We’d grown tired of the daily commute down the scary Hwy 550 from Ouray to Silverton, so we decided to spend the day on a shorter, closer trail. Yankee Boy Basin is just 8 miles southwest of Ouray, and doesn’t require traversing the pass down to Silverton. My family was going to do the trail alone (it’s a busy trail, so we weren’t afraid of getting stranded). When we stopped at the city market to pick up lunch supplies, we ran into Terry Howe and his friend/RCAA spotter Shawn, who were also going to run that trail and then hike up 14K-foot Mt. Sneffel. We ran the trail with them, but then turned around and headed back down when they broke out the hiking gear. We spent a couple hours enjoying the waterfalls (where a beer commercial was filmed some years back) while our 2-yr-old son played in the water, then headed to town in time for the kids to nap before the FSJ BBQ at the Ouray Rotary Park that evening.
Terry is driving the blue ’75 J-10 flatbed, while Shawn’s family is in the dark green Grand Cherokee. We crossed paths with a few other FSJ’s, but I didn’t catch their names. The lower portion of the road is easy enough that passenger cars with decent clearance can make it as far as the waterfalls, but we aired down anyway to make the drive over rocky roads a little softer. Terry had problems with his clutch near the top, but made it the rest of the way in 1st gear. Turned out he sheared a pivot pin in the clutch linkage.
The BBQ culminated the FSJ Invasion. All the FSJers gathered for good food, good conversation, and a raffle. The highlight of the evening was Jim Marski, who owns an enormous collection of rare Jeeps and lives just southwest of Denver. He trailered in a beautiful 1964 2-door Wagoneer which had never been titled and had just 3500 miles on the clock. He bought it from a dealership in Pennsylvania that had never sold it. The Tornado 230 I-6 was far from spotless, but the body and interior were pristine.
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