Upcoming Events

Rampart Range Road

Kevin and Shelley Smith, with their two boys, and Joe and Erika, with their son and daughter, arrived at my place about 8:15 to drop off some things and then we headed to Monument. Once there, we met up with Michael and Amy, John Clark, and Mark and his wife and two children. We got under way at about 9:50am.

We decided to head up hwy 105 to Dakan Road and up to Rampart Range. We had just begun to climb when Kevin's rig "Tantor" just cut out and quit. Thinking it must be an ignition switch, we set about getting that replaced. Michael had a spare!!! With the new one in, the problem wasn't fixed. Michael found a fried fusable link near the starter solenoid, so he and Kevin rigged a wire replacement. They now had ignition, but the starting ciruit didn't work. This was remedied by jumping across the appropriate terminals on the starter solenoid with a wrench. A process that Kevin would repeat many times through our sojourne that day, how frustrating! We lost about an hour fixing the problem.

The Dakan Road proved to be lots of fun with beautiful forests and LOTS of bumps which were actually the mounds built to divert water away from the road. Made for lots of views of undercarriages and some nice flexing of the axles and springs (articulation). We made a stop for lunch high up at a very messy camp site. Kevin cleaned up most of the trash with a little help from the rest of us.

Then we headed on, and things were great, until we got onto Rampart Range Road. Because it was so dry, the dust was horrible. Everyone and everything, inside and outside the Jeeps was covered in reddish dust. Ptooey!

The Gang all Parked

Mark Welle's 87 GW

Amy (with Michael as the passenger!) did half of the driving including a particularly horrifying alternate path on the trail full of the most awful moguls I've ever seen with a big boulder buried in the path as a final climb for the RF tire. I spotted her through it and we had some difficulty until we shifted into 4lo, then at one point the RR tire was hanging in a mogul pit about 1' from any kind of solid earth. That's where the locker came in handy. Then Backhoe did his "foot to the floor while twisted up" trick giving Amy quite a thrill as the big truck launched itself right at the huge boulder ramp. She handled it all perfectly and made it thru without getting stuck. Backhoe had pulled the accelerator cable housing loose from the bracket again, just like in Moab, except that this time the driver didn't wedge the truck in the rocks and damage the rocker panels.

We got to the Monument turnoff (Mt Herman Rd.) and with my brain clogged with dust I assured Mark in the lead FSJ that this was the way to go. In reality, it was a good choice after all, as there are lots of great views along that route, and it was already getting late in the afternoon.

We made two or three "photo op" stops and cleared our lungs of dust at the first one.

Had some fun climbing on rocks and staring over deep dropoffs. The rigs we drove were: 3 Grand Wagoneers, two lifted, and 3 Cherokee Wide Tracks, all lifted. Kevin's non-lifted GW did just fine.

At the end, Michael and Amy, Mark and his family, and John Clark headed back home, and the rest headed to my place. Those that went to my place took some showers to clean off the dust and get back to some sense of reality.

We had lots of food that can't be beat, grilled nicely on the deck by Kevin, and other items prepared by Shelley. We watched some Disney videos with the kids. Chatted and visited and played with the kids. Then Joe and family set up a tent in the back yard, and Kevin and family took advantage of the living room hideabed and an air mattress.

The next morning, it was like Christmas for me, waking up with the chatter of little persons. We all visited for a while and then my guests packed for home and taking care of Sunday chores.

Everyone had a great time and are looking forward to another CFSJA adventure!

Roy S.