4th of July in Colorado ('Merica)

MattScott

Approved Vendor
While the area surrounding Prescott, Arizona certainly has an abundance of 4WD trails, it all kind-of starts to look like the same dry, brown, rocky, tense landscape after a while. I needed an escapeand quite frankly, in Colorado—the grass is greener on the other side. Coincidentally, Independence Day was just around the corner, and a last minute trip was planned—celebrating freedom is such a good excuse to travel.

A few late nights were spent trying to get Chris' 1995 Range Rover Classic into tip-top running shape. In the end, thanks to Land Rover's incredibly ***-backwards engineering, we needed to take a different ride—a 2009 Hummer H3T; an under-powered vehicle with visibility similar to that of a submarine.

These days, I really don't care what vehicle takes me on an adventure, and in the end, the H3T did just fine.

July 3rd



The border to Colorado is only about 7-8 hours away from Prescott, but most of the drive is through the Navajo Nation, where you can't camp without jumping through some hoops or staying in a campground next to a retiree running their generator all night.

We made it to Utah's Valley of the Gods around midnight, one of the first places you can camp after "the Rez."

It didn't suck to wake up to this view, and suprisingly it wasn't too hot at night.



With an eventual goal of making Meeker, Colorado before dinner, we fueled up on some caffeine at in Bluff, Utah. If you haven't stopped here before and find yourself in need of a good cup of joe, I suggest it.



Chris' H3T hit 100,000 miles while driving through Moab.



Part of the impetus for this trip was the fact that a cousin of mine was unveiling a memorial bronze statue in Meeker, where he lives. As soon as we arrived, cold, cheap beer was waiting for us.. It must be family thing...



With a fire ban in place, the only fireworks the kids could have were sparklers.



I never mentioned how old the kids were.



This was the first time I'd seen rain in months, a great thing when there's wildfires ravaging the entire west.



Independence Day



Even though we had a trailer complete with all of the camping goodies you'd ever want and a comfy roof tent; it's become a bit of a tradition for my family to stay in Meeker's Green Cabins.



I woke up early to soak up the 'Merica and go fly-fishing. After a few jumbled casts, it was clear that I'd been living in a state with almost no moving water for too long.



So instead, I popped out a chair and relaxed with the gentle sounds of moving water in the background. It might sound crazy, but move to the desert and you'll start to apprechiate the little things such as: grass, moving water, and the lack of things that want to sting and poison you.



Eventually we made our way down to my cousins' house, beers were cracked at about 9:30am. 'Merica. Here's a picture of a tractor from a small-town parade.



A quick speech by my cousin and artist (John Kobald) led up to the unveil of the Rio Blanco County Veteran's Memorial.



The modern soldier is a departure from usual sculptures of WWI/II era soldiers.

I'll be honest, there were no grand adventures for the rest of the 4th of July. We floated down the White River with some family, and drank too much beer. 'Merica.

July 5th

We left Meeker the next morning with hopes and dreams of checking out some of the ski resorts (Chris has never been to Colorado) and finding a campsite up in the mountains close to Mosquito Pass, which we'd run the next morning before heading to Telluride.



Along the way, we stopped at the Walcott Yacht Club. If you've never been, it's in Wolcott, and you can't miss it. Order the fish tacos.



After stopping in at Lake Dillon, we found a campsite near the Wheeler Lake trail



It always bothers me when people litter. How many hundreds of people have camped here without picking up these decades-old Coors cans?



I went full-on glamper with this trip. Since we had a trailer and more room than my little mind knew what to do with, I decided we should certainly grab the Snow Peak Iron Grill Table System.



It made for pretty pictures of me doing stereotypical overlander things.



Snow Peak's GigaPower torch is one of those things you just have to have. For $40, it's well worth it, especially when you walk up to your buddy trying to start a campfire boy scout style and get the fire going in seconds. Though I didn't have the pleasure of doing that thanks to a fire ban.



I used the uber-expensive cook system to mess up some green beans.



Sometime around cooking some chicken, I found out that Chris is deathly afraid of bears.

Note to Chris: If you're afraid of something, never tell another guy that when you're camping—he will torment you.


July 6th

After tormenting Chris about bears all night, I don't think he was able to get much sleep.



We (Chris) cleaned up the campsite. Just a note to all internet trolls, that wasn't our campfire, it was just where people threw their garbage.



After a little cleanup, were set to head down the trail and start Mosquito Pass.



Damnit.

We'll have more tomorrow, stay tuned.
 
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MattScott

Approved Vendor
I want to know where you got the genny out west? I am itchin for a 30 pack of cream ale:)
There's secret underground sources for all of the good cheap beers. Next time you're in Preskitt, I'll show you. For now, I keep it to myself.
 

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aerofab

New member


After stopping in at Lake Dillon, we found a campsite near the Wheeler Lake trail


Haha, I knew that photo looked familiar. (photo of my old truck from a few years ago) Great area to camp and cool stuff to explore. A little scary to drive under the old mining structure that is in the process of collapsing though! Doesn't hurt to be in the shadow of some 14ers either.

Did you guys attempt to go further up the road? It gets pretty crazy shortly after that spot.
 

MattScott

Approved Vendor
We went past the third obstacle and then found a place to camp, not knowing the area, we decided it was probably a good idea to not go any further as when we drove by there was a rock crawler and a broken Toyota being hauled off the trail.

Probably wouldn't have had any issues though...
 

RugerTrailer

The Trailer Guy
Nice trip report. I'm actually heading up to wheeler to camp this Friday.

As far as the decades old coors cans...everyone I know leaves the really old ones because they are kinda nostalgic (coors being from Golden,CO and all). Maybe it's just a local thing to do. Other that those I'm always cleaning up beer cans too.
 

meatblanket

Adventurer
The really old Coors cans are made of steel. Those in the picture are still pretty old. Being pull tabs they pre-date Bill Coors' invention of the punch top can, which if I recall correctly was in the mid 1970's. So those cans are probably 40 or more years old. Looks like they held up pretty well.
 
A

agavelvr

Guest
After a little cleanup, were set to head down the trail and start Mosquito Pass.



Damnit.

We'll have more tomorrow, stay tuned.
FYI, that sign lies. Locals love to post "closed" signs to keep folks from cruising the trail. We were up there last summer with the typical nonofficial signs claiming snow on the pass when it was actually dry as a bone up there.
 

Etoyoc

New member
Love seeing articles from others, of places I have been. I had to chuckle at the VOG campsite......I've camped in that exact spot. And the Wheeler lake shot at the mine.....a tradition to get that photo! I managed to get my rig and trailer to within a mile of Wheeler Lake on a July attempt in 2011, but snow fields stopped me on that particular trip. I had to hike from camp to the lake. There are a couple more obstacles on the way to the lake. "Bowling Ball Hill" and one steep rock to climb (blasted down but still fun). Good cutthroat fishing in Wheeler Lk. Wheeler 2.jpgwheeler 3.jpgwheeler 4.jpgwheeler 5.jpgwheeler 6.jpg
 
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P389

New member
Such a neat location. Shame I will never go there given Colorado's new found infringement on my Second Amendment rights.
 

VistaCruiser

Observer
Such a neat location. Shame I will never go there given Colorado's new found infringement on my Second Amendment rights.
Recalls are in progress & a MAJORITY of Sheriffs support the citizens 2nd. Ammend. rights. Come visit & spend your dollars in supporting counties accordingly. Enjoy the summer everyone!

Sam
 

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MattScott

Approved Vendor
Colorado is beautiful, and you don't need a "modern sporting rifle" to apprechiate it.

Either way, please move the 2nd Amendment convo someplace else...
 
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MattScott

Approved Vendor
FYI, that sign lies. Locals love to post "closed" signs to keep folks from cruising the trail. We were up there last summer with the typical nonofficial signs claiming snow on the pass when it was actually dry as a bone up there.
It was confirmed with a call to the ranger's office, I had a suspicion that was the case...
 
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