Expedition 2005 – July, 2005
Day one for the trip to Leadville began at 4:45 A.M. This was the designated travel day and Jen and I were to meet Randy, Alan, Brian, David W., and anyone else who showed up at 5:45 at the QT.
We fueled up and took off by 6:15. Stopped frequently for gas and snacks for the first part of the day. Ran into some rain in Kansas so we stopped to help David get his soft top attached. The drive through Kansas was all we hoped it would be. Packed with excitement and action packed scenery. The rain delayed our time some and so we hit Colorado Springs at about 5:30 and had to drive through the city in rain and fog. We couldn’t even see Pikes Peak! Stopped for gas on the outskirts of Colorado Springs and happened into some 12 packs of Fat Tire. We arrived into Leadville at dusk and set up quick camp and ran into town for some dinner. Unfortunately the only dinner we could find was at a bar so we enjoyed pitchers of Fat Tire and Frito Pie. Camp was interesting that night.
Day two started about 6:00 A.M. It is cold in Colorado at night, 37 degrees to be exact. Once everyone was up we began meeting some really interesting people. Some were locals so they were full of information and others had traveled from far away. Either way it was interesting to swap stories and share our excitement with other Land Rover Owners. The group decided to tackle Mosquito Pass after breakfast. Danny Booth, Randy Black, David Williams, Alan Bates, Brian Turner, and Paul and Jennifer Davis headed for the highest mountain pass in North America, 13,185 feet to be exact. It was a terrific day enjoying the terrific scenery. One little hiccough with my tie rod end bolt but otherwise an uneventful day. We made it back to town in time for rally check in at 4:00 P.M. This was just a taste for some of the really cool trucks we would see over the next 3 days.
Day three began at 8:00 A.M. at the "We Love Leadville" parking lot. The attendance was 149 trucks and the variety was amazing. A total of 12 yellow D-90’s were present! There was everything from the oldest 88’ to completely new LR3’s. This day Iron Mike Mesa and Half Moon Pass were on the agenda for most of the OKRovers. It was listed as a moderate trail and was a nice easy drive with a few obstacles towards the end of the trail that made things interesting. We ate lunch at an elevation of about 12,800 feet. The wild flowers were spectacular throughout the hillsides. After lunch we made our way down and towards town for the cocktail party at the National Mining Museum.
What a Rover event !! Last count I heard was 149 vehicles. Range Rovers, Discos, Defenders, Series II's, LR 3's, in every imagineable configuration. Lifted, shortened, diesels, V8's, 4 cylinder, crawler boxes. Ford axles, Dana axles, Salsbury axles, 35 and 37 inch tires.
My only regret is that there was not enough time to look over all of the trucks.
The trails were awesome, Chinaman's and Holy Cross had some of the most extreme obstacles I have ever seen. After breaking an axle on Chinaman's the third day I was a passenger. Upon seeing the French Creek obstacle and the off camber tree root on Holy Cross I considered myself lucky to be riding.
Our group just keeps getting better, everyone makes a contribution, I would wheel with them anywhere.
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