Red Cone and Radical Hill

by Mike Moore

Just as the eleven vehicles were getting ready to leave the Loaf and Jug in Golden, Kathy Howell comes up and says we can't go yet; Darrel and Judy have her and John's lunch and they aren't here. At just that point here comes Darrel and Judy and after a quick hello and some gas we were ready to go. It was now twelve vehicles, nine for Red Cone/Radical Hill and three more joining us for the first day of their three day Pass Hoppers trip. Going on the one day Red Cone/Radical Hill trip were Mike and Caroline Moore, joined by their friends, Tim and Sue Mead, Gordie and Christy Howe, Richard and Kathy Horiuchi along with Aaron and Jordon, Larry McGemsey, Perry Williams along with friend David Daniels, John and Kathy Howell, Roger Briden and constant companion Linda Gianodinoto, Gene King and Darrel and Judy Turner. Leading the Pass Hoppers trip was Adam Mehlberg. And joining Adam on this three day adventure were Richard and Karla Harmon and Ray Comeau.

Because we have some older members in our group (most of us) with a few years of experience (we needed another bathroom break) and some coffee (to keep the elderly awake) we stopped in Pine Junction at another Loaf and Jug. Soon we were off again to air down just before the south entrance to Webster Pass.

As we were heading up Red Cone, Tim kept saying to Sue, "Sue, LOOK AT THESE ROCKS WE ARE GOING TO GO OVER." Sue's patient response was, "Yes honey, I see them."

About that time Ray is told that it does not look like his front axle is connected to the drive train. With a little help Ray is able to get to the top of Red Cone and down the Red Cone slide in rear wheel drive.

A short drop north from the top of Webster Pass and it is time for lunch. So, here we have the group enjoying the beautiful weather, what I am sure is a great lunch for everyone and excellent company while we discuss the day to this point and the trip up Radical (which has been staring us in the face since the top of Red Cone) still to come.

While we are having lunch, Ray determines that the bolts holding the metal strap on the U-joint connecting the drive shaft to the transfer case have broken. Fortunately, he has the skill and the parts to fix it. And, he did not miss lunch, having the foresight to eat his sandwich while driving down from Webster Pass.

After lunch we proceeded up Radical Hill with Tim stating, "SUE, LOOK WHAT WE ARE GOING TO GO UP!" Sue responds lovingly, "Yes, honey I see it". Meanwhile, Sue (sitting next to the drop off) has moved over to Caroline's lap. "Just to keep the weight towards the hill", she assures us. We all make it safely to the top and its hurricane force winds.

Even Richard and Karla who had a boulder move into the side of their fender. (Of course, they blame it on Gene, stating Gene started the boulder moving and it was still moving after he moved it to the center of the trail-the wind?).

After observing a wild goat or two (this one chasing it's mom), the Pass Hoppers bid goodbye and headed for more passes to conquer, the main group went to a Shepard's cabin and then down to connect with the Swan River Road, just to the north of Breckenridge. After airing up and finding appropriate facilities it was off to the Buffalo Bar and Grill in Idaho Springs for eats and refreshments. All in all, a fun trip with good friends and minimal issues.

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