We left Boynton @ 1:30 on thursday July 2nd 1/2 way down the drive we realized we left all our pre-cooked food in the freezer, a quick turnaround robbed the freezer and we were rolling. Approximately 60 miles later the first tire blew. The tread separated & exploded. The explosion ventilated the inner fender, destroyed the plastic outer fender and knocked the fire extinguisher off the wall inside but fortunately we had a spare. We swapped the tire and made it on into Shawnee where we purchased 2 new tires and we were on our way again. Lowes was the next stop 5 miles away to repair the hole the previous tire caused, as we turn into the parking lot we hear a hissing coming from another tire where the tread separated. By this time I am pretty handy at changing them so 5 minutes later we were ready to roll. I ran in lowes to grab some materials to repair the hole first. Back to the tire shop for another tire. $500 3 tires and 4 hours later we were on the way. Things went well the remainder of the day & made it to Clayton NM where we setup camp in a grocery store parking lot.
We visited the Capulin Volcano and The Great Sand Dunes & drove on into Creede and setup camp on Miners Creek, we stayed here for 2-3 days
Saturday July 4th
The Creede parade was the first on the agenda & had a good time after the parade we traveled back to camp to rest before the fireworks. Aspen was outside whittling on a stick and we were inside the toy hauler, I hear Aspen say "DADDY" I instantly knew what happened, she had cut her fender pretty bad and needed a trip to the ER. Once @ the ER in Del Norte they had her fixed up in a couple hours, just in time to get back for the Creede fireworks show. Aspen was exhausted from the cut and medication so I dont think she seen any fireworks plus it was raining and cold.
This was the first day of riding we made it around the Rat Trail, Bachelors loop and the dead end trails that came off of them, We also visited The Last Chance Mine where we were able to meet the arrogant owner Jack. This was about 60-70 miles of riding, we ran a pretty quick pace since we had ridden it last year. We also visited The Creede Snowshoe Lodge where we took showers & did laundry. I highly recommend the Lodge they are great people and the breakfast is worth the price of the stay. The Toy hauler battery was dead by this time so we left it on charge @ the lodge for the night.
It was raining so we visited the Underground mining museum, Luke didn't like the idea of going into an old mine so we set outside and fed the chipmunks. Aspen & Leah toured the mine and said it was worth time and money it cost. I took my 450x dirtbike but it was running like crap, I spent the afternoon cleaning the carb, and trying to get it running correctly.
In the morning we rode the trails to the south of miners creek on dirtbikes and the SxS, Luke did an awesome job climbing the rocky terrain on his CRF80. We moved camp just up the canyon from the Underground mine for the night. That afternoon we knocked out the remainder of the trails that were riding distance from camp. ATV's & UTV's are not allowed in Creede city limits, I encourage anyone reading this to email them and voice your opinion about it, even if you never plan on going there do it for the rest of us. I know our family would spend much more money in town if we could ride in to eat & shop everyday.
The email is email@example.com your email could read something like this.
Hello, I am writing to let you know I am disappointed in the fact you can not ride ATV's & UTV's in town, I would support the local businesses by eating, drinking and shopping in town but I am unable to since I drive a Motorhome, or pull a camper and there is no parking or easy access. I would love to ride in town like they are allowed in Silverton and Ouray, Until the local law is changed I will not be visiting again.
Estate Auction time, we visited an auction just outside town of a local artist and theater supporter Paul Stone. Paul is suffering from ALS and selling his home and 80 acres for 1.2 million, If any of my friends want to purchase it for be it would be greatly appreciated.
We purchased several things, 5 sets of skis, several antique board games, a Honda CT90, shovels, rakes, and most importantly a generator. The generator was needed since the Toy Hauler battery was junk. The guy had several old signs that was sold @ a reasonable price if it was closer to home I would of bought them all. We moved camp to the Rio Grande Reservoir Where we stayed just 1 night
I had the bright idea that we could ride several passes this day, It was 140 miles of rough terrain. 140 miles does not sound like much but I would compare it to a 700 mile day on a motorcycle or a 1000 mile day in a car.
We departed our Rio Grande Reservoir camp at 8am rode over Stony Pass 12,588ft to Silverton, then over Engineer Pass 12,800ft, to Lake City then over Cinnamon Pass 12,640ft back to Silverton for a late lunch & shopping then back over Stony to camp. In Silverton it was pouring rain, once it slacked off some we hit the trail. As we was climbing Stony the clouds grew thicker and thicker, it finally started snowing some really wet snow, we were all freezing, the windshield was frozen over, leah was wearing a coat, blanket & sleeping bag. Leah and the kids never complained a bit, the next day Leah said she was a little worried since it was so cold and snowing but she didn't show it at the time. We loaded up the wet & dirty Teryx and headed closer to home. We stopped in Alamosa to get a room but none could be had so we unloaded toy hauler and slept in the Wal-Mart parking lot.
This will be the last day of riding, We drove the truck/ Trailer to Antonito Co. and unloaded the Teryx and rode about 80 miles through Colorado and New Mexico national forest, We crossed the same river I crossed 4-5 years ago on the KLR but this time it was much lower but we did have 3-4" of water in the floorboards. While on the New Mexico side we popped a tire that required us changing it on the trail. We Watched the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad train driving through the canyon to its lunch stop halfway between Antonito & Chama. Once we made it back we headed home down to Taos, we made reservations at the only room left in town, I called the local Police Dept and they Ok'd the use of the Teryx since its legally licensed in South Dakota, we drove it to Sonic for a gourmet dinner. Once we made it back to get the room we found out it was a smoking room and was much to smoky for us to stay in for the night. We loaded everything back up and drove on to Santa Rosa NM and got a room for the kids to swim & for us to get the 2nd bath of the week. We were filthy and tired.
Santa Rosa to the Big Texan in Amarillo was pretty uneventful but the fun began just after we made it into Oklahoma. We stopped in Eric Ok for fuel everything was fine, but by the time we reached Weatherford something didnt seem right, we was in 1 lane construction for several miles & the wind was blowing pretty hard. Once we reached the Hydro Exit I stopped to tighten the anti sway hitch because I thought the wind was whipping me around to much. The drivers side front wheel was missing and the cause of the whipping around, the axle bearing had failed and the tire/wheel was lost. Leah called every place around trying to locate an axle with no luck. We unhooked @ the Hydro Co-op and traveled back down 40 looking for the tire & wheel but never found it. Tractor Supply did not have the correct axle, so we went back to the rv. We stopped at the Hydro Gas station where we met someone willing to let us park it at his house while I locate an axle this week and hopefully get it back on the road this weekend.