West & North of Central City, Colorado 
August 12, 2005 

Map Datum used for GPS waypoints is WGS84, coordinate system is LAT/LON, 
and points are in the Deg/Min/Sec format. 
Some mapping software uses positive and negative numbers instead of Latitude N/S or Longitude E/W.  
If that is the case with your software, note that degrees of Latitude NORTH of the equator are POSITIVE, and degrees of Longitude WEST of Greenwich, England are NEGATIVE. 
All points captured using a Magellan Meridan Gold GPS receiver. 

The trip started at the cemeteries just west of Central City. 
(39 48 30N, 105 31 50W) 
Some of the graves here date back to the early 1800s.  
One of the three cemeteries here is just visible behind the pine trees. There is an arch over the entrance that says ďCatholic CemeteryĒ. I guess the Protestants are elsewhere. 
Looking west toward the mountains, it looks like a good day to be out and about.
From here, I traveled northwest on Apex Road (39 49 49N, 105 33 10W), to the town of Apex.(39 51 53N, 105 34 13W) 
Once a bustling mining community, Apex is reduced to a half-dozen abandoned buildings, and a few interesting occupants.  
Turning west onto Elk Park Road, you pass the home of The Mayor of Crazytown.  
Generally speaking, if you're on this road, and a guy steps out of nowhere in front of your truck and starts waving at you, go around him.  
Do NOT stop, unless you have about 45 minutes to listen to various conspiracy theories, ranging from JFK's assassination to the Black Helicopters that crashed up in the mountains nearby.  
No matter what, you look just like someone he knows, or he's heard of you. He does special consulting work for the CIA. That's the Central Inteligence Agency; you know who they are, right?  
I warned you, now don't come whining to me about wasting an hour of your life that you can't get back. 
Currently at 10,517 ft. ASL 
(39 51 55N, 105 35 13W), the Rover is ready to hit the trails; note the clean paint. James Peak (13,294 ft.) is visible in the distant background. Look closely and you can see the snow. Weíre looking at the northeast face of the mountain, which usually has some snow all year round.
clean rover
trail to American City
This is a typical, relatively easy trail in this area; rocky path with trees on both sides. This particular shot is an upslope, traveling south toward American City 
(39 52 17N, 105 35 21W), an old mining town that is now private property.
Looking west, somewhat north of James Peak, some clouds are looming. Although they threatened rain all day, I guess they held on to their precipitation and took it to Kansas. This shot is on Elk Park Road [approx.](39 51 55N, 105 36 24W), traveling west toward the intersection with FR353, Kingston Peak Trail.
dark clouds on the horizon
Turning right onto FR353(39 51 58N, 105 36 37W), I head northerly toward Tolland; a small (4 houses) town along the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad, about 3 miles east of the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel. (39 54 08N, 105 38 40W)  
Before reaching Tolland, at the intersection with FR183 (39 53 16N, 105 36 35W), I turned left, following the sign to Mammoth Reservoir site. 
Mammoth Reservoir site
The reservoir was originally constructed with an earthen dam in 1932. The spring thaw filled the reservoir, and it held water intermittently until 1984. Following an inspection, the dam was found to be unsafe, and the reservoir was drained. In 1986, the US Army Reserve removed the earthworks, exposing the former lakebed. Only foot and horse traffic are permitted in the valley while it revegetates. What a beautiful spot for lunch!
After a leisurely creekside lunch, I spent a couple minutes installing the limb risers; some of the trails are extremely narrow with trees on both sides. Now it was time to head back south to an area east of Kingston Peak that includes some fun trails and tonightís campsite.  
To this point, I encountered only 4 other vehicles on the trails; everyone waved, but no one stopped to chat.  
Following FS353 (Kingston Peak Trail) to the west, you encounter a LARGE puddle (39 51 33N, 105 37 38W) just southwest of Pile Hill. I swear, the puddle is so big it has tides! All right, maybe not tides, but I did see waves on it once. I drove through it a couple years ago in my Jeep; the water was up to my front bumper!  
This is FS175, not far south of Kingston Peak Trail. 
This seemed like a good time to check the suspension travel. Right front side is extended, right rear is fully compressed; looks OK.
suspension check: right front ou
Left rear seems fully extended as well. Whatís not to like about this?
Suspension check: left rear out
Have I mentioned yet how much I like first gear, low range? The truck just crawls along, down loose and rocky slopes, not even fast enough to move the speedo off the bottom peg. I seriously considered getting in the back seat to watch a DVD while the truck drove itself. Since I forgot to bring one with me, I stayed up front and just looked out the windows while the truck drove itself.  
After crossing North Clear Creek, the trail gets more challenging. 
rocky trail near North Clear Cre
In case you weren't sure, this is not the Smooth & Paved Mountains; this is the Rocky Mountains. Typical of this area, these rocks stick up about 6 to 8 inches out of the ground.
Still heading south, only a hundred feet or so beyond those rocks, is the remains of some sort of building. 
Its not a large structure, especially now that it has collapsed into a pile. I saved this point in my GPS as "house", (39 51 08N, 105 37 26W) for lack of a better description. An unmarked trail branches off to the right here, but after only about ¼ mile, I turned back. The rocks were basketball-sized, and many of them were loose. I didnít want to smash up anything underneath the truck.
FS175 puddles
This is another look at FS175. 
Lots of water-filled ruts and holes, interrupted by rocks sticking up out of the ground. I ran most of this trail in Low 1, just crawling along nice and easy.
Still on FS175, this is the hill where my friend slid down backward into a tree at the bottom. 
OK, OK, there was 2 feet of snow, and she just barely touched the tree; it didnít even really make a dent. Happily, a guy on an ATV with a winch came along, so we didnít have to use the hi-lift! 
This is a nice downslope, easily 30 degrees; Iím putting an inclinometer on my wish list!  
Through this section, rocks have been replaced by tree roots. Itís hard to tell from this picture, but I could barely open my door to get out.
down the hill to Tís tree
Once on FS772, the going gets a little rough. (39 50 19N, 105 36 57W) 
FS772, the rocky streambed
Iím pretty sure this entire trail was a streambed, and the Forest Service guys just put a sign on it and called it a trail. Several years ago, I ran this trail with a couple feet of snow cover. The snow definitely smoothed out some of the bumps. This section of trail is less than a mile long, but it took nearly 20 minutes to cover it. The whole trail is uphill, with much larger rocks than what I encountered on FS175. Although this section only climbs about 100 feet in elevation, it seems arduous.
I tried out Low Range Manual 3 for parts of this hill. Iím accustomed to using Low 1 for this kind of terrain, so it took a little getting used to. LRM3 gives you more throttle control for the tricky climbs, since it takes quite a few more revs to get the same ground speed as LR1. At first, I went back to LR1, since when you let off the throttle in 1, the truck crawls.  
Letting off the throttle in LRM3 will allow the truck to move substantially faster; I didnít like going up over a big rock then rolling so fast. Once you get used to the different characteristics, LRM2 & LRM3 seem to work just fine. Tomorrow, thereís a hill on the way up to Kingston Peak that climbs 410 feet over a linear distance of less than 2500 feet. When I first read about Low Range Manual, I thought of that hill. 
This part of the trail comes down the other side of the hill I climbed on FS772. 
I remember looking at the specs for the H2, and it claims to be able to climb (and presumably descend) stairs up to 16 inches. This particular rock is only about 10 inches, but the Rover handled it effortlessly.
down the staircase
After making a large loop around, I returned to my campsite, which I had passed earlier in the day. No, I wonít tell you where it is, other than to say itís saved in my GPS as ďCampHereĒ
Camp Here
So, time for dinner, and write up the dayís adventure. Tomorrowís plan includes going up and over Kingston Peak Trail, down into Alice, then over to Empire, where Iím going to try the trail up to Bill Moore Lake.

Comments and suggestions go here.  
Irritating whining and useless crap goes here

Back to Jim's Rover main page at Inteli.com