Yeah man! You did some traveling too. Yellowstone is a hike from Moab. Although closer than from Delaware to Ouray.Jerry / Whatevah
2012 Rubicon - 2.5" AEV Dualsport XT lift, 315/70/17 MTZs, JCR Dagger winch bumper and engine skid, XRC Gen 2 rear bumper, Quadratec LED headlights, ACE side steps, ham radio with GPS tracker
gone- Long-arm 2001 Cherokee on 35s
Black bear didn't work out for us on this trip but Bridal Veil falls was incredible from Imogene pass. I'm in the process of gathering all of the pics and video from the cameras, phones, and GoPros to make a full report.
First off, a little backstory. Now just so you guys understand, my family (wife & 2 boys) is solidly a beach family. We spend a tremendous amount of time at the beach even during the winter.We like to surf (I’m not good but ain't no quitter), SUP, skim, and fish a lot and my kids are always very proud of being the first ones in the ocean for the year, which usually means by the beginning of January. Even other vacations are usually spent at the beach although in Mexico, USVI, the keys, or OBX. Also, I don’t tend to post a lot of pics here or anywhere because it seems narcissistic to think that anyone wants to see pics of me or my wanderings but maybe someone will enjoy them.
That being said, when I suggested a road trip westward, I was expecting a substantial amount of resistance from the boys, which I never got. The boys were excited but a bit sad about missing time at the beach, nonetheless were willing to pack up and roll. My boys are at the perfect age to attempt this and the thought of a long road trip might not fly in another year or two. There may also have been some negotiation about nice hotels with pools, ipads, and Netflix, but it all got worked out. My wife is always up for anything so she was immediately onboard and full of ideas to see the worlds biggest ball of twine or something along the way to the Jeep mecca of Colorado and Moab and then to wherever else we felt like. The only issue with her was the packing.I mean how many pairs of wedges and strappy shoes does one need in Moab?
So we began to make a loose plan. By loose plan, I mean even up to the day before we planned to head west, we weren’t really sure we were going to do it all.
We had no reservations for anything. No planned stops. Just a jeep, money, good attitudes, time, and a desire for some adventure.
We packed the jeep with camping equipment, cooler, duffle bags of clothes, tools, personal security stuff and off we went early on a Saturday morning.
A bit about me and the Jeep(s). I got my first jeep in ’90 or ‘91 (MJ) and have had nothing else since then. We've owned a YJ, XJ, TJ, WJ & JK and all have given us great service and, more importantly awesome adventures. Our attitude toward the jeeps is that they are to be used and enjoyed. I don’t sweat dirt, dents, scratches, dog hair or spills because I may not be alive tomorrow and I’m not spending my life worrying about dumb crap. I know what a real crisis is and I don't sweat the small stuff. The jeeps are tools for fun and are treated that way. Our jeeps always get a small lift, slightly bigger tires, skids and a winch. This combination has lead to reliable, drivable vehicles that can handle highway and off road pretty well.
The current jeep is a 2016 JKUR. It’s basically stock with a winch, bumper, 2” AEV lift and engine/trans skid and it all worked beautifully. I’ve had it just over a year and it now has about 18k on it and it’s not even a daily driver.
Anyway, we made it to Colorado by the end of day 2 and then slowed down to enjoy it all. Those of you that have driven across the country would probably agree that the middle part is no fun, but at least the speed limit is 80 so you can knock down miles pretty quickly.
For me the most fun and beautiful place was Ouray Colorado. I enjoyed Moab alot but, for me, the desert starts to look the same after a while and the lack of water starts to wear on me after a few days. The Grand Tetons are amazing, and Yellowstone was great but a little crowded for my taste.
All said and done we travelled for just over two weeks and covered 5,300 miles.We camped 5-6 nights and the rest of the nights we were in hotels. This ratio actually worked out well because we wanted the trip to be fun for everyone and to be thought of as a vacation. This meant that nice dinners, plentiful drinks, comfortable clean beds, and such were important.
Enough rambling, now some pics. I will apologize in advance for some of these. They were taken with several different types of cameras and by folks with varying skill and/or intoxication level, at times.
Quick pic of us
First (of many) gas stops. This one somewhere on the PA Turnpike
End of day 2 and yes the sun position is no good.
First trail of CO near Lake City.
Outside Lake City
More to follow!
sounds like a fun trip. I have been out many times for wheeling and skiing and im always amazed at what that section of the country has to offer. I alway tell others, once in your life take the drive west.
That is an awesome trip! Ouray is one of my favorite places too! Glad you had fun.
Sent from my iPhone using TapatalkFormerly Mellow Yellow, now I'm the Black Jeep of the family.
A little further and a little backwards.
I forgot to mention that we spent one night outside of Monarch Pass in an old ski resort type place. The elevation was 9500ft at the hotel which looked substantially better in the pics than in real life. We commented that the place looked like a cross between the movie 'hot tub time machine' and the Shining. The highlight of the evening was when a tractor trailer lost control coming down the pass, toward the hotel, after rookie driver had descended the first 4000' standing on the brakes thus causing them to catch fire. The 'experienced' driver then decided to run his rig into the side of the mountain across from the hotel. Fun stuff and I love the smell of brakes in the evening.
i have been over Eisenhauer and Vail pass CO many times in the peterbilt and 3/4 ton trucks towing big trailers. The passes r no joke and u really need to back down before going over the top. Its surprising how may rigs u see on the side of the road with empty fire extiguishers next to them.
ha the little bit of hair on the back of my neck was standing straight up going down those passes, an engine brake would have been awesome.....Don't follow me, you won't make it....
Telluride was a cool town but I missed the off road vibe of Ouray. I thoroughly enjoyed Ouray with all the Jeeps, Landcruisers, and adventure bikes all over the place. Telluride is more commercial and most everyone that we seemed to encounter was high. Which is all fine and good but sometimes the people moved so freaking slow it got annoying. Handle your buzz people. So after a night at a stupidly expensive ski resort in Telluride we moved on to Moab.
We spent a few days in Moab at a cool motor lodge that was right on the strip which was awesome because we could walk everywhere for dinners and beverages. We did Gemini Bridges trail, as well others in and around Arches and Canyonlands NP's. Also the Colorado River was cool. And I need to figure out how to pull still pics from GoPro videos.
From Moab we headed north to the Grand Tetons for some different scenery and cooler temps. We camped a couple different spots in Grand Teton NP, and fished and swam in Jackson and Jenny Lakes which are absolutely amazing. I only found one 'off road' trail in the park (I'm sure I missed a bunch) and we checked it out.
One sign in the bathroom had me wondering who I had been camping next to:
Then to Yellowstone. Yellowstone is a bit of a culture shock after being away from masses of people for a while. The crowds are crazy and they basically have a deck street walkway that connects a lot of the thermo geological stuff that is near the lodge. I would love to go back to this place but go much deeper into the wilderness and not see the crowds.
These signs have been everywhere we've camped
Hence my wife's new favorite spice, although I opted for a little something more familiar to me:
Yellowstone lake is huge
We headed east out of Yellowstone and through the Shoshone National forest. I had driven this route in the past and was looking forward to seeing it again. We camped a few miles out of the park, at the first place where non-hardsided camping was allowed. It was very reassuring that we were allowed to tent camp approximately a half a mile from where it was too dangerous to do so....Anyway here's a few pics and then I promise I will put an end to this rambling report.
Directly behind the campsite.
A sincere thank you for your service Mr. Hale
Saw this guy as well
From there we drove east for a looong time and finally arrived home. Final mileage.
I was happy to get the silly 'hotdog' off the roof.
Then immediately fled south, back to my natural habitat.
As always, the pictures don't do any of it justice but I appreciate you following along. It's a very uncertain world folks, try to enjoy the hell out of all of your days. GAP