Well, we did that Colorado thing last weekend, and it was super dope.  Everything I’d hoped it would be.

We took the long way up, due to some traffic on the shorter route and drove West-Northwest-ish through Durango and such.  Once we got in-state, we were above 9000 feet until we dropped into Denver.  Quite a ride.  Lots of things to look at.

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These are mountains. There are many of them in Colorado.

We drove straight through to (just south of) Boulder and met up with my buddy John and his new wife Danielle for some awesome food and beer.  I ordered a burger twice my size and ate like three bites.  Embarrassing.

Since Nona had a long run the next day, we called it an early night.  The next day however, was #wheelingcolorado day, and I was stoked.  We decided, in the interest of time, that we’d run two short, easy trails just to get an idea of what CO is like.  Turns out, that was a good plan…

Remember in that last post where I said I got my front driveshaft reinstalled?  Well, that was a bit of a tiny white lie.  I ran out of time getting ready for the trip and didn’t have time to install the DS, so I threw it in the back and planned to put it in once we got where we were going.  Once we got where we were going though, I realized I’d left the correct bolts back home in AZ, and there wasn’t a parts house within 30 miles of us. Looks like I was gonna be wheeling Colorado with only 2wd.

I was livid, cursing the gods like Chuck Heston, but alas I was unswayed.  Our journey would not end here.

Thou shalt not forget the goddamn bolts Jeff! It's like the third one!

Thou shalt not forget the goddamn bolts Jeff!!

Unfazed and ready for adventure, we forged ahead, and promptly lost one of our group.

Uh, not to question you divine wisdom, but why did you even bless this dude with eyes?

Dude.

We forged ahead again, this time finding dirt and that familiar crunch beneath the tires.  It has been too long.

[Lost style flashback:]
The last time I got off the pavement was about a month ago, on a camping trip with my friends John and Laura who have a Grand Cherokee like mine, though it’s got different parts on it, and theirs is newer.  We didn’t get to do a whole lot of wheeling during that trip, and even back then I was still rocking only 2wd. But it was the last time I’d heard that comforting sound.  We ended up finding a quirky little downhill section, but like all the big fish that get away, we didn’t take any pictures, and the route is now lost to history…
[And back to the island:]
For the next several hours, this was my view:

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wpid-20150905_151052.jpg This lake is fed by a waterfall, which is fed by another lake, which is fed by another waterfall, all the way up to the snow. That’s still there. From last year. Ugh…

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I know, hideous right? It was vistas like this everywhere we went. Truly, some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen in person.

Above about 10000 feet, the scenery changed. It reminded me of the Peruvian highlands I visited some years ago.  That trip was a defining moment in my life, and specifically, those first few nights I spent getting used to the thin air, getting used to the stars, so close they seemed within reach.  Peru taught me that there was a whole world to experience.  I went back there, to Peru, while I was atop this mountain, and I felt that same sense of peace. Of just being a part of the universe.  It made better the whole “forgot mission critical parts to have 4wd for the big Colorado trip” debacle from earlier.

Of course, like all great things, our CO wheeling trip had to end eventually.  We posted up for some group shots at the peak of the second trail, and then headed back to our respective towns, taking another awesome scenic drive back to Boulder(-ish).

You can't take an ugly picture in this state...

You literally can’t take a bad picture in this state…

And just to prove I’m no punk, here’s some pics to prove I still actually wheeled it out there…

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We did a lot more over the weekend, great food, great friends, and great drinks, not to mention all the amazing towns we passed through on the way there and back.  We took the short way home, which went west, then south through Moab (just passed through, no wheeling this time…) and got home without incident.

The Jeep drove all 1400 miles without missing a beat, which I’ve come to expect, but it’s still a great feeling to make it home in one piece.  By the way, I didn’t get stuck the whole trip.  Just one hill that we stopped on, that I had to back down and get another run at.

Your move Colorado!

Your move Colorado!

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