ORMHOF on the Road stopped in at the Mile-Hi Jeep Club's annual All-4-Fun event to say thank you to the great volunteers and meet the land owner who graciously hosted the 2022 event on his family's beautiful ranch in Ridgway, Colorado. The Mile-Hi Jeep Club is the oldest Jeep Club in Colorado and one of the longest-standing clubs in the United States. Formed in 1956, the Mile-Hi Jeep Club has been awarded Heritage Club status by the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
Our day started with a rainy traverse down the Stony Pass switchbacks into Silverton, Colorado.
The skies cleared enough for a nice view of Silverton, Colorado, and the Animas River, flowing red with runoff from the storms.
Then it was down the famous (infamous?) Million Dollar Highway from Silverton to Ouray, so named either because it cost so much to build, the amount of gold ore that remained in the roadway's fill, or the figurative price for those amazing San Juan Mountain views. There are no guardrails so the winter snow can be pushed off the road into the deep ravines. From Ouray, we headed a few miles down to Ridgway and the basecamp for All-4-Fun 2022.
All-4-Fun is the signature event of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club. 2022 marks 56 years for the All-4-Fun, which has been recognized as a Heritage event by the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
We were warmly greeted when we arrived at All-4-Fun by Mile-Hi Jeep Club 2022 Commander Kevin Durham. MHJC is divided into approximately twenty area Patrols, with great names like Rainbow Chasers, Cliffhangers, Black Diamond Jeepers, and Rock Pirates.
Commander Durham presented us with an amazing gift; a set of CDs compiled from photo albums saved over the years (since 1956!) by Mile-Hi Jeep Club and All-4-Fun event volunteers. A phone call with MHJC lifetime member and historian Jerry Cronk tells ORMHOF that the photo project was spearheaded by MHJC member John Davenport. A Mile-Hi Jeep Club Collection has been established at the Hall of Fame featuring the images from the CDs that can be viewed under the Collections tab at ormhof.org.
More beautiful Colorado views greeted us in the participant camping area on the Potter Ranch in Ridgway, base camp for All-4-Fun 2022. Most of the rigs were still out on the day's trail runs.
Participants register for their desired trail for the day based on Trail Ratings and other information. All-4-Fun 2022 offered some of off-road's most iconic trails, including Imogene Pass, Black Bear Pass, Poughkeepsie Gulch, and Yankee Boy Basin, all made even more interesting (challenging!) due to persistent monsoonal rainfall.
We caught up with All-4-Fun Trips Committee Chair Kenneth Fingerlos in the tent at base camp as he was making updates to the available trips for the next day. Happily, he was reopening sign-ups for Imogene Pass, where conditions had improved enough for the next day's run to get the green light from local officials.
Signage in the All-4-Fun base camp tent will always tell you where to go (ahem) and what time to be there. The MHJC volunteers are pros at event organization; they've been at this for more than fifty years!
Speaking of volunteers, MHJC Magazine editor Janet Bressler greeted us cheerfully at the raffle table. This year's raffle proceeds benefitted Children's Hospital Colorado and the Ouray County Ranch History Museum. The All-4-Fun raffle is one of the highlights of the event, and meeting Janet was certainly a highlight for us. A talented graphic artist, Janet also designed the 2022 All-4-Fun logo.
Another hard-working MHJC volunteer we managed to catch up with is Niki James. Niki handles registration and was busy setting up the merchandise table when we got her to stop running long enough for a quick picture. Thank you, Niki!
"What does this plate mean to you?" is the question posed on the members' page of the Mile-Hi Jeep Club website. The MHJC website offers information on how to travel off-road responsibly, including trail etiquette when encountering livestock, non-motorized trail users, and other vehicles in accordance with the Colorado state "Stay the Trail" program.
L-R: ORMHOF's Barbara Rainey, All-4-Fun 2022 land host Mike Potter of the Potter Ranch, and 2022 MHJC Commander Kevin Durham. The Potter family ranch in Ridgway is 160 acres of high mountain paradise that has been in the family since 1958. The off-road community owes many thanks to land owners like the Potter family. This was the first time the Potter Ranch had been opened for a special event. Mike was delighted with the Mile-Hi Jeep Club organization and All-4-Fun participants, saying, "You're welcome back, anytime!"
We weren't able to meet and thank all the volunteers personally on our visit to All-4-Fun... So thank you to the Event and Committee chairs listed here, and the dozens more volunteers who answer the call to make magic in the mountains for the off-road community each year at the Mile-Hi Jeep Club All-4-Fun!
To learn more about the Mile-Hi Jeep Club and All-4-Fun, head to your favorite internet search engine or social media platform. And don't forget to check out the Mile-Hi Jeep Club Collection of images at ormhof.org.
Posted August 2022