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Thread: M715 Zone National Field Exercise--Buena Vista, Colorado

              
   
   
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Port Orchard, Wash.
    Posts
    356

    Default M715 Zone National Field Exercise--Buena Vista, Colorado

    I am a moderator on another board called the M715 Zone (The M715 Zone - Powered by vBulletin). Last week we had our semi-annual National "Field Exercise" where as many as can attend get together somewhere in the country to drive our M-trucks (or whatever we can bring). This year we held the event in beautiful Buena Vista, Colorado! Base camp was the group site at the local KOA. We hit the trails on Thursday, Friday and Saturday of last week. Trails included the 4-Mile Loop around the hills on the northeast side of the valley Thursday, the scary cliff-side road up Mt. Pleasant and a drive up to the Continental Divide on Friday, and the drive up to, and around, the semi-dead ghost town of St. Elmo on Saturday.

    With a top sustained speed of 55 mph possible with these trucks, I trailered it the 1200 miles to Buena Vista, as did most who attended. Two other M715s and one M725 (ambulance version) showed up. Others brought their TJs, an H3 and a bone stock 1948 Willys CJ-2A.

    Here are some pictures of our trip....

    Me taking a hill steep enough my wife bailed out and took the kids with her!




    I mounted a bench seat from a J-truck in the bed of my M715, facing rearward, for the boys to ride in. Another member put the 3rd row seat from his Suburban in the bed of his M715. I have two boys, 7 and 10, and he has a 9-year-old. The boys usually rode together in the back of mine, armed with [unloaded] airsoft rifles for ambush protection.



    I was the slowest vehicle heading up to the Continental Divide. Mine was the only stock M715 there. The others had big-block V8s swapped in. Even the flatty had more oomph than I could muster!




    We made it though! I'm running the stock one-barrel carburetor too. The truck is so gutless anyway, I didn't notice any real lack of power at altitude. It ran surprisingly well, if slowly.




    Other trail shots:




    Washington plate gives away the fact that's my truck....




    Interestingly enough, this member, from Texas, does not have to have a license plate on his surplus military truck. He just painted on a number of his choosing and registered the truck under that. Perfectly legal in Texas.




    My boys liked the flattie a lot! Here they thought up this "brakes-failed" pose on their own. Pretty funny....




    Stunning scenery up there. The base camp was at 8,000 feet. Most of the trails were above 10k. The Continental Divide was at 12,126'.







    We called this our ZDF ("Zone Defense Force"):




    They cleared this abandoned mining cabin of any evil-doers for us....




    Finally, the view from our campsite. That's Mt. Princeton across the valley there.



    We're having a regional gathering in Onalaska in mid-August. We'll be taking some of the local Forest Service roads around there. So far it looks like we'll have six [6] M715s and perhaps an ambulance as well. I'll keep y'all posted on this event in case anyone would like to join us on the drive.
    Last edited by Binford; 07-03-2008 at 08:55.
    -- Tim Taylor
    Port Orchard, Wash.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Yakima, WA
    Posts
    3,291

    Default

    Neat report and great photos, thanks much!
    Jerry
    Jerry
    Reading and Riding Northwest Backroads
    K7PNW

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