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2017 June Newsletter

Adam Mehlberg  | Published on 6/10/2017
Trailridge Runners 4WD Club Newsletter
Trailridge Runners 4WD Club
P.O. Box 1716 * Longmont, CO 80502

June 2017 Newsletter
Club Business
Club Meeting
Wednesday June 14th, 6:30pm to 9:00pm - Meeting, Moose Lodge #1548, 2200 Pratt Street, Longmont, CO 80501. Open to all members and guests.

The lodge is one street west of main, between 21st and 23rd on Pratt Street. We'll be in the north hall. Folks who arrive early will need to enter at the main entrance, take the 2nd left, off the lobby, enter the middle hall and continue north to the north hall. The front door is a key card door but there is a button for the bar tenders to open the door. Those that arrive early can prop the door open on east side of the north hall so folks can park on the east side of the building and enter through that door.

Next Meeting:
6:30pm to 7:00pm - Social Time
7:00pm to 8:30pm - Meeting
  • Welcome guests.
  • Treasury amount and Fund amount.
  • Vote in any new members.
  • TRR budget.
  • TRR Club Express update.
  • New/Other business.
  • TRR Trivia.
  • Update calendar of events. Leaders to inform club on changes made to the online calendar.
  • Update from the BRD OHV meeting.
  • Planning for the Walker Mountain and Nugget hill review with the Forest Service.
  • Planning for the Middle St. Vrain and Coney Flats project and campout.
  • Review of the Miller Rock review trip with USFS.
  • Review of the Memorial Day Picnic event.
  • Review of the Rock Junction event in Grand Junction.
  • Presentation of the Robbers Roost / Beef Basing trip.
  • Close meeting.
Past Meeting Minutes
  • Welcomed guest Jim Sullivan.
  • Voted in new member Stephen and Nancy Webb.
  • Treasurers report was read.
  • Fund report was read.
  • Club Express update. Working on reduction of logins as some have never been used.
  • Signed update bylaws.
  • First TRR Trivia done at the meeting. Christy Howe had a question for the membership that we all attempted to answer. See article for details.
  • Report on the COA4WDCI 2nd Q meeting. They are working on ways to use Club Express to include more non-member clubs in Colorado.
  • Treasurer presented 2016 actual to 2017 budget proposal for review. No changes to dues at this time.
  • Planning of the Miller Rock south obstacle review with the USFS.
  • Memorial Day Picnic will be at Gordon and Christy’s. In the morning there will be a short trip, meet up Boulder Canyon at the Four Mile Canyon exit. Meeting time 9: Picnic will start at 2:00pm at the Howe’s house above Jamestown.
  • Planning for the Rock Junction event in Grand Junction.
  • Planning for the Middle St. Vrain and Coney Flats seasonal opening and review. Projects include re-decking the walking bridge across Coney Creek, blocking off the dry pond, and installing barrier posts at the Middle St. Vrain host site.
  • Robbers Roost trip, a short review. We had 11 Jeeps and 16 people. Ended with 10 Jeeps and 14 people. Mechanical breakdowns were 4. Number of times the leader ended up as tail gunner was 1. Use of a winch was 1. (The previous two events were coincidental). The trip from Green River to Moab by highway is 52 miles, we did 482 miles to accomplish the same thing. Geocaches found were 4. Number of bear hunting parties encountered was more than 6. Number of gas stops was 1. Number of gas stops and the fuel pumps were not working was also 1! Days on the trail was 7 with 6 nights of dry camping.
  • Motion to close meeting by Wanda Comeau and second by Tom Crosman. Meeting adjourned.
Club News


The TRRTalk forum is on our Club Express page. Go to TRR Main page and login. Click your member section in the upper right and then click on your profile. Select the Froum link at the bottom to set your preferences and forums you want to join.

Old List: Email from the email account where you wish to receive these emails. Please include your first and last name in the email so we can verify your membership status prior to approving your request to subscribe.

For questions on TRRTALK send an email to Gail Straty at WilyCoyot(at) or Brian Gilgren at bgilgren(at) with TRRTALK in the subject line

Club Refreshments

The following people are signed up to bring refreshments to the club meetings.
  • Jun – Paula Kratzer
  • Jul – Roger and Linda Briden
  • Aug –
  • Sep – Allen and Tammy Peterson
  • Oct –
  • Nov – Paulette and Larry McGimsey (salad)
  • Dec - Marc and Jennifer Dominguez

TRR Trivia – June 2017

Welcome to TRR Trivia, a new feature of our monthly meetings. Last month brought you the first trivia question and the results are in. The first question was preceded by a bit of background information, in which it was agreed that Jeep named the Rubicon model after a place in the United States. The question consisted of three parts:
  • 1. From which non-American location is the word Rubicon taken?
  • 2. What is the historical significance of the non-American place?
  • 3. What famous saying is attributed to this place?
  • 1. The Rubicon River in what is now Italy
  • 2. The Rubicon River, back in AD 48, formed the border that separated Italy proper from Cisalpine Gaul. When Caesar was marching on Rome, he famously crossed the Rubicon, breaking the law, which meant he had now passed the point of no return and was officially declaring war on Rome.
  • 3. When Caesar crossed the Rubicon, he stated “The die is cast” (“alea iacta est”), which is now popularized as a saying which means there is no turning back, or one has reached the point of no return.
And the winners are:
Vic and Debbie – 1 point for correctly identifying the Rubicon as a river
Laddie – 1 point for also correctly identifying the Rubicon as a river
Gary – 1 point for also correctly identifying the Rubicon as a river
Jeff and Jennifer – 2 points! They answered both #1 and #2 at once, by stating that it was a river that Caesar challenged his warriors with.

Since this question contained three parts, there were a possible three points to be gained by knowing the correct answers. Unfortunately, the bar was set a bit high on this one and no one correctly answered all three parts.

Other answers of note (and entertainment) that were given:
  • 1. Sir Edmund Rubicon, Indian, South American route, a gemstone, a difficult obstacle
  • 2. Spanish American War, Gold Rush event, first auto transport of South America
  • 3. “Hang them high”, “Only in a Jeep”, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend”, “Head west young man”, “There’s gold in these hills”.
We hope to continue this as a monthly item, and to keep a running total of points, announcing the winner at the end of the year. Trivia questions can be related to 4-wheeling, vehicles in general, the club, trips the club has gone on, etc. Jeff graciously volunteered to come up with next month’s trivia question. We hope you enjoy this new activity in our meetings.

Recent Trip Articles

Colorado Plateau Exploring – 2017

Part 1

By Gordon Howe

   This year we spent 7 days exploring and 6 nights camping in some of the least visited geography of SE Utah. The trip included at least one day of intense route finding challenges, 3 moderately serious breakdowns, a couple nights of unexpected freezing temperatures and one absolutely necessary fuel stop where the pumps were out of order. Additionally there were a couple of excruciating miles of nasty paint scratching sage brush, a trail maintenance project, and at least 4 geocaches located.  There was very little down time (we were busy), and nothing the 17 copacetic travelers couldn’t handle.

   We started in Green River Utah with the obligatory dinner at Ray’s.  The first day out we didn’t see Chafin Geyser erupt, but we took advantage of the last pit toilet for who know how long, at the Horseshoe Canyon trail head.
Robbers Roost start

Starting the adventure

We were finally able to complete the faint route that appears to exist when browsing Google Earth between Emery County Road 1010 and Robbers Roost Spring. This was the third attempt over a five year period.
Robbers Roost lunch

Lunch before we ran the faint road (upper left, see it?)

Just as we succeeded in that activity and were inspecting the cowboy carvings at Robbers Roost Spring, Stacey realized her alternator had given up. The decision was made that Gail would provide the functional vehicle to return to Green River for the dolly, and then Moab to secure a replacement. They were able to rejoin the group two days later at Hite Marina. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Back at Robbers Roost Spring, the rest of the group headed to Sam’s Mesa for the first campsite. Erosion modified my late afternoon optimistic thought, “Oh from here it will be easy,” to, “Okay I’m out kicking around the blackbrush looking for the trail yet again.”  We did persevere and made it to our planned camp.

Due to this bit of erosional trail damage, the next morning I asked Adam if he would walk the alternate “trail” to see if it looked passable. He said it did at least around the corner, so if there was no problem getting into the dry wash, all would be good.


Three Cowboys

Suffice it to say, the transition from trail to dry wash needed a little shovel work.
Leaving Sam

Leaving Sam’s Mesa

   We exited Sam’s Mesa, stopped at a couple of incredible overlooks, found a geocache, and ate lunch at yet another spectacular overlook. Our destination was the Big Ridge which lies just outside the National Park to the west.  After crossing Lands End (about 2000’ above the land below), and The Neck (only 200’ wide in one location), we proceeded to move onto the high peninsular landform known as The Big Ridge.  Our challenge now was to determine if either of the trails that circumnavigate the even higher mesa on The Big Ridge would be passable. The northern route was not, and the expected good camp locations in this area turned out to be covered with prolific growths of cryptobiotic soil.  Can’t drive or camp there, so we returned to the point where the trail split and found a perfect camp with unsurpassable views.
Big Ridge Campsite

Big Ridge camp site

The third day we needed to make it back across The Neck, Land’s End, down the Flint Trail and into Waterhole Flat. From there Hite and our fuel stop would “only” be about 30 miles of “good trail”.  Just as we were passing Lands End, one of Paula’s front leaf spring center bolts broke. Part of the u-bolt spring plate was mangled too.
Break Down on Big Ridge

Major repair

Broken leaf plate

Broke plate (hole by shock)

After an hour or so of innovation to “create” a new spring center bolt we discovered the threads on the u-bolt were mangled too.  Carefully, the bad threads were filed away and finally a nut was threaded on the u-bolt. We were back on the trail.

   All went well until I swiped my credit card at the gas pump and it was refused. Not really refused, the card reader system was out of order. The store had already closed but the pumps were supposed to be functional 24/7.  Long story, but Jeff found the store operator at her trailer and she told us a repair person was on the way.  She also said we could camp just around the corner from the store, and that she would open the store early the next morning just for us. The camping area was sparsely grassy and totally out in the open (read no wind protection, and yes the wind did blow).
Hite camp site

Hite camp site

It had just enough area, not really defined campsites though, for our group. That was scary, but sure enough the pumps were repaired just before dusk and we had a place to camp.

   Day four, and we were off to find an elusive Anasazi cliff dwelling. We climbed up the Forest Service road between Bears Ears, which is on the flank of the Abajo Mountains at about 8500’ elevation. From there we followed the route we had determined should place us at a point we could easily hike to Dollhouse Ruin.
Doll House ruins

Doll House ruin

It turns out we were right on and the ruin was in near perfect condition. Our camp was a few miles back up the Forest Service road along a high mesa that provided some weather protection. It was an old drill site from 1963; a dry hole for them, but a nicely flowered campsite for us.


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