There isn't much wheeling to be found in Colorado in the winter, and usually the wheeling you find is dangerous because of the snow and ice. We decided to check out C.O.R.E. because it sounded like a great solution. Even though the temperatures were in the single digits we had a blast, and we had the place to ourselves.
We met at the truck stop in Watkins, then headed out to the park. It was snowing in Denver but the further east we got the better the weather got. Once we got to the park it wasn't even snowing anymore and there was only snow on the ground in patches.
We met Carl Miron, the owner, and warmed up in the trailer. It sounded like he had a lot of fun things to check out throughout the park, so we were excited to go. We started on the hills just outside the office and it was a great warm up.
Just down the road was a huge dirt hill that was pretty tough to get up, especially without lockers. There was a section of pieces of cement that were loose and sharp in places. Matt tried to get through it but it was too loose and difficult without lockers. Gary tried for a bit and it looked like he was going to make it but he kept getting high centered toward the top. Bob had the same issues, and managed to scrape up his rocker guard pretty thoroughly on a big rock.
We were supposed to meet Eric and Ryan but they were running really late. That's about when we started picking them up on the CB, and then they finally showed up. They went up and down the big hill, and Eric got pretty far in the cement chunks, but he couldn't quite get through it either. It was close, but no one made it.
Carl came out to watch in his big truck, and then he led us to the rock crawling area. We came around a corner and the side of a big hill had been filled with huge boulders and cement tubes. There were a few different sections and many, many lines from the bottom of the hill to the top.
Gary tried first and wasn't happy with his line so he tried a different one. He got up on a cement tube that would have really high centered his Jeep if he had gone any further. These rocks were massive!
Eric found a good line and got started, but then a rock about the size of his tire moved behind him and he got trapped in the middle of the rocks. He couldn't go any further because the rocks were too big and his line wasn't quite right, and he also couldn't back up. Bob used a tow strap to move the rock enough for Eric to back up. It was one of the smaller rocks, fortunately.
Eric got very, very tippy but he managed to get back out of the rocks without flopping over. We realized that even with his 35" tires this area was probably too big. This is some serious rock crawling, though there are a few lines through the rocks that could be done with a vehicle on 35" tires. We'll try it again when it isn't so cold.
There were some rocks that were more our size, and we went to go play on those. Matt was already wrestling with the first of them, and he made it through after some work.
Bob followed after Matt got through, and promptly got high centered on a big rock. He managed to spin around on it a little, too. Eric had to yank him off of it.
The rock field was big enough for all of us to play in at the same time, so everyone chose their own lines through it. It wasn't long before Matt was stuck on the other end of the field on a huge log surrounded by rocks. It took some work to get him free of the log, and he managed to bend his tie rod a little in the process. This was the new tie rod he had to buy after the Moab trip in October, so he's planning on buying something a bit beefier this next time.
Gary tried to go over the log and managed to get stuck too. Not only that, he also managed to slightly bend his own tie rod. It took a little work but he got free of the log, then took another line and made it just fine.
We went to go check out the off road track, and that may have been the most fun of all. We went around the mile and a half track pretty slowly at first, picking up speed and enjoying the jumps at the end. When we got to the finish line we wanted to go again, but Gary decided to sit this one out. We started in a line and Gary started the race for us, and we took off.
Ryan and Eric were in the lead, and Ryan was jumping over everything in his truck that he'd owned for about a week. They were both catching a lot of air! Matt and Bob were a bit behind and racing each other, and one particularly good jump gave Bob about six feet of air under his tires while Matt watched.
We were all grinning from ear to ear when we got to the finish line. The finish/starting line is a big jump itself, and Ryan wanted to try it to see how far he could jump. He got pretty far!
We checked out the mud pits but the mud was frozen so we just drove by. It looks like it could be a real mess and really fun in the summer.
C.O.R.E. ended up being a blast, and a great place to get some rock crawling during the winter.