UNIMOG Colorado
Rocky Mountain Moggers
RMM Trip Report

Windy Gap - November 7th, 1998

Ron DePugh and Cassidy in his 404 VLF,
Bob Ragain and Colleen Ragain in Bob's 404 radio truck,
Terry Nation and Mike McCoy in Terry's 404 radio truck,
Patrick Robb in his Pinzgauer,
Per and Marilyn Eliasen and family in their Pinzgauer,
Gene deJong in his Pinzgauer,
Alan Fasick and Robert Matsuo in Alan's IHC Scout.
John .... in his D90 Landrover.

Joined later by:
Ron Miller in his Cherokee and
Jim Walters in his Pinzgauer.

The meeting in Nederland. We all posed
for the local newspaper.

We all met at the gas station in Nederland, Colorado at 11am, and visited for a while. Then we gathered the wagons, and headed up Caribou Road towards the Continental Divide. There was some snow on the road, but none of the trucks had any trouble with it.

The Unimogs heading up the snowcovered
Caribou road.
We stopped for a little sightseeing
near the old Caribou mine.

After we got to the top of Caribou Road, we turned on to Forest Service road 505. We took a turn-off over the creek, and went up an old mine road. The snow was a bit deeper in the trees, and there wasn't much room to turn around at the mine. We regrouped, and went back to 505. There was another side road to the east, that climbed to the top of the ridge.

A Unimog and a Pinzgauer tackle the
hill up to the ridge top.

We tried to continue on down the other side of the ridge, but both trails had tree branches hanging too low to let a Unimog through without some serious damage, either to the truck or the tree. I opted to turn back, and we stopped on top of the ridge for lunch. It was pretty windy up there, and the thermometer was at 29 degrees Farenheit.

We all took a
break at the
top of the ridge.

After lunch, we headed on down the road...

To paraphrase an old river rafters saying, there are two kinds of Moggers, those who have gotten stuck... and those who will.
Just a couple of days ago, one of my co-workers asked me if I had ever gotten stuck. I said no, not in anything I couldn't back out of...

Well, on this trip, I got to see just how stuck a Unimog can get. Some darned fool turned off of the road, and drove straight into a deep mud hole with about 8 to 10 inches of ice on top of it. Needless to say, 8 to 10 inches of ice won't support the weight of a Unimog.. The mud was very soft and deep. There was no traction in the mud.

A Unimog with the right-front
tire sunk deep in the mud.
It doesn't look like it's
stuck that badly
After much spinning of wheels,
the Unimog was still stuck
deep in the mud.
I wonder who that is at the wheel...

Bob and Terry, with help from Patrick, made a great effort to tow the stuck Unimog back out of the mud hole onto the road, but they couldn't get enough traction in the snow, and the angle was wrong. The stuck Unimog was spinning all 4 wheels, and not moving at all.

First, Bob tried towing the stuck
Unimog out with his
Radio truck.
The snowy road didn't
offer much traction.
Then Bob set up a Z-drag
and tried to pull the Unimog
out with his Radio truck
and Terry's Radio truck.
The slippery road still
didn't offer enough traction.
There wasn't enough room to
get a good pull.

Then Bob and Terry drove around to the front of the stuck Mog, where the bumper was only inches off the ground (or what looked like ground, but turned out to be more thick ice). After connecting Terry's Unimog to the front of Bob's Unimog, and Bob's Unimog to the front of the stuck Unimog, they both pulled and pulled, and with all 4 wheels spinning on the stuck Unimog, they dragged me through the rest of the mud hole, and out the other side (oops)...

Bob And Terry pulled me
through the mud hole.
The Unimog sank deeper into
the mud hole as it crossed,
tipping precariously to the side.
Free at last!!!
The mud hole is enormous.
It appears that now Terry
is stuck, but he isn't.
It looks like the mud hole
is surrounded by hard ground,
but that is also ice...
Strong enough to support
a little Jeep, but not a Unimog.

The mud hole turned out to be much larger than it appeared to be at first, about 25 feet across, and even deeper than where the Unimog initially got stuck. The high-water mark was over half-way up the battery box. It was a great relief to get my Unimog back on solid ground again.

After that fiasco, the rest of the Moggers were still willing to follow me, and we made the stream crossing over Caribou Creek. It was deep enough to wash a little mud off my tires, but not enough to get the mud out of my brakes (!!!) We headed on up the road. After a steep snowy hill climb, we came out on the Rainbow Lakes road. It is a steep down-hill, and things got a little exciting when I realized how poorly my brakes worked when they are packed with mud. With the help of the air-assist on the brakes, I could just get my Mog to stop. We came out on the Peak-to-Peak Highway, and drove back to Nederland.

Bob's Radio truck, Patrick
and Jim Walter's Pinzgauers
in Nederland.

We met up with Ron Miller and Jim Walters, and had another round of visting before some folks headed for home, and the rest of us went for another trail ride, up the 4th of July road, west of the town of Eldora.

The 4th of July Road takes you up to a campground, and normally isn't too exciting, except for the icy parts on this day, not to mention the lack of guard rails on the curves, with a long drop down to the creek below. There were no mishaps, and everyone stayed on the road. The valley is very scenic, and the surrounding mountains were beautiful, with their new mantle of snow.

The side road to the Hessie townsite was a bit more fun, it turns into a flowing stream for a couple of hundred yards, but has a nice solid rock bottom.

It was starting to get dark, so we headed back down to Nederland, and then took off on our various ways home.

Thanks to Per and Marilyn for the excellent photos!
and a special thanks to Robert Matsuo for the additional pictures!

-Ron DePugh

The Web rockymountainmoggers.com
Go back to Kent Drummond's November 1st, 1998 Pole Mountain Wyoming trip report Go to the Web Site Map Go forward to the December 6th, 1998 RMM Outing, Rampart Range trip report v2.9 Last modified Saturday, February 11, 2017 23:18:09