Off Road to Everywhere!

Hello Everyone!  I can’t believe almost six months has gone by since we last posted.

You will remember we shared how we tried camping….or glamping….in 2021.  We loved our little jewel box “Freedom”, but alas, camping for the first time in my 70’s was about 10 years too late.  We sold the motor home but kept the Jeep we towed.

That stock Wrangler Jeep was the key to an unexpected “off road” door.  Mr. Terry began planning short trips into the wilderness.  We could photograph landscapes not seen from the highway.   After a few scary trail experiences we decided our vehicle needed to have higher ground clearance and a few more bells and whistles so we are safe on the trails.

We sold the stock Jeep and a new fully loaded Jeep Rubicon Extreme was delivered in March.  Off we went to Jeep School in Moab, Utah.  Holy smoke!  The things we learned.  We now are skilled in Mad Max-type off road experiences.

We can climb up or down inclines that top 30 degrees.   We don’t intentionally want to crawl over refrigerator size boulders or up the sides of gorges, however, if confronted with an unexpected obstacle, the “Beast” will do just that.  The sway bar disconnect is a way to keep all four wheels on the ground to avoid a “jeep wave” (when one wheel tilts up off the ground) and you can possibly roll the Jeep over.

There are “lockers” for both front and rear wheels to keep power concentrated to the tires and keep the Jeep from sliding down uneven slick rock portions of the trail.  We want to stay on the narrow trails and avoid sliding off the side of the mountain or into a ravine.

In Colorado and Utah we have conquered Imogene Pass (between Ouray and Telluride), elevation 13,114; marveled at the Italian landscape of Paradise Valley (near Crested Butte);  conquered the steep obstacles on the trail known as  “Behind the Rocks” as well as traversing the Shafer Trail in Moab.  We and eight other Jeeps from the Grand Junction Jeep Club took almost 10 hours to complete the Alpine Loop.  Snow was still on the ground.  We enjoyed the best of the Colorado Rockies – shorts and a down jacket required!  The vast and spectacular landscape reminded us of Iceland.

The Alpine Loop traverses the San Juan Mountains and combines several  different trails and passes:  Engineer Pass, elevation 12,800; Lake City to Animas Fork, California Gulch, Cinnamon Pass, elevation 12,640; Wagner gulch, Hurricane Pass elevation 12,407; Corkscrew Gulch with the last stop in the small town of Ouray, elevation 7,792.  Here’s the map we followed:

The Alpine Loop

The heavy snowfall has kept a majority of passes closed for now.  Just below Engineer Pass we drove through 20 foot high walls of snow!  We became a muddy mess.

We continue to enjoy the months we spend in Grand Junction.  Like most of the nation, we are experiencing 100 degree days; however, the nights cool down into the low 60’s so we can still get out to hike and bike in the morning and enjoy the deck or fire pit in the late evening.

Be well and enjoy each day…..until next time.

Alpine Loop Gallery
Jeep Wave
The summit at Engineer Pass
Out with the Old and in with the New
Downtown Ouray
Downtown Crested Butte
Alpine Loop Trail
Behind the Rocks in Moab
Alpine Loop in the Distance
Walls of Snow below Engineer Pass
Mesa Arch in Canyonlands off the Shafer Trail
Gateway to Glade Park
Highway 128
View of Shafer Trail Below
Alpine Loop
View from Engineer Pass
Walls of Snow
Grand View Point Overlook
View of Telluride from the Gondola
Alpine Loop in the Distance
Shafer Tral
Mud Bath in the Snow
Mesa Lookout on Trail to Dinosaur Footprints
Wendy and Roger's  Muddy Jeep
Ice on Lake Como
Imogene Pass
Lake Cabin on the Grand Mesa
The Beast's Muddy Handle
Paradise Valley near Crested Butte
Natural tunnel on Shafer Trail
Overlook at the Parade of  Arches
Shafer Trail under the La Sal Mountains
Telluride to Rico
Tourquise Lakes on Potash Trail
Trail to Imogene Pass
Telluride to Rico
Trail to Telluride
View from Grand Mesa
Walls of Snow at Engineer Pass