Gallagher Head-Hawkins Ridge Oct 2020

I really wanted to get out to Gallagher Head before it closed for the year, so I threw it out to the club, and it turned out that many others wanted the same thing! Travis in his red JKU, John and Jenny (personal friends of ours from Ferndale) in their trailered JKU “Lil Donkey”, and Ryan and I in our JKU – recently christened “Raven” – met up at a Shell in Bothell at 6:45 AM and caravanned to the Safeway in North Bend. There we met up with Dave and his lil TJ that can, Curt and Wendy in their JKU, Joe in his TJ, Rick in his JKU, Chaz in his Toyota Land Cruiser, and Mihai in his JK. At 8:00 AM, we set off for the Shell off of Bullfrog Road near Cle Elum. Although the weather was rainy and overcast on the West side of Snoqualmie pass, we got clear skies and sun as we came over the pass and the day wore on. At the Shell off of Bullfrog Road we met up with Cosmin in his JL and a friend of Joe’s named JR (rumored to be an old time Tamer?) in his LJ. John and Jenny dropped their trailer and those that needed to fuel up. Now we were 11 rigs and we caravanned to the staging area. Quite a large group!

At the staging area, we aired down and held the driver’s meeting. I took the lead to the trail head and we were off. Once on the trail we noticed there were many downed trees. The first major one we encountered across the trail turned out to be passable. We were able to get over and around it.
With so many down trees the way forward was confusing, and I took a right when I should have taken a left. In a very short distance, we found another down tree and as we were trying to figure out the best way to proceed…wait…are we on the right trail? Uh, nope… ok everyone back up! I submit to you that this should not be officially counted as a Timber Tamer turn around, since there was no actual turn around…

With about 4 of us on the wrong trail facing a downed tree, rather than have all 11 rigs back down, Curt, who was about number 5th in line, took the left I should have taken and led the rest of the group past the wrong trail. With Curt now in the lead we continued to meander through the woods. In very short order we came upon another huge – and I mean HUGE – tree that was crossing the trail and impassable. We could see where people had been making a bypass. We thought we would do the responsible thing and cut it up and move it out of the way. Plus 3 of us brought chain saws, so why not! With Rick wielding an axe and taking turns with Dave and Ryan with the chainsaw, Curt, Mihai and Dave got their rigs hooked up to pull the log once it was sawed in half. The rest of us worked on moving limbs and smaller debris out of the way. We were all chatting a bunch and having a good time, but we were all on a mission and we got it handled! We got all this on video as well in case we can log the hours for the Tamers.

Back on the trail we went. We didn’t encounter any more downed trees and we made it up to where the trail crosses the main road. Curt pulled over so that I could take the lead again and right at the entrance to the upper Gallagher head trail there were a bunch of guys with motorcycles and they were working on one. I asked if they needed help and it was apparent that they did. They had patched a tire and couldn’t get the tube back in, so we helped them out then aired them up enough to get them back to the main road. Now with that out of the way we started up the main trail to Gallagher Head lake.

The rest of the trail ride was oh so beautiful. We found snow right around 4300 feet, making this the first official snow run of the season. There were also quite a few mud puddles that were deep! I’m sure the stock guys had fun with that. We finally pulled up to the lake and went out to the turn around and had some lunch. At some point on the last stretch up to the lake, Mihai’s tire had a blowout on the sidewall. Travis pulled out his tire repair kit and Dave schooled us all on how to patch a sidewall on the trail. I was so impressed! After that excitement, 7 of us decided to check out Hawkins ridge and the other 4 wanted to stay behind. We got up to the ridge and took some great pics, then decided it was time to get off the mountain. It was about 3:30 and we still had to get back down, so we wrapped it up and started heading back down to the lake. We told the few that stayed back at the lake to go ahead and get going and we would catch up. We stopped for a quick photo opportunity on the way.

We made it back down to the main road. I think half of us wanted to go down the lower part of the trail to get back and half wanted to take the main road. Dave was the leader at this point and he was tired, so we passed up the trail and we all just kind of followed each other on down the main road. We got back down to the staging area and aired back up and Mihai put his spare tire on, and we were ready to head out. It looked like most of us were thankful that we went back that way. I know I was tired!

Thank you all for letting me lead this run to Gallagher Head. This place is beautiful and probably my most favorite place I have been since owning my Jeep. I love coming here! I also love being a Timber Tamer and any chance I can get out with you amazing people I will take!

Until our next adventure… Stay classy Timber Tamers!