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On April 30th, as we ended out the month, the HoboJeepers hooked up with members of the MHJC and headed up to the Roosevelt National Forest NW of Boulder, Colorado and to the Left Hand OHV for some badly needed cleanup. Over 110 attended, which was organized by the TrailRidge Runners and Adam Melberg, participants also included COHVCO, The Hillbillies, Big Thompson 4Wheelers, many RMEC motorcyclists, RMTA, NCTR, Colorado Go-4er's, CSU Big Wheels, many MHJC members like Gene King of Patrol 7, and of course Kevin "I'm In" Carter and the Eightballers of Patrol 8. The head Forest Rangers for the Roosevelt Forest District were also on hand with some thanks. Though this is not a long-term solution, it helps keep the area from becoming a dump.
Hobo members spending the cool drizzly morning helping at the Left Hand OHV Cleanup, included myself (and Molly-moral support), David Parrett (and friend Raul), Chris "Colonel" Potter, Scott "Mad Max" and Janet Maxwell (with sons Tom & Pete), Chris and Debbie Vieth. From me personally, thanks to all to Hobos for your support at this event.
As usual, the only bad weather day was the day of this cleanup. The morning was gray, cold, and drizzly (even snow!), but turned out not to be too cold and wet once we started the cleanup. I had discovered that taking Route 28 around Boulder has just as many timed lights as the main drag thru town, go figure. As we dispensed about a gallon or so of gas trying to get out of town, we all followed Gene King up to the Left Hand OHV trailhead and signed in. Picture this, a small stream in a narrow canyon covered in all kinds of trash shot up for about 200 yards or more. Some places more then others, yep, welcome-to the unofficial "shooting area" of Left Hand OHV.
I never realized what you can actually shoot up, anything from computers, aerosol cans of all types, wood, plastic jugs, Star Wars action figures, or basically anything not tied down. In the upper area where we worked, the stream was so clogged up with &*^%, that it was just a series of dams. Not much to it, ya bend down grab a big wad of something that's not natural and put in the bag. Ya never had to move, really, ask anyone who was there! After a couple hours we transformed the area to 85% of what it should be-natural. Funny, you could actually hear the stream flowing free and clear. It's too bad we have to do this every year but someone has to take responsibility. Please pack out your trash, and keep our trails clean. Thanks to the TrailRidge Runners for some BBQ lunch and sodas.
Not having gone up Castle Gulch before, I was surprised to find the secret "jewel" (ssshhhh) of the Left Hand OHV. Up the trail a ways you come across a "kick in the pants" rock chute, that's more fun the Bill Moore chute. It's a fun tight tree-lined trail, with medium to some large rocks to crawl over for some distance, and is a chute that is nice to your undercarriage if you pick the right line. I was behind Scott "Mad Max" Maxwell on his inaugural run with his 99TJ lifted and locked, and he ran it as clean as a whistle.
After the cleanup, we had plans to run the Castle Gulch Trail and try the rock chute again. Hobos Bill, Chris V, David, and Scott, along with Hans Schulze, Dirk Mellott, Jon Brule, Phil Ramirez, Don Wilson, and Scooter were ready. We all headed up the road to the trailhead, where we all aired down and disconnected just up the trail. With Chris Vieth in the lead, he took us up the gulch as the trail became rockier and rockier. Now the fun begins. The trail slowed down as the 1st victim was David Parrett's YJ getting his front spring hung up on the high side of a rock.
One by one, we crawled up the lower rock chute. Since the chute doesn't have "Independence" sized boulders in it, it was fairly easy and fun to maneuver if you were equipped. It was a challenge for some, but fun for all. That's what it's all about. The rock chute is so long, it's hard to stop ahead and grab a look at your buddy coming up it. So, it's a look as you drive obstacle. We all made it to the top of the gulch in one piece, and decided to head over to Fairview Peak for a look. Down below the outcrop, we all lined up to get a great group shot to be seen on our website, with the plains in the background. The drizzle cleared up, and it was a nice view of downtown Denver. Since the rocks were a little to wet at the "roll me over" obstacle below, and some had to head back, we opted to return back the same way we came up, the rock chute.
Going down thru it is just as fun as coming up. Just as you start the trail down, there is a series of deep ravines on the trail that will stretch out your suspension for some great articulation. We all made it back down to the highway, and headed to Boulder for some air (Where's Paulie when you need him?). We found a station with some free air, "Mad Max" talked the girl up front for some free air, little did she know it was for 28 tires! Seems Chris Vieth's front tire was pulling a little to the left as he drove down the road, come to find out as he pulls in for some air, it's more then air he needed as it was big time flat (he-he-he has a new set of tires now).
Bill Hallinan HOBOJEEPERS of MHJC out of Denver, Colorado...
UPDATE 5-15-00: We had found out from some people that went wheelin in the Left Hand OHV Area the very next week after we were there, they said that more trash was dumped in the area, and the shooters were back in force...
Here are some other Left Hand Canyon/Castle Gulch Trip Reports:
Left Hand Canyon Hobo Trip in Jan 2000: Slide Show
Gillespie/ Left Hand Hobo Trip in March 2000
Castle Gulch 01' Hobo Trip
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