Sunday, August 31, 2014


"No sir, I'm not military. No, I do not have an Access Permit." Alas, until I find a way to get said Access Permit, my JBLM dirt riding days are over.

I decided since it was Sunday of Labor Day Weekend, Mama Cass and I would do some exploring on the dirt and gravel roads of JBLM. Brian, Melody, and I had been out last Wednesday, and I wanted to go back and do some roads we hadn't done. 

I went back in off Rainier Rd. where we had come out on Wednesday. Going that way avoids one of the really steep hills along the pipeline that, even with MC, I have to walk. This way intersects with the pipeline road. Having done the pipeline a few times, this time I continued straight. I had an idea where it would come out (I was almost right). 

The road was a decent double-track that gradually climbed somewhat parallel to the pipeline road, but further west. Even though a couple of sections were fairly steep, the rocks weren't too loose, and MC just motored on up. It was much more wooded than the pipeline road, and quite peaceful. 

After coming down one hill, I encountered a big tree down across the road. Someone had unsuccessfully tried to chop it with an ax (this tree would require a chainsaw). I picked up MC and hefted her over the tree. Then I hauled myself over and continued riding. I climbed again and came out to a nice vista through the trees.
When I got home and looked at the Strava map, I could see I was looking down in the area of Offut Lake (couldn't see the lake from where I was).

From the nice vista, the road went down.
It was pretty steep and rocky, so I did brake quite abit, but still less than if I'd been on Stella.

As I came to an intersection, I could hear a vehicle coming. I pulled over to let it pass...except it didn't. Dang! It was the Military Police. Two boys got out and asked me if I was Military. When I said no, they asked if I had an Access Permit. Nope, didn't have one of those either. Then they asked for ID. I didn't have my Driver's License with me, but I had my USA Cycling license, and my AAA card. They asked where I had come in. I told them. They asked me again. I told them, again. They asked if I had seen the "No Tresspassing" sign. Well, of course I had seen the sign! I said I had, but I had ridden there before. They asked where I had parked. I said I didn't; I rode from home. Then, of course, they wanted to know where home was, so I told them. They asked me again which direction I had come from. Apparently, they were following bike tracks, but they weren't mine. They asked if I'd seen anyone else (I hadn't). They also asked me if the tree was still down (I said it was). They also admired Mama Cass. The one officer even asked me (if I didn't mind) how much she cost. 

I gave them all my info. They didn't seem to care about looking at my "ID". They said I could get an Access Permit that would be good for two years. I knew about the permit, but I thought it was only good for the day you were there, which wouldn't do me much good, because I'd have to go get the permit on Post, and then the day would be over. 

They only gave me a warning, but now I'm in the "System", so if I get caught again without an Access Permit, I will be arrested. So...I guess I'll see about getting me one of those Access Permits!

They did allow me to ride out to Rainier Rd. The road I was on brought me back to the pipeline (if I had been able to continue my exploration, I could have come out to another part that I have been on). I could have (was supposed to) continued straight out to Rainier Rd. However, I opted to ride the pipeline road back to where I had crossed it. I wanted to ride as much on the dirt and gravel as possible. I figured if the military boys found me again, I'd just tell them I knew the pipeline would get me back to where I had come in. 

I had hoped to do more exploring, but I don't think it's wise to mess with the Military Police! 

The total ride was only 18 miles. The JBLM part was probably only about 10 of those miles.


snowdraak said...

Joseph and his fellow workers give out the access passes at Range Control. You have to go through the main gate to get a pass to go to Range Control. They are open 8 am - 3 pm, M-F (except holidays).

Anonymous said...

A use permit is easy to get: check in at the main gate and they will direct you to Range Control. You'll also be given instructions for finding out which areas are open on any given day.

Please abide by their rules so that this privelege is not revoked for the many people who enjoy using fort property.