Visiting Friends

Mt. Rainier in the center ... click to expand
Mt. Rainier in the center … click to expand

A traveling Tortuga gets to visit friends. In this case, we traveled to Naches Washington (that’s na-cheese, not nat-chez)… then up to the Wenatchee National Forest. This is part of a 4 million acre reserve that is available for outdoor enthusiasts of every stripe, and is an amazingly diverse area. On this day, our routes went through deep forests to rocky escarpments.

Hey Waddles ...
Hey Waddles …

Here’s my friend Waddles … his driver is a member of NAXJA (North American XJ Association). An “XJ”, for those not in the loop, is a Jeep Cherokee. These Jeeps were made from 1987 to 2001, and are prized by those who get off-road. Sturdy, adaptable, this has been called “one of the 20 greatest cars of all time — for its design, and possibly the best SUV shape of all time” by Robert Cumberford writing for Automobile Magazine.

XJ's galore ...
XJ’s galore …

The NorthWest Chapter of NAXJA holds their annual “NW Fest” here … and it’s a well attended and fun time!

Let's go ...
Let’s go …
The trail views are stunning!
The trail views are stunning!
Just drive straight up ...
Just drive straight up …
Oops ... tipping over is not good.
Oops … tipping over is not good.
That's when you need a friend!
That’s when you need a friend!
Gotta climb over the rocks ...
Gotta climb over the rocks …
... to get a view from the top.
… to get a view from the top.

It was a tad warm … getting up to 100 degrees F. We still found some mud though …

I thought those rims are bright blue???
I thought those rims were bright blue???

Oh, there was lots more … moonscapes, winding through woods, ascending and descending steeeep and winding (and wet) climbs, bouncing off rocks … the list goes on and on. Fun indeed!

At the end of the second day ...
At the end of the second day …

And of course, lots and lots of great food. Great hospitality. Family fun. And prizes too!

A "family gathering"
A “family gathering”

But when I lay me down to sleep … this is an image I will keep …

... indeed!
… indeed!

 

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