Years ago we took a mountain bike over one of a Colorado mountain trail past some of the old mines. One area was so steep we had to get off and push the motorcycle up the skidding gravel as Jim held the throttle open and the front stable, and I tried to push the back tire down enough to get traction in the unstable rock. As we struggled up the steep area a Jeep with four people scurried by us cheering as they climbed what looked straight up. I stood there gazing as they disappeared high above us and wondering how they could do that in a car. It looked impossible.
I also had the experience of looking down from a high elevation at the charming small western town of Ouray, Colorado (population 1,014). The area is called the Switzerland of America. Majestic mountains reigned high above the picturesque little village. The overwhelming beauty brought tears to my eyes. The thought ran through my mind, What is man that You should think of him, the son of man that you should care for us? (Psalm 8:4)
A new desire was planted in my heart. Someday I wanted to come back to Ouray and ride the mountains in one of those Jeeps that seemed to travel on impossible terrain.
So, there we were traveling to Colorado at the same time the Jeep Jamboree would be in Ouray. We could tour the Rocky Mountains with other experienced drivers who knew the trails.
Two hundred sixty one people showed up for the event. Over half were there for the first time. Most hadn’t experience the amazing abilities of their Jeep.
Our first trail had stair step type rocks along a tiny trail that dropped further than I wanted to look. I tried to imagine who could have used the path years ago. It was too narrow for wagons, or any sane person. Finally at the top there was a sign that explained mules had been used in the mines to transport the silver, etc. out, and also to bring supplies in.
Of course. That was the only thing that made any sense. Later, I found another sign that said they tied the pack animals together with buckets hanging on their sides and sometimes lost the whole team over the side when they slipped. I was so glad we went back a different trail.
And I did reconsider my crazy desire to Jeep Colorado.
The area has hundreds of old mines and ghost towns scattered around the mountains. I’m always intrigued to think of the stories they hold secret.
Thousands of people once worked hard to bring gold and silver worth millions out of those mountains. Now the land sits quietly waiting for people on ATV’s, mountain bikes, Jeeps, etc. to come enjoy the scenery and the thrill of their adventure.
For you Jeep people who know the area I’ll document which trails we enjoyed. Of course, we found the high cliffs again, and I always seemed to be on the down side.
We rode Imogene-Ophir, Alpine Loop trailhead to Mineral Point, California Pass, and Corkscrew Gulch. The beauty of the ever-changing Colorado Mountains is beyond explanation. The colors, majestic terrains, blue skies, and fragrances are addictive.
Traveling Blessed USA