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Yakima Ridge Runners Early Jeeping Videos

• CATEGORIES: Features, Old Images Jeeping, videos • TAGS: This site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated.

UPDATE: I first posted this March 29, 2011. It includes a dialogue with my late mother, where she explains that the Naches Trail was my first jeeping excursion (it was likely 1966 and I would have been around 1 year old).


JPZombie has posted several vintage videos on Youtube. Here are a few showing the club in the Naches Trail area west of Yakima in Washington State.


11 Comments on “Yakima Ridge Runners Early Jeeping Videos

  1. mmdeilers Post author

    Casey has some great stuff. I know there were Wandering Willys JC members who had 16mm videos. I remember watching them as a kid at some of our jeep club meetings. I wonder what happened to them …. I think one of the videos was of the Yakima Mud Races shot from up on the hill.

  2. Mom

    No roll bars, no windshields and sometimes no shirts! These movies do bring back memories. As a matter of fact, David, this was one of your first Jeep rides as a babe in arms with the Carters-on the Naches trail when you would sleep during the rough roads and waken when we stopped. We did not go as far as these Jeepers went, but do remember the bottom road full of deep ruts caused by rain/snow water running down the trail. At that time, we also had no roll bars. Must have been 1965-66. Your dad also worked on the Naches Trail (which is near Mt Rainier), along with many other Jeepers to restore the trail. For those unfamiliar with the history of this trail, pioneers went over this trail to get to western Washington, though I doubt if it was a state at that time. They came to a sharp high cliff and had to kill some of their animals to make “ropes”from the animal hides. They could then lower their wagons down the steep hillside. Now, that is Jeepin’ and the first winch.

  3. mmdeilers Post author

    Thanks Mom .. was that just us and the Carters on that trip?

    Funny you should bring that up, because I’m exploring the entire history of the Naches Trail as I write this, including author Theodore Winthrop’s journey over the trail just a few weeks before the Longmire Wagon train went over it, both in the Fall of 1853. It turns out that Congress had set aside $20,000 to build the highway over the Naches prior to 1853, but the full appropriation never was used (long story). By 1854, difficulties with the Indian’s put a halt to travel over the road for several years. Also in 1854, the pass over Snoqualmie was surveyed, dooming the Naches Pass as an East-West highway.

    And, no this was 4 decades before Washington State’s entrance into the Union (1889).

    Winthrop would go on to publish a book titled The Canoe and The Saddle which chronicled his trip over the Naches Pass. This became a best seller during the Civil War, though it was published posthumously. Turns out, as I understand it, that Theodore Winthrop was the first person of rank killed from the North at the opening battle of the Civil War. He was never able to publish any of his books, but after his death, his works were published and became well known. And, yes, the town of Winthrop, Wa, is named for him.

    Finally, for that family tangent, I read somewhere that Rossiter Raymond gave his book the name Camp and Cabin based on the name of Winthrop’s book.

  4. mmdeilers Post author

    Mom, I am sad to report that after retelling the same story to several people — the butchering of oxen to make the rope to lower the wagons at the cliff — that I have just read several sources, including James Longmire’s account of the experience (the leader of the wagon train), and there seems no evidence that the butchering of any animals occurred. About the only death at the cliff was that of a wagon, the Lane wagon, which fell to a crushing death as it was being lowered down the cliff after a rope broke.

    While reading the diary, I did learn that the group’s oxen accidentally got poisoned by bad grass near the Utah/Idaho border, forcing them to feed the oxen bacon and grease, which was a known antidote for poison. The oxen that ate the bacon survived and those that didn’t died the next day.

  5. Mom

    Another fable exposed. Darn that was a colorful piece of fiction about killing the oxen and making ropes from the hide. Always knew bacon was good for something besides just tasting good!

  6. Marc Sharrow

    FYI: These movies and the photo you got from JPZombie (my son) were taken by my Grandfather Roe Golsch. He was an avid photographer who also shot miles of 8mm film. I am lucky enough to have almost all of the original negatives and movies he took during his life. It’s great to see it being enjoyed by others. If you ever want to contact me directly feel free to drop me an email:

  7. David Eilers

    Hi Marc,

    Thanks for the note. Nice to know who was responsible or capturing all this old film. I’ll email you separately.

    – Dave

  8. Tom Jones

    My first trip over the trail was in 1968. I was a kid working on a fire crew at the old Naches Ranger Station on Chinook Pass. It was the first day of work for a brand new District Ranger. The District Recreation Staff Officer Dick, organized a trip over the trail that included him, the Ranger Bob, the District Engineer Bill, and the South Zone Engineer Jay. I was assigned to take them in my Jeep, a CJ-3A, with a 215 aluminum Oldsmobile V8. Dick rode shotgun, Bob, Bill and Jay in the back seet.

    I had heard from some of the ridgerunners about what they called the counter balance. You can see them hanging on the up hill side of the jeeps in the videos to keep the jeep from rolling. Back then the trail started in the little Naches at Timothy Meadows. I asked the Dick about that and he said he had never heard of such a thing. He was a local guy who had grown up in the Nile so I figured the Rigrunners had been pulling my leg. You never could tell about those guys. Jeeping storys were always embellished.

    Long story short. We came to the counter balance, I started across and the Jeep rolled onto its right side. No one was hurt. Dick said, “Lets set it back up before the oil runs out”. We set it back up and continued on down to the Green water and returned to the ranger Station via Chinook pass.

    I transferred to the Wind River Ranger District on the Gifford Pinchot NF in 1974. At my going away party
    They made me a Cake with a toy Jeep laying on its side the top.

  9. David Eilers

    Thanks Tom. Great story! For me, as a “west-sider” growing up (now an east-sider in Prosser), the Little Naches was always the end, not the start of the trail.

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