We spent Friday night and Saturday on a Jeep adventure with Dave and his friend Becky. We left Redmond at about 8PM and met Dave and Becky in Roslyn around 9:30PM. Our plan was to drive to the end of the paved road and camp at the Salmon Le Sac campground. It turned out that they had already closed the campground for the season, so we decided to head up the dirt road and find a nice place to camp. We ended up turning off the forest service road onto our Jeep trail (Fortune Creek Trail) and followed it up to Gallagher Head Lake to camp!
We've done this trail the past 2 years on Labor Day weekend and have noticed huge variances in the weather. In 2007 the temperatures were in the 70s and 80s. In 2008 we know it was 43 degrees at 9PM when we went to bed. This year, 4 weeks later in the season the temperature ranged from 31 in our tent to 37 degrees outside during the day! Check out the set below, taken at Gallagher Head Lake, comparing 2008 and 2009.
Tom and I had a hard time sleeping because it was so cold. I think we finally went to sleep after the coyote finished howling and the sun came up. On Saturday we made hot oatmeal and I tried some free Starbucks Via instant coffee... it was gross for the record. We tromped around the lake, Tom disconnected our front sway-bar, and we drove to the end of Hawkins Mountain Mines Trail.
I got to drive most of this road, managing to avoid the hole I got us stuck in last year. There are 2 really steep parts of this road. I was able to get up the first, but couldn't get all the way up the second hill. Tom jumped out to help guide me, but I still ended up having to back down to the base (which was rather a scary feat). Dave tried the hill and had to back down too. Eventually Tom got our Jeep to the top and was able to help guide Dave.
We munched our lunch and walked around the meadow, amazed at the beautiful colors the scrub was turning. Tom, Dave and Becky climbed to the top of the ridge you can see in the next picture while I hung out in the sun in the meadow below. It started snowing later in the afternoon, so Becky and I ran the heater and sat in our Jeep for a few minutes. I had fun with the camera, but discovered I need to remember to check the lens for fuzzies.
It was getting colder and my sinuses were starting to hurt more, so we decided to head home Saturday evening instead of Sunday morning. We had a fun drive back through the trails. Oh, and the number used as the title for this post? That's the number of miles the Jeep ended this trip on!