Well I had a kick in the pants run yesterday - I think it's the most fun I've had since this trip in October 2006
Since it didn't sound like anybody else was going to make it I was slow getting going and rolled into Georgetown at about 8:32. I aired down to 12 psi (the lowest I'd previously done was 15 psi) I went rolling. Boy does the enigne have to work harder to get those tires rolling up some of those hills! I can see why guys throw 350s in their trucks once they go to those bigger tire sizes! The steering was also a workout the entire day, but c'est la vie for the time being...at least I didn't break a rag joint
I first wanted to get the skinny on Guanella Pass. They still plow up to the Silver Dollar Lake trailhead, but there is a 15' high pile of snow in the way so you can't go up to the pass
- but at least they don't stop at the power plant as rumor had it.
I then went back down and made it about 100 yards up Argentine Pass. I probably should have tried the chains to see what difference it would make, if any, but I just didn't feel like doing all that. I had to dig myself out a couple times and called it good.
So then I backed down and took a quick tour through Georgetown - pretty neat little town with a nice park for kids if anybody wants to take a Saturday afternoon drive up into the mountains.
Then I checked out Saxon Road, which I knew there was a gate on so I wasn't expecting to get anywhere. But it was THE MOST fun of the whole day! Every switchback seemed to have deeper snow, so I was honing my snowdrift-bustin' skillz! Gentle taps to test the conditions, then full throttle! Tried 1st high, 2nd low, 1st low on the steep stuff, it was a blast to hear that engine get wrapped up and maintain! I got pretty high up the hill, almost to where the trees blank out on that hillside, but was having a little trouble with one section on a ledge and decided not to push it. I think this road has good possibilities for a smaller group - 5 trucks max. The gate at the bottom is always open, a local told me, so that's good. A lot of it is windblown and it's west facing, and if we can get to the top I imagine there's bigger deeper drifts etc.
I thought about going up towards the Grays Peak trailhead, but I figured with my low air pressure it would be a struggle to get up the interstate and since it's higher the snow would probably be deeper. Another day perhaps.
I checked out the ice racing on the lake, but no registration people were around so I couldn't ask any questions. Looks fun though!
Thought about Jones Pass, but didn't want to disturb any of the backcountry skiers and boarders, plus figured there would be a lot of snow. Also thought about Bill Moore Lake, but I know there is a lot of snow up there and I'm pretty sure that there's no gate.
Drove by Spring Creek and was tempted to go up the first section, but decided against it. I imagine you could probably go up to where the sign for the MHJC is (I personally would not go past that), but I'm not sure if it's worth it. Maybe worth checking out sometime.
Headed back up to Alice, saw York Gulch and was tempted to turn off but didn't. Also say another gulch (Hayes?) further up, but that will have to wait until another time. It looks to me like Kingston Peak and Yankee Hill are not accessible from the back side this time of year, there was SO MUCH SNOW in Alice and St. Marys it was ridiculous. I found the turnoff for Loch Lamond but a *EEP was parked right on the middle of the road!
Oh well, I wasn't planning on going down that road anyway so it wasn't a big deal, but I might've had to winch him into a snowdrift to get him out of the way if I had been
Didn't have time to check out Lamartine, and I was getting pretty beat up from all the driving up to that point, but I did head up the road past Indian Hot Springs where during the summer there's a forest road system that's open - good stockish forest driving, I'd say good for an afternoon family picnic. There's a gate in the winter though that's closed. But before you get to that road there's a turnoff for Stevens Creek - I think it's the road I almost rolled my truck on a couple years ago because I slid backwards on ice into a ditch - I always wondered where it went and if I wasn't getting low on fuel I would've tried harder to push all the way to the end - again perfect snow depth for me, and a small ditch on one side that I had an interesting time getting sucked into and then having to get out of. It goes past some summer cabins but looks deserted in the wintertime. Again good old engine-roaring, exhaust-a-flowin', tire-spinning, and snow-flyin' fun!
Someday I'll hopefully be able to get pictures off my camera again, but for now use your imagination!