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March 3, 2012 – Trask Mountain : Oregon - Off Road Trip Report
Attendees: Jason, Chris, Curtis, Mike, Kevin, Rachel, Shawn, Peter
Rigs: 1999 4runner, 1988 Trooper, 1996 Land Cruiser, 2008 Tacoma, 2000 4runner, 1992 Isuzu Pickup

We met up bright and early at the Yamhill Elementary School parking lot. After the customary name introductions that are all too quickly forgotten we realized that Chris and Curtis didn't have OHV permits. In Oregon you are required to have a permit when driving trails on state owned land; the penalty is steep and the stickers are cheap. Chris decided not to chance it and blasted out to the nearest sports store while the rest of our group headed into Trask.

It quickly became apparent that this trip was going to be a snow run when only a few miles from the reservoir the roads became completely snow covered. We pushed on for a mile or so until we found an open area to air down. Chris somehow managed to catch up to us as we pulled off the road. That Trooper has some serious speed! Not far up the road we encountered a stuck Ford F350; I decided to drive around him in the ditch and offer a pull. Unfortunately, by the time I got out of the ditch he was already moving forward again.

Jason was heading up the group, navigating and breaking trail. Our progress was slow and challenging but we kept pushing forward. After Jason nearly slid off the road I jumped up front and broke trail for a bit. Breaking trail in deep snow is tough work. Later in the day I decided to follow Curtis with his Land Cruiser nicknamed "Zamboni"; his spare tire flattened the trail and made the drive rather pleasant.

Shortly after noon we found an open area to play and eat lunch. Kevin proceeded to get stuck first followed by Mike and Curtis. The snow was just deep enough that the rigs would quickly get buried. It was fun to play around but we were aching to find a real trail. The road ahead included multiple down trees and beautiful views which we stopped on numerous occasions to enjoy.

Jason located the first true trail which proved to be just the right amount of challenge. Our entire group completed the trail without issues. Jason, Shawn and Curtis attempted the following trail was proved to be too steep and snowy to get up. The next trail was a beautiful, scenic, postcard worthy tree lined drive. Our final trail of the day had a steep hill climb which rejected everyone who attempted it. I finally pulled winch line and clawed my way to the top.

It was getting on towards dinner so we decided to head out. The drive out included plenty of drama with Kevin nearly sliding off the road twice and challenging snow blown forest service roads. We broke out of the snow about 8pm, aired up and hit the road. Mike, Kevin, Rachel, Shawn and I grabbed dinner in Newberg before driving home. I finally made it back to Portland just after 11pm. It was a great trip with incredible people and magnificent scenery.

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Come join us on the next trip!
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