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SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

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tobyw
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SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby tobyw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 2:54 pm

With most other 2020 plans having been foiled by the pandemic, new ones were hatched that would allow us to spend time social distancing at significant elevation, far away from the bustling cities that are brimming with the virus... Suitable accommodations were secured, a travel route was (loosely) planned, and sites to see were similarly loosely planned. The only thing for certain was that the time for launch could not arrive soon enough!! The cast of characters included a full dollop of Wilcox, Lenzke party of 3, and dos Moss.

DAY 1, 12JUL2020

With prep complete and outfits loaded, the group met at the Albertsons in Richland around 0700hrs:

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We promptly headed out like a herd of turtles, hitting the cruise button at the magical 63mph which is the optimal point on the towing fuel economy hockey stick:

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Soon enough we were in the greater Boise, Idaho area and stopped for a quick bite to eat:

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It was at this moment we realized that the cheesy poofs had not made the packing list, so Boyscout stepped into action and made a last minute procurement:

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With crisis averted, we again pointed the steeds Eastward and ended our travel day in Ogden, Utah. We chose this spot specifically for the mexican resuraunt in the parking lot, which is incredibly handy after a long day on the road:

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Dos Moss had a slightly altered travel schedule, and after supper they loaded back up and continued South for another few miles. We would meet back up with them at the rental house Tuesday afternoon...

DAY 2, 13JUL2020

The Wilcox and Lenzke crews headed South on Monday morning at a very leisurely pace, with the day's final destination only a few hundred miles away in Grand Junction, Colorado. A pitstop was made in Price, Utah for some grub:

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As we rounded the bend from Highway 6 onto I-70, the wind was absolutely howling. It's nearly impossible to capture on still camera, but I tried by shooting this blowing dust off in the distance:

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We eventually reached the Colorado border, and eased into G-Jct for the night:

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DAY 3, 14JUL2020

The rental house wasn't available for czek in until 1600hrs, so we had some time to kill as it was only about 200 miles from G-Jct to the house. We decided to stop in the scenic little town of Ouray, CO for some lunch, and to take a hike in the Box Canyon area:

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Leaving Ouray, heading South, you find yourself on Hwy 550, otherwise known as the Million Dollar Highway. This is a shelf road with no, I repeat, no edge barriers and a shear cliff on the side. And the cliff is legit, meaning it's a one way ride to the bottom with absolutely zero chance of survival should you run out of talent... As luck would have it, coming around one particularly tight corner, we were face to face with a snow plow. Yep, snow plow in July. They outfit them with rubber skids to push the fallen rock off the roadway. Good times:

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Promptly at 1600hrs, we arrived at the rental house and unloaded our junk after a 1,000 mile journey. The weather was perfect and the place looked fantastic - it was going to be an epic week:

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8)
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Gregandlina
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Re: SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby Gregandlina » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:03 pm

Price canyon for the win!!
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Re: SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby tobyw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:07 pm

Day 4, 15JUL2020

Our first trail day was intended to be relatively short, to give us all time to acclimate a little to the elevation (the rental house was our effective low-point for the week, just a tad shy of 9,000ft), and to give us time to get back to the house and relax and continue to settle in. We ran a trail known as Mineral Springs, starting near Ouray and letting out near the ghost town of Animas Forks, and from there we followed the gravel road on down to Silverton, CO. The pictures simply do not do the scenery justice, but here they are regardless:

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After some relaxation, OG and I decided a quick evening run was in order, so we headed about a quarter mile down the road from the house and hopped on the Lime Creek trail. We found some more great views, and some wildlife:

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Re: SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby tobyw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:20 pm

Day 5, 16JUL2020

OG and I have both done Black Bear a number of times, but the Lenzke party had never been in this neck of the woods before, so this was a must-do run. Fortunately, it had recently opened and we jumped on the opportunity:

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Once we descended the switchbacks on Black Bear, we arrived in the town of Telluride. We took a quick ride to the top on the free gondola for tacos:

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With bellies full, we mounted back up and headed for Imogene Pass, which ends up back in Ouray:

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Re: SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby tobyw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:27 pm

Day 6, 17JUL2020

We took a day off from trail running to explore the ghost town of Animas Forks, and then took the minions down to the Purgatory ski area for some fun on the hillsides. OG spent the day exploring a nearby lake and we all eventually met back up at the house for more food and beverage:

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Re: SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby tobyw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:37 pm

Day 7, 18JUL2020

For our last trail day, we wanted to run Poughkeepsie Gulch. It's the only trail in the area that has any real technical wheeling aspect to it, and it just so happens to be combined with some spectacular scenery. Due to some recent vandalism in the area, the trail had been closed but was scheduled to open Saturday. However, upon arrival at the lower entrance, we found the gate still locked... We rerouted and again ran Mineral Springs up to Animas Forks, but from there we took California Gulch to the upper entrance of Poughkeepsie, which we ran in to the notable obstacle known as The Wall. It was there we found the local 4wd club work party doing a great job of cleaning up the trail so it could reopen later in the day, and we watched the show for a while and then turned around to backtrack out and avoid the traffic jam. We then made our way back out to the highway via Hurricane Pass and Corkscrew Gulch:

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Re: SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby tobyw » Tue Jul 21, 2020 3:45 pm

Day 8 & 9, 19/20JUL2020

Sadly, all good things must come to and end, and this adventure was no different. With heavy hearts, we mounted up and started the long journey home on Sunday morning. We took the fastest route, which happened to be through the mecca of Moab, Utah and ended up to to be just about the only picture I took the entire trip back home:

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We stopped for the night in Twin Falls, Idaho and grabbed some food and a few winks of sleep. Monday morning we gathered for breakfast at a diner that shared the parking lot of the hotel, and loaded up for the final push home, arriving late in the afternoon on Tuesday.

Many many thanks to those that made the trip with us, as it was admittedly somewhat last minute... I don't think any of us will soon forget the scenery, the food, or the shenanigans. I can't wait for the next one :thu:
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Re: SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby Lurch » Tue Jul 21, 2020 10:21 pm

:thu2:
You can follow me.... but it's gonna hurt ;)

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Re: SW Colorado Tour 12JUL2020 - 19JUL2020

Postby OldGreen » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:02 pm

Movie will follow.....


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