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Mrs. 1911, Miss 1911 and I just got back from a northern Colorado expedition. Two FJ Cruisers, two Defenders, two heeps, and a 4Runner; we went from Fort Collins to Hahns Peak in five days, almost without touching pavement. Camped every night above 9,100 feet.

The other FJC (not a forum member) lost an aftermarket rear trailing arm nut, the only mechanical failure of the whole trip. One of the heeps (a fairly stock four-door Rubicon) suffered some body damage and had to be recovered after getting stuck in an obstacle; no other damage.

It will take me a long long time to do a complete write-up and list some of the trails, I've got a ton of business to catch up on and a new camera/software to figure out but here are a few teaser photos until then:

The whole group:



My FJC and the D110:



Miss 1911 getting some sunshine:

 

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Looking great so far! Can't wait to see the rest and also the report.
 

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Excellent ! Waiting for more. :cheers:
 

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Looks like it was a great trip lee, can't wait to get your write up, looks like a route i would like to run.

kevin
 

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OK, I finally got the photos sorted and uploaded. Didn't get very many photos of actual wheeling, as I was pretty busy driving most of the time and didn't have either room or time to take many action photos. I'm still hoping to get some of the other party's photos too. Like I said, we had a diverse group of two jeeps, two Land Rover Defenders (a 90 and a 110), two FJC's and a 4Runner. Everyone had at least one diff locker, and everyone but the 4Runner had a winch. We had to bring enough gas and water for at least the first three days, so I had three Scepter jerry cans loaded on the rear of the Gobi roof rack, two gasoline and one water.



The Scepters performed flawlessly the whole time and never leaked a single drop, despite ballooning out a small amount with the altitude and sun. I wish I had bought more of these before they were banned from importation.

We met at the Jax store in Fort Collins, and proceeded on U.S. 287 to Hwy 54G west, to Larimer County Roads 69 and 162 to the Old Flowers Road trail head.



We had Bill Burke for our guide, who knows these trails like the back of his hand. We tried for a day or two to keep track of every turn and trail, but it soon became too much for my co-pilot. After driving a mile or two past some gorgeous privately-owned ranches, we aired down a little for the rest of the day.



Old Flowers Road is not a technically-challenging trail, but it is very pretty. We had gorgeous weather all week long, sunny with highs in the 70's and maybe down to 40 at night. We did get a little rain the last day. There were some tight spots where we had to chop down some dead trees to get past.



From Old Flowers Road, we then got on the Overland Trail. This is a neat trail from an historical perspective, it is a remnant of one of the main pioneer wagon trails (and Indian trail before that) and because of that it is very narrow and the trees have grown up very close to the trail. Plan to have your outside mirrors folded back and probably get some pine striping on this trail. I couldn't find a good topo of this trail, but it heads more north than west.

From the Overland Trail, we took Larimer County Road 14 to the Bald Mountain Trail (also marked as Forest Service Road 517):



Things began to get more interesting here, and we aired way down for Rock Hill, a long ( two miles +)steep ascent with lots of loose basketball-size and smaller rocks, and a ledge or two.



As usual, the photos do not do justice to how steep and rugged Rock Hill was, but it was fun crawling up at a fast idle with the Inchworm 4.7:1 "Lefty" transfer case doing all the real work. I think I made a convert of the other FJC driver (not a forum member, but maybe a convert there too) by the end of the week.

We camped for the night off of an old logging road, in a beautiful meadow with a creek running nearby. Mrs. 1911 took advantage of the room on the Gobi rack to bring an astronomical telescope and tripod and (literally) the kitchen sink:



The next day found us on Kelly Flats Trail:



The first big obstacle was Heart Attack Hill, a long and steep hill that has lots of loose rocks and dirt. Once again, the Inchworm was great here and it almost easy. This was the only obstacle in the whole week that I locked my front differential once for a few seconds. There is a bypass if you don't want to attempt it. Everyone in our group made it up, but the 4Runner had to be pulled up in one spot. Here is the only photo I was able to take, of the D110 coming up behind me at the top:



Next up was the most technically challenging obstacle of the whole week, "The Chutes". Probably not more than 100-150 yards long, but it took us several hours to get through, and not everyone did it (there is a bypass). It is a rock-crawling climb over some deep holes, steep ledges, and a very narrow off-camber slot with huge rocks on both sides. Would not recommend doing this obstacle without good aftermarket sliders and at least 33" tires. One of the jeeps did it, but gouged his right rear door on a rock and had to be winched sideways to get him off the rock:











The next day had us headed for Green Ridge Trail:



This is a mostly easy trail, with some beautiful views...



and quite a bit of boggy meadows and mud! Miss 1911 got to try her hand at driving:



From there, we went over Calamity Pass on Forest Service roads and stopped at the mining ghost town of Teller City:



Mostly just the foundations and some walls of old log structures, but it's well-documented with explanatory signs if you like history and ghost towns. It was once a large and thriving town with a two-story hotel, but it is quite remote and hard to imagine traveling here a hundred years ago.

The next day found us on a few miles of pavement in the sprawling metropolis of Rand, Colorado in Jackson County:



Back on dirt county roads west to U.S. 40, then off-road again to an old trail that goes almost to the top of Rabbit Ears Pass. I have driven over the paved Highway 40 Rabbit Ears Pass a hundred times I bet (I grew up in Colorado), but this is the first time I had climbed to the actual rabbit ears themselves. Had to hike the last couple of hundred yards but it was worth it for the view:



Continued next post...
 

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After getting back to pavement (U.S. 40), we aired up and drove to Steamboat Springs, CO for gas, water, and fresh groceries. From there, it was on to Hahns Peak, where we camped for the next two nights and wheeled all around the area on some great old mining trails and more fantastic high country scenery:













Horny Basque sheep herders, apparently boob men, were here in the 1930's:










That's all, folks - it was a great trip. If you want to see every last photo, most of them are here: Northern Colorado 2009 pictures by FJ80 - Photobucket
 

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Great pics and descriptions 1911. That would be a great route for another western trip for the Woodsman. :)
 

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Looks like a great trip. Hope to read the write up soon.
 

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Lee,

Looks like you guys had a wonderful trip! That Lefty is awesome! It is on my wish list!

cheers,

dale
 

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1911; this is a great writeup...I have a place not far from Kelly Flats and am up there most weekends; have done many of the trails but am not familiar with how to get to the Overland Trail...I saw you couldn't find a map; do you recall any directions on how to get from Old Flowers to the Overland Trail?

also, if you ever get that way again, from the end of Kelly Flats you can go left (downhill) and turn onto Sevenmile, which is a nice easy to moderate trail which will spit you back out onto a road leading to Deadman Road (and Green Ridge).

Thanks again for the writeup and photos
 

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Thanks everyone for reading the report.

Great pics and descriptions 1911. That would be a great route for another western trip for the Woodsman. :)
If you like the mountains like I do, it was a wonderful trip. A great summer trip to escape the heat of the flatlands. It would be more technically-challenging with some snow or more rain, in the spring or fall.


Looks like a great trip. Hope to read the write up soon.
Thanks; that pretty much is the write-up.


Lee,

Looks like you guys had a wonderful trip! That Lefty is awesome! It is on my wish list!

cheers,

dale
Thanks Dale. "Lefty" is the most fun mod I have on my truck. It kept me at or near the back of the group the whole way though because it keeps you so slow in low range. You end up shifting a lot between 4-low and 4-high.


1911; this is a great writeup...I have a place not far from Kelly Flats and am up there most weekends; have done many of the trails but am not familiar with how to get to the Overland Trail...I saw you couldn't find a map; do you recall any directions on how to get from Old Flowers to the Overland Trail?

also, if you ever get that way again, from the end of Kelly Flats you can go left (downhill) and turn onto Sevenmile, which is a nice easy to moderate trail which will spit you back out onto a road leading to Deadman Road (and Green Ridge).

Thanks again for the writeup and photos
Congrats on having a place in such beautiful country. My (co-pilot's) notes show that the Overland Trail crossed Old Flowers somewhere, but as that was on the first day of five on this trip, I'm sorry I just don't remember the details. There are a couple of web sites with info on the Overland Trail that focus mostly on the historical aspects. This one: Looking at The Overland Trail--Last updated 02/07/01 has a couple of relatively poor maps that you might be able figure out where they are by comparing with topo maps.

I would like to do this trip or parts of it again in the future, thanks for the suggestion on Sevenmile Trail.
 

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1911, thanks...I'll do some homework..it's always cool to find new trails up there. We feel very fortunate to be up there..as you've seen it's off the beaten path and there is a lot to do.
If you ever plan a trip back up that way, let me know!
 

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Great pics and write up Lee, that should get Ace Brown excited about his Continental Divide trip he wants to do. If plans go right I might get to do some of it with him.

The Basque sheepherders were very artistic! I have come across a couple of them up on the Umcompaugre Plauteau that were done in the 1930's according to the forest service ranger. They were apparently prolific as well!
 

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Excellant trip report and photos. As I was viewing the photos I realised I knew a few of the folks on that trip. Having done two of Bill Burkes trips I of course know him but also have met Joe, Katrina and Dakota in their JK, Dave and Diane in the D110, and Jim in the 4-Runner. In fact all of the above were repeating on Bill's Grand Mesa trip a few weeks later where we all met. Even the red JK was on an earlier trip with me at Hole in the Rock, but their names are not recalled.

Anyway Bill puts out grand trips and I can't recommend them any higher. Thanks for sharing another one with the FJCF members.

Alan
 

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I'm glad this got bumped up as we're moving up to CO in January. I'll keep this filed away for some trips once the snow melts. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
... Even the red JK was on an earlier trip with me at Hole in the Rock, but their names are not recalled.
Chuck and Mary - been on two BB trips/schools with them.


Anyway Bill puts out grand trips and I can't recommend them any higher.
I agree. I did another one of his trips this year (Hotel Rock to Needles District Canyonlands) with The Woodsman also: http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forums/en-route-completed-expeditions/107676-follow-me-internet-canyonlands.html

Bill's guided trips are so good that he has lots of repeat customers, hence you tend to make friends that you see again on subsequent trips. I much prefer this kind of wheeling over "event" types with hundreds of trucks too.
 
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