Saturday, September 25, 2021
Fall Cleanup Run then out for a drive.

Spring and Fall the 4x4 group meets to remove trash from the group's two sponsored trails - Devil's Canyon and Barbour Fork. Both of these trails are near Idaho Springs Colo. From my last outing with the jeep (Kelly Flats trip) it had a few loooong starter motor cranks before running. I had a suspicion to what it was so this morning, before leaving for the trip, I set to check/swap out the fuel pressure regulator. That simple task tended, I went to start the jeep and it said - I tried to let you know last time out that something is not right and what you thought it was - is not correct. In the end, I starter-motored (low range gearing) the jeep back up-slope into the garage and took the car to the trail. There are always empty seats so I figured I'd just ride with someone else.

I ended up riding with a new Gladiator - Rubicon edition (a more off-road equipped model that includes locking differentials). Hard doors. Glass windows (the novelty!). Power windows (the convenience). Air conditioning (over the top luxury - LOL). Electronics galore. Front/Rear cameras. Smooth / solid new car door operation. A different world from the fundamental Jeep that is mine.  It was nice to have a taste from another plate though I'm content with my plate.

Weather for the day was perfect. The Aspen trees are turning into their golden fall colors. Trail trash was mostly minimal - a few aluminum cans and trigger trash (spent shotgun and pistol / rifle casings). At the last stop, a field that is common for target shooting, had un-trampled grass. Mike was already at the stop and we asked if it was needed to stop - YES came the reply. Surprisingly, some group had shot a bunch of shotgun rounds at aluminum cans - trash strewn about. From all of the prior stops today my grocery bag was 1/2 full. This one stop filled the other half of the grocery bag.

Out from the trail and back into the car - the typical decision - short, direct way home or a longer way home. As is the typical - the longer way wins - especially in the smooth running car on a gorgeous afternoon.

A bite to eat in Idaho Springs I headed west on I-70 to US-40 west (north for my stretch of it). Up and over Berthoud pass, down through Winter Park to Grand Lake. There I drove through town - it's been quite some time - for a second visit to the western portal of the Alva B. Adams tunnel. A water diversion tunnel that moves western slope water to the eastern cities and farm fields. A simple stop there I continued on to Rocky Mountain National park where I'd jump over the mountains. The forest fire from last summer impacted this area. Several photos of the one-year-old burn.

Up near timberline I started to notice snow in the north face shadowy areas. This snow looks white - clean. It looks to be fresh snow vs. leftover from last season. News reported that the high country has received two snowfalls this season - it's coming.

Down from the park I took a drive through downtown Estes Park - how crowded will it be?  It was busy - a nice thing to see. From there to home - an easy trip.

Gary and the white Gladiator, Rubicon edition

Gary's son.

The aspen trees are turning!
`always a treat to experience.

After the trail cleanup I decided to take the long-ish way home. I'll head west from Idaho Springs a few miles and jump north on US-40 over Berthoud Pass. I dropped down to Winter Park and drove north to Grand Lake for a trip over the mountains to Estes Park, Loveland and home.

We're just into the western entrance area of Rocky Mountain National park. Last summer this area was hit with a large forest fire.

Several areas had the soil burned clean of vegitation.

Up and over the mountain I took a drive through downtown Estes Park. It was not summer packed though it had a nice crowd of folks enjoying the weather.