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Author Topic: Summer of 2014 convoy to Colorado trip  (Read 9564 times)
aswayze
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« on: August 28, 2013, 11:00:44 am »


 2014 East Wind vehicle tour

We have been discussing this amongst ourselves for a while around here locally so I figured it is about time to actually start putting together the skeleton of an actual plan so we can work towards a common goal. 

Basic requirements: 

Cost minimized. Many of us have time to do this because we are at transition points in our lives.   I will be out of a job at the first of the year, Stagg will be out of the Army in March, Curfman will be out of school in June.  We all have a bit of a window of time to do some traveling in but will need to be cost effective while doing so. 

Infrastructure minimized Most of the vehicles we are looking at taking are smaller1/4 ton class trucks so we cannot pack along everything plus the kitchen sink.   We should be generally approaching this more as a camping/backpacking trip and not as much like a steamer voyage to India packing wise. 

Play to our strengths East Wind has each of us comfortable with nav, able to live comfortably in the woods, able to drive off road successfully, and capable of maintaining our vehicles.  Additionally, we can draw on our stocks of equipment to further the overall goals of the trip.  We have bulk water carriers, vehicle radio gear, etc.   If a vehicle needs a radio, we can just check one out.  If someone need a 5 gallon water can, we check one out. If your fuel can is a rusty old wall hanger, we can check out a scepter can.   If we want to pack along a hot lunch to a place that we cannot cook at, we can bring a mermite can with us.   

The trip is about the trip It is not about getting there, it is not about the public, it is not about education, it is not about the trucks and it is not about YOU or ME or anyone.   We should endeavor to make every part of the trip as rewarding as we can and where ever possible seek to avoid things which drain from the quality of experience.

Vehicle maintenance standards   Having a group means a certain amount of security and assistance during breakdown situations.  It does not however mean that the entire group should have to suffer spending 2 days along the side of the road in Western Kansas because you could not be bothered to do your maintenance.   Prior to step off, we will discuss the maintenance on your vehicle and immediately prior to step off we will rotate drivers and have each of our vehicles inspected by another driver to make certain that we have not forgotten or overlooked something.   We need to make sure that we are heading out for an adventure not a debacle.  No class 2 or worse leaks, no dry rotted tires, no bearings that have not been cleaned and packed recently, no unresolved electrical issues, no balky fuel pumps, windshield wipers work, all lights work etc. 
 



Basic plan as it stands right now: 

Convoy is comprised of East Wind and like minded folks with similarly capable vehicles. 

Convoy departs from Kansas City area heading west making use of US highways or state highways across Kansas towards Colorado.  Plan to sightsee along the way and make the trip as enjoyable as possible.  No need to drone down I-70 at 65 MPH for 10 hours straight.   We have all done that before and it is not much fun even when you do stop to see the 10 foot tall prairie dog and the 5 legged cow. 

Target basically the San Juan Mountains in Colorado seeking to take as many small routes or jeep trails as possible to get ourselves there once we hit the mountains. 

Plan to camp out basically every night at scattered campsites in the National Forest.  My basic rule is that if you have to pay to camp that means that enough people are around to be worth making people pay and if there are that many people around then it is not a good place to camp.   We will find fabulous back country camping spots, trust me.   Even on the way out and back we can find no cost camping at State Fishing Lakes, Wildlife areas, etc that have established no fee primitive camping facilities.   

We can either go with the every man for himself food plan or put together a meal plan that rotates cooking among the group by vehicle.  Vehicle 1 does breakfast, 2 does lunch, 3 does dinner etc and just bring along group cooking gear.   I think the second option has the most merit both cost wise and quality of food wise but I am open to suggestions. 

Route planning we will break up in phases for the movement to and from assigning a person to plot a section of the trip.  Once we are in the San Juans, we can play it more or less by ear since there are plenty of opportunities in every which direction out there.   It is expected that if you are charged with finding a route, you are not just going to do the mapquest thing.   Do some research, see what is along the way, route us someplace interesting and target some good stopping points along the way learn some of the history of the area, know what we are driving through.   I have in the past found Google Street View to be an excellent resource for figuring out what route would be more appealing to take.   

Duration wise, I am open to suggestions.  I am inclined to budget 1.5 to 2 days commute time each way for the run out and the return trip and would like to spent about 3-5 days on scene out there in the mountains.  That means we are probably looking at 6 to 9 days total time depending on individual schedule limitations.

Timing wise, judging by when trails tend to open in Colorado, we would be safest to plan to go around the first part of July.  By that time the roads/ trails should be well and truly opened and the super death mosquito swarms should have abated a bit.  I am certainly open to other suggestions as well. 


We are talking about this early.  Really early in fact.  It is important to do that because if you have a vehicle that you are working on for East Wind and you also want to go on this trip the you need to plan your maintenance and refurb work around the entire trip and not just East Wind. 


Anyone else interested besides the obvious ones? 
« Last Edit: August 28, 2013, 11:05:41 am by aswayze » Logged
aswayze
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« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2013, 11:13:34 am »

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeTDtb1u08g

Video overview of some of the roads/trails in the San Juans.
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Hunterm16a2
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« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2013, 12:06:58 pm »

I am absolutely interested. As long as it is in the summer, you can count me in.
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David
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« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2013, 12:15:33 pm »

I plan to have everything with the deuce 120% by then anyway. It's mostly seals in various easy to work on spots. Pack bearings, flip hubs,etc. Hopefully we will have had more OT than we can handle at work so I can stash away a good chunk of traveling cash.
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« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2013, 02:14:42 pm »

For anyone that actually makes it to Denver, I will buy all of you your first round of drinks.  Seriously!

Otherwise, I'll just catch up with you at one of the campsites.
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« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2013, 04:36:56 pm »

Totally interested. The only thing that worries me is that when I bought my Mutt it didn't have a title. Since I was only going to use it at EW, I wasn't worried about getting it inspected or licensed for on-road use. I'm not sure how difficult it would be to get a salvage title from the great state of Texas. But this plan sounds right up my alley.
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« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2013, 05:22:44 pm »

I'm definitely interested pending exact time frame and total cost. But basically with my summers off, I don't see why I wouldn't be able to do it!
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« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2013, 06:20:54 pm »

Count me in.
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Stagg
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« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2013, 06:33:54 pm »

Obvious for me.
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« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2013, 07:42:29 pm »

ditto with Stagg
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Phoenix
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« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2013, 01:01:27 am »

I'm not sure the difference between Colorado high elevation skeeters and high elevation Oregon ones, but early July is kind of the worst time to go, if they are similar. Early August is a much better bet.

Abacus, you actually live there, what's your take on the mosquitos?

Besides that, I would absolutely love to meet you guys out there, although very likely not with my own vehicle.
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« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2013, 05:06:18 am »

 

@Phoenix: Part of it is a matter of the window of time we have available. August means another month of not getting meaningful jobs for Stagg and I and it's bumping back up on school time for Curfman and Gallion.    Good news about skeeters when you have a vehicle, you do at least have the option to locate someplace where there are fewer of them.  Higher, lower, windy, arid, etc. 

@David:  We do need to do some research prior to heading out and see which trails are going to be suitable for a deuce.  I suspect that many will be fine but some of the skinny trails with drop offs of doom and tight switchbacks you may have to detour around.   (Like Black Bear Pass)

@Switzer: First check your antique plate laws in Texas.  Here in Kansas for instance we do not need a title to get antique plates.  Just show up, get inspection, go get plates and you are off to the races.   Failing that, you can use a title service like Broadway Title and get one for a couple of hundred bucks.   Titles are hardly an issue at all once your vehicle gets over 35 years old. 

@Gallion:  Total cost we hope to keep minimized however we will need to do a fairly complete refurb on 6007 to make it ready for the trip which adds to cost throughout the year.    Good news is you had planned to do most of that anyhow.   Really just the tires are going to start adding up on you. 

@Hunter:  Are you still looking at getting one of those Romanian trucks?  That might be a fun trip to take it on as well if you have enough time to make it road ready. 

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aswayze
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« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2013, 05:16:56 am »

@Mosquitoes...  Now that I think about it, I transited Oregon on the Pacific Crest Trail in July...  The mosquitoes  didn't amount to much then compared to June in the Sierras.    I am pretty sure that one valley in the Sierras during peak mosquito season has more mosquitoes per cubic meter of air than any place in Borneo... 



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Hunterm16a2
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« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2013, 06:08:55 am »


@Hunter:  Are you still looking at getting one of those Romanian trucks?  That might be a fun trip to take it on as well if you have enough time to make it road ready. 



That's the plan. This February I'll be bringing in one of those (ARO-246) and a Ural K-750 motorbike. I figure either would be a joy to bring along for the journey. Cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2013, 11:55:35 am »

@Mosquitoes...  Now that I think about it, I transited Oregon on the Pacific Crest Trail in July...  The mosquitoes  didn't amount to much then compared to June in the Sierras.    I am pretty sure that one valley in the Sierras during peak mosquito season has more mosquitoes per cubic meter of air than any place in Borneo... 


Hahaha! I just remember the time I did the PCT in Oregon in July the mosquitos were easily 10x thicker than when I did it in August. When you are moving they are never a problem though, its only when you stop.
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Ben Miller
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