To GridLife Colorado and Back!

So what’s your idea of a fun road trip? Driving 7-10 hours per day for three days, then not showering for nearly 3 days, being woken up to the sound of race cars for two days and then driving for three days again? 

If I hit the nail on the head then you my friend will be quite jealous of me! My best friend, his sister, his cousin and I loaded up into his 2004 Subaru Outback and drove from The Capital Region of New York state to Pikes Peak Colorado for the Gridlife Alpine Horizon Festival. (which was in fact sold out!)

We left early on July 19th, around 9am, with the car packed to the brim. A useless rearview mirror, a cooler strapped to the top, an extra tire, and a bunch of tools. I had to SNEAK food into the back which would later become breakfast. I had a bunch of my own items in front with me so I couldn’t really stretch out but hey, It was stuff I needed so it was a needed sacrifice that my legs definitely felt later.

At 5:44pm in Ohio we saw a Fiesta St. with a license plate that read “STINKY” and it got a good rise out of the car.

We camped near Dayton the first night, it was quite nice and there was a gorgeous Audi R8 on drag slicks with bead locks which I didn’t get a picture of sadly.

You can almost see the R8 in the back there, between the two RV’s on the right!

To start off the day on July 20th we figured out that Noah’s Outback was indeed having Head Gasket problems and that we would need to take it decently easy for the remainder of the trip. On top of that issue, Collin’s Trailblazer was having an issue with its front caliper on the driver side. It was changed in about thirty minutes and we were back on the road at about 10:50am or so!

At about 4pm we got our first sighting of the St. Louis arch! We got turned around with parking as a few roads were closed which sucked but it was very cool to see up close. We did not go up it as we were pressed for time.

Noah and Daegan raced up the steps in front of the arch, Noah lost.

0:00-0:38 are the section of the race!

Camping that night wasn’t anything special as none of us slept well at all. 

On the 21st I tried my first “Most stuff Oreo” which was an experience to say the least. I tried to convince my friend back home to buy style 95’s for his 7 series BMW over text, it didn’t work sadly.

On our way through Colorado it was raining and Daegan put his head out the window like a dog and it was quite funny.

At 7:33pm our friends sent a video that showed that the right rear strut on Noah’s Outback was TOAST. The wheel was bouncing quite a bit and we could feel it over bumps quite well.

We arrived at our campsite for that night and the next around 8pm, we set up and then looked for food, Colorado Springs was too far away and all but one restaurant in Cripple Creek was closed. Once in cripple creek we found out that the restaurant we meant to go to was also closed. Luckily there were two(?) casinos just down the street. Noah and I went in and ordered food for the four of us.

July 22nd was VERY eventful, we went up Pikes Peak in the Subaru which made it surprisingly well, we met Ship.A90 which his GORGEOUS supra that was not babied in the slightest. Apparently I got my photo taken of me taking a photo by the sales manager of JEGS as I was wearing a JEGS hat?? Wild.

We had some AMAZING Malaysian food from The Asian Cookery in Colorado Springs, I can’t recommend it enough.

After Pikes peak we went into Colorado springs to pick up a new rear strut for Noah’s car, which we changed in a parking lot, and Noah may have broken one of his pinkies. I came up with the idea to use the spare tire and two rocks to make it so we could get the strut to line up with the hole on the knuckle!

At the same time as we were changing the strut, Collin and his group were changing the fuel filter in the Trailblazer which required them dropping the fuel tank.

July 23rd, the first day of gridlife:

We waited in line for about an hour, we set up our tent and the best weekend of the summer commenced. 

We went over to the RallyCross portion which was quite cool, we got rained on there and hid with the drivers for a short time.

Those of you who have never been to Colorado, its WINDY, our tent broke once on the 23rd and again on the next day. Other people’s tents nearly flew away. It was wild.

The best way to see the cars racing seemed to be from the infield, I would later find that was slightly incorrect. From the camping areas and around the track the majority of the immediate spots were well very “Meh”. Especially for seeing the drifters. You had to walk a decent ways to a spot between turns three and four where there was a “photo hole” that was broken. The fencing around it had been pulled up into a loose roll and tied up with tie wire. A person definitely could have fit through it if they had wanted to. (This is relevant later!) Being at this spot was FANTASTIC, videos and photos were easy to grab without much obstruction, and due to a crowd gathering it seemed as though the pro’s thought it was a good idea to get close to the wall, which was amazing. 

After that drift session ended I hung around and made some new friends, while talking some security guards rolled up on the track in a golf cart and asked us what was up as they gestured at the rolled up fence. We quickly made it clear that it had been like that since before we even got there, helped them roll down the fence, and we were told that no one was allowed to be there. Which sucked, rip the good spot, and with that we were banished to really only watching in the infield area. 

Night drifting was awesome! The drifters really put on a show, the music line up for the music festival portion on the first night was pretty cool, I was really only interested in the Headliner Flosstradmus and I was not disappointed!

The 24th was another rough day for the tent, as I said earlier, it broke again and we got rained on pretty hard. There was a lot more racing and drifting that went quite the same as the day before. It was awesome, this time the night drifting was even more wild. 

Yung Gravy performed and he was higher than Pikes Peak to say the least, so that was interesting. $uicideboys performed after and they rocked it. 

We left around noon on the 25th as we didn’t want to be on the road unbelievably late. 

The 26th was also pretty uneventful except for when we set up our tent we met a cat at our campsite for the night and it quickly became friends with everyone!

We got back on the 27th pretty late and I got to ride in my friend’s Turbo swapped 2.0 Cabby which was sweet. (there’s gonna be a video about this car along with a post! So you’ll have to wait for that!!!)

Published by Vincent Wight Malatesta

I graduated from the College of Saint Rose in 2019. I’ve always loved cars! My Instagram's are clutchoutmedia, Vince_emkay6, and my personal is itsvincem.

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