Wheeler Lake Trip Report 2008
WOW! What a beautiful day we had. Bob and Deb Robson met Group 2 in the Springs and led them up to Fairplay where myself and a few more of us met. With a quick fuel up and bathroom break we headed to the trail head.
There had been a fresh snow the day before at the higher elevations and along with the cloudless day and temps in the low 60's you could not ask for better. At the trail head tires and trailers were relieved of their excess baggage. I took the lead as we began the trail. Our first stop was the mine that dominates the trail's shoulder. The kids and some adults investigated the lifeless buildings while others took pictures of the surrounding countryside.
Not soon after the mine we arrived at the first obstacle, easier to the left and difficult to the right. As we ascended the obstacle a group of people camping near by came to enjoy the show. With a few tires clawing at the air and big smiles, we move on up the trail. With the recent rain and snow the trail had a large amount of water on it which made it fun to splash through the puddles. Before we approached the second obstacle one driver was experiencing some unwanted noise with their vehicle. Between Bob, myself and help from others we found that the sway bar in the front had broke on one side. No big deal. When we arrived at the second obstacle we had lunch and pulled off the rest of the sway bar.
Boy did we have fun at the second obstacle! This one has three assents. Left is difficult, middle is easy and right is moderate. Once again with some tires in the air and large smiles we frolicked on the rocks. As we were finishing getting the last vehicles up some of the kids informed myself and others that someone in front of us had rolled! I ran up to my vehicle incase a winch was needed and others ran up to the rolled vehicle. The driver had driven up the side of the road while backing up and went a little too far. No one was injured and we were able to get it off its side with out winching. The vehicle suffered broken windows and dented body panels on the passenger's side but all was well.
The rest of the trail proved uneventful and everyone was greeted at the end of the trail by the beautiful lake and about 3 inches of snow. We spent about an hour hiking, throwing rocks in the lake and having a snowball fight. As the sun was getting low on the horizon we decided that it was time to go.
The trail on the way down was now free of other wheelers which made the decent fairly quick with only one, shall we say, fauxpas. After descending the difficult side of the last obstacle, Matt decided to try it backwards. He went a little too far to the right and flopped over on his side. The people camping once again enjoyed the show and helped right the vehicle. Without even a pause, Matt went on his way. At trail's end we burdened our tires with air and trailers with vehicles. Some headed home while others went and had dinner at the Pizza Hut in Fairplay before heading home.
Thanks to all of you who came and made this a wonderful day. Most of all we thank God for giving us safety and a most beautiful day!