The Great Outdoors | Yakima Ridge Runners

The Yakima Ridge Runners off-road club was not afraid to have a good time driving-hard through the rugged lands of Washington State.

Filmed in the late 1940s or 1950s, these two amazing videos feature all kinds of fun with Willys CJs over all types of terrain. The films represent a look into life of another time — a free spirited American adventure. The old school clothing (which includes gratuitous amounts of khaki and wool plaid jackets), camping and of course off-roading is all incredible to see. In between the log jumping, river crossing and winching I noticed a few signs from Snoqualmie National Forest. Probably safe to say that the current stewards of our National Parks would frown upon this type of activity today.

One thing that is astonishing to me is the fact that an enthusiast had the patience to document the Ridge Runners as they traversed forest, field and everything in between. These films are an amazing time capsule into the world of the adventure-loving 1950s American man.

Big thanks Jonas for the tip. 

Part II:

Comments on “The Great Outdoors | Yakima Ridge Runners

    Kevinon August 21, 2011 @ 8:08 PM:

    Those jeeps back then were so unlike the ones today. Of course, today’s are superior in many ways, but these old ww2 vintage willys were so much lighter, simpler, and easier to maintain. They were more like tractors than cars!

    Daveon August 21, 2011 @ 11:35 PM:

    National forests and national parks are two very different things, city boy!

    Matton August 22, 2011 @ 8:19 PM:

    No seat belts, no roll bars, no synthetic/spandex clothes. Lots of tobacco. Looks like a lot of fun!

    Bradley Thompsonon August 23, 2011 @ 5:44 PM:

    It looks like some off-roading is permitted in Snoqualmie today, although it’s likely to be much more regulated than when this film was shot. There’s a $5000 penalty for breaking the rules –

    Sheshank Reddyon August 24, 2011 @ 9:33 AM:

    There are lot of Willys CJ5 variants still ruling the parts of India that are tougher to get around. The most common amongst these is the Mahindra MM540.

    Mahindra still makes a really close relative of the CJ5 called the Thar.

    Gary Klosneron September 3, 2011 @ 9:42 AM:

    I love your website. I saw it in Departures Magazine this month. This film of the park is great. I am a fan for life.

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