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Columbia Loop Trail
 

We finally made the turn off of the trail that both Brad and I had previously run and headed west towards Columbia.  Brad stopped at one spot and we went up the hill a bit to see an old drilling rig.  Obviously, this one is not left over from the mining days of 100 years ago.
 

Just got an e-mail from Brad.  He sent along some photos of the second hill climb that he took from the top while I made the climb.  As is usually the case, the photos do not do justice to this piece of the trail.  Brad and I both agreed that open diff vehicles would not make this climb without some kind of assistance.  We were both locked at each end and our  tires would hunt and work through the loose overburden, trying to find a bit of traction. 

Yes....made it.  I'd like to thank all those manufacturers that made the hill climb possible....ARB, Goodyear MT/R tires, AlloyUSA axle shafts, my newly installed AW4 auto tranny, Tom Wood drive shafts, Tera 4:1 t-case, and all those other drive line parts that come together to make a most excellent trip to the top of the hill. 

We finally made it down the side of the mountain and into the wash below.  This was where Columbia once stood.  The house foundations were still there and some recent (plus or minus 10~20 years) mining activity was evident.  Lots of these old claims get re-worked every now and again (or at least they initially did when gold when off the $32/ounce standard). 

That is about it.  We left Columbia and headed west towards the back road that leads to Crown King.  Once on the old Crown King trail, we took a turn off to the west and spent about another two hours cruising in and out of the washes and seeing the sites.  We ended up on Castle Creek road and then finally made our way back to Castle Hot Springs road where we headed back to the highway.  When all was said and done, we had totaled almost 50 miles off the highway.  The trip took us about 8 hours including the numerous stops for pics, lunch, etc. 

I hope you enjoyed the trip....and remember to TREADLightly! 


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