YEA, we all made it thru the Y2K disaster that never came. Bring on the year 2000, and bring on the many, many, miles of "Jeep, Jeep" trails to which the Hobos will travel on this year. We look forward to a great year, and hope you all get to complete your "2000 Trail Wish List", as we hope too.
On December 9th, we had our December Hobo Meeting hosted by Chris and Debi Vieth. A special swearing in ceremony of our newest Hobos Scott & Janet Maxwell took place, and then they were initiated at the MHJC Parent dressed up (the whole family!) as Hobos. Scott runs a 98TJ that will soon to be out of warranty, as a few adjustments are planned for the Maxwell TJ. Welcome to the Hobos Scott and Janet!! We also after some Hobo business, exchanged "Jeep" gifts by random numbers, as we kicked off the 99' holiday season.
On January 6th, we had our January Hobo Meeting. Board meeting, trails and what 2000 trails to do were among the many things discussed. We created a "2000 Trail Wish List" of all the trails we want to do this year. Next, we'll pull out the 2000 calendar and fix the ~13 separate trips (over 25 different trails) to dates in which to plan for. Well, since the Y2K bug didn't bite, the Hobos decided to take advantage of this mild Colorado winter and "get out" on the trail.
On January 15th, we headed up Northwest of Boulder to the popular winter trails of the Left Hand Canyon Area. We met @ IHOP at 6th and Simms for some chow, and headed out about 9am. Along for some January jeeping were Hobos Paul "Wiseguy" Weisz (& son Brett), Pete "Dude" Rameriz, Chris "Colonel" Potter, Chris Vieth, Ken "The Toolman" Kordes (riding with Pete), Scott and Janet Maxwell (with sons Pete & Tom), and myself (with my jeepin buddy Molly). Guests included Brad Rivere, and Phil Ramirez (& his christened TJ-details soon) with his friend Adrian. Guest jeepers included John Paulsen's setup XJ, Mike Lebosky's modified TJ, Jim Stoddard's trail-ready CJ7 and some local guy named "John" in a stock XJ (now with some new Rocky Mountain pinstripes) who found us on the trail.
We paraded thru the 18 stoplights of Boulder, and only managed to see 2 green lights, and soon arrived near the "shooting range" entrance for the air down/disconnect ritual. Once on our way, we bypassed Carnage Canyon for now, and as trip leader I thought it would be nice to play on the many trails and hill climbs around the corner for about 30 minutes. I personally almost "rolled" (or got one heck of a lot of air!) while I was attempting to make a sharp turn from a hillclimb onto a shelf switchback road. My left rear tire sunk into a hole just as I crested and tipped me back. Molly didn't seem to understand physics principles at all, as she was more concerned about squirrels. After some tense moments, I finally got her started (thanks hand throttle!), and straightened out to back down. As we all played, Brad seemed to manage to get himself inches from pine tar and a one-way ticket downhill sideways. With his winch, and help from his friend John P., he got straightened out and up the hill to the main road with the rest of the group.
Moving uphill, we encountered the "Squeeze" obstacle. We all made it thru, while some made it look easy and got their "money's" worth. Others like Phil and his new TJ, exchanged valuable wheelin experience for a chunk of plastic step. Of note: while spotting, Hobos Scott Maxwell, Chris Vieth, Paul Weisz, Pete Ramirez, and Chris Potter, all took on the "Squeeze", and ran it cleanly. You guys are getting to be pros at this, and only getting better with each trail. At 5-Points, we stopped for lunch as the temperatures were in the 50's with no wind, this is January?
Not having been up to this point, I was winging the rest of the trip (though no one knew), and we wondered over to a great view off Fairview Peak. What a view, they should call it Greatview Peak. You can see from Ft. Collins all the way down to the skyscrapers and smog of Denver! After a group photo, we were going to head down Castle Gulch and out, but I came across a "little" trail that lead west and it stayed in the snow to play in. This trail is similar to the Empire Loop Trail, as it was a tight-treelined ATV-like trail. My apologies go out to the tall and long-wheeled based for any undue rocky mountain pinstripes, but that's part of the skill of maneuvering I guess. Hummmm, I've been locked out but never locked in. Somehow we were, but we managed to get thru the gate without any trouble, it seems the gate has two hinges. Forging on thru the snow, we followed the snowy ridgeline trail until we reached Balarat Hill, and down to the highway just above Jamestown. Photos of the trip will make next month's article. Thanks to Hobo Paul who provided the "free" air to everyone for the trip home. Being my first time wheelin in January, it seems it gets dark at 5pm fast after a great day of jeepin.
Future Hobo outings include the Patrol 11's Ice Races in February, the Westminister Mall Show in March (cancelled), and more winter runs somewhere in the foothills. Trips will be posted on our Outings page and in the Hobo Café on our website. Eugene says to get out and "Jeep, Jeep", and see ya on the trails!
Bill Hallinan HoboJeepers