Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Holy Cross City Trip

by Don Owens - photos by Don Owens

We met at the beginning of the Holy Cross City 4WD Road at 9:00am on August 18th. Gail Straty was filling in for Elaine as trip leader due to some front end mechanical problems. Itís a Jeep Thing you understand. The rest of the group was Hurshell Malone, Richard Boddy and his girlfriend, Ray and Wanda Comeau, Andrew Comeau, David LeMaster and friend, Mike Moore and friend, Eric Steenburn and grandson, and myself.

While we were waiting for Gail to show, three rock buggies showed and three Land Rovers, a Range Rover and two Discoveries. The rock buggies and a Chevy pickup headed up first then the Rovers, then us. We got past the vehicle eating tree with no incident. The obstacle after the tree was where we caught the Rovers. They were all stock and were getting up and over the wet obstacle before French Creek. I was impressed.

Gail, who was leading this 4WD road for the first time, did very well. Myself, this was the first hard 4WD road Iíve done since taking out my Toyotas IFS and putting in a leaf spring 1985 Toyota solid axle. I Love It! By the time we got to the French Creek crossing we had a party of four from the Big Wheels 4WD Club out of Fort Collins.

At French Creek the rock buggies were holding everyone up. The last time I did Holy Cross City the French Creek crossing was a couple of big rocks and a lot of smaller boulders. This time around the big rocks were there, but the smaller boulders are gone. There are other rocks to snag stuff on now. One of the rock buggies had finally made it up. The next one tried to go straight up over the big boulder but couldnít, so he went to the left. With the mongo tires, he was having a time of it, and then, SNAP! he lost his left rear axle shaft. He got off to the side to do the switcheroo.

All of our group except Ray and Richard went to the left hand side. Ray and Richard went up and over the big boulders. David had a time of it. This time Dave had to winch. The Holy Cross 4-Wheelers had put in two winch anchors on both sides of the road. The left side anchor is set in a large boulder. Well, that boulder is starting to move. Time to put a new anchor in. We didnít have the rock buggies at the front to imped us. There was a spot that was a little spooky on the way up to what is left of Holy Cross City.

One can find very old cabins that are disintegrating in to the ground. Below the City are the old steam boilers that were used to provide the energy needed to work the mines. It seems that the continuation of the road beyond the city to the boundary of the Holy Cross Wilderness has gotten pretty gnarly, and as a result has become a destination for the hard core 4 Wheelers. I donít have a problem with this, but if you are breaking lower down on the 4WD road, perhaps you should back off to let others get to the city without a long delay.

Richard got caught between some of these folks and the only way he could turn around was to go over the obstacle and then turn it to get back. The Rover crowd decided to camp up at the city, so our group had no one in front of us on the way down. Coming down from the City we passed the president of the Colorado Association of 4WD Clubs. The French Creek crossing was still ahead, but we each got through unscathed.

We had an excellent time and we didnít have any breakage. We fared better than the rock buggies over all. I hope that there are 4-Wheeler folks that are into vast scenic views that require a little four wheeling challenge to get to.

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