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theksmith

7/24-7/31/10: Ouray, CO, 4x4, Camping

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We're home! Lots of great pictures - we're going to have to sift through them & post up. How nice to come home to 90* weather today! We were afraid we'd die when we hit the valley. . . d :rolleyes:

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I'm going to try something new with this Trip Report: I'll put up a day at a time. That way you'll see if faster than if I wait till it's all done to post. If it takes me a couple of days, it takes me a couple of days.

 

Saturday, July 24th, we left the house at O'Dark-Thirty headed northeast on Hwy. 87

 

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We met Goose & Scott w/ Mason & Moose in Payson, and caravanned from there.

 

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It rained pretty much from Cortez to Ouray. This was in Rico, CO:

 

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Trout Lake:

 

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We got to the KOA & set to unloading & setting up. This picture of camp taken Sunday morning.

 

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Driving through Ouray on the way to the trail Sunday morning:

 

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Going up Hwy. 550 on the way to our 1st trailride.

 

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Our 1st Trail was Poughkeepsie Gulch. In attendance were JKGoose, theksmith, scottl, Number 7, stockjeep & their friends Gunther & Marci from Durango, and George's friend TanTJJim from the VJC. At the trailhead:

 

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George said the electric fan on Number 7 wasn't working right, so he and TanJim re-wired it while we aired down. There were a lot of vehicles at the trailhead while we were there.

 

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Continued



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Poughkeepsie Gulch is rated a Difficult - and the Jeep Rental companies up there won't let you take their Jeeps up Poughkeepsie Gulch, because of one main obstacle: The Wall. Other than that it was an easy 4x4 road alongside a stream.

 

Right away we came to this rock in the road that was completely by-passable, but which TanJim and stockjeep went over, and Number 7 turtled on! It was an odd feeling being on our belly, and an ominous way to start the vacation; luckily George got a bite and we backed down off it.

 

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The road goes up on a shelf alongside the stream:

 

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Further up:

 

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Gunther tried to go up an obstacle he knows of alongside the trail, but it was to remain only a dream. TanJim tried it too but we concluded it was meant for buggies.

 

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Our next stop was The Wall. There's an open area at the bottom of this obstacle where spectators gather to watch vehicles climb up. If you look closely, you'll see the deer that ran through while we were there:

 

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Our group getting ready to go:

 

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Continued



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There are basically 3 ways to climb The Wall, the right is easiest, the middle is hardest, and the left is somewhere in the middle. Gunther went 1st; had a bit of trouble on the left-most line and had to turn right to keep going. Then George went up it on a slightly different line and it worked, so he stayed up there and spotted others on it, including Gunther who had to do it again and made it without incidence the 2nd time.

 

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Scott going up the left:

 

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TanJim went up the middle - which George named 'The Can Opener'

 

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Stockjeep clearing the left line:

 

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theksmith & JKGoose going up the 'easy' line on the right:

 

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And then it was on to Lake Como to meet Brian & Etti (Xiled1 on VJC & friends of George & TanTJJim) for lunch

 

 

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Leaving Lake Como after lunch:

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Continued

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We went up over a pass down into California Gulch. From the top of the pass looking back at Lake Como:

 

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Looking toward California Gulch:

 

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We stopped at these mining ruins along the way:

 

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And we stopped at Animas Forks to have a look around:

 

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From there we went back to Ouray by way of Mineral Creek, which I drove, and thus have no pictures of. Here's the group almost back to the air-up spot:

 

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All of my pictures from the 1st day are located here:

Poughkeepsie Gulch Pictures

 

Day 2 and Imogine Pass next! d :rolleyes:

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Our 2nd day in Ouray started with a stop in Ridgeway for fuel and to try on headwear. George won the 'Most Suitable Hat' Award wearing this Orange-Camo creation:

 

 

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From there it was on down Hwy. 62 toward Placerville. We turned off on Last Dollar Road; a graded road to Telluride, where we would start the trail for the day: Imogine Pass. In attendance was JKGoose, theksmith, scottl, team Daydreamin', stockjeep and Number 7.

 

 

Do you see the deer that just ran in front of Russ & Annabel's Jeep in this picture?

 

 

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Aired down & ready, I took the wheel & tailgunner position.

 

 

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Snacks & Restroom-Break at San Miguel Country Store:

 

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Looking sharp as we parade through Telluride on our way to Oak Street and the trailhead:

 

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The trail immediately climbs up a shelf road with views of Telluride and Black Bear Pass across the valley:

 

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Continued



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We stopped at some mining ruins to have a look around, and drove a little further where we had lunch at the mining town of Tomboy (I think)

 

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At lunch Goose was surprised to hear his phone ring, and even more surprised that he could take the call from Terri his wife without losing the signal.

 

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He did sit pretty still though:

 

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And then it was on to Imogine Pass:

 

 

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It's an easy trail with some steep sections. The last switchback from the top is pretty intense; I was able to cut in close and make the turn. I would hate to have to back up there - it was STEEP!

 

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A Jeep Tour passenger was filming us on the way up - I wish I could see the video!

 

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Reaching the top:

 

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Continued

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From the summit at Imogine Pass we went over to another lookout spot where we took in these views:

 

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And then headed down toward Camp Bird Mine

 

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Where we found this open invitation to explore

 

 

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And this is what we found:

 

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Earlier, as we had entered the Camp Bird Mine, thekdude tried to go in over a dam near a tailings pile, but he couldn't figure out if you could actually get through that way. As we left, George checked it out and found it doable, so we crossed this narrow earthen dam on the way out.

 

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And then just followed the road out to Ouray.

 

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To see all my pictures from the 2nd Day, click here: Imogine Pass Pictures

Stay tuned for Day 3 - Corkscrew Gulch and others! d :rolleyes:

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Tuesday morning we left Ouray bright and early & headed down Hwy. 550 for the Corkscrew Gulch trailhead. In attendance for the day's trailride were JKGoose, theksmith who rode with scottl & team Number 7.

 

Here's our view of Ouray as we were leaving town:

 

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The views as we climbed up Corkscrew Gulch were spectacular:

 

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We stopped at the top for a minute to enjoy the views and then started down into California Gulch to make our way over to Picayune Gulch:

 

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Another specatular view of Lake Como:

 

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As we made our way down California Gulch we came upon a community of marmots who let us take their pictures. This one couldn't take it's eyes off Scott's Blue XJ:

 

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We stopped at this stream to eat lunch and then headed over toward Picayune Gulch and stopped at several mine ruins along the way.

 

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Continued

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Overlooking Picayune Gulch:

 

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Where we met with a flock of sheep complete with shepard:

 

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And more old mining ruins:

 

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Before reaching the Animas River and following it into Silverton:

 

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Continued

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