June 2001 
Hobo articles represent the previous month's activities, and are published in MHJC's "Jeepers In The New's"


    June!!-Yea!!  It’s here!  Take that hard top off, pull out your maps, change the oil, check your toolbox, tune your CB, check for missing bolts, wrestle up the dogs and kids, and get off the pavement!!  Ok, sure there is still some high mountain snows blocking your favorite trail, join Gene King and the “Snow Buster” every Saturday in June to get them open.  Most trails should be open by July 4th, but call the local Forest District Office 1st the days before, they should know what’s open.  Check on MHJC’s website (www.mhjc.org), and if you know of a trail you just did and it was closed or open---spread the good word!  Ah, summer’s here—enjoy it!  No doubt, these articles will not get any shorter…

   On Sunday May 6th 2001, Fellow OHV users banded together to volunteer some free time and back muscles to attend the 2001 Left Hand OHV Cleanup NW of Boulder. Every year the TrailRidge Runners out of Fort Collins organize this well run event. From having trucks run up and down the canyon hauling trash out, to the many people cleaning up, just a little was given back. Last year's 2000 Left Hand Cleanup was also a success, if just for a day...

   Given the unpredictable Colorado weather we have, the end of the working week included rains and snows in the mountains. Even the Saturday before, the weather was cold and gloomy in Denver. I even called around to see if the event was cancelled, I'm glad they didn't because the sun was out Sunday morning and the snow melted in the sun. The HoboJeepers met at the Denny's in Boulder at 8:30am and headed for Left Hand.

   Many OHV organizations throughout the Front Range were in attendance. These included: The Northern Colorado Trail Riders, Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit, some Eightballer's of Patrol 8-MHJC, Gene King of Patrol 7-MHJC, Trailridge Runners 4WD Club, Big Thompson Four Wheelers, Hillbillies 4WD Club, and the Colorado Go 4's 4WD Club.

   A special "Thanks" from myself to the following 7 of 9 current Hobos in attendance at the 2001 Left Hand Cleanup: Bobbette "Smiley" Mathews (and son Thomas), Scott "Mad Max" and Janet Maxwell (and sons Tom and Pete), Paul "Weiszguy" Weisz (and son Brett), Chris "Curly" and Debi Vieth, Steve "Moose" Gilbert, Chris "Colonel" Potter, myself (Bill "Hobo Willy" Hallinan), and prospective Hobos Jason Brew, Mark Gilbertson, and Drew Middleton! I appreciate you all taking out your Sunday morning, and either adopting a fun jeep trail, or picking up trash from irresponsible shooters, thanks for helping keep our sport alive.

   Picking up the trash was a "no-brainer". Just bend down in one place, scoop a big blob of trash into your bag, the do it in a 360-degree radius, then move 2 feet. Everything conceivable you could think of that a shooter would want to shoot is there for the pickin's. I never knew you could shoot so many things. I always thought that shooting bad apples or watermelons was a cool thing, but seems now everything has to be manmade. Bag after bag of muck was shoveled in, then transferred to waiting stations to be trucked down to the "big dumpster" on the highway. Spent shells scattered everywhere where even picked up. The rule was "If it's not natural, it's trash".

Steve Gilbert and Jason Brew have no problem finding trash, it’s everywhere!!

   The volunteers worked till about 11:00am, and the canyon was converted (if just for a day) back to a more natural setting. The small creek that runs down the canyon was much cleaner and flowed freely without all the trash in the way. At 11:00, the TrailRidge Runners cooked up some hot dogs and served lunch to everyone. The Hobos made plans for a run up Gillespie Gulch at 11:30pm.

   2001 Lefthand Cleanup--117 people + 3 hours time = a 90% trash-free canyon! It's a shame the canyon will not stay this way. In less then a week, the trash will pile back up, shooters will be back to haul anything from action figures to home computers up in their vehicle, set it out, shoot it, and leave it. They leave it, til the next time responsible caretakers of public land get tired of driving by and looking at it. If you see trash on the trail, stop to pick it up.  

Thanks to the many volunteers, if just for a day…

   The Arapaho National Forest Ranger was in attendance thanking us for helping, and discussed plans for revitalization of the Left Hand OHV for multiple use, and conservation. A grant for $230,000 has been approved for improvements to roads, road network implementation, and many programs to keep the Left Hand OHV open.

   After having some food and drink, the HoboJeepers got the itch (no-not that itch--geeeezzz), the itch to Jeep! Question: What do you do when you are so close to a jeep trail with good friends and your jeep? Go Jeepin of course!!

   We had 7 jeeps who wanted "to play", so went on up the soon to be snowy Gillespie Gulch just outside of Jamestown. The Hobos ready for some snow were: Bobbette "Smiley" Mathews and son Thomas (TJ), Steve "Moose" Gilbert (TJ), Chris "Colonel" Potter (CJ), myself ("Hobo Willy"-CJ) with passenger Paul "Weiszguy" Weisz (look for his "new and improved" CJ to see trails soon!), and new prospective Hobos Jason Brew (XJ), Mark Gilbertson (CJ), and Drew “Drewby” Middleton (TJ). 

Jason’s XJ maneuvers through the deep snow ruts

Bobbette’s TJ makes slush of the snow

   As the trail rises up the north-facing slopes starting about 8200', it seems it would not let go of its winter snow easily, as it got up to a foot or more the higher we went. Climbing higher and higher, the snow starts just under the trees to deeper 3 foot drifts on the trail. We were lucky in the fact we had another group of 3 jeeps ahead of us, who in the morning had snow busted they way for us.

   The snow was easily up to 2-3 feet in places, and the differentials were acting as snowplows. Steeper grades became a new challenge to maintain momentum and keep chugging forward. The open vehicles had more of a challenge, but drove on through, and keep coming uphill. We reached "the end of the line", as we came upon the "snow busters" ahead of us. They were cooling off, and taking a break. The spot they were stopped was the base of a steep rock hill climb.

   We opted to turn around since there were many more steep drifts ahead. But, before we went back down, we took turns (myself 1st) on busting the steep grade. Since I just did my CV-joint conversion, I though I'd try my hand at it and made it halfway. Jason (XJ) then moved the ruts to near the top, where the "Colonel" Potter (CJ) took over to the top. He said "the trail gets deeper up here", so we all proceeded down our tracks.     

   I took a side trail off Gillespie Gulch that runs across a snow free south facing slope over to a mine at the saddle. Along the way, we encountered a good-sized tree lying across the trail. We managed to wrangle the tree off the trail and on up to the mine. After a break, we headed back down to the highway as most of us got air back in Boulder.

Here are some excerpts of the day on the Hobo Café: 

Steve "Moose" Gilbert: Well, cleaning the Lefthand Canyon went well today, and the weather turned out to be great. I actually think I got some sunburn! The trip afterwards was a little snowy but we had a great turnout and it was great to jeep with some new people and possibly future hobos. Thanks for a great day guys!

Chris "Colonel" Potter: Enjoyed the day, our trip later was fun! Had a nice group of people and it was great to see Paul again! It's been awhile since I have been in that much snow on the trail…and calling it quits when we did was a good decision. Hope to see you next weekend at Miner's Gulch if I don't get roped in to planting flowers with Ms.

Paul "WeiszGuy" Weisz: Hey all, Brett, and I had a great time Sunday. It was really good to be with my Hobo buds again, to help with the cleanup, and do some wheelin. I'm in a big rush now to get my seven back on the road. Also, thanks for letting myself & Brett ride with you guys. I'm really missing froading with you all!

It was great day of giving back, a great day of jeepin', and nice way to meet our newest Prospective Hobos on the trail. We look forward to jeepin', and getting to know ya'.

   On Thursday May 10th, we had our May Hobo Meeting hosted by Scott “Mad Max” Maxwell at his beautiful home in Highlands Ranch.  We discussed our summer plans for trips, and other MHJC issues and business.  We also welcomed our newest prospective Hobos: Mark Gilbertson (CJ), Jason Brew (XJ), and Drew “Drewby” Middleton (TJ).  We look forward to getting to wheel and know them on and off the trail.

   On Saturday May 12th, and of course being mid May in Colorado, one would assume most of the lower elevation snows in the foothills are somewhat passable, geeeezzzz was I wrong.  Since we had a good dumping of snow the week before, most of the snow was still there.  The HoboJeepers and friends initially had plans to christen our new Adopt-A-Trail Miner’s Gulch, but instead we ended up busting snow on the upper road above the ghost town of Apex.  In fact, we couldn’t even get to the trailhead due to 2-3 foot drifts!  So, the day was officially called Apex Snowbustin’!

   A nice sunny Saturday morning awaited the anticipation of a fun jeep day as we all met up at our scheduled meeting time and place of Hwy 93 and Hwy 6 at 8:15am.  The 11 Jeepers for the day included Hobos: Bobbette “Smiley” Mathews (TJ) with friend Andy, and family: Catherine and Micheal, Chris “Colonel” Potter (CJ) and sons: Jason, Micheal, and Scott, Ken “Toolman” Kordes (61 Ford), myself (CJ) and my jeepin-sidekick Molly, Steve “Da Moose” Gilbert (TJ) and his brother Jon from Chicago, and Scott “Mad Mad” Maxwell (TJ) and his son Pete (and Pete’s friend).  On their second trip in less then a week, prospective Hobos Mark Gilbertson (CJ) and his wife, Jason Brew (XJ), and Drew “Drewby” Middleton (TJ) were ready to go.  Guests included: Dennis “Snow Buster” Ervin (“a yellow Yota that eats Jeeps”), and Zane and Dale Znamenacek (TJ) of MHJC’s Patrol 14 Alpine 14er’s.

   We headed up Clear Creek Canyon on Hwy 6 along Clear Creek with lights on, and passed Black Hawk to stop at the post office to air down and do the “disco”.  After airing down, it was on to the Apex dirt road off Hwy 119.  I had arraigned to have the county lay some water down for dust control, but they seem to have forgot.  Well, being trip leader in front of the pack, I tried to tip toe through the dirt and avoid dusting my buddies.  Hey were out of town, what’s a little dust between good friends!

   Arriving at the ghost town of Apex, the easy dusty county road turns west, and instantly becomes a “no winter maintained” road.  Being in the trees even at 9000 feet, the snow had drifted up in the shady areas.  We made it to our first snow bank, and I attempted to show everyone the wrong way to snow bust.  I was very successful in getting stuck, as the “Colonel” had to tug me out.  Once you get above the majority of the trees, the road is mostly in sunny areas and the snow is clear in spots.  Around corners (old drifts), is where the 2 foot drifts rest.

    SNOW BUSTIN’ 101: With Professor Dennis “Snow Buster” Ervin.  Dennis steps up and shows us all how it’s done.  The key: to go slow and easy, idle if you can, and never give it too much gas (or you will just dig in).  Dennis worked the first few snowdrifts, and then I tried the next ones.  Once you lose momentum in cutting down the snow, stop and back up and pack down the snow you just broke down (like packing a snowman).  This allows for a thin layer of compressed snow to ride on.  Do not accelerate on this layer or you will break through on to the next layer. 

   Deep snow is tough for heavier vehicles like “Toolman’s” 61 Ford.  He followed the same path, but was digging in just because the Jeeps weighed much less.  Any snowdrifts above axle height are almost impossible to bust, just because your momentum is slowed because your axle and differential are snow plowing.

   We worked our way up to the saddle above Elk Park and stopped to enjoy lunch and the spring views.  Upon further investigation, the road down the valley to the Miner’s Gulch trailhead was blocked with 2-3 foot drifts.  The roads down to Tolland and to Kingston Peak were also blocked.

   After lunch we tried another roads east of Apex.  On our way back down the snowdrifts Steve in the Moose tried some deeper snowdrifts and ended up stuck up to his bumper in snow.  Jason returned a previous favor and tried to pull him out in hi XJ.  Nope, he was too light.  So Ken is his heavy 61 Ford pulled up and latched on and Nope, the Moose was really stuck!  So I latched on to Ken, and tried to pull Ken and Steve out, nope everyone stuck.  So Jason in the XJ latched on to me, and I pulled on Ken, who pulled on the Moose, and the Moose was free!   So we decided to head over West of Central City, so Dennis led the way.  Once at the cemeteries, I had to call it a day (come to find out my brake hardware had broke, and my accumulated grease from a leaky seal made my driver rear brakes useless.  Chris, Ken, and Dennis headed down to the Total station and back to Denver.

This small drainage was fun and challenging for both Dennis and I (Bill-with the CJ!)

   On the way back on Hwy 6, Ken’s alternator went out on him and his 61 Ford.  Dennis graciously stopped and helped Ken take the bad alternator into Golden to get a new one.  Though he had a lifetime warranty, it was only good in Littleton.  Ken was back on the road thanks to Dennis!

   The rest of the group headed up some short rocky hill climbs, then they explored the trails in true Hobo fashion (Taking then wherever it took them).  I hear Bobbette was in the lead since she had the map.  Well, seems The Hobos let the trails take them wherever they took them.  After a quick "Map 101" crash course, they ended up going down the Hamblin Gulch trail, which has a bad off-camber spot going downhill.  All made it by safely and on down Fall River road to the free air north of the Texaco station north of the I-70/ Mt. Evan exit.  Another fun day for all!

Here are some comments of the trip off the Hobo Café:

Chris “Colonel” Potter: “Another good trip on Saturday......even though the snow slowed things up and eventually kept us from completing our journey, it was a beautiful day in the high country.  Ken had alternator troubles and Bill is getting a rear-bearing, etc fixed before Moab.  I learned a few things about driving in snow from Dennis Erwin.  Thanks Dennis! By the way Moose, how many had to strap on to you to get "da Moose" out of snow?”

Scott “Mad Max” Maxwell: “Great trip, mucho fun had by adults and kids alike. Snow was a blast and Dennis took us all to school.  The trail we did in the afternoon (the trail we did a couple years ago at Aspencades) has been graded and all the fun articulation is gone.  On the bright side, we did find a fun way off the top of that peak down onto the Kingston Peak road and back to Idaho Springs for some free air!  Thanks again all for another great Jeep,Jeepin’ weekend….and to all a good night.....”

Ken “Toolman” Kordes: “If I remember right it was Toolman, Hobo Willy, and Mark pulling the Moose out?  If the count is right, that looks like three and the Moose.  It was still fun.  Yes I did lose an alternator, had to go into Golden and get a new one.  Thanks to Dennis I was back on the road in about and hour.”

Steve “Moose” Gilbert: “I believe I was strapped to ken, ken to bill, and bill to jason.“

This short children’s story is written by “Molly” the German Shorthaired Pointer, and is dedicated to the Moose:

*High in the mountain forests, there once was a Moose who wondered into a snow bank.
*The Moose got stuck!  Poor TJ Moose.
*The Moose did not know what to do.  The Moose tried to get out by saying "I'm a TJ, I think I can, I think I can", oh no the Moose is stuck deeper.  Oh No!  The Moose was not happy, what was he to do??  Poor Moose.
*When along comes a white (XJ) squirrel named Jason and straps on to Moose's hoof, the squirrel tugs and tugs, but the squirrel is just too light.  The Moose was too deep in the snow.  The Moose is still stuck up past his hoofs.  Poor Moose.
*The Moose was so stuck, even his TJ could not get him out. "What now, thought the Moose"?  “Geeee willikers”, and he thought a TJ could do anything.  When all of a sudden a rumbling sound comes down from the trees, it’s Big 61’ Ford Bear Toolman to the Moose's aid.  Poor Moose.
*Big Bear straps on to the Moose and digs in with all his might.  The Moose is really stuck now, as he got the bear stuck too. We could leave the Moose in the snow bank til spring thaw!  Oh No!  Poor Moose.
*"Molly" the CJ German Shorthair Pointer sees the Moose and the Big Bear in trouble, and helps tug on the Big Bear, who is tugging on the Moose.  Nope, the Moose is still stuck. Oh No!  Poor Moose.
*Seeing everyone in trouble, the white squirrel jumps in again and throws a rope to Molly. The Squirrel tugs on the Pointer, who tugs on the Bear, who tugs on the Poor Moose. 

*Tug, Tug, Tug!---------------Yea!
*The Moose is finally free!!
*Happy Happy Moose!!
*The Moose wonders down the trail shaking off the snow, thankful for his forest friends.

*It's always a beautiful day when a TJ needs to pulled out.....
*“The End.”


   The HoboJeepers have a full palette of trails planned for June.  As long as Mother Nature cooperates (fingers crossed), and we get a nice warm spell to melt off some of the high country snows, we should be in good shape.  Open invitations are extended to “Jeep,Jeep” with us over Spring Creek (10th), Jenny Creek (16th), and Holy Cross City (30th).  Time to enjoy your sport, cause you know--your Jeep is not just a “grocery getter--get it on a trail, it will thank you!

   Starting an going member introduction series started by Patrol 10, we would like you to meet one of the Hobos—Hobo Ken “Toolman” Kordes.  Why the “Toolman” you ask?  Just one step into his garage, and you will soon discover he has every tool you will ever need for most if not all vehicle repairs.  He has just finished some winter upgrades on his 61’ Ford F-100 Shortbox, which included among many, a new 351M GT fuel-injected Mustang engine.  Ken works for Lockeed Martin building solar power units for satellites, so he knows his stuff!  Ken is also very willing to help us out with his time and his tools when we need a quick cheap fix.  Thanks Ken from all of us!  Ken also owns a 67’ Chevy ¾ Ton, and yes an 81CJ5 Jeep!!  That’s Hobo “Toolman” alright, vehicles to tinker with, but still a big kid at heart. 


See ya on the trail, "Jeep, Jeep"

Bill Hallinan HoboJeepers


Happy Father's Day

 June 17th, 2001!!

From Eugene the Jeep and the HoboJeepers...



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