UTCO Vacation, 07.18
Life's been busy and it's been quite a while since I've posted anything. To sum up the last few months: work is busy, doing a bit of art but not enough, had a few short weekend trips here and there and Beth and I got engaged. ;) Anyway, onto the vacation recap...
If you followed last year's vacation post you'll recall that we met up with a group of fellow Land Cruiser owners in Breckenridge, this year marks the 4th Annual 200 Series Land Cruiser Destination Club (#200LCDC) and was held in Telluride, CO. On our way to CO, we spent a few days wandering through Seligman, Flagstaff, Monument Valley, Mexican Hat and then Hanksville where we stayed a couple nights in a nice little cabin at Duke's Slickrock RV Park and Campground.
Our first UT destination to explore was Cathedral Valley, one of my favorite spots and Beth's first time through it. Its a nice day loop located in a relatively remote part of Capitol Reef National Park. The road/trail was in decent shape overall so that made our day's drive easy and enjoyable.
Cathedral Valley offers some amazing views and geologic structures, we both came away inspired and more interested in the geologic features. We headed back to the cabin to freshen up and then took off to catch Goblin Valley at late afternoon and enjoyed a picnic lunch while the sun set.
The next morning (Tues) we loaded up and began our trek towards Telluride. We drove through Grand Junction to check out an independent Lego store named eBricks. Was cool to walk through and see them again, fortunately, and perhaps a bit disappointed, I left with my wallet intact, lol. We also took the drive through Colorado National Monument, which was a nice little side trip.
Wednesday was our day in Telluride with no plans, we walked the town, rode the gondola up/over/across the mountain and enjoyed the day exploring. That eve was the kick-off for the meet (hosted by Elite Land Cruisers) and we enjoyed a great happy hour with friends and new friends. We stayed in a VRBO close to the main street and were able to walk pretty much everywhere we wanted to go.
The next morning was the first official day of trails and we led a group of 9 over Imogene Pass (13K') and then a smaller group over and down Black Bear. Black Bear is somewhat infamous for its switchbacks and significant drop offs. We had a great group for that and enjoyed becoming closer friends with George and Alexandria. There were six trucks we led down Black Bear, including a brand-new '16 that did great throughout.
Friday morning we led a group around the Alpine Loop. This is a well-known grouping of trails that runs through some of the most scenic parts of Colorado. It starts with a run up Mineral Creek, then up/over Engineer and then out through Cinnamon Pass. We got into a sticky spot along Engineer and had to coordinate a recovery while sitting in the truck. Three trucks, two winches, snatchblock, shackles, prayer and a measure of skill and we were able to get out of a bad spot with nothing damaged more than pride thankfully.
Saturday we joined up with a group and did Ophir Pass. There was a 100 mile mountain bike race happening at the same time, in the opposite direction, so the drive up and over was more trying than normal but still very enjoyable. The group proceeded onto Clear Lake, a very scenic spot where we eventually got chased out by the rain. Saturday evening the closing dinner was hosted by Slee Offroad and we wrapped up the evening with a nightcap at the Sheridan with friends.
Sunday morning we began our trek home and arrived home Monday afternoon in time to start laundry and unpacking. It was a great trip all around, good to see friends and make new ones. Can't wait to start planning for next year's meet.
Naturally I took some scenic shots while we were out exploring, you can click through to them over on theMirrorpool.com, but here's a few teasers...
Oh, and of course, there are a few new LegoExpedition shots for IG...