Victor Valley 4 Wheelers

Swamp Lake '06
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                                            SWAMP LAKE

   We arrived at our base camp on Friday afternoon. After squeezing the Shaner’s king size motor home between the trees we settled in. In all my wisdom I suggested that my family sleep on my trailer so as to avoid having to set up our tent. That lasted about the night, then it started to rain. Truck cabs are better designed for sitting in while driving than they are for sleeping in but we survived.

   We loaded up for 2 days on the Swamp Lake trail. Our plan was to return to camp on Sunday then spend 5 days on the Dusy. While approaching the trailhead we learned the Dusy was still closed from the winter storms.

     As we traversed the first obstacle on the trail Chuck’s rear end made a terrible noise. Ok it was his Jeeps rear end that made the noise. We pulled the axle and found a bad bearing, burnt oil and worn splines on the axle. After finding a NAPA in town and getting a new bearing pressed on we returned to the wounded Jeep. I had used up extra fuel fetching parts. Thinking that we would not be running the trail due to the Rubicon’s axle problems, I neglected to fill up in town. We reinstalled the axle, topped off the gear oil then continued down the trail.

     Our first night was spent at an old ranger shack. This is where our first encounter with the mosquitoes began. Sunday morning we continued on to our camp at Swamp Lake. We arrived as most of the campers had left for their trip home. We obtained a campsite fully stocked with firewood and a beautiful view of the lake.

    Considering the low fuel condition my Jeep was suffering from, I refrained from any side trips. There were two patches of snow on the far side of the lake. We weren’t having much luck fishing so I took my kids to the snow. . It was a memorable moment as they went sliding down the hill on garbage bags while wearing their bathing suits.

    Monday morning we headed towards Grouse Lake. The Shaners and the Bolduc family took a detour to Little Doris Lake, while the Gobers continued to Grouse. It was a strenuous hike across the boulders. I have always had great luck fishing in this lake. This trip was no exception. Everyone with a pole caught fish. Tyler even caught one using a hook with NO BAIT. Most of us spent the day hiking around the lake several times. Chuck sat in one spot all day and caught more fish than any of us, 12 total including the ones he lost in the rocks. At Grouse we encountered a few (hundred) more mosquitoes. Thanks to Karen we all enjoyed fresh cooked trout along with quite an array of food provided by Cindy and Karen.

    We left Grouse on Tuesday. Along the way we stopped and explored until we found the trail to Hatch Lake. The fishing was a little sparse here. What the lake was lacking in fish it made up for with MOSQUITOES (48 bites on my right leg, 37 bites on my left leg).

    The Jeeping was challenging on this trail. Chuck’s axle ended up loosing all power to the right side. My steering box got ripped off the frame. I was able to bolt it back in place but the frame is severely cracked (guess I know what I’ll be doing this weekend). Rooster Rock gave us a nice show as Brian lifted his rear tire going down the hill with his trailer. Perhaps the fact that his brakes don’t work very well kept him with enough forward momentum so he didn’t roll.

    With 2 out of 3 Jeeps out of commission, we opted to end our trip relaxing at Huntington Lake. Thursday we rented a pontoon boat and fished the entire lake. We managed to drown a few worms and fortunately still had food in our ice chests for dinner.

                                                                            Paul Bolduc

Chucks axle repair

Paul & Kids

Brian & Karen

Chuck & Cindy

After breaking his Jeep
Chuck's day went to the dogs