We found a campground along the Colorado River and for a mere $12/night we had a temporary home. Once we got camp set up, we headed out to the Top Of The World, a trail rated fairly difficult, but a good one to start our weekend off with. There were times when I was a bit stressed - not afraid - but worried that we'd get stuck and/or broke and there wouldn't be anyone to help us out.
The Top Of The World trail was a good one for desensitizing me to 4-wheeling. RCC had taken me to RZO's Winter- and Summerfests, but those were man-made obstacles, and up the Middle St. Vrain trail with a group of Jeeps. These real-life obstacles were a bit more daunting; especially since we were by ourselves. We still had some time after we got back from the Top Of The World, so we did an easy trail, Onion Creek, which was fun and had 22 creek crossings. I made RCC stop on our way back down so that I could rinse off some of the red dust in the creek. The water was so cool and clear it was amazing. I could have sat my butt down in the creek and stayed there for a good long time.
The next day, we had Poison Spider Mesa on the menu. We loaded up and headed for the trail. We conquered the Waterfall (no water, just a name, I guess) and when we got to the Wedgie, I jumped out and ran ahead across the obstacle to get pictures of RCC straddling the V-notch. Probably the best (or worst, depending on how you look at it) decision I made all day. When I got to the top of the Wedgie, I ran into a group from Colorado who invited us to join them. Well, why not? We had planned on doing the Poison Spider Mesa loop and heading back, but Armando didn't have to twist our arms to hard to change our plans to join them on The Golden Spike and Gold Bar Rim. One look at the guide book and I was worried again - the author warned that no one should attempt it unless they had a vehicle with a lift, over-sized tires and lockers. RCC assured me we could do it in his completely stock Jeep.
You know, when weI first met, I told him that my horse could do any obstacle that he could do in a vehicle. That was until we hit this obstacle...
...The Launching Pad was by far the most pucker-factor inducing obstacle we faced all day. I'm still pulling cotton outta my butt from this little ride. I apologized for my boast, because there was no way on God's green earth that Estes could have conquered that obstacle.
It's amazing how quickly you can get desensitized to scary things after facing death. There wasn't any other obstacle that scared me; I was worried that we might break, but I wasn't worried about tipping ass over tea kettle and rolling backward down the hill.
There was one (okay, several) obstacles where the Lil Blue BoX really earned her stripes, but the most important one in the 4-wheel community, as I understand, is the Golden Crack. Armando initially told us that we should take the by-pass (or "super highway"), but after a look at the by-pass, it was decided that RCC could probably take the Golden Crack. You know, he really had no choice because to turn around would mean that we'd have to do the Launching Pad backward and there was no way in hell that was going to happen. RCC did manage to get across the Golden Crack with the a little help. There were two people in front of the Jeep with a tow rope to stabilize the front and one guy on the back bumper to stabilize the back - not a lot of help for an obstacle like this. I'm so, so glad he: 1) made it across, which meant that we didn't have to do the Launching Pad in reverse, and 2) didn't break anything, because we would have had to get a ride to town, buy the parts, and get back up the trail somehow to fix it. There's not a tow truck that I know of that can just climb on up and pick up a little broken Jeep on trails like that.
It took us nine hours to complete the series of trails and we covered less than 20 miles, but it was a ton of fun.
The rest of the trip was anti-climactic compared to our crazy day and I was good with that.