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Please Note:  Club trips are designed for licensed vehicles and often enter and exit at different locations. Trailered unlicensed off road vehicles could therefore violate motor vehicle laws when returning to the start. Be sure to consider this if you intend to drive an unlicensed off road vehicle.

News / Articles

2021 Argentine Pass/McClellan Mt. Trip

Rich Horiuchi  | Published on 8/10/2021

TRR Argentine Pass Trip

 

August 7, 2021

 

By Rich and Cathy Horiuchi

 

Participants:  Caroline and Mike; Lynn and Mike; James; Mark; Elaine and John; Karla and Richard; Jana and Gary; Don; Denise and Arlan; Cathy, Rich, Jordan, and Aaron; and guests Sotera and Dennis, and Joel and Jonah.

 

(A little backstory: This was the first time I had led a trail ride without a vehicle.  The night before the trail run, I found out that one of my Jeep’s brake calipers had seized.  Basically out of time for a fix, I decided to see if my family could hitch a ride with others.  And that’s just what happened.  Huge thanks to Don, Gary and Jana for letting us ride along.)

 

We met at the Loaf ‘N Jug in Golden and headed up Clear Creek Canyon.  We stopped at the Georgetown Visitors Center to regroup and air down, and then headed up Guanella Pass Road to the trailhead.  The forest road immediately got a little rocky, which made for a fun start.  We also drove by a lot of mushrooms and wildflowers. 

 

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  We made it to the Waldorf townsite and had a nice lunch.  A lot of buck and rail fencing had been installed at the site to keep hooligans from destroying historical artifacts.  More about hooligans later.
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After lunch, we headed to the top of Argentine Pass.  On prior trips, a large snowdrift has blocked us from us getting to the top, but not this trip. Without any snow, we easily made it to the top where we got to enjoy cold, gale-force winds. Given the limited visibility from the forest fire smoke and unfriendly winds, we didn’t stay at the top very long.

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  Just to give an idea what the view looks like on a clear day (2010)

On our way back down, we came across some hooligan ATV’rs, one of which was doing donuts in an alpine pond. OMG. Don asked them if they knew what they were doing was illegal, and of course they said no, that this was their first time there. They did get the ATV’r to stop and get out of the water while our group was taking pictures of them. What idiots.

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This is the pond, prior to the attack.

We then proceeded to go to the Santiago Mill, where quite a bit more buck and rail fencing had been installed to help preserve the buildings. Some renovation has occurred to the main structures, but other aspects of the site have deteriorated since the last time we were there.

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  Aaron and Jordan, 2005

After visiting the mill, we made our way to the top of McClellan Mountain, where we were greeted with the same wind gusts and fantastic views of the smoke (with silhouettes of Grays and Torreys peaks and the valley below in the background).

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  View on a clear day, 2014

We made it down the trail almost without incident. Part of the group took a different route than others, but we all met up at an intersection.

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Thanks to Don for making sure those in the group who did not have GMRS radios were all equipped with handheld GMRS radios from his personal treasure trove because we had decided we would try GMRS instead of CB for communications on this trip, and it worked out great.

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Despite the thick smoke, high winds, hooligans, and my breakdown, I had a fantastic time riding along with Don (who basically co-led the trip) and being with friends in the outdoors doing what we love!