May 12, 2002!!
It's Springtime again! That means one thing----its time for another MHJC Mall Show! Put on by the Mile-Hi Jeep Club for as long as I can remember (9th year?), this year was another great success! The Mall Show has always been at the Westminster Mall in Westminster, Colorado. The Mall let's us come in a show our rigs for the weekend, and chat with the public. It's a time to interact with the public, while displaying our rigs and a positive image about responsible 4Wheeling.
Over the weekend of March 22nd to 24th--2002, different MHJC members with some 21 different Jeeps, Toyotas, and a Ford attended! The show typically runs a few weeks into spring, as the many winter projects come out of hibernation for display. Some people had many paycheck put onto their rigs, while some spent just 20 minutes to wash and Armor All the tires. No rig had to be "show quality", but most cleaned up real nice.
This year, we had 3 Hobos attended the Mall Show. They were: Ken "The Toolman" Kordes (61 Ford-Ken's 2nd year), Paul "Weiszguy" Weisz (CJ7-Paul's 1st year), and myself (Bill "Hobo Willy" Hallinan-CJ7, my 6th year?). You know it's one thing to walk thru the Mall and shop, but it's pretty cool to drive your jeep! Shopping takes on a whole new meaning as you pass shops with your Jeep in the mall. They just needed a few big rocks or something to climb over to make it interesting. The highlight of your journey (well mine) is lookin' over and seeing one of the jewelry babes checkin' you out as you drive by (remember, I don't get out much).
The MHJC was well represented at the Mall. As well as the HoboJeepers, there was Vinny Carillo (YJ) & Kirby Johnson from Patrol 2 (Rat Patrol), Jim & Betty Jacobs (Willy's) from Patrol 5 (The 5x5's), Kyle Johnson (CJ5), & Kevin Carter (CJ8) from Patrol 8 (Eight Ball Jeepers), Todd Frick (CJ8), Tim Vigil (YJ), Dennis & Marci Ervin (Yota), & Jerry Ross (CJ7) from Patrol 11 (Cliffhangers), Tom Allen (Yota), Glen Zaffree (YJ), Lavonne Brown (CJ7), & Larry Bracken (CJ7) from Patrol 12 (Fugowies), Dale Moser (Yota), Tom Hester (CJ7), & Neil McCorrison (Yota) from Patrol 14 (Alpine 14er's), and finally Keith Carter from Patrol 21 (Blackjack Jeepers).
2002 Westminster Mall Show
At 8:00pm on Friday- March 22nd, we all met in the North-East part of the Mall and got directions from Dennis and Marci Ervin on where to go in and where to setup when the Mall closed at 9pm. Wahooo! Just our luck it was warmer and drier then in past years going in. I remember one year, you had to dry off your rig once inside from the rainstorm.
Members of MHJC came by thru the weekend to answer questions and yes to shop! Then, on Sunday night- March 24th (about 6:30pm), we all came back (some were there all day), took down the chains/stands, and drove on out of the Mall (avoiding little kids along the way) into the rain/snow mix. 'Weiszguy' just couldn't resist a few engine revs, while I had to play my siren (the Mall resonates the sound well). Then we got to drive home in some light snow, which seemed to mess up that 'show' look.
Nobody had any problems with vandalism or theft again this year, and everyone had a great weekend talking to the public about responsible 4Wheeling. A special HoboJeeper's "thanks" to Dennis and Marci Ervin (again!) for organizing the event, and the many other volunteers at the booth and on 'security', and in help to set up and take down. See ya next year! Hobo Willy
The following storyline trip report Bustin' Spring Creek is by Hobo Paul Weisz:
Here we are again at the start of another trail season 2002 in beautiful Colorado. At a spur of the moment, I asked if anyone at the patrol meeting on Thursday April 4th would like to run Spring Creek Trail with me on Saturday, Jed McClelland was up for it. On Saturday April 6th, 2002--at 8:00am, Hobos Paul "Weiszguy" Weisz (CJ7), his son Brett "Weiszdude" Weisz, with his friend Josh Crawford, and Jed "Clampett" McClelland (CJ7) started out for Spring Creek and began our first day of wheeling for the season.
Deciding to take the scenic route, we traveled the road from Morrison to Evergreen then up the hill to I70. We then reached the trailhead just past Downieville. Just as soon as we began to air down, four Jeep Cherokees, with George (fellow MHJC Patrol 10) in a white Grand Cherokee leading the group, went by us and started up the trail. We headed up a few minutes behind them, and had some fun on the rocks of the first obstacle. We noticed how dry the trail was in this area, even though we had heard it was snowed-in. The north face usually still has snowdrifts up to the 1st obstacle this time of year.
As we were at the top of this obstacle, a couple of guys traveling solo in a CJ-7 started up. We asked them to join us on our quest to reach the rock garden, so they won't be alone. The drivers' name was Jim and his passengers' name was Jeramie. So off the three CJ'-7s went, with myself (Weiszguy) in the lead. It wasn't long though before we came upon the tail end of the four Cherokees, which we then followed for about half a mile until all of us came to a halt. They had come upon a section of shelf road with drifts across it.
They decided that caution was going to be their coarse of action and would head back down. Fortunately, there was a turn out that the three of us could enter so as to let the Cherokee group spin around and head back down. After we bid farewell to George and his group, we ran on up through the drifts. Higher and higher we climbed above the highway past several drifts and switch backs. Momentum was definitely the key word this day. With it, the drifts were surmountable. Without it you were sunk.
Spring Creek Trail
When the drifts were especially long you would find yourself "crabbing" slowly across them. At one point, where the 'crabbing' was for an extended period, I felt the rear of my Jeep drop off the lower side of the trail. With some quick footwork, I was able to right myself and continue on! Unfortunately it wasn't much further when the same thing happened again. But this time I was in a real pickle, with my right rear hanging off the edge of the trail! I thanked God for the Aspen trees that kept me from going clear over, but cursed my luck for being wedged amongst them. What time is it? It's 'Winch Time'. With my winch tied to a tree uphill and ahead of me, and Jeds' winch snatch blocked to a tree uphill to the left rear, and a limb saw to cut the trees that had me wedged, I was freed in about an hour. One tree limb had pushed my right rear hard top's side glass out of its' molding, but I was able to reset in a matter of minutes.
We were now on a mission to reach the rock garden! Off I went through untracked snow as fast as I dared. We were having a blast sliding around switch-backs and busting drifts, when I was stopped again after slowing down to make a tight turn. The whole tail of my Jeep was off the edge of the trail again. Once again, a bit of footwork, and a tug from my Ramsey had me back on the trail and "crabbing" along through the two to three foot drifts up ahead! Up and up we climbed across un-traveled trail until I came around a corner and was discouraged by what I saw. We had come upon a section of shelf road that was completely drifted over for about 100 yards.
We walked it and almost called it a day, but I thought that if Jim would try running it with his "open" diffs (ARB off), and staying on the high side---we might just clear this area! He had been running locked most of the other drifts. By running 'open' I hoped he might be able to maintain a straight path. He agreed, and off he went whooping and hollering all the way across (half-way, he turned on his ARB's), with Jed and I following him close behind. Once we reached the other side, high fives were exchanged all around! The rock garden was now within our grasp! Jim got to the base of the garden first where we all stopped to have a look. What usually looks like a mine field of rocks and boulders, now appeared as a large blanket of deep white snow. Not a rock to be seen, due to the two to four foot of snow cover.
Jim in his CJ7 that has ARB's left them off and tried it first, staying to the far right. It wasn't long though before he was stopped at the tree just past the go around fork. I started up next, and was stopped in the middle of the obstacle just ahead and to the left of Jim by the large rocks under the immense snow cover. I was determined to make the top of the garden. So after my son Brett ran my winch cable up to the top and tied it to a large tree, I winched, spun, and steered my way to the top! The time was getting late so we decided to turn back down for home. We all agreed that this was one of the most arduous yet enjoyable trips we had done in some time. Without trying to sound corny, we were proud of our accomplishment (snow-busting as far as we did), and realized that we had "opened" Spring Creek, up to it's "Rock Garden" for the 2002 season. Tired.....but Happy! "Jeep, Jeep," Paul 'WeiszGuy' Weisz HoboJeepers
The following storyline trip report of the Left Hand Cleanup & Castle Gulch Trip is by Hobo Chris Potter:
On Sunday, April 21 2002, Fellow OHV users came together to volunteer some of their time to attend the 10th Annual 2002 Left Hand OHV Cleanup NW of Boulder. The area is notorious for shooters leaving whatever they brought to shoot up. You drive by this 'dump' every time to head up to the Left Hand OHV area. Local motorcycle and 4wheel groups get together once a year to clean up the canyon. The HoboJeepers met at Denny's in Boulder at 7:00 am, then headed for Left Hand. Some of us picked each other up on the way up to Boulder, and held on as the high winds off the foothills made our Jeeps lean.
Given the unpredictable Spring Colorado weather we have this time of year, many were wondering what Sunday was going to bring. Saturday brought snow to the mountains and a little cold rain in Denver. It ended up being a rather decent day except for the wind. As cool and crisp the morning began, as the sun came out and melted what snow remained so we can more easily find more trash (shell casings, cans, you-name-it). There was about an inch of snow when we 1st arrived at 8am.
Many OHV organizations throughout the Front Range were in attendance in cooperation with the Boulder Ranger District, Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest. OHV groups like the Northern Colorado Trail Riders, Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit, Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition, and theTrailRidge Runners 4x4 Club, were side-by-side with other 4wheeler for a good cause. Tom Allen (Patrol 12), Robert Schlegel, and Gene King (Patrol 7) were the only MHJC members there other then Patrol 1. A special 'Thanks' to the following HOBOs of Patrol 1 for their attendance: Chris "Colonel" Potter (CJ7), Paul "Weiszguy" Weiz and son Brett "Weiszdude" (CJ7), Bill "Hobo Willy" Hallinan (CJ7), Jason "Milkman" Brew (XJ), Mark "Nugget" Gilbertson (rode with Chris), Drew "Drewby Do" Middleton (TJ), Jed "Clampett" McClelland (CJ7), and Patrol Leader Ken "Toolman" Kordes (rode with Jed). We had a great turnout of Hobos, and we were glad to help make a difference.
Bag after bag, and pail after pail of trash, was pitched or dumped into several trucks to be hauled down to the large dumpster on the highway at the beginning of the trail. It did not take long to fill this large dumpster up. It seemed to many, that there was actually less trash this year than the previous two years. The larger variety items were less, while the smaller stuff still seemed endless. Maybe our efforts are paying off, we hope so. The Arapaho National Forest Ranger was also in attendance, and put up some signs for all to read. Hopefully all will adhere to it over the next few months in order to keep this canyon open for multiple use recreation. It would help if everyone would pack it out…if they pack it in (shooters & Jeepers)!
The around 200 volunteers worked until about 10:30am in our area, and the canyon began to look more natural again. Some of the volunteers began cooking hot dogs early, and lunch was served to everyone that helped. I am not sure what the count is for the total number of volunteers that attended or which specific groups were there.
At approximately 11:00am, the HOBOs made our way down to the highway, jumped in our jeeps, and headed towards an area just up the highway to air down and do the 'disco'. Plans were to head up Castle Gulch (FR 287), then over to Fairview Peak, and back down to Left Hand thru the 'Squeeze'. We had our six jeeps (Mark rode with Chris, and Ken with Jed), and MHJC member Robert Schlegel (YJ), along with some guys with 2 bright yellow Xtteras, and one Toyota pickup. I don't have the names of all of them but they were fun to run with, and are welcome anytime.
Gillespie Gulch/Left Hand OHV Trails
As we started up the trail some locked in 4wheel drive, a little rock chute offers some fun, but less challenging then other obstacles that lie ahead. Up the Gulch, there is a switchback for FR 287.1, we stayed straight and the moderate to large rocks awaited our arrival on the middle chute. Our guests had mostly stock vehicles. One of the Xtteras was lifted, while the other just supercharged. They handled this trail with ease. The last chute had some more rocks, then we finally reached the ridgeline.
Most of the trip up Castle Gulch seemed pretty easy, and it appeared that part of it might have been graded since I was on this trip a year or so ago. Some of the rock chutes remain and with little or no problems, we all made it up to Fairview Peak without problems or breakage. There we took in the views and a short break. The wind and snow flurries prevented this from being a long break though. It was just enough time to take some photos and take care of some "10-100's". We did not encounter any snow until we were half up to Fairview Peak as a snow squall was hanging along the divide. Even then, the small snow flurries presented no problem at all for the trail….Spring and another Jeepn' season is here.
We proceeded down and headed towards Left Hand Canyon via the "Squeeze" and the once was "Tip-Over Rock". The "Squeeze" was our first major obstacle of the day, and the most entertainment. Most were spotted through without incident, and managed the lines well. It's a good thing I had my steel rock crawler wheels on instead of the expensive Centerline alloys, OUCH…. Hummmm,,,,,,,guess I'll have to take a file to the edge of that rim.
The two stock vehicles decided not to chance this one and went around. Jed decided to see how high he could get his rear tire in the air, and how many bodies it takes to hold it down (just one-Mark). We met a group of 7 4x4's coming up the trail in the opposite direction. It was a bit of a 'traffic' jam, as there was no were really to park. They had a different mix of rigs, drivers and some even had a few beers while they waited for us to get through the rocks. Glad they were headed in the opposite direction with their six-packs and all. One 'monster' Ford truck did manage to kiss the tree, but he didn't seem to mind.
The rest of the trip was downhill to the cleanup area and on down to the highway. Some of the group stayed behind and played in the Left Hand canyon area while Bill, Robert, Mark, Drew, and I headed back to Boulder for some air and fuel, then we left for home. I hope those that stayed and played, you all made it back safely. A great morning to give a little back, and a fun afternoon to play! Look for photos of the Cleanup & Castle Gulch on our website. The Colonel".
We are also looking forward to our annual trek to Moab, and the Memorial Moab 2002 trip (our trips are full). Plans are to hook up with Patrol 11 over Flat Iron Mesa.
Mark your calendars boys and girls! The 4th Annual Hobo Run 2002 is coming Saturday July 13th 2002!
Here is the 3rd Annual Hobo Run 2001
Keeping the tradition and the Hobo spirit alive! Come be a Hobo for a day, and ride the Kingston Peak Loop with us. As a Hobo, you'll need to muster up needed supplies along the trail to survive. Each item collected at random will be assigned a point value, the Hobo with the highest point total will be rewarded with the 2nd Annual "Top Hobo" Trophy. Trophies will also be awarded for 2nd and 3rd runner-ups. In addition to collecting vital supplies at each checkpoint, a playing card for a high poker hand, and other clues (like: Where's Eugene?) will be handed out for extra credit points. Oh yea, Did I mention we'd be jeepin? During the lunch stop, points will be tallied, awards presented, and door prizes will be handed out to lucky ticket holders. A raffle will also be held for some other nice prizes. 2002 Dash plaques and a souvenir 4th Annual Hobo Run bandana (to hold your survival goodies), will be presented to each participant at registration in the morning, along with an instruction sheet. Registration will be on 1st-come basis (pre-registration is open) for a non-refundable $15 fun fee, and will be limited to 30 vehicles (1 Hobo per). For those of you who were Hobos in year's past, we look forward to another fun trip! Here is a report of last year's Hobo Run 2001.
See Ya on the trails..."Jeep,Jeep"
Bill Hallinan HoboJeepers