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Fairbanks Creek 15-16 August
#1
Attendees:
Brian, Audra, girls
Chris (JunkRunner) and kids
Jimmy
Michael, Tabitha and girls

Gallery open
Facebook has the majority of pictures.

Met up at the Fox General Store at 10....turned more into 11am on Saturday, then rolled north. I cleared with Michael that he wasn't in passionate love with his white Silverado....warning him that the last couple Newbies that came out on runs with me never came back. He was cool with Alaska pin stripping.
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We went in the official Circle to Fairbanks trailhead. Trail was good with a few shallow mudholes.

Tried to give a bit of a tour, but Michael didn't have a CB and Jimmy had bumped his off of the AO frequency, so missed the monologue.

My GPS had a mark on it that I thought was a right we needed to take....but when I looked at the map, it was taking us along to 4th of July Dome. We turned around with appropriate ribbing and moved farther northeast. When we passed the left for Lunch Rock and the right to take the Sorrels Creek trail, I remembered I had marked that waypoint as "Loop" back a few years.

We picked our way up to Lunch Rock, with the usual negligible troubles. Audra jumped out and took a few pics of us in the "obstacles".
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The Marmots greeted us as usual.
We had lunch, kids picked berries and I tried to talk Jimmy into hitting the notch under the rock....he declined. Something about "fenders" was in his reasoning. Chris climbed Petey's rock for a couple poser shots.
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We picked up a couple of built Tacomas, who didn't know where anything was beyond Lunch Rock, so they came with us.

Over Suicide and on to the flat area by the big climb and the descent to the trail back out or on to Sorrels Creek. We jumped out here, contemplating where the historic Circle to Fairbanks trail would go from here. Jimmy and I hiked up the steep hill, deciding that I wouldn't make it with trailer in tow....Jimmy wouldn't try (strike 2 for this trip) and the unlocked Silverado would be less than ideal. Once on top, there was really nowhere to go. We poked around the far end where some fire rings were, but no trail. We went back down, and stood there, looking at the map, and realized that the "historic" part of the trail is important: no horse-drawn or tracked T-bucket could do this climb. After some more poking around, we couldn't find the trail, so we headed down toward Sorrels.

The trail continued to get tighter and tighter. The Tacomas turned around at the cutoff to the big moose camps (probably mile 20). We pressed on, and the conditions worsened.

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Pretty soon we made it to the valley bottom. Michael and Chris waited while Jimmy went north and Audra and I went East on small local trails into the Sorrels creek system.

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After deciding these were local trails, and we wanted somewhere to camp, we headed back. A couple miles back, I went up the hill north of the trail on a 4wheeler trail to see if I could make the ridge. Probably could have, but towing the M416 and getting into a lot of cottonwood didn't seem like fun, so I turned around.

We then took the south trail that went past the moose camp (turns our Dave Frank's camp we found out Sunday). This crossed the bottom and dumped us out on 3 nice domes. We camped on the second one. Beautiful weather all day, but rain moved in that night. I did bring my Cabela's 4 man tent, and the kids slept in that. We watched a black storm cell obscure the lights from Ft Knox. We enjoyed a gorgeous sunset and it was just a bit chilly when we turned in around 1am.
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Next morning, after rain overnight, the rain broke and dense fog greeted us. Rain stopped around 8 am and I built as big of a fire as I could to get rid of the wood in my trailer. About noon the fog burned off and we did some more exploring, then headed back toward Suicide.
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Chris decided we didn't want to look around too much as his brakes were super soft. We pulled back in near the base of Suicide, looked for the trail again, then decided to head out. Chris radioed that he had a power steering issue, but Jimmy and I had already started down. We had to turn around and come back up. Since the rain had come back by now, the trail was slick...not deep...but slick. I was the last one to come back up...trailer in tow...and just had to hammer the skinny pedal for the tires to pull me up in a shower of tundra mud. Must have been fun to watch, because everyone was watching.

Michael is quite the energetic mechanic and he dug into Chris' FJ80. The low pressure steering line had split. We taped it up with Rescue tape, reinstalled, refilled and we were on our way.
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Now we had to go back DOWN the muddy trail. As I went over the first drop I radioed back that this was pure grease. My trailer just shoved me down...I could lock the brakes and still slide. So we spread out and took our time getting back on the trail. Just a short distance up the trail, Michael took his eyes off the trail for just a second (on a straight stretch as Chris pointed out) and slid off the trail. Fortunately for us, he was just off and didn't go farther. Jimmy tugged him back on the trail, with more appropriate ribbing, and we headed back to the 4way, then reorganized at the SnowTraveler's loading ramp, then everyone headed for home.
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Great camping trip.
Fun run.
We now know where the Circle to Fairbanks trail is that we missed. Another run will be coming up to hit that....likely just after hunting season, weather permitting. Likely I will organize an ATV run to be certain of the route.

Jimmy never did make 3 strikes for the trip....but we will need to run him through more paces next time Smile


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#2
trip report done!
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#3
Looks like great trip. Great write up as well
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#4
Nice, awsome trip. So jealous
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#5
It was great. Doc is a great communicator which is essential for a group to stay on the same page.
Can't wait to do another one!
Ps, The cruiser is for going places, not showing off Wink
She'll make a go of anything between me and the rest of our journey. Side tracking for obsticles is for others. In which case, I'm a willing camera man!!
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#6
Had a great time on this trip and the wife and kids loved it, and had a wonderful time. Definitely looking forward to more rides! Brian, Chris, Jim. Good group of guys. Enjoyed riding the trails with them. It was nice that our kids had other kids to play and explore with while we were out there!

P.S. No chevy paint was harmed in the making of this ride. Lol

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G870A using Tapatalk
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