Chili Run
February 25, 2007
by Ron Burris

Ty Anders, Larry Garrison, Bruce Erickson, Willie and Jeanne Worthy, and Ron and Donna Burris met at the Bonner truck stop at 9:30 am February 25th, 2007. The day started out cold and windy.

Just before we turned off highway 200 we saw half a dozen big horn sheep browsing right next to the highway, with three big rams with great curls. We stopped to air down about 10 am on the Gold Creek road #126 just off of highway 200. We turned up the Mineral Peak road #2112 and it was smooth sailing for a few miles.

Ty was the first one to have problems and had to work his Ford pickup hard to make it up the road. He aired down some more and then his engine didnít want to run. He thought it was a bad fuel pump. (Later turned out that it was just a vapor lock! Better than being pulled all the way home!) Larry, Willie, and Bruce figured out a way to pull his truck around in the road and get him pointed back out toward the highway. That took a lot of pulling by Larryís Jeep because Tyís truck didnít have hooks on the front, so he had to be pulled from the side.

photo of a truck towing a jeep in the snow
(Click on image for larger version)

Everything went good until Willie got stuck in my tracks after I had almost gotten stuck. Larry got to pull him out. (I think Larry really liked that!) Then Willie got stuck again and I got to pull him out. (And I really liked that!)

photo of a jeep cherokee stuck sideways in the snow

Then the Blazer got stuck a LITTLE and I REALLY made it worse! (And everybody LOVED that!) We had to use the winch to get it back up on the snowmobile crust so we could continue. The problem was we couldnít turn around where we were, the road was too narrow, and Willie and Jeanne were right behind us and they couldnít back up. We decided to go ahead to a wide spot that we could see from where we were and turn around there. Of course we almost got turned around before we got stuck again and had to use the winch to finish .

Then we drove back to where Willie and Jeanne were waiting and promptly got stuck on the other side of the road from where we were stuck the first time! Only this time we were almost off the road! More winching! By now we are getting tired of using the winch and pulling cable!

photo of a truck front, mid-tire deep in snow

Larry couldnít get close enough to Willieís Grand Cherokee to pull him back around the corner onto the good snow with one snatch strap so they hooked seven snatch straps and two tree straps together into one of the longest straps Iíve ever seen. (But it worked!)

photo of a very long tow cable in the snow. vehicle in the distance.

You may notice that there isnít a mention of Bruceís Jeep in this story. It is because Bruce and Larry just didnít get STUCK. COULD IT BE THAT THEY WERE WIMPS AND JUST DIDNíT GO AS FAR AS WILLIE AND RON DID? OR BECAUSE THEY WERE AFRAID OF GETTING STUCK? They, along with Ty, helped everyone else get unstuck. They all pulled a lot of cable for me and, believe it, when I say it was appreciated!

photo of a two vehicles on the snowy road.

photo of four men holding a cable attached to a pickup.

Donna and I got stuck one more time on the way out and had to winch out again! Just as we were getting ready to get going again Ty and Larry came walking down the road to see what was keeping us, so they jumped on the Blazer and we joined the others. Are we having fun yet? Itís 1:15 and no chili yet!

Maybe I need to explain the snow conditions a little; the snow was from two to three or more feet deep depending on where you were standing. The worst of it though was that snowmobiles had ridden on the road making a crust three or four inches deep. When you broke through the crust, your axles would hang up on the crust, and you were stuck until you could get back on top of the crust.

We stopped at a wide spot for lunch. Bruce built a fire with a BLOWTORCH. (nice touch!) AND SOME HELP FROM WILLIE WITH A SPLASH OF DIESEL FUEL. Donna got the propane stove, chili and fixins, while Jeanne helped set up and cook (and most important!) brought out the home made chocolate chip cookies! Add this to hot chocolate and chocolate Bon Bons for a well balanced picnic.

We ate, visited, and enjoyed a day that turned out sunny, warm and fun.