Adopt-A-Trail Trip on June 10 & 11, 2000
By Mary Macleod
The Cleanup Crew
The annual Adopt-A-Trail trip started early on a beautiful Saturday morning. We were to meet at 6: 00 a.m. at the I-70, Morrison exit at the Geo Cut parking lot. I canít think of a better way to start a weekend then to crawl out of bed at 4:30 in the morning! With shovels, a chain saw, assorted tools and a bunch of good attitudes the caravan consisting of two Cruisers, one 4 Runner and one Tacoma headed west under the guidance of trail leader James Bingham. Rob and Bruce acted as tailgunners. At Frisco, we were joined by a third Cruiser. Our rag tag crew easily scaled the mountains standing between Denver and Glenwood Springs. A quick stop at Eagle to purchase last minute supplies and give the legs a stretch and we were off to Glenwood. Another quick stop for gas in the center of Glenwood and we headed for the Colorado Mountain College. So far the trip was a piece of cake.
Once past the college all we needed to do was find the dirt road, County 115, which lead to our final destination, Deadmanís Creek Trail. Sounds simple enough! The road split off and the caravan ambled off to the right. Mailboxes indicated that we were on County 115, which is where we thought we needed to be. However, it seemed we were headed the wrong direction. Roads that looked like likely candidates presented "Private Property" signs. So we dragged out the maps and poured over them. Which leads us to the question, "how many Cruisers does it take to find out where we are on a map?" We find a BLM sign with more maps and continue to try to find our way. No luck! So we fire up the GPS and head back to where we first turned right and head up the other road to the left. It appears that the longitude and latitude readings on the GPS are looking more promising according to the top map. We stop at a road to the right leading up to Lookout Park. Could that be the road? Out come the maps and after a huddle and short recon mission down the road we were on (which appeared to be all residential stuff), the caravan turned right and head up to Lookout Park. Bingo! Our destination at last!
At the parking lot, the cleanup crew consisting of James and Alex, Rob and Bruce, Steve, Mark and Signey (the black lab) and Chris and Mary jumped out of their vehicles to admire the Adopt-A-Trail sign telling the world that the Rising Sun Club was responsible for maintaining this trail. We soon got to work cleaning up the area around the parking lot. What a mess! The human species can be such pigs! Tons of broken glass from target practice, gun shells, some bottles and cans that they missed and even a make-shift commode complete with toilet seat. We sacked and stacked and left our pile of trash to be picked up on the way out.
A couple of folks decide to air down in preparation for the trail ahead. Now the fun starts! The little caravan of five cruisers starts down the trail, stopping to pick up trash along the way. Ití s a popular trail with a number of mountain bikers, dirt bikers and ATVs along with the "big rigs". The trail gets very narrow with lots of brush trying to close in on it. The trail was dry which made for a rather easy journey. The clay soil looked like it would present some very slippery and challenging 4-wheeling if it were wet. There were a number of very steep sections of the road with some pretty deep ruts. There was one pretty deep mud hole with a drive around. We all drove around! The aspens were beautiful, huge trees! We were beginning to think that this was just going to be a trash detail with no real trail work to be done. A number of aspens had fallen in the road and had already been cut away. We were not to be disappointed, however, and we soon came to a very large aspen that was blocking the main road. People had been driving around it, so we all jumped out and decided that we needed to remedy the situation. Besides, the guys were just itching to play with the chain saw and winch!
Rob got out the chain saw and put on the hockey mask and did his Jason impersonation (kidding, just kidding). It was decided that one cut would be enough to divide the tree so that it could be winched out of the way. A couple of the other guys got a smaller branch to use as a lever to help with the cutting. The cut was successful and once we freed the saw blade, the winching could begin. It was a beautiful sight, moving that baby out of the way and no one had to break a sweat! That was the extent of the trail repairs.
The end of the line brought us to the trailhead for Hubbardís Caves. We all jumped out and pulled up some chairs and logs for a relaxing lunch and liquid refreshments. Then it was time to head for the caves. Armed with flashlights, the crew scrambled along the canyon wall to the caves. We could see the highway below, winding through Glenwood Canyon, at various points on the trail. It was a long, long way down to the bottom of the canyon! The caves were just awesome! The first cave was pretty small and required some belly crawling. The next cave was very large and some of the group walked through it. When the lights were turned out, you couldnít see the hand in front of your face. This is very dark and very scary if you are alone and without a light. There was a wooden ladder at one spot, which took you up to a shelf. Several of the group were adventurous and climbed the ladder. I just took pictures. Near the ladder was another opening which took us back out. One final cave was very large but not very deep. A really fun experience!
Then it was back to the vehicles to decide on a camping spot. There were not a lot of choices for level camping spots for tents. Only five of the crew would be staying the night and seeking new adventures on Sunday. Having put in a good day of clean-up, some neat 4-wheeling and some great caving, it was with heavy hearts that Mark and Signey and Mary and Chris bid farewell to the rest of the group and headed back up the trail for home.