May!!-Are you ready for summer yet? Is it hard to get your rig fixed because everyone is "3 weeks out"? Welcome to the meltdown in the Rockies! Communication is the key to knowing if certain trails are "snow free" or not. Use MHJC's message board, or try the many local forums, word of mouth is gold. Let's ALL get some inter-patrol trips together, get those invites out to another patrol or the MHJC, and let's go Jeepin! Kick back in your favorite lounge chair, put your feet up, and grab a cool one…cause this report is a doozy!!
CLEANUP OF OUR
ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY section of Colorado Hwy 391
From Alameda north to Federal Center Gate 2 (approx. 1 mile)
Saturday April 26, 2003
In Mid-February 2003, another member in MHJC (Robert S. of Patrol 12) brought an idea to MHJC, it was for patrols in MHJC to adopt certain available sections of Colorado highways in the Denver Metro area. We liked and picked up on the idea, and contacted the CDOT (Colorado Department of Transportation) to apply for a section.
We were given many areas to chose from, and we decided on Hwy 391 in Lakewood. Still a city street, but in an urban setting, it provides great exposure and scenery. It is a short section compared to others, but will still be fun to keep clean. The west side borders the US Federal Center, which has grass and trees along it. The east side borders and Elementary School, a Middle School, more sport fields, and the Jefferson County Stadium that holds sporting events year round. In Mid-March, we were approved for a section of Hwy 391, and our signs went up in Mid-April.
CDOT posts these nice signs at the beginning of the section on each end with good exposure...
On a bright sunny morning near the end of April, the HoboJeepers met for our 1st cleanup of our adopted highway 391 section. Since acquiring this section a month ago, the signs were put up already, as we started. We all met at the Jeffco Stadium parking lot about 8:15am. After some instructions, we set out with handmade pick-up sticks and bags in hand. Hobos in attendance (Thanks Guys!) were: Patrol Leader Paul 'WeiszGuy' Weisz with his son Brett, Pete 'JeepDog' Rameriz, myself Bill 'Hobo Willy' Hallinan,& Marc 'Nugget' Gilbertson, Scott 'Mad Max' Maxwell.
The section was quite clean for such a busy highway. We picked up the usual visual trash. Everyone was in tune with everything picked up except the small cigarette butts. Paul had the best find. He found a cell phone that didn't work, but an HP calculator that did.
From left to right: Bill 'Hobo Willy'
Hallinan, Scott 'Mad Max' Maxwell,
Paul 'WeiszGuy' Weisz with his son Brett 'Weiszdude'...
We were finished in about 1.5 hours, with trash bags piled up along Kipling for CDOT to pick up. After a job well done, most of us headed to Denny's for a nice breakfast. We encourage other 4x4 groups/patrols to adopt a CDOT highway somewhere. It's a great way to contribute to the community as 4Wheelers, while showing the general public we don't just go up in the mountains and tear them up. Our next cleanup is planned for Sunday July 20th, the day after our 5th Annual Hobo Run.
11th Annual Left Hand OHV Cleanup/Castle Gulch/Left Hand Trails
Near Jamestown, Colorado
On Sunday May 4 2003, Fellow OHV users came together to volunteer some of their time to attend the 11th Annual 2003 Left Hand OHV Cleanup NW of Boulder. This 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. Last year's 2002 Left Hand Cleanup was also a success, if just for a day... The HoboJeepers met on a cool morning at Denny's in Boulder at 7:45 am, then headed for Left Hand.
Given the unpredictable Spring Colorado weather we have this time of year, many were wondering what Sunday was going to bring. But the weather held out and the snow stayed in the higher elevations. The area was dry for the cleanup. Surprisingly this year, the usual computers and large items were missing. Most of the cleanup was for smaller shell casings and the like. Other shooting areas had more trash though.
Over 175 volunteers from many OHV organizations throughout the Front Range were in attendance in cooperation with the Boulder Ranger District, Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest. All were side-by-side with other 4wheeler for a good cause. Other MHJC members (members from Patrol 12 & 14) were also there with Patrol 1.
A special 'Thanks' to the following 3 HOBOs of Patrol 1 for their attendance: Pete "JeepDog" Ramirez (TJ), Ken "Toolman" Kordes (CJ5), & myself Bill "Hobo Willy" Hallinan (CJ7).
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 Bryan and his boss were also in attendance.
Here is a comment from 2001's cleanup on rules for picking up trash: '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".'
The around 175 volunteers worked until about 10:30am-ish 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 11:00, the TrailRidge Runners cooked up some hot dogs and served lunch to everyone. The Hobos made plans for a run up Castle Gulch afterwards.
2003 Lefthand Cleanup--175 people + 3 hours time = a 90% trash-free canyon!
Please pack out your trash, anywhere, anytime!
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.
Question: What do you do when you are so close to a jeep trail with good friends and your jeep? Go Jeepin of course!! At approximately 11:3am, 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 three jeeps of the 'ToolMan' (Trip Leader), 'JeepDog', & myself 'Hobo Willy', along with Jenn Lacerdo (TJ-'Yellow Peril') & passenger Tom Hester (Patrol 14), Eric Schmoutz (Ranger-Patrol 12), Robert Schegel & passenger Joe Vicino (YJ-Patrol 12), Eric Lister & passenger Amy Carroll (TJ-Patrol 14), Shane Wagner & passenger Seth Wagner (XJ-Patrol 14), Mark Fisher & passenger Tim Long (TJ-Prospective Hobo), & Bill Synder (76 Bronco).
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 group varied with modified to stock rigs, and all handled this trail with ease. Some had a little more 'skidplate rubbage' then others. The last chute had some more rocks, then we finally reached the ridgeline. Robert and Eric got some nice wheel travel on their way up!
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 again. 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, a group photo, and a short break.
We proceeded down and headed towards Left Hand Canyon via the "Squeeze" obstacle. 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.
Now enters the 'traffic jam' at the 'squeeze'. We were coming down when a Pizga came off a side trail from the SE. The intersection of the trails is a 6' drop-off with a tight turn to the right. We couldn't leave until he and his friends went by. After some maneuvering, the Pizga dropped down to the road but at 90 degrees. He tried to go hard left and popped his bead on the tire. He moved up and started to put air in the tire. Some 40 minutes later, we were all past and heading down.
We had to take the upper Carnage route down to the 5 points intersection because some rock buggies were blocking the trail changing an axle. We met up at 5 points and headed down to the highway. The Hobos once aired up, headed back to Denver together. A great morning to give a little back, and a fun afternoon to play!
See ya on the trail,
Bill Hallinan HoboJeepers