Jeep IS Rocky Mountain high adventure! What do you define as high adventure? If you were to place a realistic geographic location to what many people fantasize about as an adventure destination, Durango, CO might be one of those places. I do. That’s because of the old western feel that permeates this old town.
Jeep brought TFLCar and a host of journalists out to experience the excitement of traveling on a steam-engine train, off-road domination in Jeeps and a proper Jeep-style campsite deep in the woods. We saw some of the most incredible views few will ever get to experience – especially if they try to climb these trails in a sub-standard 4×4. It was an awesome trip and it gave this journalist a taste of what Jeep-life could be.
We started our trip in late July with about 40 journalists from around the world converging on Durango, CO. We stayed at the storied Strater Hotel in the middle of town. The Strater Hotel opened in 1887 and was, at the time, one of the most luxurious hotels in Durango. It still possesses Victorian charm, comfortable beds and a wild west theme that includes a saloon complete with a pianist and barmaids, (staged) gunfight and ghosts. Yes – ghosts. The hotel is supposedly haunted. The only spirits I encountered were from some tasty gin and tonic. This was a fun, character-filled hotel and I highly recommend it for folks who like the old west vibe.
The next day, we boarded Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad which was two blocks from the hotel. After a few hours of huffing steam and puffing smoke along with amazing vistas, we arrived in the old town of Silverton. This is a great trip for the family and I highly recommend spending time in old Silverton.
From Silverton, CO, we were presented with Jeep Wranglers and Grand Cherokees to drive into the hills.
Now I was in my element, crashing over rocks, dirt and mud as we ascended to around 14,000 feet – it was a blast. All of the Jeeps were flawless in traversing hazardous obstacles. A few of the drivers had no clue how to off-road, but the Jeeps made short work of the challenges and made the drivers look competent. Rain fell, mud formed and a chill set in. We pushed on to a campsite that was right out of a high adventure brochure.
The Jeep camp snuggled the side of a mountain and spread throughout a beautiful meadow.
Organizers slept in turn of the century-style military tents in the meadow while journalists got Jeep-branded dome tents in the woods. Some lucky journalists got a special key that gave them access to Jeep-branded tent trailer… lucky punks. Despite the rain, we all slept in comfort after a cowboy-styled dinner with a hootenanny-style Latino serenade that went well into the witching hour.
The next day brought us bashing along treacherous roads, painfully beautiful vistas and hard-charging Jeep adventure throughout the mountains. We finally traversed tall peaks and deep gullies arriving in picturesque Telluride, CO. This ended the trek, but the Jeep experience continued with demonstrations of a variety of Jeep prototypes and concept vehicles for us to sample.
Jeep gave The Fast Lane Car a hell of an exciting trip and I urge all of you, all Jeep owners and all of you adventurous types who are considering your next trip to try this journey. All of us need an adventure away from computers, cell phones and reality. Trust me and TFLCar… it is worth it.
Check out this video which encapsulates our Jeep adventure!