We scheduled this run a week prior and had 12 rigs signed up to go and ended up with 7 actually showing up. There were 3 meeting spots for this run. 7am at Bothell Shell station, where Travis in his red JKU and candidate Ken in his Tan TJ showed up to meet us. We then caravanned to North Bend to meet the rest of the crew, which was Moose and Mary in their TJ, Jon and Heidi in their JK, Curt and Wendy in their JKU. Hopping on the freeway we wentâ€¦ next stop Cle Elum to meet Chris in this Yellow XJ.
With everyone fueled up, Curt took the lead to the staging area at the beginning of the forest road. We aired down, after I almost backed into Moose and Maryâ€™s rig (sorry again) Then I took the lead to the beginning of the trail.
We were clicking along at a steady pace and got almost to the lake when Moose and Maryâ€™s rig started to overheat. He would let it cool then get back on his way. We made it to the top where the lake was and had lunch and conversation.
We decided from there we would try the Van Epps side of Fortune Creek. Jon, Heidi, Moose and Mary decided to call it a day and followed us to the start of the Van Epps trail and then continued on home.
Curt took the lead on this one. I donâ€™t think any of us have been on this trail before. It was a little rougher that the Gallagher Head side, but still everyoneâ€™s rigs were totally capable of this. We had stopped to water the bushes about half way up and Ken said that I could drive his TJ and give him some conversation, while Ryan enjoyed driving our beast. Everyone made it up the trail and we came to a side road where we could go up to Van Epps mine. It had a beautiful view at the top. We all hung out here for a bit and took some pictures, some of the crew climbed up to the upper mine and checked it out. After a while we decided to do the last leg of the trail.
We headed not to far up the trail and came to a huge bolder in the road. Curt tried going around said bolder, but it was freaking Wendy out and we all know if it was freaking Wendy out, that it would be a no go for Ryan. So, we all backed out cautiously off the trail and turned around and decided to head for home. Driving back down we thought we would take the left side because we took the right side going up, which inevitably ended up in a Timber Tamer turn around. We then all switched positions, except for the tail gunner, Travis, and headed back down. It was Chris leading now, Ken, Us, Curt and Travis.
We got back to the staging area and aired back up. I promised that I wouldnâ€™t back into anyone. Someone stated that I might need bumpers on my Jeep, someone mentioned I needed a pool noodle on my CB antenna with the words â€ślook outâ€ť written on it. All in all, I deserved the hazing, but was very thankful no one or none of our vehicles got hurt. I had a blast on this trip and would do Van Epps again. It would be a challenging run in the rain for sure.
Thanks for the memories everyone!!