View Full Version : Fortune creek With/Cle elum ORV Ranger

07-26-2010, 01:20 PM
I had the opportunity to ride with Merrick Graves .He is the one of the fine ORV Rangers for the Cle elum Dist. We started our day early 7am with a meet and great and safety meeting. I dont think I met anyone there that didnt have a smile. And seems like every one was excited to work that day.
My ride for the day. This was a mild built tj . The build was done out of donations from clubs and businesses.
The area was pioneered by miners and this cabin originally was supposed to be a railroad station and office . But in 1913 the USFS bought it and used it for a Cle Elum dist. Headquarters and later down the road for a guard station.
This area was the site of a huge avalanche and took trail crews 2weeks to cut the intertwined timber of the trail . It was dangerous work due to the spring poles!
Some scenery
Galleger head lake
Then we headed up another trail . Cant remember the name right of . But on the way up there was some great views and a High mark bowl that the snowmobiles use.
This was another trail that takes off from the lake . As you can see it dead ends. I asked if was a land slide or something and was told nope that was just the end . There is no sign of the trail picking up after this point. The F.S. has looked and never found a trace.
A unfortunate accident on the road to the trail.
This was a great way to explore a area I have not been to . And Merrek was a excellent trail guide . It was a nice experience to see the trails through the windshield of a ORV Ranger.
Thank you Merrek Graves and every one in the Cle elum Ranger Dist for a memorable day!

Albino 94LTD
07-26-2010, 06:45 PM
Where was the memorial? we didn't see one last year.

By the looks of the trinkets left behind there was a child lost :sad11:

07-26-2010, 11:20 PM
Great report. Thanks for sharing. :headbang:

07-27-2010, 09:08 AM
Great report. Thanks for sharing. :headbang:


07-31-2010, 10:48 PM
If the memorial is the one on the FS road long before you start up the Fortune Creek trail, then I believe it's for a couple that died on their wedding night there. It was dark and they realized they had driven too far up the road. In the process of trying to turn around on the narrow road, they backed off the cliff there. It's about a 100' drop down to a very rocky river bed below. Very sad.


08-02-2010, 10:06 AM
Well not exactly the story I got. They were partying up there and driving to fast slid off the road . The Boy died instantly and it took a little while for the Medics to get to the scene do to being lost. And when they arrived the girl passed before they could start working on her. They were definitely going faster then backing up to turn around.
This is were they went off

08-07-2010, 04:22 AM
Wow, that is some nice scenery! Glad you had a good time. :headbang:

08-08-2010, 07:57 AM
The version you've got makes more sense Wade. I don't recall who told me the version I shared. But it was somebody who spoke with authority. Either way, it would be a horrible way to go.

My daughter and I are running up there this month for a campout. I like the trail and the hikes that take off from the lake.

Screamin' :)

08-09-2010, 05:55 PM
Most definitely a great place for a family wheeling/camping trip. I am thinking watching meteor showers from the lake would rock ! :thumbright:

08-30-2010, 01:32 PM
The kids and I camped out up at Gallagher Head Lake last weekend. I was reminded again by that memorial to look it up. Here's what I found on line-

Story Updated: Aug 31, 2006 at 1:31 AM PDT
By KOMO Staff & News Services
CLE ELUM - A newlywed couple died on their honeymoon after their vehicle plummeted 300 feet over a cliff into central Washington's Cle Elum River.
Zack West, 22, and Adrienne West, 23, were camping near the Salmon la Sac and Fish Lake campgrounds when their car rolled off a cliff along a U.S. Forest Service road while they were turning around, said Kittitas County Undersheriff Clay Myers.

"They turned just short of the turnaround. The right wheel went off the road and they went down," Myers said.

Neither victim was wearing a seat belt, he said. The sheriff's department had not yet determined the couple's hometown.

Friends following the couple went to a nearby ranger station and called for help shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday.

Sheriff's deputies were unable to revive Adrienne West, Myers said. Zack West appeared to have died on impact.

Really tragic stuff. The kids and I got out and looked at the spot they went over. One mother of a drop to the rocky river below. It was a very teachable moment for my kids.


09-07-2010, 08:52 AM
Thanks Screaming , I still don't buy the turning around thing. But I suppose its not really respectful to the deceased to argue about there method of death .