Colorado 3rd Year 7-24-2023

Colorado 3rd Year 7-24-2023

SLEEPY CAT CAMP TO TRAPPER’S LAKE…

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

DINNER IN MEEKER COLORADO, THEN FIND CAMP!

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

COLORADO AGAIN? YEP, OUR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW!

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:

Chinaman’s Gulch Videos

Chinaman’s Gulch Videos

Since I’m not yet sure how many parts this will end up, I’m creating a post for these videos separate from the run report.

So stay tuned and revisit often to view all of the series here. Oh and yes they’re shorter that the Holy Cross video…

CHINAMAN’S GULCH Part 1

Part 1 Direct Link

This part covers from 8-9ish in the morning, from Front & tail cameras in 2 rigs.

CHINAMAN’S GULCH Part 2

Part 2 Direct Link

Change up, while this get us from 9-10 in the morning, I apparently didn’t film, so you’ll only see video from Mandi’s cams.

CHINAMAN’S GULCH Part 3

Part 3 Direct Link

Here we go from 10-11 in the morning, The audio was corrupted so more tunes to enjoy!

CHINAMAN’S GULCH Part 4

Part 4 Direct Link

Here we go from 11 – 1  in the afternoon, Due to lack of audio, more ‘NEW’ tunes to enjoy!

CHINAMAN’S GULCH Part 5

Part 5 Direct Link

A bit longer, but when you crunch a two hours of recorded/driving time, you get a longer clip. Additionally, I was able to include some actual audio from the day here for more depth, and filled in voids with ‘NEW’ tunes for you enjoyment.

CHINAMAN’S GULCH Part 6

Part 6 Direct Link

The final installment of the series. We finally got off this hill, the trail proved challenging, especially the JLUs with 35s, but everyone made it out. The audio was scrapped in favor of tunes as there was little comms at this point, just motor sounds.

2022 Christmas Tree Run

2022 Christmas Tree Run

It’s that time of year again, we had our annual Christmas tree run up in Tollgate, OR. Nobody ever gets a tree, but it’s a great excuse to hit some fresh white powder before the trails close Dec. 1st to motorized vehicles, until next April.

We gathered up at a friend of the club’s cabin (Thanks Brandon) and aired down and set out with plans to change our route from past runs.

We started out from the cabin to Skyline road, and followed it up to the warming cabin, taking the scenic route, finding it difficult to plow much past the Snotel (warming cabin), with a couple of break downs along the way.

Our origin plan was to drop into Tiger Valley then down to Walla Walla, but as it took us 4 hours to get that far we called an audible and decided we had better head back out, taking the Jubilee lake road for some different scenary. We all made it out before dark and aired up and parted ways from the intersection of Hwy 11 & Skyline. The weather was perfect the powder was fresh and everybody made it out!

The images below will link to facebook albums, and below that check out a video of our day…

Thanks Brandon!

Thanks Norm!

Video From The Run

Be sure to Like (the plus sign), Subscribe, and Share!

Colorado Part Deux!

Colorado Part Deux!

Colorado Second Year In A Row!

The crew decided our first camp would be  at Gunnison KOA,  Some of us got the pleasure of wheeling all the trails listed, while Lance & Mandi missed a couple due to a mishap on the way, but they got fixed and joined us for the rest of the trails. We all got to wheel Chinaman’s Gulch, and due to a weather set back, a few of us got to wheel Holy Cross Sunday after the weather had passed, while Mandi, Karen, Rick & Linda needed to head back on Saturday.

The images below will link to facebook albums…

Enjoy!

2022 Colorado Trip So Far…

Day 1: Italian Creek/Reno Divide
Day 2: Pearl Pass/Taylor Pass

On tap: Chinaman Gulch & Holy Cross


Day 3: Chinaman Gulch
Wow, what a trial!! Steep ledges, large boulders, tight twisting sections through the trees with lots of rocks and minor obstacles to keep you focused the entire time. We attempted this trail on a wet and rainy day which made the rocks extra slippery but kept the dust down. I would recommend this trail to all experienced drivers with modified rigs. Definitely not for the faint of hart or inexperienced. Not sure how this isn’t a jeep badge of honor trail. We definitely had a blast!

VIDEOS of Chinaman’s Gulch

Day 4: Down Day
Around Buena Vista while the torrential rains past.

Day 5: Holy Cross

This trail had to wait an extra day due to weather, and some of our crew had to head home as we extended an extra day to accomplish it, before running home ourselves (plus any other random pics I could steal from peoples FB). We ended up dubbing this the Oreilly’s Parts Tour, as we had many stops and break downs on our trip. We also had a few videos we’ll try and add later. For now you’ll have to settle for this:

 

Holy Cross Highlights UP Video

Direct Video Link