Part 16: Bend, OR to NWMF 2011


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The Trip

We spent a pleasant night at the high-dollar RV park and then did a supply stop at the local supermarket.  We also found a fruit stand that had some good stuff and we stocked up.  Finally, we found a Thai restaurant and had a tasty lunch.  From Bend, we headed south a ways and went into the Paulina Lake/East Lake area is a volcanic crater region south of town.  We found a reasonable site in the National Forest camp and set up for the night.  Sadly, there were more mosquitoes than we desired, so we retreated into the camper rather than having a campfire and had to settle for watching a DVD.  Next morning, we headed out toward Northwest MogFest in Sheridan, OR.

The Photos

The photos below are what we saw.

Next morning, when the sun was behind us, we could see some of the volcanic peaks to the west of our camp across East Lake.  There were plenty of campers in the area enjoying the scenery and the nice water.

Further down the road, we got a better view of the tortured volcanic landscape of one of the craters.

From a road-side turnout, we got a nice view of the Sisters outside of Bend, OR.  The peaks still had some snow from the heavy winter.

One of the peaks to the southwest had substantial snow still on the high peaks.

Between Bend, OR and Sisters, OR the road gave us a view of Mt. Jefferson, or so the map would indicate.

On the way to NWMF, we passed through the Willamette Valley and stayed at a very nice state park near the river.  The cost was reasonable and they had electrical, water and hot showers.  Next day, we headed through the wine country and stopped at the Erath Winery and got a few bottles.  From there, NWMF was just a few miles away.  After we arrived, checked in and setup, a very nice 1300 extended cab DOKA  fire rig pulled in next to us.

We were actually a day early for the party, so we just chilled and talked to folks.  During one of the conversations, this monstrosity came down the driveway to the farm.  After the usual "WTF?" comments, we discovered that this is the "Walking Beast".  WB is powered by a propane-fueled small block chevy motor running a custom drive train.  The legs are mechanically activated through a Rockwell 5-ton truck differential and an automatic transmission.  Something a LITTLE different.

The design of the Beast does not allow "stepping up" obstacles, so great care us used getting the device off the transport trailer.  The hydraulic mechanism under the belly is used for turning the Beast, loading and unloading.  The Beast is raised off the trailer, rotated 90 degrees, lowered and then the trailer is  driven out from underneath.

The early stages of the rotation.  Note the chains.  These are, in theory, used to prevent it from tipping over should they lose control.  But, given the mass of the Beast, I think all it would do is to twist the trailer into a pretzel.  Note that the driver's compartment is in the entrance/exit position.

Rotation complete; ready to lower.

An in-motion photograph.  Note that the driver's compartment has been raised to the travel position and the operator is in the pilot's seat.  The inside legs are at the top of the stroke and on the way down.

Center of a full leg cycle.  All legs are on the ground during this portion of the forward motion cycle.

The outside set of legs in the middle of their cycle.

Enough of 8-legged creatures.  Back to the REAL world of Unimogs.  Above is Mike Rowe's new-to-him U100.  This truck is virtually new and is in great shape.

Our hostess, Emily, manning the check-in booth.

One of the cool out-structures on the farm.

Over the next few days, plenty of vehicles filled with folks showed up.  There were plenty of mogs, Synchros, Pinzgauers and Volvo 303 and 304s.  Above is a seemingly custom 404 that is clearly still work in progress.  Or so I hope.

Jim, our host, told a couple of young girls that they could decorate one of his vehicles.  Then he gave them several cans of spray paint.  I hope he was pleased with the result.

Our friends Steve and Sharon arrived in their DAF/camper combo.  The DAF is big, even by 1017 standards.  Jim, our host, is on the right, Kathleen on the left.

The boys were playing in the obstacle course that Jim and his helpers had built with their trac-hoe.  Above, a G-wagon gets hopelessly stuck in a muddy portion of the pit.

Eric backs his rig up to give the G-wagon a tow.

Yuck.  Nice thick, sticky clay-based mud that will block the cooling of the fan/radiator if not cleaned off before travel.

This looks like a ton of work and a real mess to clean.  The mud has the consistency of peanut butter.

On Saturday, the trucks lined up on the field for a group photo.  Above is the western portion of the group.

West-center portion.

Center portion.

East-center portion.

East portion including the Beast.

The DAF got it's own photo.

The Sheridan Fire Department brought in an older ladder truck to provide an overlook for the group photographer.

Next day, as we were building up air pressure preparing to leave for the Pacific Coast, the 1017's motor sputtered and died.  Thinking it was a dirty fuel filter (the truck has only one as opposed to the dual filter configuration of the mog), we tilted the cab and changed the filter.  Several things were discovered.  First, the filter was not that dirty; the real problem was the priming pump seal was letting air into the system because it has come unscrewed due to engine vibration.  We changed the filter anyway since we were there and in the process dropped the copper washer that seals the bolt that holds the filter cup to the mounting assembly.  We were many miles down the road before we smelled diesel.  A visual inspection caused us to return to the farm to re-open the cab to debug the situation.  Brandon spotted the absence of the washer and I got a spare from my kit, re-primed the system and we were on our way again.

Spotted on a vehicle hood.  My thoughts exactly.  In fact, I am going to have some at lunch.

We had a great time at NWMF and look forward to attending again in the future (depending on our travel schedule).  From Sheridan, we headed west to the Pacific Coast.  Then, we will head south.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2011, all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.