Overland travel

Scouting Whiskey Dick

All pictures posted here are courtesy of Steve Bisig at PNW Backroad Adventures. Special thanks to Jerry at Backroads Drivers Northwest for leading this outing. For a detail trip report, visit Steve’s writeup.

It was the hottest day yet this spring and we were headed from Yakima to Kittitas, WA to meet up with the caravan of vehicles heading to the “trail head”. It was suppose to reach 90 deg so I stopped and filled up with cold drinks as well as fuel before heading off the black top. Just as we approached the Old Vantage Highway, I saw a long line of 4wheel drives heading east. We fell quickly in line as the 10th vehicle. Jerry, our intrepid leader turned off onto the Corral Whiskey Dick Road. This is the southern entry point into the Whiskey Dick Road Managment Area, managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

This area is mostly accessible by 4wheel drive. High clearance is not required but good tires and a supple suspension will make for a nicer day. On this trip there were three Jeep Wranglers, two Ford Explorers, two Toyota Land Cruisers, one Ford offroad conversion camper Van, a newer Chevy Pickup and one older Jeep wagon.

Heading up the hill you can see the Wild Horse Wind facility operated by PSE. We remained to the east of this facility but could see it as we rose to each of the ridges. It was turning out to be a hot and dusty day. Many of our fellow overlanders were along to photograph the flowing plants of the scrub steps, including the hedgehog cactus. We continued along the road over many hills and into valley after valley, many having natural springs and signs of early settlers attempts at home steading and ranching.

After making it north to the Quilomene Ridge Road, we headed west for our last leg of the trip. Unfortunately Jerry started having a problem with his ’76 Jeep Wagon. It was acting as though he was out of gas on the uphill sections, despite showing half full (later proving true with only 20 gallons going into the 40 gallon tank). He had to keep it in low range and the peddle down to have enough power to make it up the hill. Flats and down hills were not a problem however. At our highest point we ran into patches of snow lingering from the winter. We had to cross a series of these to get the rest of the way out. There did not appear to be any other tracks in the snow here. Then we were onto the Colockum road down to the Kittitas valley and into Ellensburg.

Here is a 12 minute “clip” of our trip. Thanks to every one how came along and made this a fun first “back country” drive for my son.

Scouting Whiskey Dick, the movie

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DNR to hold Safety Summit for Off-Road Riders

DNR will be hosting a safety summit and a trail clean up.

Follow this link for more information DNR to Hold Safety Summit for Off-Road Riders

March 15th event at Straddleline ORV Park will feature free equipment inspections, safety tips, and classes

OLYMPIA – With warmer weather and longer hours of sunlight just around the corner, the State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will present an ORV Safety Summit. The free event will be held 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, March 15, at Straddleline ORV Park, which is on State Route 8 between McCleary and Olympia.

The safety summit will give off-road vehicle (ORV) enthusiasts and those new to the sport opportunities for free:
• Rider skills testing
• Noise and equipment inspections of their ORVs
• Test rides of new ORVs
• Safety seminars
• Search and rescue tips
• Drawings for prizes donated by local ORV dealers and local agencies

No advance registration is required for the day-long event which also includes a free lunch provided by local sponsors.

“This is a chance for adults and kids, newcomers and experienced riders alike, to learn important safety skills,” says Larry Raedel, DNR’s Chief of Law Enforcement Services. “DNR wants everyone to have safe, enjoyable, and sustainable recreational experiences on the more than 3 million acres of state trust lands we manage.”

Chief Raedel says the event is part of DNR’s commitment to teaching the public about safety, enforcing state regulations, and ensuring safe and enjoyable recreation experiences.

Following the four-hour safety summit, visitors are invited to join other DNR volunteers from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on a project to restore an ORV trail in the Capital State Forest, adjacent to Straddleline ORV Park.

Regulations for recreation and public access
Chief Raedel urges ORV riders to stay current on safety rules, such as state laws that require ORV users under age 13 to be supervised by a licensed driver age who is 18 years or older when operating an ORV on nonhighway roads designated for off-road vehicle use.

DNR law enforcement services
Chief Raedel joined DNR in September of 2005. He retired from the Washington State Patrol after 26 years of service.

The Law Enforcement section has officers in DNR’s six regions. Their enforcement activities include:

• Monitoring recreation to avoid injuries and property damage
• Checking and monitoring permits
• Investigating accidents
• Controlling vehicle speeds
• Preventing the theft of natural resources, such as timber, bear grass, salal, cedar boughs and wood

DNR – land manager and protector of natural resources
DNR, led by Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland, manages more than
3 million acres of state-owned trust forest, agricultural, range lands and commercial properties that earn income to build schools, universities and other state institutions, and help fund local services in many counties. In addition to earning income, trust lands help protect habitat for native plant and animal species, clean and abundant water, and offer public recreation and education opportunities statewide.

Doug Sutherland is Washington’s 12th Commissioner of Public Lands since statehood in 1889.