Thursday, June 24, 2010

father's day goodness 2010

I guess I set the stage last year, what with my penchant for looking gift horses in the mouth. 

Most Dad's I know are content with the third Sunday of June as their annual day of honor.  Not so in la familia de Roughrider, my crew just wouldn't be happy celebrating my fatherly excellence for but a single day of the year.  Oh no, I've learned to trust my paternal instincts in such matters. ;-) So, ignoring the rolling of the eyes bowing to pressure I arranged not one, not two, but three glorious days camping, biking, fishing based out of Durango, CO this weekend past.  But Honey, it's for the children!

Friday PM found us arriving at basecamp: Junction Creek campground just a few miles NW of Durango proper, equally convenient to the Colorado Trail right thru camp and Durango Doughworks back in town. Junction Creek doesn't take reservations, segregates the RV-and-generator crowd into their own little  impoundment loop, proved to be only 75% full over the weekend, dropping off to maybe 20% full as we pulled out on Monday afternoon.    The tent sites are well-spaced and large, interspersed amongst a beautiful grove of ponderosas and grassy green hillsides.  What a find!

Saturday I selected a nice little loop that actually connected up to the campground, however we wisely opted to drive out to the Hoffeins Trailhead a bit to the SW of camp.  Our plan was to ascend Dry Fork trail, connect up to the Colorado Trail for a few miles above 8,000ft, head on over to the famous Gudy's Rest Overlook to drink in the view, head back down back to truck via the Hoffeins Connection Trail.

A plan which was executed to perfection!

Mrs Wulff and the kids handled the 4.5 mile ascent like champs, shrugging off the 1200 foot gain in altitude like seasoned pros they are.   The ascent wasn't without its challenges: little buddy completely ran out of gas just as we linked up to the Colorado Trail, nothing a few copious handfuls of melted gorp couldn't fix.  Not to be outdone, the girl took a brief plunge off-trail and down slope, having misjudged topping out a rock mid trail.  Thank goodness for leg armor!  We made the most of our mental lunch break at the highpoint, the kids garnering praise from the few bikers passing by.  Indeed, that ascent was an impressive feat for a coupla youngsters- good work Roughriders!

Lunch done, time to shred some tread:  4.5 miles up leading to maybe 6 miles down, luv the math!  The Colorado Trail proved a moderate grade down, broken up with a few rock gardens and jumps to the Yeti's delight.  Kids had a ball, chattering away and rock-hopping with equal abandon.

We'd congregate at regular intervals and listen for the sound of my darlin wife's Avid brakes squealing like a stuck pig telling us she's working on her downhill skilz as well.  The team reconstituted, we'd bust out once more on down the trail.

ascent, dominated

Gudy's Rest is about halfway down, a breathtaking overlook down onto the end of the Colorado Trail as it winds up its journey from Denver at Junction Creek Campground.  That 1200' ascent?  Well you could also crank it out in the 1.5 miles it takes to switchback up to Gudy's Rest, no thanks!  Hoffeins Connection proved the fastest way back down to the west, maybe 3 miles of brake burning switchbacks, swoops, blasting runs.  Fun!

boy, meet world


coming round the mountain


  1. Looks like a blast! Melted gorp is a Cutthroat Stalker fav! That campground sounds like a find - not too often they'll separate that noisy generator crowd from the eco-minded tenters. I've never made it to Durago, but sounds like I should.

  2. you'd surely luv Durango and environs- they have fish or two in those hills you know. ;-) One of those special places that offers stellar mountain biking and fishing both. mike

  3. Nice report and nice shots including ones on The Colorado Trail. Thanks for posting!

    Bill Manning, CTF Mg Dir
    The Colorado Trail Foundation

  4. thx Bill, you got nice place up there, but I don't need to tell you! Gotta try one of the pass rides next, can't wait!