|Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Mile Hi Jeep Club, All-4-Fun 2001
|by Kathy Howell photos by Kathy Howell|
|For the 35th year, Mile High Jeep Club sponsored All-4-Fun in
Salida, CO, July 28 - August 4. It was the largest ever All-4-Fun with
375 registered vehicles from as far away as Florida and Hawaii. Each
day, 15 different trails, at all levels of difficulty, were posted on
the trip board. Each night there would be a gathering under the “big
tent” for door prizes from local merchants and vendors, food, ice
cream, Children’s Hospital raffle or entertainment.
The participants from TRR were Judy and Darrel Turner and their two grand kids Lauren and Wesley, Pam Brown, Keith Hilmer, Pat and Eric Steenburn, Greg Beery, Edith Burch, Matt Meester, Elaine Allbrandt, and Kathy and John Howell. Darrel’s motor home was base camp and a gathering point each morning and evening.
Our first trip was from St. Elmo over Tincup Pass to the town of Tincup and then back over Cottonwood Pass. It was a beautiful sunny day with spectacular scenic views. Our leader opted to take the Old Tincup route, which provided a couple of rough spots in an otherwise easy trail. Once we were down on the other side, we stopped for lunch at Mirror Lake just outside of Tincup.
Another day Eric lead an exploratory outing. We were looking for Spring Pass and hoped to get there by way of Pass Creek. Once we got to the old mine, we crossed the creek and headed up a long and steep hill along a narrow road cut through the aspen trees. The road obviously had not been traveled for some time, so Pat was mapping the trip via her GPS and PC. Greg’s friends, Ken and Kathy from British Columbia, were on this trip. Ken drives a full size Chevy pickup truck. In many instances, Ken’s truck was wider than the trail so he sustained body damage on both sides of the truck as well as a broken mirror and CB antenna. Once we reached the top of the hill, we stopped and walked ahead to assess the trail. Although there was an off camber section, the trail actually seemed to be improving, so we decided to continue. But first we had to change a tire as John had slashed his sidewall coming up the hill. Everyone rallied to his aid and we learned all the tricks about changing a tire on the side of a hill. As we continued, the trail deteriorated so we found a nice place to have lunch. As we finished lunch, it started raining, so we decided it was best to retrace our route and head home. That night Eric noticed that those lovely aspen trees had put a gash in his soft-top.
Next, Greg challenged John to do Grizzly Lake as he thought that would be a good test for his Jeep Cherokee. This trail is generally not open to the public, but All-4-Fun had secured permission to use the trail. There was only one obstacle at the very beginning of the trail - cross the creek and climb a rock - which John managed with no problem. After that the very rocky road wound through the remains of old mines, along a shelf road, and finally ended up at Grizzly Lake. We stopped for lunch, enjoyed the scenery, and fantasized about living there. The trip back down was over that same rocky road and we were glad we has skid plates as we went down that obstacle at the end of the trail.
While we were doing Grizzly Lake, Greg was leading a trip on Left Fender. Left Fender has not been traveled since the last time All-4-Fun was held in Salida. Left Fender gets its name because it likes to eat left fenders. Gene King was supposed to lead the trail. However, in pre-running the trail, he damaged his left fender so he asked Greg to lead the group. Gene rode along with Greg. True to its name, six vehicles came back with damaged left fenders. Also, one car rolled on its side, but was winched upright and continued on the trip.
One day, Mel Peterson, who drives a Commando, organized a trip over Tomechi and Hancock Passes. Again, it was a beautiful day with wonderful scenery. On top of Tomechi, you could watch the vehicles coming over Hancock. In fact, there were so many vehicles up there that day that it was difficult to find a picnic spot. Coming down Tomechi there was a nice view of the Palisades on the Alpine Tunnel road.
On Wednesday, most vehicles stayed in camp and participated in the “games.” There were kids games including a scavenger hunt and adult motorized games. Also, vehicles were on display as part of the “Show and Shine” and the vendors marketed their wares under the big tent. For the first time, complimentary soda pop was available from Muddytires.com. The Pop Stand opened early on Wednesday and remained open throughout dinner. Many of the TRR folks worked in the Pop Stand sometime during the day and helped dispense over 1000 cups of pop. The Pop Stand was very popular and much appreciated as an alternative to the free beer. The Pop Stand was open for the next two evenings and by the end of the week, had dispensed over 2000 cups of pop. Thank you, muddytires.com and thanks to all the folks who helped work the Pop Stand.
The last day of the event, everyone was a bit more relaxed. Several went out on the trails while others swam in the hot springs or just napped away the afternoon. That evening there was Country and Western music under the big top.
It was a great week. I am ready to go again next year.