Colorado Convoy Summer of 2014

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Colorado Convoy Summer of 2014

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Colorado Convoy Summer of 2014

Postby Aswayze » August 29th, 2013, 7:19 am

We East Wind guys are going to do a convoy out to Colorado and spend some time tooling around some of the high country trails out there next summer. Tentative date is set for early July but we have not nailed down a specific time just yet.

The actual discussion is here: http://www.operationeastwind.com/forum/ ... pic=3419.0 but I will repost the text of the first post below:


**Copied from the East Wind site**


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.  
Aswayze
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Re: Colorado Convoy Summer of 2014

Postby Cobra5 » August 29th, 2013, 8:38 am

A July trip to the Colorado mountains puts you in the middle of the wildfire season. I'd recommend contacting the US Forrest Service and Bureau of Land Management when you know for sure which mountain trails you want to travel or camp sites you'd be using. Depending on where you travel, either one of these agencies will have jurisdiction and will have the latest info for the area. Also, I know you can buy maps from the Forrest Service that will show trails and tell you which ones are for hiking only or motorized travel. In not sure about the BLM maps but you can contact them to find out. You may want to suggest to your group that they have a contingency plan in case the chosen route is closed due to fire activity. Good luck I hope all goes well for your group.
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Re: Colorado Convoy Summer of 2014

Postby Aswayze » August 29th, 2013, 8:57 am

Solid plan there. That's exactly why I am not going to try to lay in a route now when I know there are so many limiting factors depending on conditions at the time.

We'll be loaded up with maps and the latest intel prior to step off for sure and we'll probably even go so far as to dig up a mount for one of the SLGR GPS units just so we can say we brought along a GPS. :)
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Re: Colorado Convoy Summer of 2014

Postby WC Matt » August 29th, 2013, 11:27 am

Sounds like fun on the bun... 8) here's a link to a youtube video showing an M151A2 riding the trails in SW Colorado http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeTDtb1u08g It's really pretty country in that Vid....
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