Colorado 3rd Year 7-24-2023

Colorado 3rd Year 7-24-2023


Mon July 24th: 

Sleepy Cat Camp To Sheriff’s Reservoir Campground  75 mi -5 hrs (9800’)

I had mapped our trip, so wanting to try and catch all the cool trails, I had found another way out of Sleepy Cat that was just as challenging as the night before taking us much longer than expected to find the gravel road, but man was it beautiful. Having mapped us to check out Trapper’s Lake then onto Sherriff’s Reservoir. 

The trail in and out of Sleepy Cat Camp had me questioning my fuel status (half tank), so we made the call to run back to Meeker and fill up before proceeding, this would shorten our reach for the day in the end.

We found ourselves traveling on the previously mentioned gravel road up and over passes nearing 12,000 ft, and by the time we got to Trapper’s Lake we called an audible and decided to camp in a Forest Service Campground there. It cost us like $30 for the night but we took advantage of the facilities, and finally made camp at a decent hour around 5 or 6 pm.

Still well up in elevation, we were trying to acclimate, but it made for a rough night of little sleep for a couple of us. Since we called this audible, we decided to make up the mileage tomorrow as we had hotel reservation in Winter Park, CO. 

We set a 10:00 start time figuring a simple gravel road, and some highway time we’d be in Winter Park early enough…

Our Route:

Colorado 3rd Year 7-23-2023

Colorado 3rd Year 7-23-2023


Sunday July 23rd: 

Driving/Overlanding: Brigham City, UT to Meeker, CO (~8 hrs, 380-402 mi) Camping Sleepy Cat Camp (Disbursed 10,000’)

So we got a late start, which would end the day with another late finish. We had decided to take a route that we hadn’t run before to a little town called Meeker CO it took us all day to get there.

I slowed our roll going into Park City, UT as my temps were beyond extreme and I needed to cool my engine & tranny temps before I could crest the pass. To say this had me a little worried would be an under statement, but after a cool down I was able to get Julia over the hill. We enjoyed some interesting scenery, passing through Vernal, UT and Dinosaur, CO. 

From there we meandered our way through Rangely, CO and on into Meeker, grabbing dinner at the only place open in town the Meeker Cafe. With our bellies  and tanks refilled we set out to find our camping site for the evening – a place called Sleepy Cat Camp, setting at 10,000ft.

We thought based on our research that getting into camp would be fairly simple, as the first 20 miles from Meeker was paved (WTH?) we were anticipating a graded gravel road, but once we turned off towards camp, the sun had fallen behind the mountains and we found ourselves Rock Landing, literally crawling up a fairly challenging trail and found and set up camp somewhere close to midnight, right on the edge of a cliff.

The place appeared to be a hunting camp, right at the top of the mountain. Maybe tomorrow we’d find the well oiled/graded gravel road we had heard about. I mean we’re supposed to be overlanding, right? More like Rocklanding tonite…

Our Route:

Colorado 3rd Year 7-22-2023

Colorado 3rd Year 7-22-2023


Let’s Begin…

Colorado is so beautiful we selected it as our out of state trip once again. The original plan was mostly overlanding with a few hotel stops, we’d be out for a total of nine days (so this will be a series), with mellow trails on days 2 & 3, then a hotel night and rest day to fix any odds and ends that might not be right, then a couple of hard days rock krawling near Georgetown & Breckenridge, then a nice hotel in Frisco, Co before we return the Brigham City, UT and then home.

Trails like The Flat Tops, Sleepy Cat, Saxxon Mtn, Spring Creek, Cascade Creek, Red Cone, Radical Hill, and Saints John trails, little did we know we would not see many of these,  as things changed this very day…

Saturday July 22nd: 

Driving (Tri Cities WA to Brigham City, UT) (9hrs, 572 mi) (Hotel)

10 + hours of highway driving, it was hot, so hot neither my self or Jason were able to enjoy our AC in our rigs as the coolant/trans temps were too high, and we needed to crest many  mountains on our way. We left with 5 rigs – Jason’s XJ, Ann’s LJ, my JKUS, along with Mandi & Doug’s JLURs.

My rig was basically getting a thorough test run of a newly installed supercharger, and Jason had just rebuilt his first ever vehicle a 91 Jeep Cherokee. We struggled in the heat and unfortunately Jason might’ve used one more zip tie on his wiring.

Just after Boise, ID about 30 miles before Mountain Home the wires to his crank sensor apparently made contact with some hot metal under the hood and stalled his rig on the highway. 

We were able to pull him off the highway to a side road and begin our inspection. We found the wires fried to a crisp and sent Doug back to Boise after the only crank sensor available, but it wasn’t enough as the short apparently took out his ECU as well.

So Jason called it, and ordered up a tow truck back to Boise in hopes of getting an ECU from a junkyard without any luck in 3 days, so he shipped it to their new home in Rolla, Mo.

As for the rest of us, after a 3+/- hour delay, we pushed on arriving in Brigham City, UT  late in the evening/early in the morning and slept past 08:00, and were rolling by about 10:00. In due course pics will be added to these posts as they get edited. I unfortunately lost all my video footage for the trip, save the trip home that may make the edit. Hopefully Mandi’s film will catch some highlights, but I haven’t had time to review it yet.

Our Route: