CDE Day 10 Rawlins to Steamboat
Staying at RV World gave us a nice break from the pack & run routine our mornings had been. Every few days you need a bit of downtime to take care of details. Laundry, oil changes and checking nuts & bolts, which is how I learned that I needed to find a bolt to replace one lost on my skid plate. Luckily while Mike was getting his oil changed I found the local parts place and got my what I needed.
One thing about Rawlins we noticed what that the service at the local restaurants was very slow, enough so that I was able to replace my missing hardware while waiting! This was one of the many times I was happy to have my Extreme Outback Onboard Air setup to run air tools. The people were very nice and the food was decent but life in Rawlins seems to happen at a much more relaxed pace.
Getting out of town was slower than the restaurant service due to road construction. Things like this can be good or bad depending on your reaction, as overlanders this usually means we start thinking of dirt roads and ways around. In this case we found something interesting on the map called Adams Reservoir. At times like this you have no idea what the way ahead holds but that is one of the reasons we overland. Our first clue that this was a unique route was this old aqueduct pipe from the reservoir we were heading towards.
The way down to the reservoir was blocked by a recent mini-landslide but this presented little problem to our rigs.
What wasn't such a simple problem was the washed out bridge that the map had promised us. This is why you either need the right gear & skills to deal with surprises or a willingness to turn around, and even that won't always work out for you.
One thing to remember if you get in this kind of situation is that there are very few places left in this country that truly aren't visited by folks sooner or later. In this case we found that there was a trail where the creek was low enough that a clear ford was present and with a little binocular work we saw the matching way out on the other side. Mike was happy to be our test subject and after a quick creek crossing and disappearance into the brush he popped out on the other bank clean & clear.
The rest of us followed quickly due to the emergence of yellow fly's that bite & draw blood and we were back on the trail again. Little did we know the day would offer even more surprises and challenges. We covered some interesting ground ranging from wide open spaces that included a gentleman pushing his bicycle up hills due to head wind. Later we met this gentleman named Adrian from France who was riding north along the Continental Divide as a way to see our country.
Battle Creek was our next area of fun, the trail itself was not to tough except for one mud puddle that had clearly been eating passing vehicles. There was a clear bypass for the mud pit but Mike felt that he could make it. And if not the rest of us were there to pull him out.
Well we did end up having to get out the recovery gear, and with a simple tug of the tow strap we were back on the trail. The only issue now what that local ranchers had blocked all the ways to the highway we could find on the map. After a few hours and many miles of looking for ways to go the last couple of miles we divided into two groups. Mike & Michael to follow an unmarked but clearly used track in the right direction and me & Martin to follow a map route that was faint but visible on the ground. Once again ham radio provide it's value in keeping us all in touch even though we were miles and mountains apart. In the end we all made it out even though my way involved opening a ranch gate next to a house with a local sheriffs truck parked outside.
Of course being in a new state we excepted some new sites, this one caught us off guard. We thought maybe it was were Gandalf lived, but it turns out to just be Ted Turners place. The signs everywhere called it 3 Forks Ranch and it seems a small town could live in the house and support buildings. The house itself is deceiving in that we noticed later when looking at the enlarged pics that there were people on the top patio and they were tiny! We figure the windows where 15-20 ft tall?
However even big houses can't beat the show put on by mother nature. Driving through this area called Aspen Alley was far more interesting than any big house.
Before long we settled ourselves into Seedhouse Campground not far north of Steamboat Springs and took advantage of our early stop to cook up some cornbread and pork chops using the dutch oven and campfire.
cigar smoking, wilderness first responding, ham talking night nurse who is overland certified and a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.....
now everyone say "so what where have you been lately?"