|Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
T-33 Crash Site trip
|by Eric Steenburn|
The Saturday June 10 TRR trip to the T33 crash site started at the Conoco meeting place at the junction of Hwy 287 & Hwy 66 at 9am. A large group including Gail Straty, Neal Rogacki, Shawn & Chris Pagan & family, Bobbi Winterowd, Amanda Matson, Jim Wilding, Karla & Richard Harmon, Perry & Anita Willson, Tim & Jason Conway, Mike Moore, Jonathan Brooks, Mark Zietkicwich and Kim Georgen gathered at the meeting place and enjoyed talking while waiting. The Group was soon joined by Donald & Kim Georgen of the OSHWEGO 4WD club. (Cool!) The group of 11 vehicles departed for the jeep trail head at 9:10am.
Since my jeep was still in the shop I have to thank Mike Moore for the ride in his Grand Cherokee. Thanks also to Neal Rogacki for the excellent job he did tail gunning. About then I got a call from KC0VER on Amateur Radio... It was Chris Zietkiewicz (a Ham 4WD friend) who was in Estes Park at the time. He wanted to join our group and was instructed to meet us at the Middle St. Vrain parking lot. Our group was soon to be 12 vehicles strong!
After Chris joined us we all aired down and then headed for the south end of FDR115. We had hardly got started up the mountain when we caught up to a group with a 'dead' 4x4 on the way down. A short delay but better close to the trail head rather than later on the narrow trail!
This group of wheelers seemed to be rather seasoned at wheeling because we made exceptional time without incident and arrived at the parking place just before noon... Lunch time! After the group enjoyed eating and talking we started the short hike into the crash site. Some of the group explored the wreckage near the trail and other more adventuresome explorers ventured deeper into the woods in search of the T33 radio box and engine. Tim even found my Geocache near the bottom of the crash site! (Way- to-go Tim!)
The trip out was rather smooth also. Spotters were used at one difficult spot but the group is to be commended for their driving skills. The trip leader, Eric "Trust me" Steenburn was advised that the road was probably closer to a rating of 6. (More new members learning about me!) After the group made it back down to the Bunce School road it was just too early to go home. My offer to lead the long way out was accepted and we turned North and drove all the way to the historic Bunce School near Hwy 7. It was a grand trip that I hope all enjoyed.
I had previously showed friend Chuck Wells the T33 crash site and his new book "Northern Guide to Colorado Backroads & 4-Wheel Drive Trails" is out. He had archaeologist Duke Sumonia research the crash and has published extensive information on the tragedy in his new book. It makes for some interesting reading.