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Old 10-03-2008, 08:18 AM   #21
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A good map of the Fortune Creek area can be found here:

http://www.nwjeepn.com/FortuneCreek.htm

Brian
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:33 PM   #22
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I just checked the weather for next weekend and it should be clear and sunny (if the forcast can be trusted.)

At this point there probably isn't enough time to get organized for this weekend so lets shoot for next Saturday. If everyone agrees the only thing left to do is decide on where to go.

Since the weather will be good and most people will be coming from Western WA, I would vote for Gallaher Head Lake area.

Should we plan on meeting up Saturday morning and all heading up as a group? If so does anyone have any suggestion on a meeting spot?

John
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:25 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by railbat
Three rigs on our group planned to run the Van Epps Pass trail, but it was closed due to fire damage. Our group leader had run Van Epps before and suggested I not try it in a SMB, due to tight clearances in the trees.
Yeah, that's kind of what I was afraid of. I know it's listed as easy on nwjeepn.com, but anything in the trees can be a little problematic for us.


I tend to go pretty slow up to the pass, 55, so if folks don't want to putter along with me we can meet in up at the Family Pancake House. It's easy enough to find.

Does anyone want to make it an overnight? If it' just going to be a day drive for some we might not want to start too late.
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:42 PM   #24
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We were definetly planning on an overnight trip. I am fine with meeting anywhere but I think it would be fun to head up together just to see the reaction from people when they see us go by. Going slow is not a problem, when driving the SMB we are rarely in a hurry. Half the fun of getting someplace is the journey.

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Old 10-05-2008, 09:29 PM   #25
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I hope the weather works for the weekend. Looks like the first snow of the season is forecast for this week, down to 3,000' in the Cascades.

For those that haven’t been to Gallaher Lake, I made a map that shows the main trail/road options in the area. I added colored lines for various sections. All the maps I have found show the lower section of the trail as indicated by the orange line between A and B. When we drove the trail with the Northwest Overland group, our guide, Craig, had run this lower section in his Land Rover and told me not to try it in my van. The trees and turns were too tight for me to not have body damage. There is a easy forest service road not shown on most maps between D and B that serves as a bypass for this section. My map shows the approximate route of this road, as I had to add it as it doesn’t show on any maps I have found. Section B to C is also an easy forest service road. The 4x4 section of the route starts at C. The orange road beyond Gallaher Lake is the Hawkins Mountain trail.

I can't figure out how to post photos in these posts, so the map is in my gallery.

Brian
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Old 10-05-2008, 11:42 PM   #26
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Thanks for the detailed info Brian.

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Old 10-06-2008, 01:06 PM   #27
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Thanks for the map Brian.

The lower section of the trail is tight in places, but was doable in an SMB. I made it with an EB with a canoe on top. The funny part being I did it based on the nwjeepn.com description and pictures of Brian's rig sitting by the lake. I didn't realize there was an alternate route. It wasn't on my Greentrails map or my gps topo map. What I'll do is pull my track from the trip with my Dad out of my GPS and turn it into something useful, for those that want it, a track, waypoints, etc.

Folks who want to run the lower trail should keep in mind I did trash my bumper, but I think that could of been avoided with a little finesse. I remember one or two spots where the brush was pretty snug and scraped down the sides of the van, but no pinstriping. I also remember a spot where a branch dragged along the canoe, but nothing too harsh. It's rated as easy, but it is a Jeep trail.

We took the easier, alternate route on the way home. It was satisfying to have my Dad beboth nervous and impressed with my "733t skilz" (his words, really), but I didn't want to inflict it on him twice. Given the chance I'll take it, at least, on the way out this time. It'll be easy enough to divide up in case folks don't feel like driving it.



I will make the suggestion that we get a fairly early start. We'll have a better chance of getting the good spot at the south end of the lake. That gives us more time to head out and find a camping spot -- for those that -- are if it is taken. Honestly, I will be a little surprised if we get it.
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Old 10-06-2008, 01:08 PM   #28
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Twolost, thinking about it, I might be a little worried about your generator. Does it hang down any more than the under floor storage on other vans?
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Old 10-06-2008, 11:06 PM   #29
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Yes it does, unfortunately. The generator limits my approach/departure angle even more than the extra EB overhang. Rather than commiting to something that I could not pull back out of, I would be the one taking the less agressive route on this trip. I have been pretty successful so far with tackling obstacles at a angle.... but I needed a fair amount of manuvering room to make it work.


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Old 10-07-2008, 11:35 AM   #30
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Let's do it! The weather looks great this weekend (if a bit chilly). Hmmm, it might be worth checking that the area is not snowed-in, right? At least Snoqualmie Pass itself doesn't look snowy yet.

Shall we meet up somewhere on the eastside early Saturday morning & convoy over? How about meeting at some large parking lot somewhere just off I-90 in Issaquah?

-- Geoff
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