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Old 10-16-2016, 11:17 AM
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TheHoneyBadger TheHoneyBadger is offline
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Default Spooky night Run, 2016.

''Twas a cold and blustery night..."

A small group of eager adventurers gathered in the Safeway parking lot in Idaho Springs about 4:30 in the afternoon. A pleasant clear day was starting to wind down as the surrounding peaks began casting long shadows through the valley. Although still pleasant, a crisp chill was definitely on its way.
Once all were gathered, the trail for the night's run was named. They would be ascending the Kingston Peak trail with nothing but their LEDs and the full moon to guide them.
A quick dinner of fajitas and chili was had at a road side camp site. Stories and small talk were exchanged around a small camp fire as the participants prepared for the night's activities with enthusiastic anticipation. Tires were aired down for the rough trail ahead.
The participants then all lined up their rigs and waited for the leader to take the front. An impressive collection of Toyota vehicles to be sure. Some older, some newer, some heavily modified, but all possessing the soul of an adventurer.
The group continued up the narrow winding road towards Alice, where the trail would begin. By now the day's light had nearly vanished, being consumed by the all encompassing darkness descending upon the fellowship of explorers. The air became thinner and colder the higher they went. By the time they reached the trail head it was decidedly cold. Occasional radio chatter was the only sound, other than the low rumble of the engines, as landmarks were called out and responses given in order to make sure the group stayed together.
The full moon now arose from the east, jettisoned out above the looming masses of granite like a mighty white Phoenix taking flight in pursuit of the retreating sun.
The wanderers climbed slowly over loose rocks and boulders as they ascended the mountain side. Before long they arrived at the Rock House. This ancient stone lookout now lay in ruins. But the location commanded an impressive view down to St. Mary's Reservoir to the Northwest and down to the lights of Denver far to the east shimmering like a molten sea of fire.
And indeed there was a fire burning. A forest fire, many miles to the northwest of the travelers' current location, was still burning. The wind carried the reddish smoke to the east, filling the valleys with a spooky red haze in the full moon's light.





After wandering about the desolate tundra, lit only by moon light, the expedition regrouped and continued on. Although the high peaks to the north were covered in a light blanket of snow, the group had not run into any snow as of yet. However, that was about to change.



Just over the next rise there was a large snow patch on the decent into the next tundra ravine. They hoped this was to be the only snowy obstacle. However, another mile or so would reveal that what they feared was actually true. At the crest, just before the decent into the valley towards Rollinsville, there is was. This side of the mountain was consumed with snow. The wind whipped up from the depths below, glazing the snow with slick ice. The powerful beams of the LED light bars could only illuminate the trail for a short piece ahead. A couple scouts were sent ahead with flash lights to assess the trail's condition. Upon their return with unfavorable reports, the decision was made to turn around and not risk losing rigs on the mountainside.
The party turned their trucks around and regrouped.
This meant that the author was now the tail gunner. I have been the tail gunner on many a trail run. But never before on a trail that traversed so much open high elevation expanse at night. As the rest of my party slowly descended back through the tundra, I stopped. I turned all the lights off and silenced the stereo. The darkness enveloped and consumed my truck, but only for a moment. My eyes adjusted and the moon's light then illuminated the tundra, the trail, and the mighty granite peaks. It was eerily silent as the wind whispered in one window and out the other. The silence was cut only by the comforting quiet hum of the supercharger at idle. I watched my companions slowly turn into small red dots bobbing about in the dark distance. I had an incredible moment of isolation and loneliness there in the deserted wind swept tundra. It's moments like these that are the reason I love living here and being a part of this wild place.






Huge thanks to Nakman for putting this on again and bringing dinner for everyone. Had a really great time.
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Last edited by TheHoneyBadger; 10-17-2016 at 11:59 AM.
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:53 PM
krice118 krice118 is offline
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Wow I dont even want to try and top the storytelling that travis just did....

Thanks to Tim for organizing this! It was my first night run! Thanks to Daniel and Traves for helping me get my fat 100 through Yankee Hill!
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:00 AM
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nakman nakman is offline
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Great write-up Travis! made me smile.

Thanks again everyone for coming out and being super cool all evening, that was a good time. Glad everyone made it home safe.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHoneyBadger View Post
The silence was cut only by the comforting quiet hum of the supercharger at idle.
Great writing, Mr. Badger.
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:13 PM
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Sad we missed this run yet again...

Good writing Travis!
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:32 PM
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:11 PM
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Good times. Looks like Yankee Hill was fun, but my sleeping kiddos would have probably gotten shaken baby syndrome. Here's a cool shot of the ridge line looking down on Denver with the full moon above.
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smakee View Post
Good times. Looks like Yankee Hill was fun, but my sleeping kiddos would have probably gotten shaken baby syndrome. Here's a cool shot of the ridge line looking down on Denver with the full moon above.


That's an epic picture
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TLCA #23166

"Squishy"-1988 Red Hilux Standard frame, X-tra cab, locked F&R, 5.29's, 35" tires and a SAS. In Moab STOLEN

"Apollo"-1988 Hilux, 1999 3.4L, Supercharged, 2.1" URD pulley, URD 7th injector, 2 1/2" Magnaflow exhaust, SOLD, then totalled

"RedChili"-1987 Super Beast

"Did you know the IFS was designed by Hitler himself to make the life of 4WD owners tough? Yeah, it's true, he saw a vision of the Devil and he told him to do it." -DaveInDenver
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Old 10-17-2016, 06:14 PM
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Yeah! That right there is some spooky stuff. Totally bummed we missed this run.
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Old 10-17-2016, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krice118 View Post
Wow I dont even want to try and top the storytelling that travis just did....

Thanks to Tim for organizing this! It was my first night run! Thanks to Daniel and Traves for helping me get my fat 100 through Yankee Hill!
Cool! Pics came out great!
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