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Colorado, July '02 - Expedition
Sangre de Cristo & San Juan Mountain Passes

RANGE ROVER | DEFENDER 90 | SERIES I DISCOVERY

Just as the first Land Rover wasn't named the Series I until the introduction of the Series II, OKRovers Expeditions 2002 wasn't named until we decided to plan OKRovers Expeditions 2003 to Moab, Utah.

It began as three amigos with the off-road bug for a long-range expedition, and morphed into Jim and Melissa Thompson (and the two Labs) - Range Rover, Randy Black - Defender 90, and Mark Kiely - Series I Discovery, spending an amazing week exploring the high passes of southern Colorado.
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Sangre de Cristo Mtns - Medano Pass &
Great Sand Dunes Nat'l Monument
From WestCliffe heading west

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Arrival in Westcliffe - finding a restaurant: (Melissa's report to follow) .

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We left Westcliffe in the morning after a full breakfast at the local cafe, and after stocking up with last minute provisions at the grocery store, we traversed a heavy corrugated trail to reach the ascent of Medano Pass. Reaching the other side, we aired down and did the roller-coaster trail ride through the Great Sand Dunes - a total blast! On arrival at our campsite in the late afternoon we set up camp and relaxed after a fun day of thrilling fourwheeling. That first evening's camaraderie over dinner, really set the tone for our awesome week in Colorado. .

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Alpine Loop - above the Tree Line,
Cinammon & California Passes, Lake Como

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Animas Forks - Mining Town, Alpine Loop
Remnants of a By-Gone Era

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Stony Pass, & Kite Lake Trail
One of the most enjoyable days of the trip was our crossing of Stony Pass from Silverton. On the east side of the pass we took a dead-end trail out to Kite lake. A superb 6 mile route that took over 2 hours to complete requiring some cool technical driving. With amazing scenic views along the way, Kite Lake had a rugged beauty all its own. After grilling up a welcome lunch, we devoured it quickly and scrambled to clear up and take shelter as the heavens opened and we experienced a typical mountain downpour. .

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Ophir Pass, Silverton to Telluride
Our San Juan range base camp was the Matterhorn camp ground just south of Telluride. With most of the trails on the Ouray/Silverton side of this range, we needed to drive a high pass every morning to get to our designated route, and again in the early evening to get back home. Ophir Pass became our 'matter of course' high pass, which we traversed several times during our stay in the San Juans. .

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Imogene Pass Summit - Ouray to Telluride
8:20pm - Fading Light
Imogene Pass was without doubt on of our most technical routes among the high passes we covered. It defeats me to think how the early travellers, with horse and wagon, crossed from Ouray into Telluride on this slickrock trail. .

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