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The 2005 Ouray Jeep® Jamboree


The 2005 Ouray Jeep Jamboree was fast-paced, unlike the usual event, where spectators stop to watch as each vehicle attempts a steep climb or difficult obstacle. CB radios were especially useful allowing us to ask questions as we drove along. The eye popping scenery competed for our attention as we drove narrow ledges hanging over awesome depths. Trails varied in difficulty from easy gravel roads to stair step ledges, boulders and stream crossings. All 5 groups traveled the same trails, although not on the same day, or necessarily the same direction. Along the trail we stopped to photograph waterfalls, wildlife, mines and ghost towns.

The high altitude offers drivers of vintage Jeeps a different challenge. A carburetor that worked well at lower altitudes may have problems as the air begins to thin. A CJ-7 in the Orange Group was unable to complete the first day's run over Imogene Pass. Its disappointed owners rented a Wrangler for day two! Our first trip to Ouray in 1985 was in a stock CJ-7. It had a serious case of "altitude sickness" before we even reached Colorado. The symptoms included loss of power, similar to a clogged fuel filter. With a little research, the mechanically inclined can make adjustments to compensate for lower atmospheric pressure. Wranglers and Cherokees with fuel-injected engines never missed a beat.

The town of Ouray is a relatively unspoiled nineteenth-century mining town surrounded by cliffs and waterfalls. It is a good idea to schedule a few extra days to visit Ouray, Silverton, and Durango; as well as running extra trails in the vicinity! Bookstores and gift shops offer maps of the trails and ghost towns as well as field guides to Rocky Mountain wildflowers, rocks, and wildlife.

Rick and Diane McCright

If you have pictures or video to share from this event, email info@JeepTales.com and we will send you a link to upload your images.

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