Foreword Back in February a couple buddies of mine from the off-road club I was active in during college contacted me to invite me to tag along on a trip to Colorado with them this year. They were looking at heading out July 13th and as luck would have it, I was able to move a week's vacation to have time off to tag along with them. They had a list of trails they wanted to run and the Colorado Trail books so we worked out a plan of what everyone would like to do and made a map with the trails and some campsites on it to help us along. Day 1 We met up at 9am at the Tamarack in Beckley, WV. Everyone gassed up and hit the restroom then we hit the road. Everything was going pretty smooth till about 6:30pm central time when Adam, who was towing, came over the radio and said he had a problem then pulled over on the side of the interstate just outside of O'Fallon, Il. It turns out his driver's side rear truck tire had come loose and broken two studs off. The decision was made to tighten the other three back up and head on in to O'Fallon where O'Reilly's said they had the lug nuts and another local store had the studs. I was in "work mode" so the picture taking stopped but we got the parts, ate supper at Sugarfire 64 BBQ and got a hotel room in Collinsville, Il for the night. Our original goal had been Columbia, Mo but fixing the truck was the priority. The Super 8 was nice enough to let us make the repairs in the parking lot, which didn't take very long to get all 5 studs and lug nuts replaced and the truck back on the ground. After showers, we all turned in for the night, hoping to get an early start the next day and hopefully make it into Colorado. Day 2 Everyone was up and we were on the road by 8am. The St. Louis Gateway Arch had been our goal that morning, but some closed road and one way cobble stone streets put a damper on everyone's enthusiasm and we opted to get back on the road rather than waste another hour making circles down town. A quick stop off at McDonald's for a biscuit, some coffee and restroom breaks at 9am was in order and Adam topped off his truck with his fuel cans to try to get the longest first pull of the day we could. We managed to make decent time but a lunch stop that drug out a bit meant we didn't make it into Colorado until sun down. 8:43pm mountain time to be precise. Pushing on, we made it to Flagler Reservoir at 9:55pm and everyone set up camp for the night, had a beer or two and just celebrated our first night camping on the trip. It rained just as we got off the interstate but not enough to make things too damp, just cooled it down nicely for the night. The sky was beautiful and my cell phone doesn't do it justice. Day 3 The next morning we finally got a good look at our camp site and it was beautiful in the Flagler area. I wish the reservoir was still used but I'm also sure if it was, we couldn't have found a camp site like this anywhere! Everyone fixed breakfast on my little Coleman white gas single burner stove, broke camp and we were on the road by 8:30am headed to REI in Colorado Springs to get Brett a new pair of shoes. He busted through his old ones the night before setting up camp. One of his tent stakes just sliced the sole apart, but luckily it didn't get his foot. The plan was to get to the KOA in Cripple Creek, Co where Adam was going to leave his Tundra and trailer for the two weeks they were going to be there and we'd do our laundry and take a shower and decide if we'd stay there for the night or try to make our way somewhere else. We made it to REI at 10:30am where Brett got his shoes and then we made a fuel stop and headed up 24 for Cripple Creek. Going up the mountain out of Colorado Springs though, Adam's trailer cut down the driver's side front tire. Luckily a vehicle in the left lane saw what was going on and let him cut across to a pull off where we could get the spare on and be back underway in less than 10 min. From there a stop to stock up at Wal-Mart and get a replacement tire for the trailer took about an hour of our time but we made it to the KOA and decided to stay there for the night to rest up and actually make camp in the daylight. We were treated to a double rainbow IN camp that evening, grilled up some supper and talked over out plans for the next day a bit.