Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
Snow Run Trip 2012
Bunce School Road
story and photos by Ray Comeau   photos by Karla Harmon
Part One:
It was once again time for the annual Trailridge Runners snow run, as a group we like to find new places to go play in the snow. This year would be no different. On the Wednesday before the scheduled run, Don who lives in Nederland set out that day to do just that, find a trail for the 2012 TRR Snow Run

Just a few days earlier the front range and the mountains received a substantial amount of new fresh snow, Don was about to find out just how much. After traveling the area and putting on 100 miles in his Rubicon, nothing but dead ends.

So the next day Mike Moore and myself joined Don to continue the search. We met at the Whistler Restaurant at 9:00am for break fast to go over the maps and decide which trails to seek out for the day. Off we went, 3 rigs heading out on a chilly windy cold day with a few snow flakes blowing in from the higher peaks. We headed for a small trail off Highway 7 by Allenspark called Rim trail, only to find a gate. We then headed over to Bunce School road which is the trail I'm trying not to return to since the club has tackled this trail so many times in past years snow runs, but we needed to check it out anyway. We were able to travel along the main road on Bunce School very well since a private property owner had plowed the road up to his entrance which I would guess is about mile, so we knew if all else failed, Bunce School Road would work.

As we headed back on Highway 72 toward Nederland we tried a few other trails, one being Switzerland Trail. Again like all the other trails it had been plowed by the county, but the nice plowed road would end with a large pile of snow blocking us from continuing on. So what's to keep you from trying anyway. I back up and decided to see if I could blast my way threw the pile of snow the plow so nicely left in the road. After 3 or 4 tries, each time Don having to pull me back out as the pile of snow which would bury my jeep, I had won! I got threw. It was a small victory, thinking we had found the trail for the snow run, NOT. Just as I exited the large hill of snow I went only another 10 feet to again find my rig buried in heavy wet snow up to my axles that left all four 37 tires rotating in the snow. I was high centered. So again Don gave me a pull and we left Switzerland Trail.

The three amigos ended back up in Nederland, this part might be surprising, we stopped to eat again. A rare moment for a Trailridge Runner out on a group outing to stop at a restaurant, right?

We tried a few more trails after filling our bellies, but the same old story, go up a trail only to find a gate, or snow so deep you needed a snowmobile to continue. In the end Don was so kind and invited Mike and I back to his home for cookies and drinks. Thank you Karen.

So it was decided, the 2012 Trailridge Runners snow run would be Bunce School Road, again.

Part Two:
It was Saturday, the day of the Annual Trailridge Runners snow run, we had awoke this morning to a skiff of fresh snow on the ground in Longmont and the early morning temperature was around 15 degrees. The meeting place was the Super Wall Mart on the north end of Longmont at 9:00am. All together there would be nine rigs. Eight were members and one non member.

Wanda and myself, Kerry, Bill and Polly, Vic and Debbie, Richard and Karla, Scott, Allen and Eileen, Rick and Erin and my younger brother Guy and his friend in his GMC Yukon.

It was 9:10am when we headed down Highway 66 towards Lyons then up Highway 7. Due to the very small snow we received over night, the pavement had just the right amount of snow packed on the road to make it a slow drive up. The group pulled off the road in the small opening about mile into the trail. Everyone began prepared there rigs for the trip. I walked around seeing who would like to be up front on the trail with there rig. Surprisingly Vic said he would take the lead followed by Allen. In some sort of order would be Rick, Richard, Kerry and Scott. In the back would be myself then Bill (who will soon regret his decision) and the stock GMC Yukon in the rear.

So off we went, like race horses caged in there starting gates, the gates opened and the front of the pack was off, it was Vic in the lead and we all fell behind (seems like another story we had not too long ago). Off we went, plowing threw deep snow, tires spinning to find traction in the snow as our axles and under carriage (Vic's) leveled off the center snow. It was great, we were moving.

The day was turning out gorgeous, fresh snow over old snow that had fallen just days before, snow on the trees, blue skies and friends being with friends doing what we all like to do, until we get stuck, break down, get stuck again. Let me explain. There is snow, ok that's why it's called a Snow Run. The private property owner did plow a nice trail up to his road, if not for that, the group may have not traveled much farther than the small area we first stopped at to prepare our rigs due to the depth of the snow based on how high the snow was along the side of the trail. Some areas could have been as high as 3 feet along the plowed road.

Vic and six others behind him, Wanda and I in 7th position following behind Scott in his recently purchased full size Chevy pick up lifted and large tires (getting a picture) was having troubles staying in the narrow trail and having to widen it to continue, well sounds like a plan but with the amount of snow along the edges, this makes for getting the large truck stuck somewhat easy. I then had the excitement and challenge of moving along with new snow in the trail, followed by Bill and the stock low to the ground GMC Yukon, (sorry Bill). As Rick mentioned to me later in the week, Bill should get the "Mule" or "OX" award for the day. Paul Bunyan had a Blue Ox named Babe. fitting for Bill's Scout is Blue. Bill does have a "Babe", but her name is Polly, no relationship at all to the Ox.

I tried to switch places in our rig line up. I tried to pull over in two feet of snow to let Bill and Babe by or at least let Bill and the GMC get around me so I could get behind the GMC if I had to pull it backwards, but the 2 feet of snow won. I've never had this happen to me on a trail before, I broke down! I busted a front driver's side U-joint. It must have been already weak from another trip or another driver had my rig with out me knowing, but anyway the u-joint decided to break so Wanda and my day was done. First time for everything, right.

About 30 minutes had gone by and on the CB Karla must have noticed the group was starting to get separated on the trail, with Bill and his trusty Blue Ox having to help out the GMC I told Karla and the 6 others in front of us not to wait and continue on.

I was able to get my Jeep to move to a place I thought I could get turned around, I had plenty of time since Bill and Babe were no were in sight, I'm sure the GMC had something to do with it.

I tried to turn my Jeep around, but with snow piled up along the edge of the road, (that's my excuse) I could not do it, so when Bill showed up, he had Babe hook it's long leash (winch) onto my front end and pull me around. Then Babe did the same process with the GMC.

Bill and Babe (Scout or Polly, you decide) stayed with Wanda and I and the GMC as we drove back down to a safe place on the trail. Then Bill and Babe took off again up the trail to see how far they could get.

Since we sat in this spot for about another hour or more listening on the CB and waiting for the 6 others that were ahead of us to return Wanda regreted leaving her Book to read at home.

The 6 rigs showed up, assuming nobody was really wanting to stop and get out to share stories at this time, we headed on down the trail as a group. Don, Mike and I had exited Bunce School on Thursday via a short section of the trail that comes out on Highway 72, most decided to exit Bunce this way while the rest of us went out the same way we came in that morning down to Highway 7.

The two groups found each other again at the intersection of Hwy 7 and Hwy 72. Most would not stay to chat as the air and slight breeze had a chill and we all were tired and wanted to head home.

That's about where part two comes to an end, since we had not seen the other 6 rigs in front of us for at least two hours while on the trail. I heard a few stories but have no idea how that part of the trip went.

Part Two addendum:
by Karla Harmon
Yes, we were stopped for about two hours while Vic and Debbie busted the deep snow on the trail ahead. While Vic was gone Alan got stuck and unstuck and Richard got stuck and unstuck and this continued for too LONG!!!!! Vic let us know we all needed to turn around as this would be as far as we could possibly get. Vic got turned around on his own, then they worked on Alan getting turned around, and then Richard finally got turned around, Rick got turned around, and Kerry got turned around. If it was not for winches, tow ropes, and snow shovels we would probably still be there! After everyone got turned around we were so ready to rip and roar back down the trail and GET OUT OF THERE! However, we only got a short distance and found Scott trying to turn around with Bill's help. With winches at both ends of Scott's truck they were able to get Scott headed the right direction after a 180 degree turn in the middle of the trail. Bill kept Scott's tow rope connected until the trail was much better for Scott to drive. Then Kerry, Richard, Rick and Vic all turned to head out to HWY 72, the rest going back out the way we cam in. We met back up on the side of HWY 7 near Raymond, CO.

Thank you Ray it was a WONDERFUL FUN DAY, and so nice to see everyone out enjoying what we all love to do VISIT and run a Trail! Thanks to all who helped.

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