July, Well boys and girls, this is it! This is what we wait for: SUMMER, and the opening of the high country and its passes to head out every weekend to enjoy them. Warm days with an occasional shower give way to cool nights at the campsite after a good trail ride and great views. This is why we live here isn't it? To be able to run our rigs responsibly on existing trails and enjoy all the Rockies have to offer. First though I need to catch up on the past month's activities in May and June.
On May 21st, Hobos Paul Weisz and Ken Kordes went out and hooked up with Patrol 11's Mother's Day Run out of Longmont. After breakfast, they headed up to the Left Hand OHV area and ran one of the trails offered the Castle Gulch Trail. Paul had recently sold Ken his CJ5 (since Ken's rig was still on blocks), and Ken took it out for it's inaugural run. Running up the Castle Gulch chute Ken didn't have any problems, nor did Paul. Seems a blazer had some mechanical problems though, which Ken and Paul we quick to assist with. A great day, and a good day of jeeping by Patrol 11, Thanks.
Moab, just the simple mention of this 4-letter word and the adrenaline begins pumping with images of slick rock and the unique jeepin' to be had there. Moab is the Mecca of all jeeping wonderlands, and the only place in the world with challenges that test and amuse you. The term slick rock is certainly an antonym when talking about the traction one gets on steep hill climbs. Your carburetor will give out on some climbs before your tires start to lose traction. Driving west out of Grand Junction still 2 hours from Moab, you begin to wonder where in all this desert is it? Not until you drive south from I-70 and begin to see the red sandstone cliffs do you know you are in jeepin heaven.
On Thursday May 25th, the HoboJeepers headed west on I-70 to seek the elusive slick rock, and enjoy 3 great days of trails in MOAB over the Memorial Day weekend. Hobos Scott "Mad Max" Maxwell and his son Pete and myself pulling a tent trailer, with my jeepin-side kick Molly headed out later that day. Hobo Paul Weisz and his son Brett pulled his jeep out and arrived oh about 1:30am at our sandy campsite and proceeded to bury it for a good nights rest. Plans for the weekend include Fins and Things/and some of Hell's Revenge on Friday, All of Hell's Revenge on Saturday, and the long Poison to Gold Bar Rim trails on Sunday.
Up early on Friday, and ready for some slick rock, we readied ourselves to run The Fins and Things Trail just East of Moab. Known for a series of slick rock of fins and sandy hill climbs, we headed out. Don Wilson and his son James of MHJC's Patrol 11 was a great addition to our group. In fact Don ran all 3 days with us and did a great job (remember 80% driver skill). The trail led us up and down slick rock fins and more fins. Combined with sandy spots. It's a fun trail. We ended up doing it backwards after missing a turn somewhere, but it's just the same. No breakdowns, just fun. The sun was out all day and it was getting a little toasty.
MOAB! A 4-letter word for FUN!
After Fin's and Things, we stopped at "Baby's Lion's Back" for a quick up and down hill climb. At the end of the fin are two steep hill climbs over 60 degrees, we all ran up it with a slight wheel lift just as you crest the climb. "Hummmm, only 2:30pm, let's head over the entrance to Hell's Revenge", so we did. We went thru the dry pond and followed the well-marked trail to some "mini-tubs". Right from there is a steep hill climb followed by a larger one to the North. Great views of the La Sal Mountains and white puffy clouds make for a scenic setting. Reaching the emergency exit, we headed up the little canyon to an obstacle with some off-camber and an optional hard line on the left. We all took the left line except Paul who made it up the rocky section with ease. Just ahead, the "Tip over" obstacle awaits. All who tried it ran clean, and had great articulation as well. Yep, Don is doing super for his inaugural 4+ run. We headed back thru town, got the essentials and headed back to camp. Scott' auto TJ was slipping out of gear, so we check some local shops for some advice.
On Saturday May 27th, even though we had run the beginning of Hell's Revenge, it's well worth it to run it again! Today, we decided to run the full length of Hell's Revenge Trail (110%), since Paul and I we lost most of the time last year here. The trail is well marked this time not just with flames painted on the rocks, but also with a grayish paved look to it from all the traffic just in 8 months. The ladies (who arrived late Fri), and Tom Maxwell, Don Wilson and his son James came by with some fresh donuts to start the day.
The ladies (who arrived late Fri), and Tom Maxwell, then Don Wilson (and son James) of MHJC's Patrol 11, came by with some fresh donuts to start the day. We all headed into town and stopped at the City Market for some lunch supplies, and met up with Slingdawg, with a TJ who tagged along with us. At the trail entrance, you could have set up a lemonade stand and done well as many groups met up here and some trying "Dump Bump".
We wanted to make sure we wouldn't get lost, so we had the Utah trail book handy for reference, and took the go around and started the trail. Following the same tracks and fun hill climbs as Friday, we arrived at the turn up to the left for the emergency exit and "tip over" and headed right. Meeting up with the Slick rock Bike Trails, we headed North to the Colorado River Overlook and some entertainment at "Hell's Gate".
Some Yotas were running down "Hell's Gate" and proceeding to break steering knuckles and some other stuff, and since it was getting toasty hot, we moved on down the trail. We missed the turn to the right that leads up to the tubs, and ended up going around the slick rock and climbing the very steep hill leading up the ride to the tubs instead.
Much more exciting to climb it then go down it, because at the very top, as your carb is about to give out is a small ledge (6 inches) that tests the carb to its limit for fuel starvation. A great view form the ridgeline of the La Sal Mountains and the vast expanse of slick rock Hell's Revenge is known for.
The tub was dry today, as we all took turns running thru it. By now, your probably wondering when the break and repair stories start, well we really don't have any ----sorry. Everyone ran a fun and clean trail, with no breakdowns. Even at "Tip Over" we had a close call with Paul getting sideways. Then trying the optional 6' wall, his tow hook went flying past me at the speed of sound as I strapped his jeep up with a couple of tugs. Seems the combo of the welds and low grade bolts we no match for his Jeeps weight at a 45-degree angle.
We moved on up the hill above "Tip Over", and somehow missed the turn to go up "Rubble Hill", so we ended up going down it instead, and coming back up it to head for the exit obstacles. The "Lean" obstacle is always fun, as you ride a line to the far right of large rocks to avoid leaning into the wall to your left. Finally out thru Hell's Revenge's "Exit" obstacles, and past the sand dunes under Lion's Back, we regrouped near the dump and reflected on a great day in Moab. slick rock. Only a high center, and flying tow hook, and nobody damaged or broke, we are ready for more on Sunday (the "long day"), as we had a nice potluck that night at camp.
Sunday May 28th brings rumors of a really hot day, and they were right, a scorcher! We really didn't know how hot it was really going to get, but some said about 100 degrees! So, shade was a premium, as was the water, cold or warm. Sunday was reserved for the longer Poison Spider Loop, Golden Spike, and Gold Bar Rim Trails. Many of you know it's hard to predict how long it takes, well with 6 vehicles and no real breakdowns, and the occasional stops, it took us from about 8:45am to 7:15pm to finally see pavement again. Time? What time, when you're on vacation, the clock is frozen, and only the sun tells you if it's day or night.
We started the switchbacks of Poison Spider, every obstacle was better then the last, from the "Waterfall", to the "Wedge", to the "Golden Crack", a fun day for sure. Again, no major breakdowns to tell about, only FUN slick rock ledge after slick rock ledge, and some 100 in all (it seems like!). We took the Poison Spider Loop and stopped at a cool arch overlooking the Colorado River. Though it's a long day, this trail is my favorite. It has a sense of remoteness and tranquility, as you venture deeper into the many slick rock ledges.
We found a great fully shaded (for the Jeeps too) spot for a cool lunch. The heat turned up, and the water became scarce except for Don's backup supply. Nobody's Jeep overheated, which with the heat and slow running easily could of happened. We could see some clouds off in the distance and they finally reached us and cooled us off. The "Golden Crack" is always a favorite spot. We all took turns at some great photo shots, and put a few scratches on our rear metal parts as we exited the crack. Just a little scratch, but you can tell your friends "and that one I got in Moab goin' thru the crack".
As a lightning storm approached, we met up back at camp and talked about the trails and reflections of the whole Moab experience. If you've been to Moab, you know what I mean, If you haven't-What are you waiting for????? We all headed back to Denver on Monday grin' ear-to-ear.
On Thursday June 8th, we had our monthly Hobo meeting at Phil Ramirez's house up in Thornton. We discussed MHJC issues, and the details of the Hobo Run 2000 on July 15th. Thanks to those who could attend.
On Saturday June 17th, the Hobos headed up to run the Spring Creek Trail, since rumors were it was open to the top. Hobo Paul in an entry on the Hobo Café also gives his interpretation of the day: "Brett, and I had a great time! Snowball fights with Chris, and Debbie on the trail, muddy, steep obstacles to play on, team work to get us through, and spectacular views, what more could you want? Also I'd like to thank you guys for the help after my front drive shaft pulled apart. Should be an easy fix before next weekend." Along with The "Colonel" Hobo Chris Potter who said "The Potters had a great time..... Thanks to all on the trail and the teamwork that followed. Jon, I appreciate the spotting on both obstacles. Michael & Scott and Jason had a great time...... you should be seeing more of Michael & Scott this summer. Adam, Sean & Jeff were a nice addition to our group."
Spring Creek Trail-"The Rock Garden" and more…
On Thursday night June 22nd, myself and Hobos Paul Weisz, and Scott "Mad Max" Maxwell attended the Forest Service Roadless Meeting for comments. Thanks to Scott and Paul for taking their time and telling the FS in a speech how they feel about losing existing roads in now classified "Roadless Areas". Of the 90 speakers, about 45 were for the Roadless plan and 45 against. Much better then the 185 for and 15 against at the June 20th comment meeting in Boulder. Take action People! This is serious, and soon you will see the consequences when spur roads are closed in Roadless areas.
Well, that's about it for now, as much there will be much more to come in the August article. Look for reports on our trips to Bill Moore Lake (June 24th), the San Juans over the 4th long weekend, the Hobo Run Scouting Trip (July 8th), and The 2nd Annual Hobo Run 2000 (July 15th). We also look forward to a fun and successful All-4-Fun in Central City July 29-Aug 5th.
Till then, "tread Lightly", offer a trail hiker water, camp, fish, jeep, and smile, you live in the best place for all of that,,,,Colorado! See ya on the trail, "Jeep, Jeep"
Bill Hallinan HoboJeepers