#RenegadeCJ meets the Wild West

Trail Day 7:
Black Bear Pass & Ophir Pass

Our initial plans have obviously changed at this point due to the weather. Locals tell us that Black Bear is open but good luck. We drive to the trail head and start up the trail around 10 AM. We are in the CJ with no heat or top. It's cold but bearable. We make our way around the last bend towards the peak of Black Bear and holy crap it got cold quick. We pull up the the elevation stake and the wind is blowing so hard I have to push the door open. Nobody took notice of the actual temp at the top but my hands went numb in 3 minutes. We had passed a group coming down from the top already and we made the same choice they did. It was way too cold and we were way to unprepared for it to risk getting stuck up there. We opted to go back and take Ophir Pass into Telluride and explore the town and have lunch. We thought of trying to take Imogene back to Ouray but it ended up still being closed so we took some time in Telluride and went to the brewery for a beer before heading back across Ophir.

I can't really give a trail rating for Black Bear as we only did the first leg of it. I assume the rest is equally if not more bad ass. The views in this portion of Colorado are absolutely amazing. We will definitely plan more time in Colorado on the next run. The San Juan's are truly evidence that God is the master creator.

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We headed out for the journey home. Towing the Million Dollar highway is not for the faint of heart. We took it slow and it absolutely wore me down towing from Ouray to Durango. Once we hit New Mexico the tow was easy and we made it to Amarillo to stop at Cadillac Ranch for a quick picture. We got some real TX BBQ (6/10) but pretty good and cruised on to Childress, TX for the night. I couldn't make it any further... Long story but didn't have any help driving the first day. Saturday morning we hit the road at 7AM local time and set out for the house. We stopped at Bucee's the biggest gas station i've ever seen. Had the best gas station burrito ever... Made several fuel stops and took Shannon through Shreveport so she could see where she was born. Todd relieved me after Shreveport and drove to Meridien, MS. We got some really cheap diesel and some great Mexican food and got on a mission to get home. I kept everyone seated from there to the North side of ATL before I stopped. We stopped at a QT for some coffee and a snack at midnight and took back off to the house. We made it to Hodges around 2:30 AM and died.

Sunday we did a 17.5 hour drive on six hours of sleep. I cannot sleep in the truck so I was up the whole time but did get a driving break. We were on the road from 7AM TX time to 2:30AM SC time (~18 hours). That is rough, and I hate towing at night.

In ATL I noticed I had a tow rig tire separating. Not much we could do about it and the PSI was still the same as when I left the week before so we sent it to the house around 80. Hoping BFG warranties them out. All of them are delaminating. 19K miles on them and about 4 years old....

This trip ended up costing about $1000 less than I budgeted. Cut out all of the eating out in Moab as well as souvenirs and we would be hard pressed to have that much fun anywhere in the world for the cost.

I lost an inner fender on my tow rig in Nashville and the RZR hood in Kansas so I have to add those to the trip cost I guess. Once BFG makes a call back we will see what that adds....

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I spent all day Friday cleaning. 1 hour on the trailer, 3 hours on the truck, and 2 hours on the Jeep. Jeep still needs a couple more hours. That was after I pressure washed everything on Tuesday for about an hour. We are all unpacked, cleaned up, and ready for the next one. Have a few things to do on the Jeep but I intend to enjoy it this fall. Lots of shop cleanup and things to do around the house that I have neglected this year while finishing the build. If we get a decent bonus this year the shop will get the final addition (fingers crossed).


I didn't add up cost. But, other than the unexpected purchase of 4 trailer tires in GA on the way out, I think we did pretty good. Gas was much cheaper than I had planned, but I was buying midgrade or premium once we got past Texas because the octane rating of regular was 86.
Yeah TX also does 5% biodiesel in all auto diesel. It’s cheap but we got crap mileage out of it. Probably equates to the same cost per gallon.