and blue skies.

After coffee and a muffin, Thanks again Hugh, we hooked back up and head out. Back on the road, I split-off from Hugh and Chris at Hwy 53, about 5 G�� 6 miles in, I realized that I was on the wrong road I wanted Hwy16 toward Colusa. Turned around, headed back to Hwy 20 and then down to 16. This is a good road to travel. The Cache Creek Indian Casino is alone this road so remember to watch out for buses and traffic.

Anyway, made it back home and lock down about 4:00 that afternoon. Never did really make the Mendocino National Forest. Guess weG��ll save that for another weekend. Good trip LOTS OF FUN. Even as a passenger and the weather.

For those who have never been to Cow Mountain it is Lakeport. The trails are make from Gǣeasies to More difficultGǥ, they are a lot like Hollister with a little of Molina mixed in. During the late winter and up to early summer is the best for the trails after it looks like it will become powder, like the Hollister dirt. Call BLM and get the area map. Trails go from Ukiah to Lakeport so It could be a real fun weekend.

Trail safely


===== “Jeep- (o |||| o)- cause life is to short to take a hike”