Monday, June 28, 2010

We Made it off the Mountain

One thing Mary Ann and I like to do when we come to Breckenridge is to drive the Jeep trails.  There are so many of them that even after quite a few years, we haven't discovered all of them.  This afternoon, on a whim, Mary Ann headed across the Boreas Pass road, looking for animals and possible lightning photos.  I took the iPad along and made use of its Map program.  The trick of using the map on a mountain road far from cell service is to load up the cache with several zoom levels before leaving the network area.  I have a 3G model, so the GPS works great, even when there is no cell service.
After getting close to the highway, we looked at the map and discovered a second route, one that led from Como on County Road 801 and became Coronet Drive to Blue River. On the map it looked fine.  We were in the Trailblazer with 4WD and had taken many a Jeep trail before.  We were experienced.
Unfortunately, the map lied.  It was hardly in the same class as the Boreas Pass road.  Although we were encouraged by the recent tread marks on the road, about midway where County Road 801 became Coronet Drive, the tread marks stopped and with a chunk, the driver's side wheel dropped into a deep pit and we were stuck.  For about an hour, at better than 12,000 feet, we struggled with the jack and collected rocks and boards and bits of trees.  We jacked up the car and filled the right rear tire's pit.  Our first attempt failed and we were planning our second attempt when a couple of motorcyclists happened by.  
Young and energetic, they bounced the car and after a few attempts, we pulled free of that trap.  They had come from the Blue River side, so I asked about the road up ahead and they thought that if we could get through the bog, we'd be okay.  
Not too far down the road, I got stuck again, among some tree roots.  Shortly the motorcyclists arrived and again helped us free.  Another mile, and the road was blocked by a snow drift.  There was plenty of room for the cycles, but not for a car.  There was an alternate route, but it required me to drive over a tree stump.  My first attempt to get around it left a dent in the fender and a scar on a tree.  I backed up and began building a ramp of logs to get up and over the tree stump.  Our rescuers showed up once again and helped, but the Trailblazer high centered on the stump.  With their help, I finally got free, and even made it through the black muddy swamp with only a few loud bangs where the frame hit submerged rocks.
By then, it was dark and with some helpful directions from our rescuers, we finally made it to Blue River and from then on to our place in Breckenridge.  I don't think we suffered any major damage to the Trailblazer other then the dented fender, but we were just happy to get off the mountain.


4 comments:

Bill Crider said...

An adventure!

Chris Meadows said...

Puts me in mind of this C.W. McCall song.

Scott Cupp said...

Interesting. Glad you made it out with little damage to life, limb and Trailblazer.

Anonymous said...

Seems like a book from FunTreks could have helped this situation ;)
http://www.funtreks.com