This was our third year to have our 4th of July celebration at Coney Flats. The years before we had our standard lunches but this year we went all out and had a barbeque. It was more than anyone had anticipated, and we didn't want to leave.
We started at Middle St. Vrain and lost Bob R. and Jim at the start because of some mechanical troubles. We truly hurried our way through Middle St. Vrain so we could start our lunch at the "lake" on Coney Flats.
We had split into two groups at the Middle St. Vrain rock obstacle to make things quicker, so when we started Coney Flats the group was split by about 20 minutes. The first group started up the trail and it was fairly dry.
When we came to the first of the mud at the bottom of the rocky section some ATVs were coming down. They decided to not wait, so they turned around and went back up. We all went through the rocky section without any issues at all. We didn't really even get out to take pictures because we were all hungry.
When we got to the lake there were a few other vehicles, motorcycles and ATVs. They looked at us and expected us to go right through the lake, but instead we moved off to the side and started setting up our barbeque.
Monica brought a canopy and set that up with the help of a few friends while other people started getting out tables and chairs. Dane brought a regular-sized grill and started right away on the brats and hamburgers. Many other smaller grills were out and they started grilling too.
At that point the second half of the group came up to meet us. More tables, chairs and food came out then, too. Perry and Derek posed on the rock, and Alanna was already going through the lake.
It was sunny and warm but not too hot while we ate. Everyone got more than enough food to eat and no one was in a hurry to pack up. We definitely weren't used to being that full after a trail lunch.
The lake was very full this time due to all of the snow and rain. There was even a part of the wood walkway under a little bit of water. People gathered on the edges to watch and take pictures and people started going through.
We didn't splash as much as usual in the big part of the lake because it was so deep, but it was still a blast. Monica accidentally got too far off to one side and found it to be a little deeper than she had hoped. That little hole ended up being a bad thing for Alanna later.
Jed and Cheryl went through numerous times and Jed was teasing the people near the shallow puddle, threatening them with a splash. Steve's wife Sharon called his bluff and Jed went through and got her completely drenched. It was sunny out and everyone was laughing, even Sharon.
Lunch was packed up and it was starting to get cloudy, so the last few people were on their way over to the far side. Alanna accidentally cut her trip through the lake a bit too close to the bushes and ended up high centered on a rock, her front end dipping into the water.
We watched from the other side as Derek tried to strap Alanna back over the rock that was near that side. He couldn't get her through so Eric tried to anchor him. That wasn't going to work either so the plan was for Ladd to winch her through from the very far side.
Eric started driving through the lake to come get the winch cable, but then Carlos got in and walked it across the chilly lake. It was pretty amusing to watch Alanna, Derek and Carlos search for a tow hook under the water.
The winch line reached across the lake and Ladd pulled Alanna over the big rock. She stayed running the whole time and didn't end up with any engine troubles, but she did fill up her drivers side and passenger side floors with water. The back didn't end up too soggy, and it had all drained out by the end of the trail. So much for the brand new XJ!
We worked our way down the trail together and it was uneventful. We had so many people that we couldn't air up at the trailhead, so we went down to the Boy Scout camp. It ended up being a perfect parking lot for reconnecting sway bars, with lots of parking spaces. Everyone we saw there was very friendly.
We went on to Nederland and dinner at the Pink Flamingo -- it was expensive, dirty, and the service wasn't good so we won't be back there again.
Some of us headed out for some night wheeling on Eldorado Mountain and Caribou Creek after dinner. It ended up being our best 4th of July together yet, and next year's should be even better. What a great time!
Reports from Other Days: 13
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