The day could not have been more beautiful for the 1st Annual Wheelers for the Wounded of Colorado Veteran’s Day trail run, held near Colorado Springs on Saturday, November 12, 2016. Fifty-six rigs attended the event, all divided among four off-road trails for a day full of wheeling and camaraderie. What a great time!! Check out the WFTW of CO Facebook page for an aerial view of the morning meet-up!
The basic premise of Wheelers for the Wounded of Colorado is to provide wounded and disabled Veterans the opportunity to experience the Great Outdoors through group-funded off-roading and camping adventures. All donations from this year’s Veteran’s Day run are being used to fund an August 2017 multi-day wheeling and camping event specifically for wounded and disabled Veterans. I can’t think of a better cause on which to spend my dollars! If you care to donate to this great cause, there's a Donate button on their Facebook page.
Also supporting this trail run was the group JKcOlllllllOrado, which coordinates a variety of off-road events each year to support various causes such as Breast Cancer Awareness and Research, Set Them Free (preventing human trafficking), and Toys for Tots during the holidays.
Upon arrival at the meet-up, we checked in and received prize tickets – one for each Veteran in attendance, and one for each rig driver. A host of prizes had been donated by area businesses and the drawing was held at the end of the day.
After the National Anthem played, we all caravanned out to our respective trails. I had been assigned to Longwater Gulch (Teller County, Colorado) and it did not disappoint! The trailhead was about an hour’s drive from Colorado Springs, where the first portion of the trail was very dry and super dusty.
Soon we came to a few rocks – there were two ways up and I chose the steeper route for a bit of fun!
Longwater Gulch trail was full of whoopdeedoos and my husband started to feel a bit seasick as we rocked and glided this way and that over the plethora of soft hilly terrain (maybe that's why it's called long water?). Soon, however, we came to the Poser Rock obstacle (Trail Damage calls it Longwater Rock), a VERY steep and narrow line that required a good spotter.
I ended up hugging the tree stump a little too much with my driver’s side wheels, and then couldn’t back up to take another try, so I had to scrape on by, shredding my center cap on the tree root. Bonus? I got another photo for my trail damage page! This one didn’t cost anything (hooray!) because these plastic center caps are pointless but now I have a badass-looking wheel, so yay!
We stopped for lunch at a flat area by the river, which marked the end of the open trail. (The remainder of the trail across the river has been closed for about 15 years, since a forest fire devastated the area – most of Longwater Gulch trail is through still-dead terrain).
After fortifying ourselves, we headed back out the way we came – which meant going back up Poser Rock (not as scary as driving down - whew!).
After the group aired up at the trailhead, we caravanned back to the Springs for an evening of food, drinks, and prizes. Wowie! What an awesome day – fun in the wilderness for a great cause, seeing familiar faces, meeting new off-roaders, and in general just loving the Jeeps!!
Thanks for reading today -- Happy Trails!