Originally Posted by Dr. Schlegs
I finally make it home. Going to take a shower and get back online to read about my day.
Thanks everyone for the help on the trail.
Fantastic Kevin! My wife kept asking me if you made it home okay.
Heros of the day: Ken Romer for having the needed parts on hand and especially Robbie for his expertise and doing most of the wrenching.
After a glorious day of wheeling, awesome wildflowers, new and old friends having a great time together we were all headed down. Those of you who are familiar with this trail know that there is a steep, rocky optional route about .2 miles up from the switchback by the old mine structure. No one went up it on our way up, but several wanted to try it on the way down.
I went on ahead to make sure there would be no trail traffic trying to come up. Good thing too, there were three others that were just about to try going up it when I got there. We radioed the all-clear and the 4 adventurers made there way down. Just before the bottom, second-from-last Brandon (shortbus) had an issue where he slipped into neutral. Right about that time someone said over the radio that they had a steering issue. We initially thought it was Brandon, as he was stopped and his engine was revving. We jumped out of the way as he started off again, thinking he was having the steering issue.
But his steering seemed fine, and Kevin was next, but wasn't moving. Then we learned that it was Kevin that had an issue. It turned out that 2 of the 4 lower knuckle studs were completely missing, and the remaining 2 had sheared off, leaving his steering arm dangling. The placement of the rig was a super-lucky place. The rig wasn't in danger of going anywhere on its own even though it was on a steep downhill, and he wasn't blocking the main trail. But the rest of us were. Ricardo contacted the Spring Creek group and learned that Ken might have the parts that would be needed for a trailside repair. I assembled the group and moved everyone down to a spot where we were no longer blocking trail traffic.
Jeff Z (the other one), Brandon and Ricardo stayed with Kevin, while I led the rest of our group down to the trailhead; we said our goodbyes and I headed back up. By then we learned that Robbie, Ken and Steve Brady would be headed our way with parts and expertise. We stabilized the rig, and then more after the Spring Creek group arrived.
It was an adventure, but with great Rising Sun teamwork, Robbie's expertise and Kens parts, the repair was made and as you read above Kevin made it home safely. Total time from breakage to return to trailhead was about 4 hours.
While the breakage and repair may seem to overshadow other aspects of the run, it really was a great run. I got to meet some new friends (Chris and Christine, and I can't remember the name of the dude in the red mini that caught up with us, but he was really cool too), and we all got to enjoy some awesome Colorado high country. I have never seen violet Indian Paintbrush before. Did I say the wildflowers were awesome. They were frigging awesome! And there was this one mushroom that was at least a foot in diameter.
There were two abandoned dogs that joined our group at the lake and they were rescued (Chris and Christine?).
It was quite the eventful day.
Photos coming soon...