Summer vacation 96 --- Golden Colorado 6/26/96-7/8/96
Greg Grieff: Greenbelt,
MD John Kristofits:
Valerie Schutz: Lorton, VA
Suzanne Ruth: Bethesda, MD
Eric Ruth: Bethesda MD
Starting Mileage 54400 Ending Mileage 58939
Total Miles = 4539
Bethesda MD to Golden CO 1780 Miles
Misc Driving 1039 Miles
Golden CO - Bethesda MD 1720 Miles
6:30PM Greg departs Greenbelt with car already full from his stuff alone.
7:00PM Greg meets rest of crew at Eric and Suzy's place.
7:10PM Pizza Ordered
7:45PM Group loads cart with Remainder
of luggage and coolers and
attempts to pack car.
7:55PM Suzy crawls on top of car carrier
and lays spread eagle across it
to get it closed.
8:15PM Group determines that everything will fit in the truck...Barely!
10:00PM Group retires for 4 hour nap. (alarm set for 2:00AM)
2:00AM Alarm goes off
2:10AM Alarm goes off again.
2:20AM Alarm goes off again.
Group arises...showers taken and coolers
3:00AM Group departs Bethesda for
Lovely Golden Colorado
(Estimated distance 1600 Miles)
3:50AM Everyone screams at Eric as he nearly misses the exit for 66W
3:55AM License Plate Bingo Started...VA Found, 49 more to go.
4:30AM Greg awaken by unusual noise coming from Blazer.
4:35AM With unknown noise getting
louder, Eric decides to exit the
highway. As speed decreases, noise increases...exponentially.
4:37AM Car stopped, group inspects area for source of noise.
4:45AM No sign of damage or source of noise...group continues drive.
5:00AM Suzy becomes annoyed at Eric, and wins Virginia.
6:15AM Gas Running low
6:20AM Gas located on Trip-tic Approx. 20 Miles away.
6:21AM Greg estimates remaining fuel at 15 Miles.
6:22AM Greg perplexed by low gas mileage (11 MPG)
6:30AM Eric exits highway in search of gas.
6:45AM 15 Miles later, Eric nearly passes gas Station.
6:45AM Gas Station Closed...will be open at 7:00.
6:50AM Suzy and Val convince attendant to open Rest rooms.
6:55AM 18 Gallon gas tank filled with 17.96 Gallons of gas.
7:00AM On the road again.
7:15AM Eric realizes that the first
leg of the trip had been driven in
drive, rather than overdrive. Thus explaining the poor gas mileage.
9:30AM Gas Running low...
9:40AM Gas station found in Hurricane
WV...(Unacceptable to women for
lack of working rest room)
9:43AM 1/2 Gallon of gas spilled onto
parking lot, because of faulty
shutoff on gas pump.
9:45AM Rest room Found at McDonalds. Breakfast consumed.
1:00PM Gas Running low...
1:21PM Gas up in Floyds Knob IN.
Eric Annoyed because group refuses to
let him drive any further.(Eric wins Indiana) Suzy begins Driving.
2:15PM Time changes to 1:15 PM
License Plate bingo Going well, However, prospect of finding New
England states dwindling.
4:00PM Gas Running low...
4:15PM Gas Filled in Ofallon IL.
Construction Crew nearly dumps 4 tons of rock/sand onto Blazer.
Suzy's skillful driving avoids catastrophe.
5:30PM Suzy becomes annoyed with rush
hour traffic in St. Louis (Suzy
5:45PM Group notices tower Like Structure...Val
remarks that it could be
the Eiffel Tower...Greg comments "Yeah, and it's not even
Leaning." Group chuckles, (Greg also wins Missouri)
7:00PM Unscheduled stop for Rest room...Greg Begins Driving.
8:00PM Gas Running low...
8:24PM Gas secured in Bates City Missouri;
Next to large fireworks
11:30PM Eric Estimates 5 More hours to destination. *Cool*
11:50PM Group gets weary after 21 hours
of driving. Begin Searching for
lodging in lovely Junction City Kansas.
12:30AM Lovely Dreamland Motel Chosen for
location and price. Room
accommodations include fly swatter, and dead flies.
9:00AM Wake-up Call.
10:00AM Check out of Lovely Dreamland Motel...Stop
for gas, and resume
journey... Eric Driving once again.
10:15AM 5 Hour Estimate recalculated to 8 Hours. Uggggghhh...
10:30AM Group Distraught at missing McDonalds breakfast...
10:35AM Group realizes "This is Central
Time Zone, it's an hour earlier
than we thought...we didn't miss breakfast after all"
10:50AM Group enjoys McDonalds Breakfast...Suzy Plays 'McDonalds Monopoly'
10:55AM Suzy searches for Scotch tape to
tape pieces to Gameboard. Val
Explains to Suzy that game pieces are 'Pre-Licked'
1:30PM Still in Kansas!!...Need More gas.
1:35PM Greg, Perplexed by poor gas
mileage again. Eric explains that it
may have something to do with driving 91 MPH.
2:00PM Finally Reach Colorado boarder...Eric
Realizes that driving
through Colorado isn't much different than driving through Kansas.
(except Speed limit is now 75)
4:00PM Gas Running Low...
4:10PM Car filled with Gas in Lovely Golden Colorado
4:20PM On Route, Up the mountain, to John's Place.
4:25PM Greg reminds Eric that "The
Blazer is not a Sports
Car...Especially not with the 'sail' on top"
5:00PM Eric Turns off the Paved road...On Route to John's House.
5:05PM After 29 Hours of driving,
1745 miles, 116.3 Gallons of gas,
and 28.6 Liters of Diet Coke...Group finally Arrives at
John's House. Sighs of relief from all.
5:30PM Group has unloaded the Blazer,
and taken over John's living room,
Dining room, and upstairs small bedroom.
5:40PM Group notices missing gas cap from last gas Stop.
6:30PM Kitchen cleaned up, and dinner
is prepared. Sausage & fried Noodles
7:00PM Group held in suspense by word
of a downed snowboarder on
John's police scanner. Snowboarder supposedly fell 1500 Feet,
7:15PM Group decides scanner is loud and annoying. (Typical of John)
8:00PM Group relaxes to Pay per View
Movie for the evening...
Under Siege II is playing.
10:30PM Group retires to Living room and
Small bedroom for a well deserved
8:00AM Group awoken by John going
to church in "Sunday Best" (Worn out
Harley T-shirt, and Cut off jean shorts from High School)
8:30AM Eric and Suzy Go Biking...
8:45AM Eric and Suzy Return...exhausted
by High Altitude, and Steep Dirt
9:00AM Greg cleans up 50 used oil
bottles and 50 lbs of used cat litter
outside the house, while Suzy cleans up 9 Months of Recyclables on
11:00AM John Returns from church with plans
to go "Non Gnarly" 4-wheeling
with friends from Fire Dept.
11:30AM Group Meets with John's Friends
(Steve, CC, and the Kids) and
depart for 4-wheeling.
11:45AM Group Turns off Dirt Road onto Jeep Trail.
12:00PM Greg begins to worry about Steve's
definition of "Non Gnarly"
12:15PM Greg notices aroma of gas after
climbing 45 degree boulder trail.
(Mental note...Get gas Cap)
12:30PM Traffic jam encountered at River
Crossing. Group explores on foot
only to find a drowned 1996 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, with men under
the hood, pulling spark plugs to drain water from cylinders and
women bailing 1 foot of standing water from the passenger
12:35PM Group, Realizing its limits, spectates
while three vehicles
including a Suzuki Sidekick fort the river...
12:40PM Group departs in search of a more
"Reasonable" river crossing.
1:00PM Group encounters second river
crossing. Suzy sent to Survey the
river depth. River reaches Suzy's knees; Group Decides that river
1:10PM River crossing successful, No Noticeable Damage.
2:45PM Group stops in Nederland for Groceries, and gas cap.
3:00PM Group returns home, and Prepares
for Dinner and Gambling in
3:30PM Dinner at Black Forrest Inn;
While ordering, Val inquires if
the trout is "De-headed" Waiter chuckles...
3:40PM Guys suggest that Suzy lift
her shirt to the parking attendant, to
avoid paying for parking; Busboy likes this suggestion.
4:00PM Dinner finished, Proceed to Gambling...
6:00PM Eric is through gambling and cashes in $25 in chips at the teller.
6:01PM Eric finds $1 coin in pocket.
6:02PM Eric Tries to rid himself of $1 coin, in $1 slot machine.
6:03PM Eric Wins $40 with $1 Coin.
6:04PM Eric Returns to teller with 40 more $1 Coins (teller looks annoyed).
6:10PM Group departs for next gambling Spot.
6:50PM Group arrives at valet parking
for next Casino. Group waits
patiently for first 5 min.
7:00PM Greg becomes impatient, Decides
to run over Cones while waiting
for parking attendant.
7:05PM Parking Attendant retrieves
cones from underneath Blazer, before
parking it. Parking attendant looks annoyed.
7:45PM Greg, Suzy, and John watch
lame band while Val watches Eric win at
8:00PM John wanders over to watch
Eric. Eric starts loosing so Val
explains to John that he is bad luck, and has to leave.
8:01PM John Wanders away.
9:00PM Group watches as Eric decides to play 7 Card Stud Poker.
9:15PM Dealer flirts with Val, trying to get her to join in.
9:30PM A player flirts with Suzy, trying to get her to join in.
10:30PM Eric Still playing poker
11:00PM Group realizes that John has to
work tomorrow morning, and departs
6:00AM Group awoken by John preparing
for work in usual work attire (Same
as Sunday best)
10:00AM Group departs for Rocky Mnt National
Park for Hiking...Group hikes
up Deer Mountain trail, can't find summit, and hikes back down.
1:00PM License plate bingo update (Mississippi, Washington & Alaska found)
2:00PM Prepare to Meet John after work in Boulder for Happy Hour
2:05PM Cat (Brittany) Escapes the
house. (Greg wins Colorado after getting
boots dirty chasing said cat)
3:00PM Take short cut to Boulder to miss construction
3:30PM Construction could not have
possibly been as bad as the "Short
Cut" Eric becomes annoyed by Road, (Wins Colorado)
3:45PM Meet John at "The Walrus" for
a pint of Fat Tire...and Pool on the
"L" Shaped Pool table.
4:00PM Val, Driving School Bus, Races Suzy Driving Ferrari.
4:30PM Machine Dispenses 5 Pistachios for $.25
5:00PM Group decides pistachios too expensive and leaves in search of dinner
5:05PM Greg Proves to the world that "Suzy IS wearing Underwear"
5:15PM Dinner at the "Boulder Cafe"
6:00PM Group attempts to identify
"French Fry Like Substance" On Suzy's
6:10PM When the Busboy cannot identify
the substance, the Group forces
him to try one of the items. His expression is indescribable...He
goes to find a manager to identify the substance.
6:15PM Substance is identified as "Yam Fries" Ohhh...
6:30PM 7' Woman enters bar...Men's jaws drop.
7:00PM Depart for Grizzly Rose (line dancing/country bar)
7:30PM Suzy has sore toes from teaching john to 2-Step
7:45PM Val gets 16 oz Alabama slammer
shot, and 1/2 Gallon of OJ, and
mixes her own drinks.
9:00PM Val and Eric shoot pool, and annoy fellow pool players.
9:30PM Eric and Suzy play catch with Football won in Vending Machine.
10:00PM Strangers ask Suzy to teach them to Dance.
11:00PM Depart Grizzly Rose for John's place.
11:15PM Greg confused by seemingly random directions John is taking home.
11:30PM Greg tests ABS Several times, trying not to ram John from behind.
11:45PM After several short cuts, and Map
Checks by John, group arrives at
6:00AM Awoken by John preparing for work again...
11:00AM Men Chop and Stack firewood.
Greg forgets gloves, and gets
11:50AM Greg leaves Sears catalog open to hydraulic log splitters for John.
12:00PM Woman Prepare for Camping.
3:00PM John returns home from work,
and Group prepares for more
4- wheeling, and Camping.
3:30PM Pick up Steve and CC...Steve shows off his "Hand Dug" Basement.
3:40PM Eric decides Steve isn't playing with a full Deck!
4:00PM John Tries to flip Jeep by
driving over Snowdrifts. Greg tries to
keep Jeep from flipping by pushing off rock face with his hands
5:00PM Steve & CC try to kill
kids & dog (in back of pickup) by
repeatedly driving up an 8' snowbank...We hear kid's heads hitting
5:10PM CC Comforts Kids by telling
them "Look, if you're getting hurt,
get out of the back!"
6:00PM Return to Campsite for Dinner.
Where Eric learns the reason the
roads suck is because there are only 3 paved roads in the County.
7:00PM 3 Tone fire Call send Firefighters
(John, CC, Steve) scrambling
for vehicles. Beers dropped, kids left behind.
7:05PM False Alarm, Firefighters rejoin party.
8:00PM Much Eating/Drinking
10:00PM Suzy announces that for $100 bucks,
she'll blow the whole block.
(No Money changes hands.)
11:00PM Smores Prepared...No peanut Butter available (Greg annoyed)
11:10PM Micheal attempts to make marshmallow the size of a tennis ball.
11:30PM John departs, group retires for the evening.
6:00AM Group awakes, tears down camp, departs for John's house.
8:00AM Group Prepares for 3 Day Back Woods Camping Trip
10:30AM Depart John's House for Pikes Peek
Colorado. On Route, group
visits Garden of the Gods. Can't find "Balancing Rock."
11:00AM On the road to Pikes Peek.
Blazer mistakenly identified as a
"Race vehicle." Greg explains that we are just tourists.
12:00PM Pikes Peek Summit Reached. Elevation
11,021 Feet. Pictures taken
Post cards purchased.
1:00PM Descend Pikes peek. Greg's brakes not happy at all...
4:00PM Valerie mistakenly identifies a Buffalo as a house.
5:00PM Meet up with John, and Attempt to find Campsite.
6:00PM Prime Campsite Located. Creek
in the distance, Beautiful Sunset
over the Mountains. The accommodations rivaled those of the
7:00PM Camp Setup, Food Cooked, Beers Consumed.
8:00PM Valerie Repeatedly Looses her beer.
12:00AM Group retires for the evening.
7:00AM Group rises, and cooks Killer
breakfast...Bacon, Hashbrown, Eggs,
9:00AM Group tears down camp, and departs for Hike up a nearby Mountain.
10:00AM Breakfast and Eric are not getting along very well.
10:30AM Valerie offers Eric unknown Prescription Medication.
10:35AM Eric kindly refuses medication.
12:00PM Group in search of Tomorrow Nights Campsite.
1:00PM Guys take turns riding bike
from Mountain-Top to Valley.
(Woman Drive Vehicles)
2:00PM Valerie and Suzy drive Blazer
and Cherokee off small cliff...
Only Minor damage.
3:00PM Group hits dead end at Timberland Pass. Group begins back-tracking...
4:00PM 4-Wheeling, and sight seeing.
5:00PM Group finds Camp site suitable for the evening.
6:00PM Tents set up, firewood chopped, fire started.
7:00PM Group decides to Target practice before dinner.
7:15PM Suzy Hesitantly decides to shoot John's 22 Semi-Auto Handgun
7:30PM Everyone else takes turns shooting at Coors Light Cans.
8:00PM Barb-Q Chicken and Baked Potatoes Prepared for dinner.
8:30PM Eric tries to convinces Greg
and John that the grill is
better for cooking chicken than the open campfire.
9:00PM Greg and John Finally Conceit.
10:00PM Hobo-Pies Prepared...Apple, and Raspberry flavors available.
11:00PM Much alcohol consumed.
11:15PM Taboo Game begun...
11:20PM Val begins "Something that you get
every 14 days, and it's never
big enough" Greg responds..."An erection?"
11:30PM John goes for hike...
11:45PM John's hike cut short because of approaching Coyotes.
1:00AM Group retires for the evening.
6:30AM John awakes first...
7:30AM John Gets up, and goes for hike...
9:00AM John returns from hike, and
determines that it's time for others
to be awake.
9:15AM John decides that 44 Magnum will make good alarm clock.
9:20AM Rest of group awake, and out of bed.
10:00AM Breakfast prepared...same as yesterdays...
11:30PM Group Packs up camp, and prepares for more 4-Wheeling.
12:00PM Group encounters abandoned firing range.
12:10PM John brings out his gun case (44
10MM Semi Automatic, 22 Semi Auto Handgun)
12:30PM Women decide to shoot the Cannon!
12:35PM Women enjoy shooting more and more...
1:00PM Greg decides to depart the
shooting range on Bike.
Plans are made to meet Greg at the bottom of the mountain.
1:10PM Group departs shooting site in vehicles...
1:15PM Group comes to Fork in the
road...No one knows which direction
Greg has gone.
1:16PM 2 Vehicles turn Left at fork...Greg,
Two miles down road
(in the opposite direction) sees vehicles and starts heading back
1:20PM Car traveling the opposite
direction stopped. Suzy asks "have you
seen a guy on a mountain bike on the mountain" The vehicle responds
"Yes...about 2 miles back..."
1:25PM Group continues down the mountain
confident that we have chosen
the correct path. (Greg still heading back up the hill)
1:30PM Group passes Mountain biker
riding "UP" the mountain...Group asks
if he has seen any other mountain bikes going 'down'...Mountain biker
explains that he has not...
1:35PM Mountain biker requests a ride
up the mountain, so that he can get
medical attention for his friend who is hurt at the bottom of the
1:36PM Load the bike on the Blazer,
and drive the Biker to the top of the
mountain...on the way up, Group passes Greg, going 'down' the
mountain...we tell Greg to meet the Jeep at the bottom, and wait
for us there.
2:00PM Regroup at bottom of mountain, and continue 4-Wheeling.
3:00PM Summit of a mountain reached,
Eric decides to ride down the other
3:15PM Eric riding down the mountain...encounters herd of cattle.
3:16PM Eric traveling 35-40 MPH down
the hill, decides he can navigate the
cattle in the road...
3:17PM John scrambles for camera, only to discover there is no film.
3:30PM Suzy driving John's Jeep...Loud Clank...
3:32PM Group stops to assess the damage.
3:35PM Shroud around the Radiator fan is cracked. Shroud repair attempted.
3:45PM Problem Persists.
4:00PM Group determines that Jeep no longer has 5th gear, or reverse.
4:15PM Journey continues with Broken Jeep.
4:30PM Group speculates that problem
is a Broken Motor Mount.
(it is later determined that the motor mount was sheered off the
engine block...the only thing holding that half of the motor was
5:00PM Lost on mountain road...Begin looking for tonight's campsite.
5:10PM Stop for gas and Ice Cream.
John calls wife to explain
5:30PM Group locates prime campsite, but finds that it is already occupied.
5:32PM Group Hikes into swamp to ask
fisherman if he is planning on camping
overnight...Fisherman informs group that he is...group continues
search for campsite.
6:30PM Campsite found...equipped with outhouse and all...
7:00PM Women refuse to use outhouse.
8:00PM Last night of camping...All food and Beverages must be consumed.
9:00PM Much beer remaining...but going down quickly...
10:00PM Group attempts to find Milky Way among the stars...
10:30PM Fireworks lit.
10:45PM Bottle rocket shot into trees.
11:00PM John inspects the forest for smoldering bottle rockets...
12:00AM All Alcohol Has been consumed...Much food remaining...
1:00AM Group retires for evening.
6:30AM Group awakened by large herd (1000+) Sheep being herded through camp.
6:31AM Valerie panics...almost causing sheep to stampede.
6:32AM John, seeming all too familiar
with this situation, mutters,
"They're only sheep, it'll be OK" and passes out w/hangover.
6:35AM Eric exits tent, to get picture of sheep...
6:40AM Greg decides "While quite annoying,
Sheep are a better alarm clock
than the 44"
6:45AM Back to bed...
9:00AM Group rises, and prepares to return to John's house for hot Showers!
11:00AM John estimates 2 hours for Return trip...
11:30AM John experiences flat tire on Jeep...
11:35AM Group changes flat tire.
11:38AM Suzy taking pictures of Vehicle catastrophe #3
11:45AM Back on the Road to John's house.
1:00PM Group reaches Interstate 70. 3 Hours from John's House...
1:10PM Group still yelling at John for incorrect estimate...
3:00PM Val nearly destroys the Blazer,
by red-lining the motor on the way
up mountain on I70.
3:30PM Blazer begins blowing black
smoke...Greg Blames Val for wrecking
his truck. (Suzy takes more pictures)
3:35PM Back on the road...all signs
of smoke are gone...
4:00PM Finally Reach John's house...group
scrambles to take showers, and
pack Blazer for return trip to Maryland.
4:30PM Greg and Val clean out 1/2 Ton of dust/dirt from the Blazer.
6:30PM One last dinner before departing...
8:00PM Group departs Golden CO for Bethesda MD. (Val Driving)
9:00PM Spectacular Thunderstorm Encountered.
1:00AM Still in the Middle of Thunderstorm.
1:30AM Val finally out-runs the thunderstorm...
2:00AM Gas stop, Eric begins Driving.
4:30AM Weary group Stops at lovely Junction City Kansas to rest.
4:35AM Lovely Dreamland motel flashes "No Vacancy" Sign...
4:45AM Group Settles for "Non-AAA-Approved" Motel...(Bad Idea)
11:30AM Back on the Road again! (Eric Driving)
12:35PM Group finds Denny's for Breakfast. (Coke floats ordered)
1:30PM Back on the road again...
1:30PM-9:00PM Much driving...several gas stops...
9:00PM Stop at Denny's for Dinner (Coke floats ordered)
10:00PM Back on the road (Suzy driving)
11:00PM Eric and Val sleeping soundly...
1:00AM Eric still Sleeping soundly...
2:00AM Eric wakes up in a panic...(Bad dream about Windows NT)
3:00AM Stop for gas...Suzy Chewing
on Diet coke bottles...
Group decides that Suzy should drink something without caffeine
for the rest of the trip. Suzy begins drinking Diet Mountain Dew?
4:00AM Suzy still bouncing off Blazer walls.
5:00AM Daylight...Fog sets in...
6:00AM Rain Begins...
6:15AM Eric finds large puddle of
water in back seat of Blazer...
Eric Not happy!
7:30AM Final gas Stop!
8:30AM License Plate bingo... 47 states
North Dakota, Delaware, Vermont
10:00AM Home at last...
11:00AM Vehicle Unpacked...Laundry Done...SLEEP!!!!!!!!!