Jul 7 2010

Alpine Loop Day Trip

Since I had Monday off from work and Amanda had to work I decided to head down to the San Juans for a little day trip. My destination was part of the Alpine Loop and my goals were to find a few geocaches along the way and get a little hiking in.

After passing through Ouray, I turned off of the Million Dollar Highway at the Mineral Creek trail and started climbing.

As usual, I stopped at the Mickey Breen mine.

The view up into Poughkeepsie Gulch

I also stopped at Mineral Point to take a few photos

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Jul 6 2010

Independence Day Weekend in the Flat Tops

This weekend Amanda and I headed up into the Flat Tops to explore an area we hadn’t been to yet. We started in Dotsero and headed up Coffee Pot Road, following a number of side roads to see where they went. We made a large loop that brought us next to the Flat Tops Wilderness area and to Adam’s Lake, before making our way back to Heart Lake. We setup camp on the shore of Bison Lake for the night. The next morning we checked out the Grizzly Jeep Trail and then made our way down to Glenwood Springs via the Transfer Trail. Here’s a few photos from the weekend.

Headed to the Deep Creek Overlook

View over Deep Creek

Following the little used Coffee Pot Corral Road

Big storm cloud rolling it. It rained for a little bit until this cloud blew over

Ten Mile Park

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Mar 29 2010

Arch Hunting | Dome Plateau Area

On Saturday morning, Amanda and I headed out to the Dome Plateau area north of Moab in search of some arches. The main arch I wanted to find was Covert Arch above Lost Spring Canyon. I figured since we were planning on looking for at least one arch, I should stop by as many as I could find throughout the day and get some photos.

Our first destination for the day would be Covert Arch, so I got off the interstate and took the Yellow Cat Road to the Dome Plateau Road, across The Highlands, and then made our way out on Winter Camp Ridge. When we drove as close as we could to the arch, we began our 1.5 mile hike to find the arch.

Views down into Lost Spring Canyon were very cool.

We followed the canyon rim for a ways and then trekked across a sandy area.

Shadow on the sand

Lots of sand. Luckily it was still moist, so walking across it was pretty easy.

Then we finally found Covert Arch.

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Mar 20 2010

Hells & Things

Today, Amanda and I headed to the Sand Flats Recreation Area just outside of Moab. Our goal was to run the Hells Revenge and Fins & Things trails. It has been a few years since I have run either of these trails, so it was about time to run them again.

I also wanted to give my new JK a good workout to see how it performs and get used to driving it. Overall, I was very happy with how the JK performed…..the electronic front sway-bar disconnect was nice 🙂 Approach and departure angles were pretty good as well. I only ended up scraping my rear receiver once, and I never scraped the front bumper or plastic air dam at all. The only thing I would like to improve is the belly clearance, especially under the gas tank, which seemed to be the spot I scraped the most. I also noticed that the stock gas tank skid is definitely not up to the task, as I managed to put a few good sized dents in it already. So I guess I will be adding a newer heavy duty gas tank skid to my list of future upgrades…

We got an early start on Hells Revenge and pretty much had the trail to ourselves.

Follow the tracks

When we reached the overlook above the Colorado River, we ran into the only group of three vehicles we would see on the trail. After checking out the overlook they were discussing the Hells Gate optional obstacle nearby and trying to decide if they wanted to try it. I was not planning on running Hells Gate since we were alone on this trip, but since they were around I offered to run it so they could decide if they wanted to try it. The JK had no problems climbing Hells Gate. Unfortunately, they still decided to skip this obstacle…..at least I got to run it 🙂

Headed towards the Black Hole

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Aug 26 2009

Geostash Challenge 2009

After being home for only 4 days (all of which I had to work) from my 9 day Colorado Adventure, I headed to northern Utah to spend the weekend at the NAXJA Intermountain Chapter’s Geostash Challenge. I’ve wanted to attend this event the last two years it was held, and finally decided I would drive up for it this year, even if I could not stay longer than a standard weekend (I didn’t want to take any more time off because of my previous week off). For those that are not familiar with this event, it’s basically like a poker run. In order to get your cards you need to find hidden geocaches that you are given the coordinates for. You need to find at least five of the hidden geocaches to get one poker hand. When you get back to camp for the dinner, the hands are analyzed and the best hands win some prizes. Since it’s put on by a Jeep club, the caches are hidden along 4×4 roads with some short hiking required to reach some.

I left right from work Friday and drove the 7 hours to the basecamp near Evanston, WY. I ended up driving through some very strong winds on I-70 between the Cisco and Moab exits, and then ran through a couple more storms after passing over Soldier Summit. Luckily, when I reached camp around midnight, it was not raining, so I quickly got my tent setup and got to sleep.

Once morning arrived, it was raining pretty good. Everyone slowly got up and ready in hopes that the rain would stop, but there was no such luck….it was still raining when we finally decided to head out to find our caches for the day.

After getting our permits and airing down, our large group headed up the bumpy Gold Hill Road to an overlook where the first cache was hidden. On our way, the rain turned into sleet and then into snow. By the time we reached the overlook, the snow was coming down fast and heavy and there was probably an inch accumulated on the ground. The flakes were huge! It certainly didn’t feel like it was the middle of August. It felt like we should be looking for a Christmas tree to cut down 😉 After we found the cache near the overlook, I snapped a few photos of the new snowfall, since it might be another few months before I see snow like this again. Unfortunately, because of the storm, there was not much to see from the overlook this day. I had arrived in the dark of the night, and the day so far had been very cloudy and snowy. I had just finished my first trail in the Uintas and still had not been able to see the mountains around me!

Airing Down and getting our permits

Our group as it started to snow pretty heavily

Some more photos of the snow…

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