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CO off road trip with my wife...... LOTS of pics

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Old 07-17-2010, 07:47 PM   #1
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CO off road trip with my wife...... LOTS of pics

hey all,

a few weekends ago, my wife and i went to the 4x4/jeep/off-road expo in denver and we stopped at an exhibitor selling "adler publishing" trail books. so we picked up the CO front range and central region trail books:
http://www.adlerpublishing.com/products.aspx?catID=2

they are awesome books that fully describe the trail with the difficulty, distance, history, description, the exact directions to get through the trail, etc... here is a sample page:



so, i planned a trip to take us near all many of the old mining towns that we could. here is a history of the area (great read): http://www.gilpintram.com/index.html


the mining towns/mines we visited:
  • Russell Gultch
  • Glory hole mine
  • Central city
  • Nevadaville/Bald mountain
  • Hamlin gultch
  • Boodle Mill
  • Apex
  • Tolland
  • Rollinsville
  • various graveyards
i chose trail #20, #19, and #16 from the front range book. they are low rated trails (1 and 3 rating). i chose these because i am still a novice in off-roading and i wanted to make sure that we could get through with no problem and to test my skills. after running the trails, i could easily step up to a 4, if not a 5 rated trail. there were a couple of spots that having a 4x4 was helpful, but you could get through the trails with a 2wd. i used 4Lo sometimes just to keep my speed down because some of the sections of trails were at an 18% grade.

i also picked up the TOPO software from adler publishing so i could precisely map out the route and directions. which was very helpful because there are hundreds of miles of trails out there and it is easy to get lost. here is the start of the trail (in yellow) that i mapped out in the software.




we picked today to go because it was a beautiful day in colorado... and because westminster was over 100 degrees today the mountains were only in the 80's


anyway.... here are the pics of the trip:

paved trail head in Idaho Springs.


going up the "oh my god trail" i guess they call it that because of the steep drops, but the trail is wide enough for 2 vehicles.. so i dunno


this shack was for sale.. ohh, the possibilities


old mining structure




evidence of mining


mining equipment






small mining "town"


Russell gultch. this place was interesting because in the mix of old and abandonded buildings, people were living in more modern homes. everything said private property so we couldnt go exploring around the buildings.


late 1800's school house


crumbling brick building




1940/50's era truck?


school house


school house. it is very well preserved for being so old.


glory hole gold mine. a glory hole is where miners dig a HUGE hole (can be miles across) to unearth minerals. this was at the ridge of the hole, but we couldnt see into the hole well enough to take pics.


















trail #20 ending and coming into central city


lots of abandonded mining buildings on the mountain sides




central city... quaint town










the court house and church behind


beginning of trail #19, heading into nevadaville


ruins in nevadaville






bald mountain. this town burned down 5 times in its history and was never fully rebuilt.






coming out of bald mountain




the camera doesnt do it justice, but colorado has some beautiful landscape


about half the trails were graded and maintained county roads, but once you got off the county roads, it got pretty rough.




bald mountain cemetary (and wifey in the pic)


it was weird to look at the dates on the tombstones. kinda makes you think how hard life was back then seeing that "old age" was in your 40's).


i bet this place is creepy at night




county road ended.... the pictures never really show how rough the roads are. most of the off-county road driving was under 10mph.


more with the scenery


its just fricken beautiful in colorado.


trail getting narrower.


for all the mountains that you drive through, you will suddenly come to a valley of grassland. it really is a sharp contrast from the roughedness of the mountains.


one of the many cemetaries that we passed.


these were near Boodle mill


Boodle mill




start of trail #16 and chase gultch reservoir.








heading out towards Apex.


the vertical imagery of the trees was cool


rougher than it looks. i couldnt go more than 5mph without the trail vibrating the shit out of me.... ohh, that reminds me. my wife said that 4x4'ing gives her gas she farted during half the trip


more with the scenery


valley bellow




OMG... this area scared the shit outta me. from this picture, the trail narrowed to about 3 feet wider than the truck. thats not so bad and the trail conditions were easy, but i turned a corner and up comes a Ford super duty F-250 raised 6 inches with 35/12.5 tires on it. holy shit, how do we pass? i had to ride up onto the side of the mountain in a very awkward off-camber situation for him to pass. he cleared my truck by about 2 inches. if i didnt have 4 wheel drive, i couldnt have driven up the side of the mountain. so we pass each other, then i get another 300 feet down the road and another Ford F-250 comes rolling up.... WTF!?!? i had to back up the trail to that one spot that had a tiny clearing that i could drive up. seriously, these large, full sized trucks are not ideal for these trails.


boulder creek.... waaaaaay up the mountain near Tolland


gratuitous shot of my truck


more gratuity


boulder creek


wife pondering about being funny....


she pretends that she is going to fall in the water, then, just after i snapped this photo, she almost took a header into the water... it was hillarious


silliness


its mostly stock, but i am impressed with its capabilities


many of you may scoff at this, but here is my first bit of trail damage. i had to turn around on a narrow road (went the wrong way) and i had to drive my back end up the side of the mountain and i scratched the bumper and bent the wiring harness.


housing near moffat tunnel


moffat tunnel (for trains).


more housing near the tunnel


moffat tunnel placard


this was the town of tolland... seriously... thats it. if you blink, you miss it.


rollinsville.. another small town


the busy hub of rollinsville




we had alot of fun today and it was great to see some of colorado.

if anyone wants to try out some 4 and 5 rated trails on the front range or in the central region, let me know. i would gladly go.


thanks for looking
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:24 PM   #2
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awesome pics.

CO definitely has some beautiful scenery, plus all those ghost towns in almost perfect condition are pretty sweet!
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Old 07-17-2010, 09:36 PM   #3
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Nice pics! Looks like an awesome time! Sorry to hear about the "carnage" to your bumper and wiring harness, heh.
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Old 07-18-2010, 08:40 AM   #5
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Yeah I have always wanted to check out CO. Love the American flags all over the place in that small town. Would be awesome to see that many in the cities.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:20 AM   #6
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looks like an awesome time. CO is a place i have wanted to check out for a long time now.
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:53 AM   #7
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Nice (off)road-trip pictures and captions! Thanks for taking the time to put this together and sharing. Though, it does make me jealous and envious, you sumbitch.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:11 AM   #8
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Nice, I like goin through there, nice scenery.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:27 AM   #9
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Beautiful scenery. thanks for posting
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostRebel View Post
Nice (off)road-trip pictures and captions!
haha... ya... most of it was "on" road, but through about half of the trip, a passanger car could not have even attempted it. on those roads, i consider it off road even for as easy as it was
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Old 07-18-2010, 02:17 PM   #11
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Looks like a great trip. Makes me want to take a road trip to CO.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:14 AM   #12
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Awesoe pics! I hope to make a CO trip in the next few years. So you just used that guidebook for navigation for the most part? I have been wanting to order one of those books to start planning a trip.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:05 AM   #13
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I've done similar variations of that trip a few times when showing family around. One of the cooler things to experience is standing about 5 feet from the tracks as close to that East portal of Moffat Tunnel when a train is pushing the through. Moments before the engine breaks through the tunnel opening the wall of air it's pushing out hits you like nothing else. It will seriously knock you off your feet if you're not expecting it.

Great trip. Great pics.
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Old 07-21-2010, 02:56 PM   #14
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Great pics, looks alot like leadville, that pic of old International truck is a 70's series , my uncle used to live in Frisco, Co. elev. roughly 8000 ft, absolutely beautiful every pic was a post card,, thanks for sharing.....
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:14 PM   #16
There's a mod for that!
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Been to CO. a few times. Super nice. I'd love to be able to retire there some year in the distant future. Great pictures. Those buildings tell many stories. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rattler View Post
Awesoe pics! I hope to make a CO trip in the next few years. So you just used that guidebook for navigation for the most part? I have been wanting to order one of those books to start planning a trip.

ya... i reviewed all the trails in the book and planned out a trip. many of the trails overlap so you can create a longer trip. i also looked on mapquest for a more magnified, closer view of the trails. also, my GPS had all the main trails in it.

the directrions in the books are very good. they use landmarks and trail posts to guide you. you have to pay attention because there are so many trails that cross over each other that its easy to take the wrong path (which we did once).

a "3" rated trail in that book is very, very easy for a stock 4x4 (a stock 2wd could make it too). on my next trip, i want to try a 4 rated trail.
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Old 07-21-2010, 03:39 PM   #18
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Great shots. "Trail damage" gives a great reason to do a "free/cheap MOD". The relocation of tow harness to the bumper next to the license plate. Makes the back look clean and organized. Have fun.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:28 PM   #19
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Our Upper Peninsula is like a lighter version of CO minus big mountains. Lots of old abandoned mines around.

Thanks for letting me know that info.
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Old 07-21-2010, 04:55 PM   #20
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Letting the air out of your tires will keep the air in your wife.

Seriously though letting 10-15lbs of air out of your tires while on the bumpy stuff will make driving for miles much more enjoyable. Looks like you had a fun trip.
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