Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
North Twin Cone Peak trip

by Rich Horiuchi
Photos by Rich and Cathy Horiuchi
July 25, 2009

Gordon and Christy; Perry; Vic; Don and Karen; Tom and Erin and grandkids Patrick and Zachary; John and Kathy; Darrel and Judy; Richard and Karla; and Rich, Cathy, Aaron, and Jordan all met up at the Loaf and Jug just north of Bailey and caravanned it to the North Twin Cone Peak trail head (FDR 126). At the trailhead, we aired down our tires and took care of necessary business before heading down the trail.

Once we were underway, we noted that the road between the two gates that denote private land was much improved through the boggy area from years past. As we passed the second gate, the road stayed "improved". That is, it remained graded/bladed through all of the switchbacks (which used to be fun with moderate rocky areas) and beyond, with nice-sized boulders that used to be in the road pushed to the side. Gordon remarked he should have brought the Subaru Forrester along for the trail ride. We stopped at a nice overlook and took in the views, but we were all wondering if the entire road to the top had been graded.

As we kept heading up, we were finally relieved to see that the grading had stopped just before the fun rocky section of the trail. We all had fun through the rocky area, and several of us put our skid plates through some good structural tests.

We stopped for lunch at the bottom of the steep, loose hill and enjoyed each other's company. Karla played a mushy song for Gordon and Christy who were celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary with us.

After lunch, Darrel decided to look under his Jeep to see how his skid plates had fared, and noticed that one of the bolts for his upper control arm had lost a nut and had almost fallen out. He noticed another upper control arm bolt had almost lost its nut. We all scrounged around looking for a nut that would fit, but to no avail. Darrel finally ended up securing the bolt with a washer and bailing wire(!) and decided to head down the hill.

Tom and Erin, whose air compressor developed a leak, decided to join Darrel for the trip down. The rest of us decided to keep heading up. This year, the steep, loose, hill wasn't that loose, and everybody made it up with no problems at all. We noted the clouds were starting to come in so we made it up to the top quite fast. It was rather cool and windy at the top, and the storm was moving in fast. Soon after we all parked and gathered for a group picture, we all started heading down.

**Note the storm in the background**

Just in time, too, because the lightning was getting close and it started to rain and hail. Several of us saw lightning hit with a ball of fire where it contacted the ground, and we also saw a lightning hit about 50 yards away from us, with the lightning and thunder occurring at the same time. This brought back memories of a ladies run where we were hurrying to get below tree level during a thunderstorm. Well, we all made it down safely, aired up, and decided to stop at a bar and grill in Bailey for a snack. However, it turned out that the bar and grill had closed down. On our way toward Denver, we met up with Darrel who had found a nut at an Ace Hardware in Aspen Park and had his Jeep back in safe shape. We decided to eat Dinner at Amici's Pizzeria and Italian Restaurant in Arvada, but once we got there, it was closed down, too (we later learned that Amici's had moved to a different location). Batting 0 for 2, we decided to stop at the Olive Garden in Westminster. We all had a wonderful dinner and enjoyed each other’s company before departing our separate ways. All in all, this was a fun, successful trip.

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