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Old 09-25-2012, 07:43 PM   #2
tenmile OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Denver, CO
Oddometer: 111
Day 3 (~140mi- After a long day of ‘sampling’ beers the day before, we elected for a nice ride today to clear our minds. We left Telluride headed for Silverton, via Ophir Pass. This is not a particularly difficult road in an SUV or Truck, but the western face does have a steep shelf road covered in loose shale. Kris was riding his V-Strom naked (i.e. no panniers or top bags), whereas I was still carrying my Jessies with camping gear and both his and my tools.

Heading out of Ophir:

Kris, with no idea what's about to happen to us:

Looking back from Ophir Pass:

Once we were on the shelf road, the going got tricky. Both of us are used to light dirt bikes with knobbies and plastics we don’t care about- not a nearly new GS, a new-to-him V-Strom, and 400+ mi separating us from our respective homes. This was not the place to lay one of these down. On top of that, while we both had Street/Trail tires, we were expecting enough tarmac afterwards that we didn’t want to air down too much. So, off we go, pushing 600#+ bikes up the shelf road. It doesn’t look bad in this picture, but the shaded areas were extremely slick & shale-y. By the time we reached the top, I’m not afraid to say my nerves were completely shot.

The top! And of course, the Bikes.

We dropped down the East side (a graded dirt road), then hopped on 550 to run up the top of the pass towards Durango. We don’t have a lot of photos from this stretch, as we elected to hook up a Go-Pro instead. Video will follow, once I get home from a business trip and have some time to edit. We did run into MUCH more traffic then expected, so much of this stretch was used to pass 'Leafers' from TX, OK, CO, NV, MD... essentially every state you could think of. I always forget that people travel to our state to see this, and I just happen to be the one lucky enough to live here!

The kind of sign every one of us wants to see:

A quick stop in Ouray for lunch & the brewery (which, coincidentally I was there for opening day in 2010- if you are ever there, stop in on the rooftop deck. The view is to die for. I don't know why I didn't think to snap any photos...), then back to Telluride for the last day of B&B.
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