Ladies Run to Kingston Peak

by Karla Harmon

August 29, 2009
Everyone met up at the McDonald's at 1800 28th Street in Boulder. We left the McDonald's parking lot at 8:30am with Kathy Howell in the lead followed by thirteen vehicles. Kathy and John Howell; Mike and Laura Baker; Greg Beery; Tom and Erin Healy; Rich, Cathy, Aaron and Jordan Horiuchi; Erin Kilton; Larry and Paulette McGimsey; Mike and Caroline Moore; Matt and Carol Ann Schwall; Gail Straty; Darrel and Judy Turner; Perry and Anita Wilson; Mike, Cheryl, and Garret Hopp (customers of Greg); Karla and Richard Harmon headed up the Boulder Canyon on HWY 119 to Nederland where we added two more vehicles, Gordon and Christy Howe and Don and Karen Lamprecht, for a total of sixteen vehicles making our way to Rollinsville. Wow!
At Rollinsville we turned off onto FS149/CR16 where we stopped along the side of the road to air down and a 10-100. After everyone was ready we continued to Tolland were we turned left onto FS 176 and then took FS 353 towards Kingston Peak.
It was a beautiful clear day and the scenery was breathtaking and most of the ladies were driving. Thank you guys for scooting over and letting the ladies drive this one! We were soon above tree line and stopped at a large curve in the road for a break. It was time for a group picture and Larry set his camera and tripod up to take our picture. Thanks Larry!
We continued on and soon Kathy found a nice lunch stop with some beautiful views, and enough room for 32 to enjoy a long lunch and visit together. After everyone packed up we were on our way again. The next stop was the Loch Lomond Overlook-Rockhouse where we added a few rocks to the house. Laura shared some delicious homemade chocolate chip cookies and we all had time for more Kodak moments.
We headed down from the tundra into the Bristle Cone Pines when Kathy had to ask two men in an oncoming vehicle to pull over as we had sixteen Jeeps! They were very nice and when Karla thanked them they said they enjoyed the "Jeep Show". Karla asked them if they noticed anything else and they thought for a moment and one guy said, "Yes, all the BABES were driving."
We ended up in Alice at Ope's Mountain Mart for a pit stop and some enjoyed ice cream. From here we continued on and headed for Yankee Hill and followed Yankee Hill Road toward Central City. Kathy was the first to see a Mama Bear and her Cub, and everyone got a good look at them. The bears stayed perfectly still in the same place while all sixteen jeeps passed by. We heard exclamations over the radio. There's A BEAR! A BEAR! We saw a BEAR! Ya right! The bears never moved. What's up with that? It turns out they were a little stiff!
When we got to Yankee Hill everyone that wanted to take the side trip to the top did. Kathy left John at the bottom of the hill and Greg joined her to check her Jeep for noises. While everyone was on top of the hill and turning around in a big circle, Gordon's jeep was making very loud noises. (I think Gordon was bored from not driving and was banging two tools together!) How did Christy drive with all the noise he was making? Greg thinks he has identified the source of the noise.
On down the road Greg took every opportunity to demonstrate his real rock crawling skills driving over the BIG rocks, except the ones next to the trees. We all know why that is, he doesn't want to scratch his new paint job. All day we had no break downs - just SOME NOISES. A big Thank You to John for his behind the scenes navigating skills using his GPS to guide the way through the maze of spur roads on Yankee Hill Road as the forest service had changed the road numbers since we had last been there.
We all aired up at the top of Central City. Since Greg was the expert of the local area, he led us through Central City, to the Central City Parkway and onto I-70 east. He told us that his Jeep wanted to turn into the Casino's Parking Garage. We then headed for the On the Border restaurant near the Colorado Mills Mall for dinner. We had 27 for dinner on the patio. We all enjoyed some tasty Mexican food and good company to top off a great day of jeeping. Good Job Ladies!

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