Trip Reports

Oct 21, 2017 - Liberty Trail

Oct 14, 2017 - Chinaman's Gulch Night Run

Oct 1 2017 - Fall colors run

Sept 23, 2017 - Eagle Rock Night Run

Sept 2 2017 - Labor Day Weekend in Buena Vista

Aug 19 2017 - Blanca Peak

July 15 2017 - Veterans Home Show & Shine

June 3 2017 - Eagle Rock Scouting trip

May 19 2017 - Moab, day 4

May 18 2017 - Moab, day 3

May 17 2017 - Moab, day 2

May 16 2017 - Moab, day 1

May 6-2017 - Hackett Gulch

April 9 2017 - Chinaman's Gulch

Feb 25-2017 - Hackett Gulch

Dec 18, 2016 - Christmas Party 2016

Oct 12-15 2016 - Chile Challenge

Sept 10 2016 - Spring Creek

Sept 1-4 2016 - Dakota Territory Challenge 2016

July 2 2016 - Veteran's Home Show-n-Shine

June 18 2016 - Eagle Rock Work Trip

June 4 2016 - Eagle Rock Scouting trip

May 13 2016 - Moab: Top of The World , Day 4

May 12 2016 - Moab: Strike Ravine & Area BFE , Day 3

May 11 2016 - Moab: Metal Masher , Day 2

May 10 2016 - Moab: The Pickle , Day 1

May 10 2016 - Moab: Seven Mile Rim , Day 1

April 9 2016 - Chinaman's Gulch

Oct 25 2015 - Chinamans Gulch

Sept 23-26 2015 - Moab

Sept 4 2015 - Dakota Territory Challenge

August 22 2015 - Blanca Peak

Aug 8 2015 - Red Cone

July 25, 2015 - Holy Cross

June 28, 2015 - Eagle Rock Trail Cleanup

June 20 2015 - Twin Cone

June 13, 2015 - Metberry Bulch

May 16 2015 - Carnage BV

May 2, 2015 - Liberty

June 28, 2014 - Twin Cone

June 21, 2014 - Work Trip-Eagle Rock/Reynolds Wrap

May 17, 2014 - Rainbow Falls

May 4, 2014 - Independence Trails

April 27, 2014 - Chinaman Gulch

Trip Reports

Blanca Peak
Date: Aug 19 2017
Trip Leader: Mike
Members Present: Shane, Sam, Ben, Alex, Bryant
Guests Present:
Picture Link: Mike's photos  Sam's photos            
Description: My neighbor Shane and myself in Yellow Jacket, Sam and Ben with Tiger Monkey, and Alex and his son Bryant with Rock Monkey all headed down I-25 until we caught up with each other, then headed for the Blanca Peak trailhead. As a switch for years past, we decided to set up our campsite right next to our trucks and trailers.

After settling in, we jumped in our Jeeps and visited the Great Sand Dunes National Park. Bryant had never seen a dune, and today he got to frolic on the sand. We walked barefoot along the low stream that feeds the dunes, and then we took our rigs a few miles along the Medano Pass trail until we came upon a small dune next to the trail. We watched Bryant scramble up the dune, and then we guffawed and heckled as old man Alex tried to beat the boy to the top.

On our way back to camp we stopped at Zapata Falls trail, and hiked the 1/2 mike to the falls tucked under a grotto. A couple of us got water in our shoes, but it was a amazing sight to see the water cascading through and over the rock opening. Back at camp we made dinner and a campfire. It was a breezy evening and the tents rattled all night.

The morning brought sunshine and promise and we broke camp and headed up the trail about 9:30AM. It was different and delightful not needing to cram our rigs with camping gear, firewood, etc. Ben and Sam shared driving duties in Tiger Monkey.

Jaws I - This a rock fin that cuts across the trail at an angle that gets your pucker factor up as you dipp the front of the rig over it into a lean. It was just a bit more dug out than last time we were here, but no problems for our group.

Jaws II - The log that was strategically placed alongside the obstacle has since disintegrated and slid down the embankment, so there is more daring involved in climbing the right side. For some reason, I could not get my Jeep to find the right line and ended up going up the left side at the edge. Same for Ben, as the YJ was also having front locker issues (would not consistently engage). Alex was able to get his passenger tire higher on the rock face and made the obstacle the way it was meant to be made.

Jaws III- This is a jumble of ledges, slabs, loose dirt, and boulders that slaloms uphill. Again it was no problem for our group to negotiate it. Sam was outstanding as a spotter for Tiger Monkey.

A bit further up, another mini-rock garden, and shortly after Ben barks out on the CB that his rig is disabled. Seems the driver front leaf spring bolt at the frame came almost completely out due to a lost nut. Luckily we found the bushing halve, but not the nut. Out comes my Magic Can O' Bolts and the hardware needed was there to get everything back together, albeit with some ingenious use of jacks and winches to position the leaf spring into position.

At the lake we stopped for lunch and a quick shower--I mean, there was a short rain shower?. There were only a few hikers camped at the lake, but after battling mosquitos for fifteen minutes, we had no second thought about our decision to camp at the bottom. Soon we were skirting around the lake and headed for Jaws IV.

Jaws IV - This is always a challenging section, especially when wet. It was an amazing feat to get us all up that one without winching, but again the driver skills and capable rigs showed their stuff.

We meandered our way to the waterfall and spent a short time there. With twilight coming soon, there was little incentive to climb to the top. That will be for another trip. The ride down was uneventful and the weather cooperated the whole weekend for us.

We separated on the way home, and as I reached Walsenburg, I realized there was something weird going on with my car hauler. We limped to the truck stop by I-25; a quick inspection revealed that the driver side leaf spring (!) on the rear axle of my trailer had busted. Ben and Sam had luckily just pulled up behind me, so putting our heads together, we unloaded the jeep and aired up its tires so that Shane could drive it home and I could pull the trailer unloaded. Back on the road, Sam quickly determined that we needed another stop to try something different.

Ben came up with the idea to chain up the axle to the frame and remove the tire (which was wearing badly and looked like it would blow any second). Danged if that didn't work like a charm! The trailer pulled as if there was nothing wrong with it, but I'm certain the cars and trucks that passed me had some second looks.

Shane and I made it home around 11:00PM, but no worse for it. Thankfully my Jeep was able to maintain 70 mph for much of the way, and Shane said it behaved well.

For future reference, trailer leaf springs do break. But they are less than $25 each and not difficult to swap out. Buy yourself a spare and keep it with you. I do now.