|Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Snow Run Trip 2011, Bunce School Road
|story and photos by Ray Comeau|
|Once again the Trail Ridge Runners had our annual snow run on Saturday January 8th. As in years past I always wonder who will show up. But as always we had a great turn out. The group meeting time was 9:00 am at the Super WalMart in Longmont. I was not the first to show up. In all we had 10 rigs show up for a day of unknown fun.
Before taking off, we gathered in a circle for introductions and a few rules for the day. We headed down Hy66 towards Lyons and then up Hy7 toward Allens Park, our destination is Bunce School road. This Trail is about 9000 feet in elevation and is one of the few trails that stays open year around. The terrain is normally perfect for winter wheeling. The elevation climb is very moderate with a few hills and almost always snow.
As we traveled up Bunce School Road, trail number 105, we drove about 1/4 mile to an area to air down and lock our hubs. As we pulled up, we realized we would not be alone today, other fellow wheelers had the same plans as we did to play in snow.
The weather was great, the sun was out and it was a warm 30 plus deg. morning. In 2006 the snow run to Rollins past, the day started out at 10 below zero and in 2007 it was 17 deg. on Bunce School. So 30 was a warm welcome to all. As in years past, I may be the leader but I always let others lead the way. In a snow run, normally the first 3 or 4 in line see most of the action while the others wait and watch. After airing down we were off, Buster was the leader for now. There was not much snow, just a few inch's on the ground and the trail was snow packed but slick in area's.
We decided since we were not alone today to get off 105 and take a side trail were no body else had been yet that day. About 1/2 mile we came up on a hill we had tried before in snow runs, but in years past there was a lot more snow, so we thought we had a chance to make it up the hill. Well as they say don't count your chickens until they hatch. Richard and Karla, Victor and Eric made up the hill to a flat spot in the road to wait.
Next in line was a newer stock Toyota Four Runner, forgive me but I do not remember his name, but he tried several times but the hill won, he was sliding to far off to the right and got himself in a pickle. So my winch came to the rescue. We used the snatch block and tree strap to pull him backwards onto the road. By the time we finished this task, I made a trail leader decision to turn everyone around and head for trail 105. As I do these snow runs, I have learned not to spend to much time in one area due to the people in the rear get really bored waiting there turn.
Before getting on 105, I tried to switch up the rig line up so those in the back are up front. So down 105 we went, we were gaining some altitude as we went, maybe 500 ft. We drove 3 or 4 miles before coming up on our next snow obstacle, a 40 yard snow drift. We have seen this drift in years past, it sits on the east end of a meadow. We had also caught up with some other wheelers who had gone threw the snow drift and was playing in the next snow drift.
Figuring this would be a last place to play today, all 10 of us took turns blasting into the snow drift, even in 4 low, 2nd or 3rd gear it was hard to get past half way, a few made it threw on the first attempt, most gave it all that they had as we cheered them on as the snow drift won. After taking at least an hour to get all 10 of us threw, in our minds we all new we had to turn around and repeat the whole process all over.
If your not an outdoor enthusiastic person, one might wonder if we are of sound mind and body, go get stuck to turn around to get stuck again. So after getting everyone threw the snow drift, we headed down the trail. Once at the trail bottom we aired up and said our good bye's.
Once again, the snow run was a great day in our back yard in Rocky Mountains with great wonderful people.