After a rainy week we decided to tackle a potentially muddy road that followed the Denver & Rio Grande Western San Juan Branch rail road bed. We had 8 rigs along for the day. We made several stops and listened to some of the history of the area. The train stopped in 1968 and all these towns died at that time. Old Hispanic Catholic Church in Tiffany, CO. We ordered up some elk to run around by Navajo Lake. Pagosa Junction, CO still has several standing structures. Pagosa Junction, CO Old Catholic Church at Pagosa Junction, CO. House at Pagosa Junction, CO. Water pump house for the Denver & Rio Grande water tank. Old box car of the D&RG. D&RG water tank has collapsed.D&RG train bridge across the San Juan River.Old Catholic Mission is in ruins at Juanita, CO. There is still a sizable cemetery and other buildings there.D&RG water tank and bridge at the stop at Navajo, NM.
The Holiday Season each year brings us to our annual drive for Project Merry Christmas, Humane Society, and Annie’s Orphans. These are 3 organizations in LaPlata County that need everyone’s help. We started the morning at Doughworks for breakfast then headed to the Durango High School for a group photo. From there we went to LPEA for the radio spot for Project Merry Christmas. We figured it was about our 17-20th time attending. From there we went to the Humane Society to drop off pet supplies then to Annie’s Orphans for the last of the pet supplies. We also had cash and checks for all of the organizations. Group photo at the Durango high school. CJG in full force for the radio spot for Project Merry Christmas. Billy Schultheiss was our face for the radio spot. He always does a good job for us. Everyone checking out the goodies they were giving away. With the light rain and snow the hot chocolate was a hit. Unloading pet supplies at the Humane Society. Group photo with our donated goods.All the donated pet supplies.
Our 2019 Christmas party was one of the largest every. Once again we held it at the Sky Ute Casino in Ignacio. We had almost 60 members attend. The Christmas Party Committee did an excellent job as always. Our host was Billy Schultheiss and he kept the crowd entertained. From the great food, games, and entertainment everyone had a blast. Again the chair was up for a raffle for the winner to have until the next Christmas Party. The room looked great. Kevin Fox won the voted on award for who spent the most on their Jeep this last year. Doug Ramsey getting ready for the oven mitt unwrapping the present game. The children even got into the games. Dan White trying to open the present wearing oven mitts. Jerry McGeorge getting into the present with oven mitts on. Billy reading the right-left Night Before Christmas story to mix up the presents.Kevin Heckman was honored for his time and work on the website and emails. Kevin Fox won the chair for 2020.Kevin Fox was the big winner with winning both the trophy for most spent on his Jeep in 2019 and the raffle for the chair.
Kevin Heckman spent a week in Moab and invited the club to join. People joined off and on all week for a wonderful week. He couldn’t have asked for better weather or company. The Saturday fun run had 4 rigs join on Poison Spider. The first night there was a wonderful evening up Chicken Corners and spending sunset on Hurrah Pass. Running up into the La Sal Mountain there were a few fall colors left. Dead Horse Point State Park was a good short morning run with Kent Mallalieu. Patricia Kelly had never been to Moab before so they started out on some easy trails such as the 27 water crossings in 8 miles on Onion Creek. Views from Polar Mesa were impressive. More from Polar Mesa. Old uranium mines were scattered everywhere on Polar Mesa. Dinosaur prints in the La Sal Mountains. Patricia had to try her hand at a harder trail so they hit Fins N Things.Dave Longenette made it up Kenny’s Climb on Fins N Things.
Our fall color run and work day couldn’t have picked a better weekend to head up Elwood Pass. We had 8 rigs join in for the day. Even though it was a work day there wasn’t more than a half hour of work with repainting our signs black again and adding the reflective backing to make it easier to read. We had a few people spend the weekend up there camping and a 3 rigs made a Sunday run up Quartz Meadow to view the best colors of the whole weekend. Group shot after the backing was installed on the lower sign.CJG is always ready for repairs, even if not on a Jeep. This bike lost it’s chain and needed the rear tire moved back to tighten the chain after we put it back on. He had no tools with him but lucky for him we have about every tool known to man on the trail.Lunch near the top of Elwood. Fitting and drilling the holes in the new backing.Greg Alsum putting a fresh coat of paint on the sign. Great fall colors in the tundra above Elwood Pass.Stunner always has great fall colors. Kevin Heckman and Black Widow posing in the aspens on the way to Quartz Meadow. Aspens glowing in the sunlight at Quartz Meadow.Quartz Meadow was spectacular.
The 2019 Bayfield Heritage Days again started off with the sheep coming through town to kick off the parade. We had 8 Jeeps in the parade that seemed shorter this year. After the parade the Marshall blocked off Mill Street and let us park our Jeeps how we wanted and set up a booth. We were next to the park that had music, vendors, food, and kids activities. It was a great event again this year.
We held our annual Adaptive Sports Association run this year on a perfect Fall day. We had 28 clients from ASA and 15 Jeeps head up Middle Mountain Road above Vallecito this year. Everyone enjoyed the day for sure. We want to thank Mild to Wild for supplying a Jeep. This is the most talked about event every year at ASA. We saw nothing but smiles again this year and look forward to next year already.
Mild to Wild donated a Jeep that held 8 people! Everyone had to pick the Jeep they wanted to ride in. Airing down at the Vallecito Community Center. Amazing views. Everyone was having a blast. More views at lunch. Pizza! Lunch was great. Group picture.Lunch views.
We had 5 Jeeps go to Mt Blanca for our annual work day. There was a section of road that needed some rock fill to make it not so muddy.
Before Trailer full of rock.
We picked a great day to do the Alpine Loop, Cinnamon Pass just opened a couple days earlier. We had 23 rigs join us for a long day as the normal way to Animas Forks from Silverton was still closed so we had to go over Hurricane and California Passes to even start the day. Once we hit Engineer Pass the avalanche destruction was evident at every turn. There were spots where the debris and snow was over 100 feet deep over Henson Creek still. Once we got to Lake City for a late lunch we were expecting no lines, we were wrong as it was raining and all the motorcycle and side by side traffic was hanging out at the restaurants. We had to stop and take a ton of photos at Cinnamon Pass and we made it into Silverton just before sunset. CJG taking over a very deep snowpacked Hurricane Pass. We had all of the switchbacks on Engineer Pass covered as well. The wildflowers were starting to come out. Deep snow and debris over Henson Creek on Engineer Pass. Rose Lime Kiln had the top chimney taken off in an avalanche that had been standing since the 1890s. More avalanche debris along Henson Creek. We took up all the switchbacks on Cinnamon Pass also. We had to stop for a group photo along the snow on Cinnamon Pass. Everyone grouped up on Cinnamon Pass. Getting close to sunset on California Pass. Lake Como was still iced over.
We had another great turnout for the 4th of July Parade in Silverton. Many also camped around the area for most of the week even though many of the roads were still closed from our historic winter. Mike and Theresa Hill enjoying the parade. Look closely and you can see both jets flying over. one above the tree and other just to the left of the top of the fire truck ladder.