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CO Vacationmoon, Part Two - 200LCDC, 07.19

CO Vacationmoon, Part Two - 200LCDC, 07.19

This is Part Two - the “middle” segment of a two-post thread about our Vacationmoon to Colorful Colorado… Click here for Parts 1 and 3.

Part Two

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The 5th Annual 200 Series Land Cruiser Destination Club meet was held in Ouray Colorado. Three days of four-wheeling in Toyota’s flagship SUV. Call it a land yacht if you wish, but they’re capable of serious off-roading while maintaining a high level of comfort and reliability. This year approximately 70 of these trucks took to wandering the San Juan Mountains in packs of 10 or less.

This is my fourth year attending and participating, and Beth’s third.

Given the huge amount of snowfall the area had this year, trails were not all open and there was impressive avalanche damage all around. We drove through cut snow banks that were still more than twice the height of the trucks - in July! That caused trails to be a bit more congested than normal. Huge props to Cody and Cole for all of the organization as well as the main event sponsors - Slee Offroad and Elite Landcruisers.

For me, this event is about seeing mountains and wide open spaces, while enjoying an occasionally challenging drive. Most of the trails we do here are generally not too technical with occasional off-camber climbs or descents. But the margin of error is quite thin. Many of the trails are shelf roads with little to no extra room, perched on top of a very long and steep mountainside. Add a little weather and things can become far more technical with a razor-thin margin of error. Fortunately, we had pretty good weather throughout with only occasional thundershowers. Last year we had heavy thundershowers, hail, wind and lightning while above the tree line. Spectacular to experience - once.

Rather than recap each day’s trails I’ll post a series of pics with a few captions sprinkled throughout. Photos work better than words.

Garmin dash-cam shot showing the rock wall overhang and a peek at the downslope side.

The San Juan Mountains were lush in every direction. Runoff, waterfalls and ponds were everywhere you looked.

During our trip we traveled over several mountain passes, some close to 13,000’ elevation.

We had generally good weather but had occasional showers/drizzle.

A few favorite snapshots from the trails.

Our truck - the XPLOR R - is a 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser with a moderate list of purposefully selected upgrades and amenities. I should do a post about it sometime…

Our truck - the XPLOR R - is a 2014 Toyota Land Cruiser with a moderate list of purposefully selected upgrades and amenities. I should do a post about it sometime…

Along the way Beth got to finally make a snowball and drove her first real trail up the backside of Black Bear Pass (I was an ok passenger and better teacher I hope), and we got to see some new spots in CO.

Pano taken from up on top of Black Bear Pass

More pics from the 5th Annual 200 LCDC here,
and the rest of our Vacationmoon story is here.

CO Vacationmoon, Part One - Route 66 and Really Old Trees, 07.19

CO Vacationmoon, Part One - Route 66 and Really Old Trees, 07.19