Operation Phoenix

macleanflood

I break sh!t
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
4,372
Location
Fall Creek, OR
My wife and I left Fall Creek OR Friday morning headed to the three rivers area in Idaho where the Sellway, Lochsa and Clearwater converge to meet family and cast my 35 yr old sister's ashes into the river.

We decided to take a longer slower route and hit the OOHVA route 5-3...our missing link from our disasterous trip last summer when the rear end grenaded on my 97 Wrangler and we switched to our 2012 JK. It's all on YouTube.

We started in Seneca and camped out a few map pages in on a beautiful creek and meadow enjoying our new Tuff Stuff Trailhead rooftop tent (thankfully mounted to my wife's JK.) I've been leading with my TJ running completely topless.

Next day we hit the Forest Service roads hard...up and down washed out roads clearing trees and navigating trying to find obscure missing roads. It was a miserable blast. We made it up FS12 just outside Unity a few miles from Hwy 26 and camped out with a gorgeous view of the surrounding lush valleys below.

The skies grew dark and ominous and the thunder rolled. Willow, our 5 year old red Aussie bolted and ran off down the road. Our rescue mutt Lady looked as calm and cool as a cucumber.

We searched all night. Finally went to sleep thinking she'd be woofing to be let in come morning.

The next day and the days after that I hiked every hill and valley around the Pole Creek area. I cut open several "atv" roads that had been abandoned for decades. We retraced the entire 5-3 route back to Seneca on Tuesday and talked to folks along the way. It had rained off and on the last several days. The roads were muddy and I was absolutely covered...lack of fenders sprayed mud everywhere. My bikini sun shade was about the only savings grace.

As luck would have it a camper spotted her close to the South Fork campground on road 6005. While I drove from Seneca to John Day for supplies...$140 for a miserable 3 bags of groceries... Jessica found more campers that had spotted her on the 2640 road. We converged on the area running in from the west down two roads...I hit one marked washed out for flooding...and crawled my way out of the end of the road through a couple of creek beds. I took off my half doors and walked them down to the creek and washed them off. At least I could get in our out of my Jeep without getting slathered.

I woke up the next morning (Wednesday) and started driving the 1230 road above the South Fork campground... marking side roads, trails and drainages south into the campgrounds for possible later searching on Avenza.

Jessica called me...we were careful to camp near cell service every night to marshal social media resources coordinated by close friends...one of the campers had spotted Willow again near the South Fork campground and was able to feed her some chicken breast that morning. I was close so I gunned it and made it there in 20 minutes and walked up the road rattling a food bowl and calling Willow's name. After a bit I turned around and walked back to my Jeep. Our helpful camper drove by in his truck...and suddenly honked his horn and drove back to me...he spotted her! Me and Lady jumped in the back of his truck and drove a bit and there she was... excited to see us after almost what four days on her own. I called Jessica on the GMRS and it was a joyous reunion.

We drove down outside Unity, aired up and headed down 26 for Idaho...days late but back on track.

I topped a rise 30 miles out of Vale...Brogan...and a lady was standing in the opposite lane of the road waving her hands. I braked firmly but not too hard and slowed down enough to start pulling over. My wife smashed into the back of my Jeep. I ended up doing a full 180. She ended up in the ditch both airbags deployed.

Dogs were fine. I think I smacked my head on the unpadded roll bar and was bleeding slightly. Jessica had an abrasion on her leg and bruises from seatbelts and airbags.

I rolled my TJ backwards off the highway once I cleared my chainsaw gas can from under the tire. Picked up my phone thankfully unhurt from the middle of the road. Chainsaw was dangling from the side so I tossed it in. Rolled it back off the highway into the ditch and checked on Jessica and found out the lady was trying to warn us about loose horses...which were now back in their corrals.

Got on the phone with Liberty Mutual Roadside assistance using the folks landline phone...no cell service. Spent 20 minutes asking for a tow and spelling my name over and over again and got transferred and hung up on. Called back. An hour on the phone later Liberty Mutual promised to send us a tow truck...but they could only figure out how to send one. Over the next several hours (connected to the house's wifi) I got text after text from Liberty Mutual apologizing for failing to find us a tow company.

I started assessing damage. My TJ is toast. Driver rear frame is folded. Gas tank is jammed hard against the Dana 35. You can see waves where the tub comes and goes off contact with the sliders. Both doors jammed shut. Warn tire carrier bumper completely folded under. Won't start... assuming some fuel shutoff relay but didn't spend much time chasing it. Made sure the battery wasn't touching anything bad.

JK shittybuilt bumper was folded under a bit. My poor M8000 Warn might survive to winch again. Driver frame is tweaked a little. Fluid leaking was the windshield sprayer. G2 axle made contact with the oil pan and left two good witnesses marks. Track bar was just touching the driver side coil.

No tow truck. Liberty Mutual screwed me previously with a tow so no surprise. Got my tools out of my TJ and got the track bar unbolted. Cut off the steering wheel airbag. Used my Yankum to pull my TJ off the highway ditch and into the yard of the folks.

Checked over the JK. Couple test rides. Unloaded the TJ into the JK and turned west down 26 for home.

I think my TJ is done. Tub is bent. Frame twisted.

Time for a new Jeep I guess. Would like to find a 97 I can pull everything from mine over. We'll see.

Road trip tomorrow to get my TJ with my truck and trailer.

Miles of paperwork.

Fuck Liberty Mutual.

Homeward bound. Only codes on the JK are airbag and steering off center. Slow and easy.

Hopefully I can capture some of this with YouTube. Do some justice to this story.

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-Mac
 
Bummer.A sight to make any of us sick to our stomaches.

bet you could get a great deal on a 4cyl 97-98 tj. Especially if it has issues.separate the frame and body on both the new and old jeep to make a swap a breeze.
 
Glad you found Willow that's a feel good story. The rest not so much. At least no one was hurt.
 
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My wife and I left Fall Creek OR Friday morning headed to the three rivers area in Idaho where the Sellway, Lochsa and Clearwater converge to meet family and cast my 35 yr old sister's ashes into the river.

We decided to take a longer slower route and hit the OOHVA route 5-3...our missing link from our disasterous trip last summer when the rear end grenaded on my 97 Wrangler and we switched to our 2012 JK. It's all on YouTube.

We started in Seneca and camped out a few map pages in on a beautiful creek and meadow enjoying our new Tuff Stuff Trailhead rooftop tent (thankfully mounted to my wife's JK.) I've been leading with my TJ running completely topless.

Next day we hit the Forest Service roads hard...up and down washed out roads clearing trees and navigating trying to find obscure missing roads. It was a miserable blast. We made it up FS12 just outside Unity a few miles from Hwy 26 and camped out with a gorgeous view of the surrounding lush valleys below.

The skies grew dark and ominous and the thunder rolled. Willow, our 5 year old red Aussie bolted and ran off down the road. Our rescue mutt Lady looked as calm and cool as a cucumber.

We searched all night. Finally went to sleep thinking she'd be woofing to be let in come morning.

The next day and the days after that I hiked every hill and valley around the Pole Creek area. I cut open several "atv" roads that had been abandoned for decades. We retraced the entire 5-3 route back to Seneca on Tuesday and talked to folks along the way. It had rained off and on the last several days. The roads were muddy and I was absolutely covered...lack of fenders sprayed mud everywhere. My bikini sun shade was about the only savings grace.

As luck would have it a camper spotted her close to the South Fork campground on road 6005. While I drove from Seneca to John Day for supplies...$140 for a miserable 3 bags of groceries... Jessica found more campers that had spotted her on the 2640 road. We converged on the area running in from the west down two roads...I hit one marked washed out for flooding...and crawled my way out of the end of the road through a couple of creek beds. I took off my half doors and walked them down to the creek and washed them off. At least I could get in our out of my Jeep without getting slathered.

I woke up the next morning (Wednesday) and started driving the 1230 road above the South Fork campground... marking side roads, trails and drainages south into the campgrounds for possible later searching on Avenza.

Jessica called me...we were careful to camp near cell service every night to marshal social media resources coordinated by close friends...one of the campers had spotted Willow again near the South Fork campground and was able to feed her some chicken breast that morning. I was close so I gunned it and made it there in 20 minutes and walked up the road rattling a food bowl and calling Willow's name. After a bit I turned around and walked back to my Jeep. Our helpful camper drove by in his truck...and suddenly honked his horn and drove back to me...he spotted her! Me and Lady jumped in the back of his truck and drove a bit and there she was... excited to see us after almost what four days on her own. I called Jessica on the GMRS and it was a joyous reunion.

We drove down outside Unity, aired up and headed down 26 for Idaho...days late but back on track.

I topped a rise 30 miles out of Vale...Brogan...and a lady was standing in the opposite lane of the road waving her hands. I braked firmly but not too hard and slowed down enough to start pulling over. My wife smashed into the back of my Jeep. I ended up doing a full 180. She ended up in the ditch both airbags deployed.

Dogs were fine. I think I smacked my head on the unpadded roll bar and was bleeding slightly. Jessica had an abrasion on her leg and bruises from seatbelts and airbags.

I rolled my TJ backwards off the highway once I cleared my chainsaw gas can from under the tire. Picked up my phone thankfully unhurt from the middle of the road. Chainsaw was dangling from the side so I tossed it in. Rolled it back off the highway into the ditch and checked on Jessica and found out the lady was trying to warn us about loose horses...which were now back in their corrals.

Got on the phone with Liberty Mutual Roadside assistance using the folks landline phone...no cell service. Spent 20 minutes asking for a tow and spelling my name over and over again and got transferred and hung up on. Called back. An hour on the phone later Liberty Mutual promised to send us a tow truck...but they could only figure out how to send one. Over the next several hours (connected to the house's wifi) I got text after text from Liberty Mutual apologizing for failing to find us a tow company.

I started assessing damage. My TJ is toast. Driver rear frame is folded. Gas tank is jammed hard against the Dana 35. You can see waves where the tub comes and goes off contact with the sliders. Both doors jammed shut. Warn tire carrier bumper completely folded under. Won't start... assuming some fuel shutoff relay but didn't spend much time chasing it. Made sure the battery wasn't touching anything bad.

JK shittybuilt bumper was folded under a bit. My poor M8000 Warn might survive to winch again. Driver frame is tweaked a little. Fluid leaking was the windshield sprayer. G2 axle made contact with the oil pan and left two good witnesses marks. Track bar was just touching the driver side coil.

No tow truck. Liberty Mutual screwed me previously with a tow so no surprise. Got my tools out of my TJ and got the track bar unbolted. Cut off the steering wheel airbag. Used my Yankum to pull my TJ off the highway ditch and into the yard of the folks.

Checked over the JK. Couple test rides. Unloaded the TJ into the JK and turned west down 26 for home.

I think my TJ is done. Tub is bent. Frame twisted.

Time for a new Jeep I guess. Would like to find a 97 I can pull everything from mine over. We'll see.

Road trip tomorrow to get my TJ with my truck and trailer.

Miles of paperwork.

Fuck Liberty Mutual.

Homeward bound. Only codes on the JK are airbag and steering off center. Slow and easy.

Hopefully I can capture some of this with YouTube. Do some justice to this story.

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-Mac

So glad to hear you were able to find your fur kid and nobody was seriously hurt. Sucks about both Jeeps. Potential "back half" repair??
 
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Man, what a story 😧😯

I am glad to hear you are OK, your wife is OK and the pup is OK. You did all the right things and still went through all that stuff. Sorry to hear about your sister too, 35 is way too young. May she RIP.

Jeep .. you can hopefully get another one. Don't worry too much about that now, just make sure you guys don't have any lasting injuries because adrenaline is one hell of a thing. Take some time off if you can, reassess and then decide best course of future action.

Insurance companies .. the less said about them the better.

That photo of the jeep with the clouds and rainbow is beautiful. It served you well.
 
I'd be looking to see if I had legal recourse against the IDIOT in the middle of the road. Probably not, but I'd at least ask the question.

I hear ya. They were trying to keep us safe from hitting horses.

Enough lawsuits and finger pointing and blame in the world.

I'm alive and well enough...so's my wife and our dogs. Things can be fixed.

I will shout this lesson out to the world..."roll bar" padding...most importantly the one just to the left of your head. Find it, keep it, fix it. Unless you're in a full face helmet whacking your head on that bar fucking hurts.

I seem to recall no decent aftermarket solution. And I dare say 20 year old foam and fabric isn't what it used to be.

Looking at some Jeeps in the area. We have plans, friends, reservations for a huge trip to Vancouver Island and then home down the Washington BDR. My government job made me take escape and evasion training because Canada is still considered a foreign country.

I will not be stopped. No surrender.

But I do break sh!t...

-Mac