Memorial Day Weekend in Colockum and Quilomene wilderness - Jeep Commander Forums: Jeep Commander Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Memorial Day Weekend in Colockum and Quilomene wilderness

Went with my buddy Mike and my dog Jack to the Quilomene wilderness area. It's vast, and is between Ellensburg and Wenatchee Washington. After leaving pavement, we clocked over 100 miles of dirt and rocks before getting back to it again.

Here's an overview of the area. The green arrow is our first night's campsite. We went to the curve of the river in the 'smooth' looking place before looping back inland again. We went from 4,500' down to 500' at the river, then back up again before dropping down to the Ellensburg farm lands.


Wind generators near Whiskey **** Mountain. I used the ND filter to make fans out of them, and this was a 4 second exposure at ISO400. (Mainly because I forget to set it back to 100. )



Our 1st night's camp at a transition zone of pine forest and sage desert. It looked like someone drew a line, and where the green grass and trees ended, the sage brush and desert plants began. Odd, but that's the way it is here.


All set up. The camp fire is a "campfire-in-a-can" run by a little LP bottle. It's not a "real" fire in that there's no danger of embers etc. but still adds to the camp feel. The Jeep has a Foxwing awning setup. It's more like a giant bat wing, but is GREAT for Jeep camping. Jack is sitting in the Jeep, on my blue sleeping bag.


An old truck near camp. The license plates in the back of it expired in 1996. It's been here a while.


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2006, 4.7L, QTII, Toyo M/T 265/70R17 tires, Ultrasport 175 wheels, Rocky Road 2.25'' lift kit, HID off-road lighting, Surco 50x60 roof rack, Foxwing awning.


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Last edited by Adondo; 05-29-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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Camping at its finest.


The next morning, taken from my sleeping bag. It was in the 40's, so I was NOT getting out!


Jack in his little bed.


Heading East.


Parked on top of the world.


A whole lotta nothing out here. In fact, the entire weekend, we saw 1 other Jeep, two pickups, and one car. The car was camped a little way from the cattle gate near the end of Beacon Ridge road, and before it became Jeep only stuff.


A tree tunnel in a V-notch canyon. Right in the middle of desert and sage brush too!


The scariest place on the entire trip, even more than clinging to the sides of cliffs at 30 degree angles... a fording of mid-door depth water. I was ready to slam it in reverse in case there was a drop off. The brush was so thick, there would've been no way out except thru the sunroof. "Somebody" would have had to wade in waist deep water to hook up the winch line to... ??? Brush? Reeds???


A cave on the hillside. Notice the sage brush here, it's taller than the Jeep. Most of it in those canyons is HUGE, almost tree like in size.


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2006, 4.7L, QTII, Toyo M/T 265/70R17 tires, Ultrasport 175 wheels, Rocky Road 2.25'' lift kit, HID off-road lighting, Surco 50x60 roof rack, Foxwing awning.


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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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The place was alive in wild flowers. It was GORGEOUS out there!


My favorite of the flower shots.










Cactus mixed in with the flowers.


And, a butterfly. (of is it a moth?) The above shots of all the flowers were all taken by just walking around within a 150 foot circle. It was fantastic.


A singing bird. The rangefinder said 110 yards.


A crop of the pretty little yellow and black bird.


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2006, 4.7L, QTII, Toyo M/T 265/70R17 tires, Ultrasport 175 wheels, Rocky Road 2.25'' lift kit, HID off-road lighting, Surco 50x60 roof rack, Foxwing awning.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Darned traffic and people on Memorial Day. :P Another odd transition zone.


Fording another creek. Mike using a hiking staff to test the bottom for firmness.


Oops, this road ended on us.


Elk! We drove up on a herd of at least 60 elk.


I somehow caught a couple of flying birds. We camped within 50 yards of this spot, as it was getting too close to dark.


An old homestead. Here's the remains of the root cellar.




An old bucket. It looks like cast iron.


Flipped over an old stove pipe piece and found a Black Widow.


A survey marker.


More...

2006, 4.7L, QTII, Toyo M/T 265/70R17 tires, Ultrasport 175 wheels, Rocky Road 2.25'' lift kit, HID off-road lighting, Surco 50x60 roof rack, Foxwing awning.


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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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An old farm shop, with grain elevators inside. This is about 2 hours of 4x4'ing to get here from the nearest civilization.


The old Cat had a little battery left, but not enough to start. (I had to try!)


Not much privacy left in this outhouse. Now, it's Really an OUThouse! :P


Old farm equipment.


This was a funny find. Someone must have been really annoyed at their Tasco binoculars. They've been shot up. They were (and still are) sitting on the old pipe when I found them.


Greenery including birch trees in a desert canyon. We had just switch-backed up and out of there a few minutes before. A Jeep can gain altitude pretty fast.


Couple of big deer leisurely trotting away as we passed.

2006, 4.7L, QTII, Toyo M/T 265/70R17 tires, Ultrasport 175 wheels, Rocky Road 2.25'' lift kit, HID off-road lighting, Surco 50x60 roof rack, Foxwing awning.


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Last edited by Adondo; 05-29-2013 at 07:40 PM.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-29-2013, 07:59 PM
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Great pics, Adondo ! Thanks for the "trip".

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 04:40 PM
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Awesome! I need to do something like that really soon.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 06:12 PM
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Sounds like a Great trip.

Makes me wish I could have been there also.

Enjoyed the photos, thanks for posting them !!

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 05-30-2013, 07:01 PM Thread Starter
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Sometime this summer, we've GOT to get a trip together for this area. We've hardly touched it in three different trips. There's hundreds of square miles to explore, and Colockum joins it, with even more area in forest zone. We've been to a radio site that overlooks a ski area, there's an emergency landing strip that direction.

It's great to be out there on a holiday weekend and see pretty much NOBODY else. One of our guys here at work went to the dunes at Moses Lake, and it was a people packed madhouse. The cops were swarming like flies on a picnic pie, and if an off-road rig (unlicensed) even so much as touched the county road with a tire tread, it was an automatic and instant $137 ticket. Meanwhile, we saw only 5 rigs in 3 days.

Some of those V-notch canyons and boulder strewn "roads" would be great with a Jeep rally. It's pretty much centered in Washington state, so it's about as much drive from Seattle as it is from here. A good staging area would be in Wenatchee or Ellensburg.

2006, 4.7L, QTII, Toyo M/T 265/70R17 tires, Ultrasport 175 wheels, Rocky Road 2.25'' lift kit, HID off-road lighting, Surco 50x60 roof rack, Foxwing awning.


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