We have been looking forward to our 6-week road trip for months! I spent a lot of time mapping, researching, booking, rearranging, coordinating and getting ready for our trip! In the months leading up to our departure we bought a new (to us) tow rig – our 2007 Ram 3500 diesel dually (we all him Clifford) needed some new steering and a few other last minute updates. That was an unexpected project but worth it as we are finally towing my Jeep on this long adventure!
The second thing we needed was a trailer. We have 2 Jeeps, and even though our YJ Beast is down currently, we will eventually be towing both Jeeps to events and runs. So, when we buy a trailer we’d like one long enough to tow both Jeeps (30-34 feet?). For this trip we only needed a single trailer. Renting one for 6 weeks cost nearly as much as buying one. Thankfully we found Ben and Dirtymaxx Transportation. He let us rent his 20’ trailer for a very reasonable price for this trip.
During the planning process, Dynatrac finished the rear axle I had been waiting for! My new Dynatrac ProFloat XD 60 rear axle arrived in late May, right on my birthday!! My wonderful team at HMC Offroad rearranged things so I could get my new axle installed. The also added spacers and regeared the front axle (I’m now running 5.13 gears- thanks to Yukon!) as well as working with Adams Driveshaft to shorten my rear driveshaft to accommodate this beefy new axle. It was quite the undertaking right as we were leaving!
With the last-minute upgrades, and the crazy high gas prices, we decided to delay our departure a week. We took the time to relax with the kids in our pool while coordinating the various vehicle work.
But, it all came together (miraculously) and we headed off to CO. We started off in Durango, CO where we had planned to take the beautiful Durango-Silverton narrow gauge railroad out and back one day. Unfortunately, there were fire restrictions when we arrived and they ended up cancelling our trip. I’m still not sure what danger a diesel train poses, but we didn’t get a vote. So, we were in Durango for 4 days for no real reason. We made lemonade and enjoyed a day at their recreation center with the indoor pool and water slide. The kids really enjoyed it. We also spent some time enjoying the animas river and cooler temperatures and playgrounds. The definite highlight of our time in Durango was going to the Rodeo! Our friends have been involved with the rodeo for years and we had a great time!! Their son rides sheep in the rodeo, Mutton Busting. It was such a fun evening!!
Then we headed off to Ouray, which was the leg of our trip I was the most excited for!! We stayed at the Twin Peaks Lodge. We stayed there 2 years ago on our first visit to the San Juan Mountains. Last year we camped at Lake Molas. It was so beautiful there but it also rained on us every day, one day so bad we had to find a hotel in Silverton for the night. My husband is not a camping fan, so we chose to stay at the motel instead this time. It worked out really well. The hotel has been doing extensive remodeling and although not completed yet, the hot springs pools were open and wonderful!! We had a wonderful week in Ouray! I posted a lot about this week, and the trails we ran, on Instagram. The real advantage to going in June over July was we got a little bit better weather (only a few days with rain to work around) and the snow melt made all the waterfalls and rivers flow abundantly!! It was just magical having water and streams everywhere we went!! I did some research on Trailsoffroad.com while in Ouray because a few trails I wanted to run were closed. I stumbled onto what is now my favorite trail! I love that this unexpected day turned into my favorite!! A few glacier lakes and several waterfalls and stream crossings made for such a beautiful time! Photos don’t do it justice!! But if you’re headed to that area and want to find it, send me a message and I’ll share the details with you.