Need me some Elevation ...

KOWBOY

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Firewood so thick a Fella stumbled over it walkin' 'round.

Moon full on and bright 'nuff to see the firewood as ya stumbled 'round.

Beer cooler full to assist in the stumblin'. :bounce2::beer::bounce2:

Slammin' beers next to a bonfire and howlin' at the moon with the coyotes at the foot of the La Garita Mountains ... wonder what the Rich Folk were doin'? :grinpimp:

END OF DAY 11.

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KOWBOY

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Day 12:

Up and at 'em and down the road we go. The object of this day was to stay in the mountains and find one last decent campin' spot ... but at the same time be headin' south/southeast to put ourselves in position to make a doable kamikaze run to Elwood on Day 13.

So drop outta Adler Creek Valley at South Fork ... and buy gas and beer. Actu'ly had to pay a dollar to get rid of our daily trashbag. :eek: I'm sure the damn tourists are to blame for this somehow. :D

Down Highway 160, hang a left on Park Creek Road, and start headin' up.

Really, really nice smooth dirt road that had the bonus of some fine scenery.

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KOWBOY

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But the Boys from Elwood had a second mission as well ...

Just try to imagine the pure, unadulterated joy in the hearts of two simple rednecks that found this on the map ... and ... BY GAWD ... sought it out like The Holy Grail. :bounce2::flamingo::flamingo::flamingo::bounce2:

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KOWBOY

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The peaceful, serene beauty of Elwood Pass damn-near brought tears to our eyes ... and then we were pissed there weren't no friggin' sign we could take a picture of ... or steal (just kiddin'). :grinpimp:

The map says the dirt road shown is a 4wd road comin' up the other side but the sign shown says the road is closed ahead for road damage. :meh:

So we turned around and headed back a hun'erd yards or so and back down the Elwood Pass Gatekeeper. :D

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KOWBOY

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On to the next jewel of the day ... Nipple Mountain.

No ... I ain't kiddin' ... look it up on the map ... it's right there ... friggin' NIPPLE MOUNTAIN!

Livin' large. :cool:

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KOWBOY

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Hung a right on 250, another wonderful dirt road, to head up Stunner Pass.

Some cool history signs but nuthin' left of the ol' minin' town of Stunner. Sign said that if'n two freight wagons met on the narrow ledge trail, the Fellas would disassemble one of 'em and move it 'round the other one. Imagine that. :eek:

Really nice drive up to the top ...

And a great view lookin' down the Conejos River Valley.

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KOWBOY

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This valley was posted as being under special regulations ... which meant you couldn't just camp anywheres like in a normal National Forest area ... you had to camp in a designated campin' area.

Map showed Trail Creek Primitive Campground ahead down the valley so we aimed for it ... we liked the sound of the "primitive" deal. :cool:

Come to find out, a "primitive" campground has nuthin' but firerings at the spots and are free ... just what we were used to ... and just perfect for our last night. :clap:

Unfortunately no pics of the last camp but here's a nice one of the lower Conejos River.

END OF DAY 12.

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KOWBOY

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Day 13:

Woke up in the Aspens at 0730 and hit the road at 0800 (TX time).

Took the traditional route home over Raton Pass and down 287.

775 miles put us in Downtown Elwood at 2300 without incident.

END OF DAY 13.

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KOWBOY

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Day 14: Back in Elwood

Trip to town first thang to hit a carwash. Back to The 3X's to vacuum the interior, wash the floor mats, ArmorAll the dash ... just like I do with my Cruiser after a trip. :grinpimp:

Unpacked ev'rythang, and Debbie helped me clean it all, and get it packed back up. :cool:

Sittin' dead-on-ready ... again. :cheers:

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KOWBOY

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Damage Assesment:

Lost my front license plate on a trail somewheres ... gotta get it mounted better I reckon. :rolleyes:

New set of tags at the DMV set me back $5.30. :meh:

The only real damage was to my fancy Lock-N-Roll trailer hitch. We basic'ly twisted the dogs*** out of it. :mad:

I'll be sendin' the same pics to the manufacturer to see what they got to say 'bout it. Hopefully it's warranteed.

END OF DAY 14.

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KOWBOY

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Assorted Final Thoughts

We covered 2200 miles … ‘bout 1500 of which was getting’ there and back. That leaves a nice mix of 700 miles of assorted 2-lane pavement (limited), Forest Service dirt roads, and genuine 4wd roads once in Colorado … and we never knew where we were goin’ more than a day or so in advance. A cool way to go on vacation.

Rubi pulled the Kamper nicely at 65 – 70 mph ‘cross the plains … not so fast in the mountains. As mentioned earlier, need to help the horsepower some. Some of the steeper dirt roads we went ahead and shifted into 4wd just to get the gearin’. Partly my fault since I never swapped to 4.88’s to make up for the 35’s. Damn glad we had the 4:1 transfer case.

Wheelin’ with a trailer is certainly different. Even though it tracked very closely to Rubi, even ‘round corners, you could tell it was there. Not a bad deal … just a new deal. The fact that we could jack-knife it proved extremely valuable throughout the trip.

Seemed like we were constantly airin’ up and down the tires. We ran 12 on the dirt, 20 in between the dirt roads while on pavement, and 28 on the trip up and back. Airin’ down the trailer made it bounce less. Better have a good air source. The compressor on the Warn PowerPlant did a fantastic job. Airin’ down 6 tires sucked. Gotta get me some of them automatic thangies of some sort.

We generally tried to carry 2 -3 days of food in case we found a place we wanted to stay. Stores are plentiful in the small towns so no use totin’ more than that. Can veggies rock since you can cook ‘em right in the can on the grill. Didn’t take an actual grill … just the grill section off my big-ass grill at home. Worked great over a bed of coals in a hole in the ground. Then just bury the coals.

Firewood was everywhere … ‘cept where all the tourists are. Stay in the primitive sights in the National Forest and enjoy. Threw in a bow saw from the shop and it made quick work of cuttin’ wood. Far more efficient than an ax. Try to stick to pine … aspen ain’t worth a s*** as firewood.

I’d never do this style of highly-mobile trip with more than 3 rigs total. Be too hard to find campin’ spots big enuff for a larger group.

We never camped where there wasn’t already a fire ring established. We picked up ALL trash in every camp so it was cleaner when we left than we arrived. Human waste was buried as per National Forest guidelines … without exception. Never got off the designated road … even if it meant drivin’ through a damn mudhole.

Gonna rain everyday … and gonna be chilly in the evenin’s and mornin’s … downright cold at night. Elevation’ll do that. Be geared up for it. Can’t have a lick of fun if’n you’re cold and wet.

Rubi burned A LOT of gas pullin’ ‘er Kamper over the passes … and has a small tank to boot. Our beer cooler only held 72 beers. Therefore we bought beer and gas every chance we got. Prefer’bly ev’ry day … ev’ry other day max.

Reckon that’s ‘bout it. Although I tried my best, the brief narrative and selected pics don’t even come close to fully describin’ this trip. Good friends … in a good rig … in unbelievable scenic country. Mite try to repeat it … but it’ll never be duplicated.

END OF TRIP REPORT ... hope y'all enjoyed it. :cool:

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Domek

 
 
 
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Sir this is a great write up of your trip!

I was telling and showing some of the pictures of your report to my wife.

I don't think she would be good candidate for this trip.

I enjoyed the report and the fact that you got to see the origins of the RIO GRANDE.

I never seen it like in your pictures.

Great trip and glad that everything went well for you guys!
 

Bossman

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Kowboy and Josh....take me with you next time??? Best trip report I have ever seen and I am amazed at how much you two managed to cram into such a short time. Truly sorry I missed it!:cheers:
 

Bodean

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I have enjoyed following this journey. Makes me want to build an expedition rig. Great stuff! Thanks for sharing!

Over and out!
 
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Dang Kowboy, Glad you wrote that up and posted the pics. Short of Tincup and the last two nights, our trip this last week was neirly identical. Even got the same pics of the heart shape on Stoney Pass.:D

Don't feel too bad, our three rigs with trailers had almost the same issues with the towing up the highway passes and the same bouncing issues on the trail. Camping was definatly a little more interesting. We had the same issue at the O'Haver campground. Ended up driving down the same Poncha Creek road to a camping spot in a cove at the start of a "Road Closed" section. It's almost too uncanny how similar the stories of your trip and ours are:hmm:. The one good difference in your version and ours, was we only hit rain while camping one night. All the other instances of rain where during the day, and typically they where very light and less than 10 munites.

Good times and great scenery!! But, I'm glad to be home. :grinpimp:
 
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