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My Expedition Vehicle & Trailer

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Expedition Trailer Back To Coyote Flats!

This was a quick trip over Father's Day to escape the heat by 4x4'ing up to the 10,000' elevation level of the alpine lakes of Coyote Flats. Although some aspects of the trip's plan went a little sideways it did allow me the freedom to hike to elevations well above the lake I was camped at. The hike was not in the original plan so this was a great bonus as I love exploring new areas.

Already past all of the road's switchbacks but prior to the water crossing the views in all directions are well worth the trek upwards.



My expedition trailer is almost 10 years old and it has performed superbly, following me anywhere the 4Runner is pointed.


There was decent water flow in the creek crossing


Camp went up quickly. The high mountain behind the flag is where I was able to go hiking.


Ready for an all day hike!


Coyote Lake is already looking smaller as I went higher. I can see some day visitors and their vehicles on the lake's north shore.



Even more visitors dropping by the lake's east shore  as I hiked even higher up.


RockyBottom Lake is looking smaller too


With maximum digital zoom I can just make out my camp over a thousand feet below.



The views are always worth the effort to ascend higher.



Elated to be up high!



The trek back down to camp was much shorter and easier than heading up. Now it is time to try out the new hammock and take a rest.



I think I slept incredibly well for almost two hours. The hammock is a keeper!

Preparing to burn more firewood than I could ever need for a night.



I think it took about 4 hours to burn the night's batch. Lots of time to think about how the trip was turning out and enjoy a good dinner.

Obligatory early evening 4Runner & trailer picture.  😄


Hot blueberry pancakes anyone?

One last campsite shot from across the lake

Thanks for heading out with me on this trip! Be sure to watch for my next adventure with Colorado's mountain mining history. Until then, stay safe and start planning your own next adventure and "self-quarantine" in the great outdoors!.





Monday, August 17, 2020

Expedition Trailer In Colorado

 

How would you like to spend over a week with us in the Colorado high country observing amazing wildlife, enjoying unlimited vistas and driving challenging 4x4 roads? On this trip I returned to some of the places outlined in my previous adventure :

    Colorado Expedition: Wildflowers in the High Country!

Once again we camped at our favorite alpine lake which positioned us to easily access the backcountry or drop into town to purchase gasoline or other essentials. The campground features very nice pullouts either away from the lake...


....or right at the shore


For accessing a number of trails we passed through Silverton which hosted a modest number of tourists and off roaders, helping the local economy to hang on.



Eureka Gulch is a nice up-and-back  and it has one of my favorite mining tramway structures, nestled high (and safe from vandals) on the opposite side of the canyon. Be sure to read about how at the Sunnyside Mine they found Lake Emma had disappeared on Jun 4th, 1978. It's a great story!

A cool cabin near the Animas River

As we headed up along the Animas River we spotted the remains of this year's avalanche that deposited thousands of cubic yards of snow and debris across the road and the river. The river had cut underneath the snow to form an interesting cave which collapsed a few days later.

Soon after Norm and I stopped to inspect the log jam we had wound our way up into Picayne Gulch and spotted this lofty vacation cabin as we crossed over into Placer Gulch.

As we were driving out of Placer Gulch, Norm had noticed a new noise emanating from under his Sequoia 4x4. Soon we located the source: a missing retention bolt for the rear axle's lower control arm! 

A complete disaster had been averted but how would we get clear of the trail without that bolt? We had come up with a workable but temporary solution when a couple of folks on a quad rolled up and asked if we had lost a bolt. After reviewing what had happened to the truck they volunteered to go back and retrieve the bolt for us! They were back in a very short time and it was indeed the missing bolt. The nut was missing and the bolt's threads were damaged but that was no problem. We used a ratcheting cargo strap to align the axle, slipped the bolt back into place and used a small hose clamp over the bolt threads to hold things in place. The next morning we drove to Durango and the Wondrous ACE Hardware Store with their awesome supply of metric hardware. Soon we set up shop in the parking lot and installed the new bolt.


We quickly left town and before long had arrived at Clear Lake!


This turned out to be my favorite spot for wildlife pictures! The American Pikas were the cutest with their big ears and high speed antics. I also grabbed some good photos of marmots too!


The next day we drove to Yankee Boy Basin, then over Imogene Pass and finally back across Ophir Pass to return to camp.

Yankee Boy was an easy drive and had some really nice waterfalls but no wildflowers..





Firearm vandalism morphs into  Holy Art?




Ophir Pass




California Pass, Hurricane Pass and Corkscrew Gulch










Before heading down into Corkscrew there was an amazing sounding turbo diesel Toyota Land Cruiser. A big red beast!




Stony Pass, Kite Lake


Cinnamon Pass and American Basin



This late in the season there was still a nice selection of wildflowers near the streams









Somebody found a nice snack.

Red Mountain Mining District




Thanks for coming along on this latest adventure. I plan to return to this area soon and obtain closer looks at more of the mining history as well as visit new areas such as Creede.