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 Post subject: So I was going on vacation out West and. . . .
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 1:35 pm 
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Mjr. Member Growth
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Location: Manito IN
I get an email from Jeep a couple of weeks before my departure that had this in it. http://www.jeep.com/en/badge-of-honor/
Well that looked like fun and had some of the places I was going anyway so I bought a smart phone had Holly load the app. I looked up the route and took off for a bit of an adventure. I had off road parks and friends to see along the way so it was all OK. . . It is great to be semi retired
The day before I left the JK got some warranty work to replace the bad shocks all the way around. I was able to pick up my Jeep at 4pm and was heading out at 4AM, not much time to get Jeep loaded and a good nights sleep.
Day one overslept. . . . . Great start huh? Well I got to Redbird at 10:30 and found they had double digit inches of rain the week before and some of the trails were flooded, great. As I was airing down a guy came up and asked if he could tag along, he looked familiar and I came to find out he was from Albion and he was the one I bought my YJ from. We get lined up and head for the start of trail 3. Huge water hazard 25 feet in, great. We get 100 feet down the trail and one Jeep out of the water and a downed tree across the trail. GREAT!. I had a hatchet with me and cut up the tree to move on past. From there it went downhill. . . . Did you know I hate mud? Long story short we spent over 5 hours going 5 miles and had to winch 5 times and I had to be pulled up a rutted hill since my diffs drug. . . So trails 3 and 14 got part way done, trail 4 done and trail 25 done. . . . It took $20.00 to wash most of the mud out of the Jeep.
I traveled to Missouri the next day to meet up with a buddy but he got called away last minute so I took in a cavern on the way and drove Route 66 for a while.
Day three started out with rain. I got to the Southern Missouri Off Road Ranch just in time to get the two trails in there before it closed for the second time time in 8 years. I was able to get the trails in just in time. I took a left and ended up in Arkansas and found the WalMart Hq and the Trail of Tears heading out of town on my way to Oklahoma. It is hard to imagine the vanquished native tribes walking with all their belongings away from their lands to the barren OK territiry.
Spent the night in Joplin and had to find a car wash where I could pull the wheels and wash out the mud still crusted on the insides of the wheels and the brakes. Found a Jeep friendly place on Route 66 that was run by a Jeeper that let me spend some time in the coin op bay since it was still raining. Just to let you know rain will not wash out the insides of the wheels, it just makes the dirt heavier and the ride worse. I took Route 66 into Kansas and then got on another famous trail called the Santa Fe Trail(it's a highway now) and headed West.
A word of advice when you are traveling back roads in the West gas up at half a tank even though there are towns on the map on the road you are taking. I drove through 5 towns that did not have gas stations at the Kansas/ Colorado border. I finally found a station when I was on fumes. I put 15.85 gallons in the tank on the fill up. . . That was close.
I took Highway 50 out of Canon City and found the ride to have breath taking scenery and a fun road to drive. I did find that climbing the steep mountain roads was much better in second gear, I had shut off overdrive when I hit Colorado. I made it to Telluride and found I did not like the people there. . . . I did make it up Imogene Pass Solo and came back down the same way I went up so i could make it to my hotel in Rico. I took Ophir pass solo after I got settled in to my hotel. I took Ophir Pass solo again since it was the shortcut yo Hwy 550 and made my way to Silverton where I took Road 2 to the trailhead for Engineer pass. At the 12,800 foot summit it was snowing and below was a thunderstorm below me. I tried linking up to log into the trail a dozen times to no avail. I had a fine lunch when I got to the end of the trail in a Texan rich town of Lake City. After lunch it was back over the mountains or a hundred mile plus road trip to go to Durango. I took the other half of the Alpine trail over Cinnamon Pass solo and made my way back to Durango where I met up with Aunt Judi. We had dinner together and discussed Jeeping in the area. I got into a Holiday Inn at 10 pm beat from 90 miles of dirt roads and trails.
This morning I took off to take Blackbear Pass down into Telluride and then back out Imogene Pass to Ouray. I made most of the hard parts of Blackbear Pass solo but had the help of some hikers at the big hairy spot above the waterfall. . I have never been so scared in my entire life when the guy on the dualsport bike passed me on the left as I was inching down the rain soaked hill. This trail has switchbacks that make turning around in your garage look easy with just a few softball size rocks to keep you from going over the edge of thousand foot drops. As you can tell I made it. I got into town and headed for the trailhead to Imogene pass which is an alley on the Northside of town.
I met up with a couple of people on the way up and got into snow again at the 13,188 foot summit. It was a pleasant drive back down to Ouray but one memorial at the side of the road reminded me that people die on trails like these. In Ouray I loaded up with fuel and a Subway sub and took off for Moab. It was 50 degrees on the trails and 82 degrees 150 miles away when I got to Moab. Go figure.
This morning I headed for Fins and Things that heads out of a site at a campsite and Hells Revenge solo. It was strange driving these trails since I had functional lockers and low range this trip. These trails were like driving on a roller coaster road with the tires gripping the slickrock and every once in a awhile you hear a tire chirp. . . . Look for Milt's Stop and Eat to get the original chili cheeseburger. . .
The last day of trails was a trip up to Poison Spider Mesa, the water fall was very intimidating and I had to walk up to find the easy path since the entire area was black from the tire marks of guys taking the harder lines. It was a great time but would have been a bit more fun with another Jeep along. I did follow a tour Hummer back down that was driven by a girl who looked 16. Stop at the picto graphs if you are ever out there, they are amazing.
On the way back I took Ute Pass from Estes Park to Colorado Springs during another thunderstorm, The flash flood warning lights were on and the signs on the road said climb to survive. It was a nervous eight miles of looking back in the mirrors for a wall of water.
It was a very enjoyable 4,445 mile trip. I did got back to Redbird to finish the trails that were underwater the first time I was there. It is much easier when dry. NO winching this time. . .

You can call me Ken

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 Post subject: Re: So I was going on vacation out West and. . . .
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:22 pm 
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Sounds like a nice trip, any pictures?

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 Post subject: Re: So I was going on vacation out West and. . . .
 Post Posted: Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Location: Manito IN
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I do not have any really cool flex photos like you do Alan(this is the best I could do) but I am putting up a few trip photos at a time up Photobucket starting at the finish and working backwards.
Here is a link. http://s225.photobucket.com/user/mmmoose1/library/?view=recent#/user/mmmoose1/library/?view=recent&page=1&_suid=137918766339701594712278251496
Going out by myself and the time constraints of getting in as many trail miles as possible a day limited my taking of decent photos.

You can call me Ken.

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 Post subject: Re: So I was going on vacation out West and. . . .
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:52 am 
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Tang Soo
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Location: NE Indiana
Awesome trip Ken!

There is a trail at Redbird that NAXJA sponsors if you saw a Midwest NAXJA sticker (thinking trail 25 or 26).

I wish I could get a chance to take a trip where I can drive some parts of Route 66, seems like its always a rush to get there, I'm jealous!

I'll be in Moab for a week in a few weeks!

We should plan a Jeep trip out west some time!

mac 'Jeep mecca' gyvr

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My idea of a perfect vacation is a road trip through beautiful country. To make it really fun, all that's needed is a modified vehicle, a few close friends, and some serious off-roading. Cole Quinnell - Editor, 4WOR, Dec 99
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 Post subject: Re: So I was going on vacation out West and. . . .
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:20 am 
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Sounds like a great trip!

Once you got to Colorado and Utah, your path was very similar to the one I took with my dad about 10 years ago, many of the same trails and towns.

I looked at that Jeep Ap, I've been to 8 of the trails listed.

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 Post subject: Re: So I was going on vacation out West and. . . .
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 7:35 am 
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Tang Soo
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Location: NE Indiana
Signed up for the AP.

Going to be knocking off many of those in Moab in a few weeks. And if my stuff isn't broke, hopefully a Redbird trip a couple weeks after moab.

mac 'should be fun' gyvr

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NAXJA president
NAXJA Midwest Chapter president
My idea of a perfect vacation is a road trip through beautiful country. To make it really fun, all that's needed is a modified vehicle, a few close friends, and some serious off-roading. Cole Quinnell - Editor, 4WOR, Dec 99
My Drinking Team has a Racing Problem


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 Post subject: Re: So I was going on vacation out West and. . . .
 Post Posted: Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:39 pm 
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Location: Manito IN
Redbird was the hardest of all the spots to drive. It had mud, rutted up climbs that you drug your diffs on, steep and I mean steep ridges to climb up and down, mud, high water, nasty insects, trails that were so narrow I cleared the trees on them with less than an inch on either side. I did do the NAXJA trail and it was not as rough as some of the others. There has been little maintenance done and the fast growing trees have choked off some width. I spent more time there with one wheel off the ground than I did in Moab and have never used the winch more than I did there.

I did not get many photos of Blackbear Pass since I was on my own there and had a heart rate of over 150 for more than an hour. Here is a very well produced Youtube video of the trail down condensed into under ten minutes and it is just the last 2 miles of the trail . It took me two hours to make the whole trail in the rain. I must say the trail got my attention because if you screw up it will be your last mistake. I drove my neighbors nuts practicing 180 degree turns in my driveway the last two weeks before the trip to prepare for this trail. . I did help but my driveway was way too flat.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmd6CTYgwC0

Mac, I plan to go back out West again next summer, I am one trail short of getting in the Silverton six pack. I am also going to try to get to Winrock later on this fall to get three more stinking badges.

You can call me Ken...

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 Post subject: Re: So I was going on vacation out West and. . . .
 Post Posted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:38 am 
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Tang Soo
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Location: NE Indiana
We have a trail clean up at Redbird in Oct, so the NAXJA trail will be cleaned up and cut back a bit more. Not sure about the other groups that maintain any of those trails.

We may have to chat about next summer...not sure how the year is going to plan out just yet.

I want to get back to SMORR also, they have some of the best camping facilities of any park I have ever been to.

Winrock is one place I haven't been yet.

mac 'moab or bust in three weeks!' gyvr

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NAXJA president
NAXJA Midwest Chapter president
My idea of a perfect vacation is a road trip through beautiful country. To make it really fun, all that's needed is a modified vehicle, a few close friends, and some serious off-roading. Cole Quinnell - Editor, 4WOR, Dec 99
My Drinking Team has a Racing Problem


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