Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Mile Hi Jeep Club, All-4-Fun 2009

August 1 - 8, 2009

by Kathy Howell      photos by John and Kathy Howell

Mile-Hi Jeep Club's 43rd annual All-4-Fun was held in Empire, CO, with 280 registered vehicles from across the United States including Hawaii. Camp was on the west side of Empire several blocks from downtown. The "big tent", the food tents and the drink trailers were set up on the grassy ball diamond, the motor homes, tents, and RVs were on the other side of the county road (this county road will become more important later) and the trailers were parked in the mud in the lower parking lot. The Turners and McGimseys arrived on Friday afternoon and after a lengthy debate with the All-4-Fun officials, were allowed to park their rigs in what we'd come to realize was THE prime location.

On Saturday, the other TRR members arrived. They included: Greg Beery, Richard and Karla Harmon, Mike and Caroline Moore, Kathy and John Howell, Dusty and Micky Rhoades, Kerry Beach and daughter Kaylee, Gene and Jean King, and Bill Boitano and Polly Rader. That afternoon, the CoA4WDCI held their 3rd quarterly meeting under the big tent with lots of TRR attendees and that evening hosted a sloppy Joe dinner.

Bill Moore Lake

The trails were a variety of levels of difficulty and included: Bill Moore Lake, Geneva Basin, Spring Creek, Red Cone, Radical Hill, Democrat Mountain (Republican Mountain), and Argentine Pass. For me, Spring Creek and Democrat Mountain were new trails. Spring Creek has rocks, lots of rocks. With some good spotting, the entire group made it through without much trouble. Democrat Mountain (which is actually Republican Mountain) was an easy, but very scenic trail with great views of Empire, Georgetown and Interstate 70. The TRR folks broke off from the main group and explored a trail that took us literally to the top of the mountain. Fantastic!

Democrat Mountain

Besides the trails, our group made numerous trips back and forth to Denver. Karla's brother and nephew, Mark and Zach, had their flight cancelled on Saturday, so Karla and Richard drove back to the airport on Sunday morning to pick them up. Richard drove home again that night as he had to work the first part of the week. Karla's brother and nephew returned home to Louisiana on Wednesday, so Karla made the trip back to Denver to drop them at the airport and pick up Richard. Darrel and Judy's grandson, Wesley, couldn't come until Sunday night and then had to be home on Thursday night so he could register for high school on Friday morning. Paulette McGimsey became ill and had to be taken home early in the week.

Geneva Basin

All-4-Fun offered all the traditional events under the big tent. There was bingo, Town Appreciation Night, karaoke, Vendor Day (Ray Comeau and Mike Rubio came for the day), Show and Shine, door prizes, music and dancing. And, of course, there was food. Bestop hosted an ice cream social (but ran out of ice cream before most of us could get any), Mile-Hi Jeep Club provided a hot dog lunch, Big O Tire put on a barbeque extravaganza catered by Kaddy Shack, the Empire Business Association held a spaghetti dinner fund raiser, and Warn hosted the barbeque dinner on the last evening. Each night under the big tent, we were reminded of the rules (all of which involve the county road):
1. beer served on the big tent side of the county road could not be taken across the road to camp
2. the dogs in camp could not cross the road and be in the big tent
3. don't exceed the speed limit when driving on the county road. The Empire police patrolled the road often to remind us about this one.

Radical Hill

Several events that have occurred in the past but not this time were the parade through town and a Ladies Run.

Besides all that All-4-Fun offered, we had a few parties of our own. On Sunday night, some of us gathered at the rental house for a steak dinner with all the trimmings. On Tuesday night, the Turners hosted a potluck supper at their motor home. They provided hamburgers and everyone else brought a dish to share. The idea was to have an early dinner and then have ice cream under the big tent. However, when we went for ice cream at 6:45 PM, all the ice cream was already gone. So, instead we celebrated Karla Harmon's birthday back at the motor home with a card and cheesecake bites.

Radical Hill

On Friday, most of us did a short trail, and then lunched at the ORIGINAL Hard Rock Café in Empire. It was a beautifully restored building serving great food, so it was a very pleasant lunch. We discovered the Empire Dairy King ice cream store early in the week and did our best to patronize as often as possible.

As for prizes, many of the TRR members contributed to a cash prize that was donated as a door prize. This year, we donated $80 which was won by Richard Dillon who had led our Spring Creek trip earlier in the week. Larry McGimsey bought raffle tickets from Warn and won a winch and compressor. Greg Beery bought Children's Hospital raffle tickets and won a $1700 gift certificate that he sold for cash. Bill Boitano usually wins big with the door prizes or the Children's Hospital raffle, but his luck ran out this year.

Each year a traveling trophy is auctioned as a fund raiser for Children's Hospital. Several years ago, Darrel Turner was the high bidder and has his name on the trophy. This year the Firewalker 4WD Club from Illinois bought it for $1500. Our associate members, John and Susan Matson, belong to this club. The club will display the trophy for a year and then bring it back to next year's All-4-Fun where it will be auctioned again.

Red Cone

Spring Creek

Spring Creek

Spring Creek

Spring Creek

And, thanks to Wanda Comeau, we all sported All-4-Fun flags which has become a TRR tradition. Thank you Wanda for all the hard work that goes into making those flags.

All in all, it was a good week, good trails, good weather, good food and good friends. We are already looking forward to next year in Silverton.
Spring Creek

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